RTCS

Views on the News

October 29, 2011

 

Views on the News*  

The leftist playbook was written by the Progressive-era Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci, who asserted: “One need only capture the culture.  The politics will follow and that is exactly what the leftists did over the last century.  Through an unremitting assault on many fronts, the left took control of all the opinion-forming organs of American society: the media, educational establishment (lower and higher), the legal profession, foundations and libraries, the government bureaucracy and the unions, the marketing industry, and (to a certain extent) the upper echelons of big business.  Once the people's mindset was converted from individual liberty to collective equality, security, and order, it was easy to convince them to implement the political changes that enabled the conversion of America from a free society into a statist society.  The left's cultural assault was broad, sustained, relentless, and purposeful.  The right, naively assuming that things would naturally stay the way they always had been, wasn't even paying attention.  It is only in recent times that a substantial portion of traditional America has awakened to the radical leftist revolution that has swept the country and which threatens to kill the historic society that America embodied.  Previously, and perhaps still, the framework for the national political/cultural conversation was set entirely by the left, and it was little noted, by any on either side, that the axioms assumed by all who engaged in the conversation were biased strongly toward the left end of the spectrum.  With few exceptions, the American people have been largely blind to the vast transformation that occurred in our society over the course of the twentieth century.  The question of the nature of our Republic, how or even whether we should remain true to our founding principles, or which is more important, liberty or equality, these questions never come up.  The hope is that the Obama-Pelosi-Reid axis of evil has behaved so egregiously and so transparently that a substantial portion of America can now at last see.  A new cadre of true conservatives has been created.  Their task is to somehow reach the vast muddled middle.  If that contingent can be awakened to what has happened and their complicity in it, perhaps there is a chance to right the ship.  Perhaps then people will realize that the competing visions for America held by the left and right are irreconcilable, and it is the job of those with the "right" vision to bring sight to those in the middle who are willing to see.

(“Two Visions, but Blindness Everywhere” by Ron Lipsman dated October 23, 2011 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/10/_0_0_1_1048.html )

If there is a single feature distinguishing the left from the rest of civil society, it is the willingness to use force, so while claiming to be for the people, the statists consistently use force against others.  The use of force and disrespect for the property of others by the Wisconsin union mobs and the occupy-wall-street crowd are in sharp contrast with respectful and peaceful Tea Party demonstrations.  Indeed, civil society proponents like the TEA Party oppose the use of force, when they advocate for reducing the size and intrusiveness of government or for repealing ObamaCare.  The goals of the left can be implemented only by using force.  The centerpiece of leftist politics, redistribution of wealth, requires taking by force from those who have.  Proponents of higher taxes for "the wealthy" never advocate voluntary contributions; instead, they go for the full power of the federal government, including the threat of jail.  Government control of health care (ObamaCare) forces everyone to purchase insurance, forces the states to comply, forces employers to offer coverage, and dictates what kind of policies insurance companies can offer.  The lessons of history are clear and numerous.  The use of force to create an idealistic society inevitably leads to tyranny and even mass murder

·    In the Soviet Union, Stalin alone is credited with the murder of between 20 and 40 million of his own countrymen "for the people."  

·    In Cambodia. Pol Pot was responsible for more than 1.7 million deaths. 

·    More than 45 million in China never leaped with Mao's "Great Leap Forward."  

·    The total murders by governments in the 20th century stands at 169 million

Not only does the left try to force us, but the left also expects us to shut up and accept the use of force against us.  The American people, having a long history of opposing the use of force against them, will not go quietly.  The United States was founded as a revolt to fight the use of force against the colonists, the latter's complaints listed in the Declaration of Independence.  People came here to escape government use of force against them, to pursue their own dreams without interference and the TEA Party is a continuation of the American spirit, not a tax revolt, but a declaration of independence from government against the people.

(“Government against the People” by Gary Horne dated October 21, 2011 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/10/government_against_the_people.html )

Voters around the country are concluding it’s better to be red than dead, applying a whole meaning to an old phrase, moving from failed blue states to more prosperous red statesEither you will flee to a red state or a red state will come to you, because voters fed up with blue-state fiscal irresponsibility will elect candidates who promise to pass red-state policies.  One reason for that shift is that red states are taking fiscal responsibility while many blue states aren’t, and it shows.  A recent study uncovered factors that affect state prosperity and economic outlook, such as tax burdens and population change.  What’s clear is that red or red-leaning states dominate the top positions while blue states have the dubious distinction of dragging in last.  In the economic outlook section, the top 20 states are bright red or lean red, while eight out of the bottom 10 are very blue: New York, Vermont, California, Hawaii, New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon and Rhode Island.  Most of the “poor states” states have the highest personal income tax rates and the largest unfunded state pension liabilities.  But instead of taking the red-state approach by lowering taxes and/or cutting spending, the blue states tend to want to raise taxes even higher, just like their White House mentor.  The result of their overpromising and overspending, and their knee-jerk response to solving their fiscal problems by raising taxes, is that people are increasingly fleeing the blue states.  Between 2009 and 2010 the five biggest losers in terms of ‘residents lost to other states’ were all prominent redoubts of progressivism: California, New York, Illinois, Michigan, and New Jersey.  Meanwhile, the five biggest winners in the relocation sweepstakes are all commonly identified as red states in which Republicans generally dominate local politics: Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, and Georgia.”  The good news is that some blue states have seen the light and are turning red, embracing the limited government/low taxes red-state vision and are coming back from the brink.  By contrast, some blue states appear determined to spend themselves into bankruptcy.  Republicans are refusing to be complicit in state fiscal irresponsibility, so call it tough love, but blue states will sink or swim on their own.  Many fed-up citizens in those blue states are leaving, but others have decided that if anyone is going to leave, it’s those big-spending politicians who brought on the fiscal disaster which is a lesson blue-state politicians better learn: It’s better to be red than dead.

(“The Red State in Your Future” by Merrill Matthews dated October 21, 2011 published by Forbes at http://www.forbes.com/sites/merrillmatthews/2011/10/21/the-red-state-in-your-future/ )

The successor to Barack Obama has a daunting task ahead of them to have any hope of properly changing the nation’s disastrous present course, but ideas and solutions are available, if only our politicians would listen.  If the current regime is merely supplanted by an insipid or unremarkable Republican, America will simply languish for a while amid the horrendous damage that has been perpetrated over the past few years, awaiting the eventuality of the future Democrat who will simply continue the process.  America urgently needs a leader who can rally it from the despondency and bleakness of its current state, and the lackluster future awaiting it if it remains mired in Washington “business as usual.”  Having been degraded and humiliated both financially and spiritually on the world stage by a leader who clearly disparages everything worthy in its foundations and heritage, America must once again enjoy the inspiration of a leader who, instead of focusing endlessly on its imperfections, loudly and unabashedly trumpets its strengths and promises.  What is being lost in the Republican primaries is the creation of winning ideas to turn this country around and restore it to its previous global leadership.  Creating a best of breed Republican platform would look like this:

·    Nominate private sector, TEA Party conservative: President - Herman Cain.

·    Nominate constitutional expert, thought leader: Vice President - Newt Gingrich.

·    Implementation plan: Contract With America (Newt Gingrich).

·    Limit (downsize) government: Decommission cabinet departments (Ron Paul).

·    Balance budget: Pass Balanced Budget Amendment (Newt Gingrich).

·    Restore strong dollar: Audit and reform Federal Reserve (Ron Paul).

·    Reform judicial branch: Correct, limit, or replace judges (Newt Gingrich)

·    Reform (save) Medical Care: Repeal/replace ObamaCare (Newt Gingrich).

·    Reform (save) Social Security: Privatize retirement like Chile (Herman Cain).

·    Reform (replace) taxes: Transition to a Fair Tax (Herman Cain).

·    Achieve energy independence: Unleash energy industry (Rick Perry).

·    Revitalize national security: Fund at 4%, security is not discretionary (Newt Gingrich).

The beginning stage of a big change was instituted last November, and if the country is to be restored, the movement must continue.  No longer should the people on Main Street accept any version of the Washington status quo and its sad adoption of the notion that the nation’s downward spiral is inevitable.  If “We the People” are going to get the nation back, it will require the election of a principled leader who understands the enormity of the task, and is willing to judiciously and fearlessly tackle it, and when assessed in this manner, the field of worthy Republican candidates narrows significantly.

(“What America Needs from the 2012 Elections” by Christopher Adamo dated October 21, 2011 published by Intellectual Conservative at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2011/10/21/what-america-needs-from-the-2012-elections/ )

Obama’s announcement that we will keep only 150 U.S. troops in Iraq after the end of the year–down from nearly 50,000 today, represents a shameful failure of American foreign policy that risks undoing all the gains that so many Americans, Iraqis, and other allies have sacrificed so much to achieve.  If there is one constant of American military history it is that the longer our troops stay in a country the better the prospects of a successful outcome (think of Germany, Italy, Japan or South Korea).  Conversely when U.S. troops rush for the exits hard-won wartime gains can quickly evaporate (think of the post-Civil War South, post-World War I Germany, post-1933 (and post-1995) Haiti, post-1972 Vietnam, or post-1983 Lebanon and post-1993 Somalia).  The risks of a catastrophic failure in Iraq now rise appreciably.  The Iranian Quds Force must be licking its chops because we are now leaving Iraq essentially defenseless against its machinations.  Conversely the broad majority of Iraqis who fear Iranian influence and who want their country to become a democracy will come to rue this day, however big a victory it might appear in the short term for the cause of Iraqi nationalism.  Ostensibly this pull-out was dictated by the unwillingness of Iraqi lawmakers to grant U.S. troops immunity from prosecution, but Iraqi leaders of all parties also clearly signaled their desire to have a sizable American troop contingent post-2011.  The White House leaked word that no more than 3,000 to 5,000 U.S. troops would remain, well below the figure of 20,000 or so recommended by U.S. military commanders on the ground.  By showing our willingness to pull out our troops, the U.S. can show the Iraqis that we are serious about respecting their sovereignty and not bent on a long-term occupation of their country.  President Obama appears more determined to gain credit for “ending the war” than for ensuring Iraq’s long-term future as a democratic American ally.  Like Obama’s decision to downsize prematurely in Afghanistan, the complete Iraqi withdrawal is short-term thinking that could come back to haunt the United States, and its commander-in-chief, who is now taking upon himself the burden of blame should Iraq go off the rails.

(“The Iraq Withdrawal is Nothing to Brag About” by Max Boot dated October 21, 2011 published by Commentary Magazine at http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/10/21/the-iraq-withdrawal-is-nothing-to-brag-about/)

 

The President, the U.S. government, and our national security leadership are wittingly complicit in supporting a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of large parts of the Middle East.  Beyond a certain point, gross incompetence and systematic stupidity are inexcusable sins in politics even if not crimes, and the sentence should be voting them out of office as soon as possible.  The question is why:

·    First, Obama thinks he’s very knowledgeable about Islam, based on very limited personal contacts. Aside from his profound misunderstandings, his experiences come from Indonesia, the place where mainstream Islam was more moderate than in any other Muslim-majority country. And even that predates the infusion of Wahhabi and al-Qaeda thinking even in that country.

·    Second, Obama is a narrow-minded and arrogant man who understands little about international affairs or the profound differences of other cultures. He neither listens to ideas outside his own conception nor heeds proof that he has failed. A clever evil genius adjusts himself to circumstances, determined he will always look good. Obama is merely wrong and incompetent, openly displaying ignorance.

·    Third, his conception of the United States and its role in the world should render him unfit to be President. He views the United States as evil and aggressive historically while also rejecting the most basic concepts of U.S. interests and the conduct of international affairs. He deliberately refuses to show leadership; doesn’t think American diplomacy should reward friends and punish enemies; believes concessions and apologies can win over enemies; and really doesn’t understand the importance of credibility, deterrence, and leverage to frighten and constrain enemies.

·    Fourth, he has two sets of people eager to misadvise him. One is the ideologues he has brought into government, especially in the National Security Council and several other appointees. The other is a significant portion of the CIA.

His interpretation considers the virtually sole danger to be al-Qaeda and its terrorist attacks against America.  In order to ensure Islamists aren’t radicalized to behave that way, they want to coopt radical Islamists they consider far less threatening.  They insist that such Islamists are far less extreme than people like me say and that holding power will moderate them.  This travesty is born of Western ignorance about Islam and Islamism; discounting the power of ideology and the nature of these societies; assuming that everyone thinks alike in wanting more material goods; putting all their effort into stopping another September 11; presuming moderation is inevitable, etc.  So the administration is either helping Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood to get into power or risking this happening (wrongly thinking they won’t win elections) not because it wants to hurt America but because this administration is stupid and ignorant enough to think that will ultimately help America.

(“Obama’s Foreign Policy: Manchurian Candidate or Keystone Kop?” by Barry Rubin dated October 24, 2011 published by Pajamas Media at http://pajamasmedia.com/barryrubin/2011/10/24/obamas-foreign-policy-manchurian-candidate-or-keystone-kop/ )

 

* There is so much published each week that unless you search for it, you will miss important breaking news.  I try to package the best of this information into my “Views on the News” each Saturday morning.  Updates have been made this week to the following issue sections:

·  Bibliography at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/welcome/bibliography.php

·  Religion at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/Culture/religion.php

·  Welfare at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/Culture/welfare.php

·  Energy at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/energy.php

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

www.ReturnToCommonSensesite.com