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Source: The Aspen Institute– Columnist David Brooks

Source: The New Democrat

If you just arrived on Planet Earth yesterday and were an adult and two of the first things you observed were supposed to be what it means to be a Conservative and Liberal and what conservatism and liberalism are supposed to be, you would probably think Conservatives are simply bigots who hate anyone who isn’t of European especially Anglo-Saxon background, who isn’t a Christian especially a Protestant and who isn’t male. That conservatism is simply an authoritarian bigoted political philosophy that is about conserving everything in society for Europeans especially English-Europeans in America and especially Protestant males.

And that Liberals are simply statists. In some cases democratic, but in many other cases communist who believe European-Americans are all bigots, unless they come from the Northeast or West Coast and were educated there as well. Who hate European-Americans again unless they come from one of the coasts and were raised there. The Northeast and West Coast, that is and believe the role of government is to take care of non-Europeans in America and to punish Europeans for being successful.

That Liberals are supposed to be people who believe that anyone who doesn’t look at the world as they do are basically idiots who need to be babysat by government. That freedom is dangerous and it only gives people the freedom to make mistakes. That free speech is only the freedom to offend non-Europeans. That capitalism and property rights are selfish. That even education and self-inprovent are dangerous things, because it means that people would be able to obtain the power and freedom to live independently and be able to think and act for themselves.

Now, I just gave you a pretty good idea about what conservatism and liberalism aren’t. What it doesn’t mean to a Conservative and what it doesn’t mean to be a Liberal. The anti-conservative views when it comes to conservatism and the illiberal views when it comes to liberalism. Now, how about what it actually means to be a Conservative and what conservatism actually is and what it means to be a Liberal and what liberalism actually is.

I agree with David Brooks about one thing which seems to be a common theme when I hear him speak, at least about public policy and philosophy. That conservatism is about conserving tradition and a certain way of life in America. Which is different from saying that the role of government is force a way of life on the rest of the country and force everybody to basically live as straight fundamentalist Protestant Evangelicals. Which is what Christian-Conservatives who today are basically Christian-Nationalists believe, that the problem with the America is personal freedom and individualism and that Americans shouldn’t have the freedom to live their own lives and have their own lifestyles.

My personal view of what it means to be a Conservative in the political sense, comes from Mr. Conservative Senator the late Barry Goldwater. Who said that he wanted big government out of our wallets, bedrooms, boardrooms, and classrooms. He wanted big government out of our personal and economic affairs. He believed in limited government and federalism and that the role of government was to protect Americans from predators both foreign and domestic, but not try to protect Americans from themselves and punish Americans for their own personal decisions. And that a big role of government was to conserve the U.S. Constitutional and our constitutional rights. Not conserve some fundamentalist Protestant Christian way of life and to force everybody to live under the same religious and cultural values.

For me as a Liberal, defining Liberal and liberalism is very easy for me. A Liberal is someone who believes in liberal democracy what some people might call classical liberalism, but what I just call liberalism and liberal democracy. That government should be limited and there to defend our constitutional rights and civil liberties, including our property rights. That everyone in America is the same at least in the sense that no one is better simply because of their race, ethnicity, or gender and that everyone has the same civil rights and are all entitled to the same equal and constitutional rights. Liberals believe in limited government, the U.S. Constitution, civil liberties, individual rights. A safety net for people who truly need it, but not having a government big enough to manage people’s lives and to force everyone to live equally from an economic standpoint. Socialists believe in forcing equality on everyone. Liberals believes in quality opportunity for everyone, which is different.

Now, if you just watch Fox News and MSNBC, you might think Conservatives are from Mars and Liberals are from Saturn. Two completely different planets with very little if anything in common. Thousands if not millions of miles way ideologically. But if you look at the American political spectrum Conservatives are on the center-right and Liberals are on the center-left. Ideologically they’re political opponents ( not enemies ) but have the most in common ideologically of any two political factions on the American political spectrum. With the Socialists ( both democratic and communist ) and the Christian-Nationalists, having the least in common. Conservatives and Liberals both believe in the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, our federal form of limited government. But differ when it comes to government’s role in the economy and national security. But don’t live in two on two different planets ideologically. As much as Fox News and MSNBC may disagree with this.

The Aspen Institute: David Brooks- On Conservative and Liberal Values

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Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

What Socialists don’t like about Libertarians and libertarianism, is that Libertarians have this inane idea (according to Socialists) that people should be allowed to make a good living and then be able to live off of those rewards. The fruits of their labor, to sound like a cheeseball.

What the Christian-Right and now Christian-Nationalists (who voted for Donald Trump) don’t like about Libertarians and libertarianism is that Libertarians have this crazy idea (according to the Christian-Right) that people have property rights and that extends to their homes and their bodies. And that people should be able to live their own lives as they see fit, short of hurting innocent people. Even if that offends the religious and moral values of the Christian-Right.

What I don’t like about the Libertarian-Right, well their a few things and I guess I could name them all. But they claim to be against big government and government interference and yet they tend to sound more like they’re anti-government all together. That they see America as some deserted island where there’s almost no evidence of life and all of these people show up all the sudden and over the years and create a new society short of having any government.

The so-called Anarcho-Libertarians, seem to believe that arresting suspects as part of a criminal investigation, is somehow a form of kidnapping. That if someone wrongs you its up to that person to get justice for themselves. Instead of relying on a law enforcement department to handle that for you. Because if we have public law enforcement and government, that would require taxes to fund those agencies. That putting convicted murderers, to use as an example who are actually guilty of murdering the people they were convicted for, that putting them in prison for their crimes, somehow violated the murderer’s rights. Someone who believes that comes from another planet and perhaps is just on Earth for a visit. Perhaps to see what the real world looks like.

Conservative-Libertarians like the Barry Goldwater’s from back in the day, Senator Rand Paul and a few others in Congress today, P.J. O’Rourke, those Libertarians I can respect, because they’re not Anarchists, but Libertarians. They want a government limited to only doing for the people what we can’t do for ourselves. And not messing around in other countries affairs. And also they sound like sane intelligent people who base their politics from this crazy word called reason. And not sounding like escaped mental patients, who’ve been on nothing but marijuana and alcohol, since they fled from the institution.

And I could also talk about how conspiratorial Libertarians tend to be and how they resemble the Socialist-Left in America and how dovish they are and blaming Lyndon Johnson for the JFK assassination. Libertarians are supposed to hate Socialists and socialism, and yet they sleep in the same bed at the same time with Socialists when arguing about all of these conspiracy theories. Like the JFK assassination, but arguing that 9/11 was an inside job and I could go on. Just look at Alex Jones website if you want more.

Or the antisemitism and even racism that Libertarians have expressed against non-Europeans in America and how now a faction of the Libertarian-Right is now part of the Alt-Right. The Stefan Molyneaux’s and others who claim to be Libertarians, but have argued that immigration is somehow a threat to the European-American culture. As well as some Libertarians arguing at least in the past and again something they have in common with the Socialist-Left in America and people like socialist author and writer Noam Chomsky, that America is largest terrorist state in the world and perhaps the only international terrorist organization in the world.

As a Liberal I’m all about (to use a cliche from the 2000s) getting and keeping big government out of my wallets and bedroom. The whole notion of being an adult (who is not currently incarcerated) is that you get to make your own personal and economic decisions, but then have to deal with the consequences of our actions. We don’t need a national, or even state, or local, religious leader or nanny statist, babysitting free adults.

So again, I respect the Rand Paul’s Jeff Flake’s, Ron Johnson’s, Justin Amash’s, and others in Congress. These are all Republicans by the way in the Senate and House. But the Alt-Right that is part of the Libertarian-Right and the anarcho wing of the Libertarian-Right, they can sound just as crazy as the Socialist-Left. Perhaps as if they did time with them in an institution. And when the crazies become the faces of your movement, your movement loses credibility and the ability to be taken seriously in American politics.

The Independent Institute: P.J. O’Rourke- The Outlook: How Things Look From Here

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Bernie Sanders vs Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders vs Hillary Clinton

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

The differences between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton? Well which Hillary Clinton are you talking about. 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, hopefully not as Secretary of State. Don’t want 2016 to be about Libya for her, assuming she is the Democratic nominee for president. I actually like the 2015-16 Hillary quite a bit. She’s even now in favor of legalizing marijuana at least at the state level. Has publicly admitted that the Iraq War was a mistake, even if she privately knew that in 2006.

The 2015-16 Hillary looks like the Pragmatic Progressive. But I still prefer the Progressive With Results from Martin O’Malley. And if he can ever get a non-relative to endorse him for president and give his campaign money, he might still make a run for the Democratic nomination. Because he’s already accomplished as Governor of Maryland what Bernie and Hillary say they want to do, but have never actually accomplished anything.

With Bernie Sanders, like him, dislike him, hate him, love him, terrified of him and would never want to let him see your wallet and financial information for fear that all of your money would suddenly disappear after Uncle Sam takes what he wants from you, you have to at least respect him. Because here’s a real-life politician not a made up Hollywood politician, but a real-life human being and politician at the same time, (which might be a newsflash for a lot of Americans) who actually knows what he believes and says what he thinks. For the most part.

I mean free college, free health care, free health insurance, I think he’s at least smart enough to know that people will have to pay for all of their new government services and that of course they won’t be free. These will not be Christmas presents from their rich Uncle Bernie. But their Socialist Uncle Sam, or Bernie, who’ll have new taxes to pay for these services. Two guarantees in life, death and taxes, at least in America. And taxes are bills that Americans have to pay to get the free government services. Free government services is like trying to take a bath with dirt and playing football in the bathtub. It simply doesn’t exist for anyone whose a taxpayer.

Hillary Clinton vs Bernie Sanders, to me at least looks like Bill Clinton vs George McGovern, or Jerry Brown, from back in Jerry’s hippie radical days in the 1960s and early 70s. Hard to imagine that once Bernie after he finally picks a number by how much he wants to expand the Federal Government in size and in money, assuming that ever happens, that he could beat Hillary anywhere outside of New England and San Francisco. And perhaps just Vermont and San Francisco. Too bad for Bernie that New York City is not a state, because maybe he could beat Hillary there.

Because Americans and even Democrats, are learning that to create all the new big government that Senator Sanders wants to create, the rich won’t pay for all of that. Their money will be in other countries even before some committee in Congress like Ways and Means, or Finance, looks at his proposals. So of course the middle class Americans will get stuck with the tax bills for all of these new programs. Hillary, is already scoring against Bernie in the debates on this. About whose going to pay to being Sweden to America. Hillary can say, “I have friends in Congress both in the Senate and House who I’ve worked with on these issues in both parties. And we can work together on these issues.” With Bernie it will an all or nothing approach that will die in Congress faster than a constitutional amendment to repeal both the first and second amendments.
The Daily Conversation: Bernie Sanders vs Hillary Clinton on The Issues

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Uncle Sam

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

When I saw this post on The Real Strategy a blog I’ll admit I’m not that familiar with, it got me thinking about the title of a book from the great political humorist P.J. O’Rourke. Where he says, “don’t vote. It just encourages the bastards.” Which came out in 2009-10. What O’Rourke is implying there if not just flat-out saying is that when you vote for politicians, or their opponents, you’re endorsing them and what they do. When the fact is the problem is what American politicians do for us and in too many cases do for us. By making our lives more difficult by doing too much, or not what they’re constitutionally required to by law, which is to pass the budget that funds the government.

As a Democrat, I’m a big fan of democracy short of empowering the majority to rule over the minority. Big reason why I’m a Liberal Democrat and not a Social Democrat, which is more common in Europe. But the main problem with American politics is not our politicians and I mean our crooked and bought hyper-partisan politicians. The main problem with American politics are the voters who vote for those politicians. People say especially with the Left where I’m proud to be (Center-Left that is) that if we just have higher turnout we would get better politicians and people more representative of who they’re supposed to represent. The problem with that is again if you have more people voting, you’re going to have at least with the current state of the American voter, you’ll have more dumb people voting for people who they don’t know. Getting sucked in by an oil-slick politician or candidate. Who has no intention of doing what they campaigned on.

You can pass all the great campaign reform laws that you want, but if you still have the same dumb voters who are either too dumb to vote for the people who’ll best represent them and vote for the worst alternative possible instead, or don’t bother to research candidates and politicians they’re considering voting for and just go off of soundbites, or the person whose most up to date with pop culture references, or technology, or campaign commercials, or they think one candidate is not as bad as the other person, so for that very and only reason the lesser evil deserves their vote over the really evil person, we’re always going to have an American public complaining about how bad our political system and government is. Even though they are responsible for creating that very government and system themselves.

We don’t need more voters. We need better voters. We need people who actually take voting seriously and take it as seriously as they would when their buying a home, a car, deciding where to send their kid to college and everything else they value, their i-pad, or i-pod, what so-called reality TV show to watch, etc. And with a more educated public when it comes to voting, you’ll see better politicians and better government and with that you’ll not just to see more voters, but more educated voters. With politicians having fewer dopes they can rely on who’ll buy beach out in Cincinnati if you tell them that you have one there for sale simply because you told them that. And since they failed geography and social studies in high school, aren’t even aware that Cincinnati is nowhere near and ocean. And probably couldn’t even find it on a map if they were standing there.
RT America: American Voters Disaffected With Political Establishment

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This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I’m glad that President Obama can laugh at the year that he had in 2013 and perhaps the White House Correspondents Dinner might be the only platform where he can. Because it was really one of the worst years at least in my memory (all thirty-eight years) that a second-term president has had in his first year as a second-term president. I mean you have to go back to 2005 with President George W. Bush or even before I was born in 1973 with President Richard Nixon who was dealing with Watergate.

I like President Obama’s line about CNN where he said “that now I have to go to Malaysia to get attention from CNN”. Because CNN is too busy covering airplane crashes and missing passengers who probably drowned in the ocean. To actually cover real news. Like I don’t know millions of Americans who didn’t have health insurance now have it. Or the situation in Ukraine or the economy with the new jobs figures. “Wait we can’t report those things because those issues are real news and Americans are only interested in what is not important but what is sexy”.

The President also had a good line about MSNBC. “Glad to see MSNBC here which is probably seeing the biggest audience that they’ve ever had”. MSNBC another so-called news network that doesn’t have the resources to cover real news even though they are owned by NBC News one of the largest news divisions in the world. Which is why their ratings are south of the toilet because they do not report on things that a large percentage of the country is actually interested in and that is important.

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No More Mr. Nice Guy

No More Mr. Nice Guy

 

This just in, Barack Obama is not the young strapping Muslim-Socialist that he use to be. He’s changed his thinking and affiliations and now he’s an Evangelical Christian-Communist instead. Which should make Rush Limbaugh and other Neoconservatives very happy, you know Fox News would be another example. And I agree with President Obama that he and the press have different jobs to do. His job is to run the administration and represent America at it’s best. (Meaning never visting the Bible Belt) And that the press’s job is the to report the first story that will make them the most money even if it also happens to be true. Or in CNN’s case report all sides of the story just in case one of them is actually true. And I’m also glad that President Obama is reaching out to Congressional Republicans especially in the Senate. Perhaps hoping to get more support for his proposals since they can never make up their minds on any of them and are never ready to vote on anything. Another words filibuster all of them for all of you non-political junkies who happen to be 99.9% of the country. Wow! All of you people must have lives or something.

Actually President Obama proposed to reach out to Senate Republicans last week. But on orders of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Senate Republicans filibustered that instead. Two weeks ago President Obama proposed to reach out to House Republicans, but that proposal died in committee. But at least the President is making the effort to reach to more people even though since now he’s an Evangelical-Communist he can just claim he’s a dictator and bypass Congress on everything and say he’s doing God’s will. So he has that power in his back packet,  but to show you that’s not the dictator that Libertarians like to claim that he is. He hasn’t used that power, yet but instead is proposing to reach out to Republicans in Congress, but keeps getting busy signals, or in the Senate’s case a debating society where nothing is done and they only talk about what should be done. One of the weakness’s of the U.S. Senate right now.

Another trick that President Obama could do since he’s an Evangelical-Communist now is to order Harry Reid the Leader of the U.S. Senate to propose that only Senate Democrats can vote on the Senate floor and propose to eliminate the Senate filibuster. Just eliminate the Republican opposition all together. And also propose that the Republican House will be as powerful as the. U.K. House of Lords and that their votes no longer matter. These measures may seem extreme and dictatorial, but Barack Obama is now an Evangelical-Communist and would only be doing what he believes is God’s will. Sort of how the Westboro Church portests funerals of dead soldiers. So who could blame them.

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