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Beating the Bureaucrats in Education The Year of the Looter

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What is our Elevator Story?

by Christopher Chantrill
November 20, 2005 at 12:04 pm


AFTER WEEKS of retreat and confusion a troop of Republican horse last Friday finally turned on the Democrats and drew their sabers. The House of Representatives voted 403-3 to reject an immediate pullout from Iraq.

Immediate pullout was what veteran Democrat Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., called for on Thursday. The House disagreed. “To cut and run would invite terrorism into our backyards, and no one wants to see troops fighting terrorism on American soil,” said Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. So that’s all right.

May I ask a question here? After all the confusion and demoralizing backwards marching of the last few months, what’s our elevator story? In the world of commerce it is considered vital to have a 15 second sound bite that can explain your company’s business to employees and to customers in about the time it takes to ride in an elevator to the 32nd floor. Just what is the Republican Party’s elevator story? Anyone got a copy of it around here?

We all know the Democrats’ elevator story. It goes something like this.

We stand for the people, for working families. We fight for civil rights, for workers’ rights, for womens rights, and for keeping the government out of the bedroom. We stand for free education, affordable housing, affordable health care, the environment, and mass transit. We stand for peace and justice. We will fight for the people against the powerful. We do it for the children.

It’s amazing how easily that trips off the tongue. That’s because all of us, even the most committed of conservatives, live in an MSM world in which the Democratic elevator story tinkles away 24-7 just like elevator music. But what is the Republican elevator story? Yeah, what is it?

OK. Let’s start at the beginning, as the coach said in the locker room. This—is a football.

The first thing we believe in is Hope, as in the American Dream, as in a faith in God. This is more sophisticated and profound than you might think. It evokes the idea of growth, of struggling forward, the fundamental force in the living world. Hope stands opposed to anger and hate, as in: “I hate the Republican Party and everything it stands for.”

The second thing we believe in is Life. This goes beyond the present opposition of “pro-life” versus “pro-choice.” It means the surrender to the inescapable destiny of all living things and especially humans: to create new life and bring it to maturity: creating children rather than being childishly creative. The presumption of the pro-choice Democrats is that there are more important things in this world than bringing children into it. Oh really?

The third thing we believe in is Self-government, at the individual level, at the family level, at the community level, and at the national level. We mean this in the sense communicated by the idea of the rule of law and the apothegm of Sir Henry Maine that the movement of the progressive societies is from status to contract. The self-governing human society values trust, the team, and responsibility. It is a world of people that are “self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility.”

These Republican articles of faith are profoundly different from the reality behind the Democratic elevator story. Democrats stand for working people but have turned the working class into the underclass. They have corrupted civil rights into racial quotas, workers’ rights into a license to loot, and women’s rights into a death cult that celebrates abortion as a sacrament. Their bountiful promises of free and affordable services for all have diminished the average American from rude self-reliance into subordinate dependence upon the power and discretion of politicians and experts. And as for fighting for the people against the powerful, what would that mean? Cutting the pay of government employees by 20 percent to bring it down to the level in the private sector?

Let us create a first draft of the Republican elevator story.

We are Republicans and we believe in hope. We believe in work, faith, and marriage. We believe in the mothers and fathers who bring life to the children that will grow up and inherit our great nation. We believe in civil society and in families, businesses, churches, associations, and charities, the mediating institutions between individual and government. We want to build an America with a small government and a large people, a government of laws not of men, because we Americans are a self-governing people. And we believe that the other peoples of the world deserve to be self-governing too. So join the Republican team. Build the American Dream. America’s best days are yet to come.

Imagine a line of Republican Senators intoning that at the Alito nomination hearings in January. Democrats would take it as an attack on their patriotism.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican

Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District

Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State

Taking Responsibility

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MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050

Responsible Self

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Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values


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David Martin, On Secularization

Conservatism's Holy Grail

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Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self

Drang nach Osten

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Government Expenditure

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Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

presented by Christopher Chantrill

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