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Clintons, Baby Bonds, and Dropouts

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Let's Talk -- Like Women

by Christopher Chantrill
October 07, 2007 at 1:58 pm


A NUMBER of conservatives are appalled by the prospect of a President Hillary Clinton. Think what she will do to health care, they warn. Think of three or four more liberal justices like Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg!

We cannot allow that to happen! There must be no retreat: Not one step back!

It is such a guy approach to politics, like the sophomores at Media Matters taking a Rush Limbaugh remark out of context and trying to blow it up into a national scandal.

Moreover it is too limited. After all, the Democrats will get back into power sooner or later, if not in 2008 then surely in 2012.

We want an America in which Democrats no longer want to create huge once-size-fits-all government programs that create widespread dependency on the government. We want an America where no liberal would think of proposing a nominee like Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the United States Supreme Court.

In our vision of America, when someone says: “But people have needs,” liberal women like Larry Summers’ tormentor Nancy Hopkins will faint away in disbelief if anyone suggests a government program as a response.

The future is not won by elections and Supreme Court decisions; it is won by changing the culture. We are talking about a national conversation.

“Let’s talk,” said Hillary Clinton.

Last week the British Conservative Party decided to start a national conversation at their annual conference. The result was a sudden 10 point jump in the opinion polls. The week before all the experts had written Conservative leader David Cameron off as a light-weight and a loser.

So how did David Cameron and the Conservative Party come back from the dead?

First of all they proposed a little tax relief, raising the exemption on inheritance tax to one million pounds: no death tax for anyone who isn’t a millionaire. All of a sudden the experts realized that inheritance tax was deeply unpopular—with women. Wrote Anatole Kaletsky in The Times:

[M]iddle-aged, middle-class women, eager to maximise the legacies that they can leave to their children and grandchildren, will vote for any party promising to relieve them of inheritance tax.

Let’s talk.

Then there was David Cameron’s speech to the Conservative Party conference. It was a speech that covered a lot of the same ground as any Republican presidential candidate, starting with lower taxes and broken windows policing. Then Cameron called for radical choice in education.

[W]e need to open up the state monopoly and allow new schools... So we will say to churches, to voluntary bodies, to private companies, to private schools come into the state sector... [W]e can have those new schools so we can really drive up standards.

OK, it was not that radical. It was just calling for an education system similar to Sweden. But try suggesting it to Randi Weingarten of the United Federation of Teachers in New York City.

It was Cameron’s attitude towards the Labour Party and its welfare policy that was truly radical.

Labour’s great passion was tackling poverty but in many ways its been one of their greatest areas of failure... They’ve put the money in... but it hasn’t worked. Why?

I believe it’s because they relied too much on the state organisations that can treat people like statistics rather than like human beings.

With this approach he gave credit to the left for its good intentions. But then he invited his audience to wonder why it didn’t work.

Instead of the normal method of the political platform speaker with its clanging accusations and exhortations to victory Cameron used a more feminine approach.

He came out from behind his podium and abandoned his prepared speech and teleprompter.

I’ve just got a few notes so it might be a bit messy; but it will be me.

Instead of indicting the other party he tasked them for not listening. You know how it goes: They meant to end poverty, but they just didn’t know what they were doing and they didn’t listen, bless their hearts.

“You know the best welfare system of all,” Cameron concluded, “It’s called the family.”

Political insiders like William Langley report that Cameron’s wife, Samantha, is a prime driver of this woman-friendly conversational format.

What do women want? Do they want a government monopoly education system that doesn’t listen to them and doesn’t respond to the special needs of each child?

Do women want a uniform single-payer health care system, designed by Hillary Clinton and her experts, that is incapable of responding to the specific needs of each family?

We already have a system that delivers every kind of house that women want. It delivers every kind of clothing that women want. It delivers every kind of food that women want, and cars with every kind of cup-holder that women want.

How about a system that delivers every kind of education and health care that women want?

Let’s talk.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison

China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


[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

Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust

Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”


Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity

Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh

Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion


“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State

presented by Christopher Chantrill

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