|Another Vote for Homeschooling||Ronald Reagan, RIP|
by Christopher Chantrill
May 29, 2004 at 8:00 pm
ARE THE DEMOCRATS crazy? Or crazy like a fox?
In the last week weve seen former Vice President Al Gore foam at the mouth for the benefit of the left-wing whackos at MoveOn.org. Weve seen former President Bill Clinton gently tell the anti-war students of Kansas State University that This is thinking time, not cheering time. And weve seen candidate presumptive John Kerry unveil a four point Iraq plan that echoes President Bushs strategy, but advertises itself as different because it is strong without being stubborn. What is going on here? Im confused.
And that worries me. As a Boydian, I know that the whole point in any conflict is to get your enemy confused and demoralized and keep them there. If Im confused, then maybe the Democrats are winning.
Then theres the murky business of campaign financing reform. After all the sturm und drang of the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2001, the reform that was going to get big money and single-issue groups out of business and that was obviously going to hurt the Democrats and their reliance on big donors and soft money, we now have the reign of the 527s, so-called independent entities that in fact are financed by big contributors like George Soros and run by Democrat campaign activists. They are even more obscure and unaccountable than the evil PACs and evil soft money raised and spent by the national party organizations that the noble Sir John McCain and his knight-errants had promised to vanquish.
If I were a conspiracist, I would think that this was all a Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy, a planned and cynical attempt organized from deep within the Clinton political machine to subvert the system and return the Democrats to power by any means possible. The ends justify the means, and all that stuff. It would be easy to succumb to the simple delights of conspiracy theory, but I just cant do it.
Thats because I believe that politics is amateur hour. Anyone who has ever worked on a political campaign knows what I mean. Campaigns are a mess. Grand plans may be hatched by the big shots, but they are executed by twenty-something volunteers that havent a clue. And even when a campaign team really jells and achieves electoral success, like the famous Clinton team of 1992, it disperses and disappears within a year or two. You can get a glimpse of this in the headline characters of the campaign world. Dick Morris is brilliant, but erratic; hes in touch with the zeitgeistevery second! So hes confidently predicting things that turn out to be nonsense by the end of the week. Then theres Bob Shrum, Kerrys senior campaign adviser who has run people against the powerful campaigns for assorted Democrats over the last twenty years and usually lost them. How strong but stubborn can you get?
A political campaign, after all, is like a business startup. Theres a grand vision, a so-so business plan and not enough capital. Most startups fail within a couple of years. Why should politics be any different?
So the chances are that Al Gore is spouting off his Blame America First speeches on his own account; Bill Clinton is carefully positioning Hillary for 2008; John Kerry hasnt a clue. And probably the dreaded 527s will turn out to be impossible to coordinate for the good of the party.
The question is: What are the Bushies up to? Who knows? We havent heard from Karl Rove recently, and the reason isnt hard to figure out. The Bush team wants to keep the opposition guessing. If you roll Rove out in front of the media he might inadvertently spill the beans on something it was better that the Democrats not know about. You talk about election strategy after the election is won, not in the crucial months when you are assembling your forces for the decisive battle.
Of course, it is also possible that the Bush team is completely flummoxed by the Democrats Keystone Kops routine. And its possible that they are completely at sea on their Iraq policy just as the liberal media likes to advertise.
And its also possible that the Bushies made a terrible mistake in cutting income and capital tax rates in the spring of 2003.
But if theres one thing Ive learned about politics, it is that the bien-pensant line out of The New York Times is probably pompously wrong. That rule applies in spades whenever the subject is economic policy, foreign policy, and the intelligence of Republican presidents. So the chances are that Bush & Co. know what they are doing, and the Democrats are running around in circles.But I could be wrong.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
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.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, 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
Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up
rather than learns... Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois
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
When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of agesthey seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
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
A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is merely relative, is asking you not to believe him. So dont.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy
As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable...
[1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006
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
But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family.
Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
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
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism