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The New Challenge Movement: A Manifesto The Genius of Self-Government

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Don't Get Mad, Send Money

by Christopher Chantrill
August 21, 2004 at 8:00 pm


REMEMBER BACK in 2000 when the liberals took out after the NRA?  It was spring and the media was swooning over the Million Mom March, a pseudo-grassroots event gussied up by liberal gun-control activists.  The Clinton administration was pushing gun-control measures through Congress.  Vice-President Al Gore was thinking he would be able to ride gun control to the White House.  Liberals thought they finally had the NRA on the run. 

But something went wrong.  Conservatives didn’t get mad; they sent money.  The NRA reported a flood tide of contributions.  I remember Googling up the NRA’s site and sending them $100 myself.  It’s seared, seared in my brain.  And Al Gore decided to run for the people against the powerful instead of running against the NRA.

Then liberals thought they’d take a whack at the Boy Scouts for banning gay scoutmasters.  Not surprisingly, the Boy Scouts had developed a policy (after some early scandals) of keeping gays away from Boy Scouts.  But the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in 1999 that the Boy Scouts had no right to discriminate against gay scoutmasters.  The media was swooning again.  But I didn’t get mad.  I sent money.  I checked out the local Boy Scouts organization and sent them a check.  And I’ve been sending them money ever since.

Now we have the presidential election of 2004.  For over a year, liberals have been screaming “Bush LIED!!!”  Rich international speculators have been pouring millions of dollars into conspiracy outfits like MoveOn.org to run ads against President Bush.  Rich Hollywood stars have been pouring millions into the coffers of Democrats and their shadowy 527 organizations.  Rich Hollywood A-listers have been riding media publicity to box-office nirvana with conspiracy movies like Fahrenheit 9/11 and The Manchurian Candidate.  Minor federal government officials have written books to embarrass the president, and the media has swooned all over them.

But along comes Swift Boat Veterans for Truth with a book called Unfit for Command by John O’Neill and Jerome Corsi and a simple story line: Kerry Lied.  John Kerry, they said, has been lying about his military service for 35 years.  Swift Boat Veterans For Truth bought a half-million dollar TV buy in the battleground states to tell America about it.

The result?  Dead silence in the mainstream partisan media.  Dead silence from the Kerry Campaign.  Frenzy in talk radio. But after two weeks, the juggernaut of talk radio had moved the poll numbers.  A CBS News poll reported that support for Kerry among veterans had dropped from 46 percent to 37 percent.

All of a sudden an outraged John Kerry was demanding that the Bush campaign call off its dogs, was filing a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, and was suing to prevent TV stations from airing the Swift Boat ads.  How about that First Amendment!

It makes you think, doesn’t it?  Millions in hot money from international speculators, a scurrilous “documentary” hauling in $100 million at the box office, millions in free publicity from the mainstream partisan media and it buys you a tie game in the polls.  But two weeks of talk radio and a half-million dollar ad buy and the Bushies are moving the country against you. 

No wonder the Democrats and the media are in full outrage mode.  Swift Boat vets have been coordinating with the Bush campaign!  The major contributor to Swift Boat vets is a big Republican donor!  Oh no!

But the timing!  The strategery!  You’d have to say that the episode has Karl Rove written all over it.  At the end of July John Kerry presents himself to the American people as a war hero.  By the end of August he is exposed as a faker.  They’ll be citing the Swift Boat escapade in Campaign Management 101 for the next generation.

There’s a big lesson here for Democrats and the media—when they have cooled down and are ready to review the whole mess.  They don’t do themselves any favors by giving their guys a pass.  No Republican could have got away with the contradiction that John Kerry has been permitted: running for election as a war hero after a career as an anti-war activist and a liberal U.S. senator.  Imagine a Republican who runs for office on family values and then runs off with one of his aides.  He’s not going to get fawning coverage on The Today Show; he’ll get tough questionsunless, of course he runs off with a gay aide.

The same rules ought to apply to Democrats. They need less mothering from the media and more fathering. Fathering. There’s a concept!  

No, I’m not mad.  I’ll just send money.

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

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050

Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
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


Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization

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

Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self

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

Government Expenditure

The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

presented by Christopher Chantrill

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