Friday Follies for May 8, 2015

Jackson County MO Sheriff Mike Sharp

Here is some local Missouri news. Jackson County MO Sheriff Mike Sharp, in the face of a 21,000 CCW application/renewal backlog and growing pressure from state and local parties, finally acts. He has hired two temporary, part-time employees to address the issue.

You can find the story here, on the WMSA website.


Today is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. Today’s FOX Newsletter noted the anniversary with this short piece.

Today we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. Fortunately for posterity, the late Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Relman Morin, then an AP war correspondent, was present to paint a gripping picture of the surrender by German commanders to allied officers: “There was a moment of silence, and in that moment, the scene seemed to freeze. It had the character of a picture, somehow, a queer unreality. Here was the end of nearly five years of war, of blood and death, of high excitement and fear and great discomfort, of explosions and bullets whining and the wailing of air raid sirens. Here, brought into this room, was the end of all that. Your mind refused to take it in. Hence, this was a dream, this room with the Nile green walls and the charts, the black table, and the uniformed men seated around it. The words, ‘There are four copies to be signed,’ meant nothing unless you forced the meaning to come, ramming it into your brain with a hard, conscious effort.”

“All the greatest things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope.” – Winston Churchill in a May 17, 1947 speech at Royal Albert Hall. On Thursday, members of the high command of the British military presented a bust of Churchill  to their counterparts at the Pentagon.

I wonder if Obama will force the Pentagon to send the bust back like he sent back the bust of Churchill that used to reside in the White House?


On Drudge’s front page is an announcement. The US unemployment rate exceeds 93 million. The AP states the unemployment percentage is only 5.4%.

The AP lies. Simple math will tell you that if 93 million are unemployed out of a population of 325 million, the rate is 28%, not 5.4%.

But…but…but…you can’t include children and school kids! True, that would reduce the 93 million to a lower number AND INCREASE THE PERCENTAGE OF UNEMPLOYED!

Math works. You can fudge the figures and lie, but math will tell you the truth.


Speaking of Drudge, The Hill has just announced that Matt Drudge is the 2nd most influential man in America. The liberal digital magazine is no fan of Matt Drudge. But they did admit…

Is Drudge the second most influential man in America, behind the president? It is a debatable proposition that might well be true. More than any single person in American politics besides the president, he determines the content of debate in our national discourse on an hourly basis.

In many ways, I deplore the influence of Matt Drudge, but in the meantime, would someone send this piece to Drudge and maybe he will post it (wink, wink)? — The Hill.

The Hill would love to had as many hits on their website as does Drudge in just one hour.


In case you weren’t looking, conservatism, well, the British variety, returned to the UK. Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party takes the majority of seats in Parliament in their general election yesterday. The Scottish National Party (SNP) took 56 out of 59 regional seats making them a political power that must be accommodated. Many of the opposition party leaders resigned their party positions. Some lost their seats as MPs as well.

Cameron won on a platform of more power to the Scottish regional parliament and a vote on the UK’s continuing membership in the EU. If the UK leaves, the EU could, in light of its growing financial instability, fragment, shedding some of its more financially irresponsible members…like Greece.




Senator Ted Cruz delivers remarks before announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination to run for US President March 23, 2015, at Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia.(PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Finally there’s an announced candidate I can vote for. Ted Cruz announced his candidacy for President in the 2016 election at the Liberty University to a rousing ovation. He immediately went to the top of the polls


Of course he’s at the top of the polls. He’s the only one who has officially announced his candidacy by-passing the ‘exploratory’ phase completely.

His speech is already on YouTube. In his announcement, he vowed to end Obamacare if a repeal appeared on his desk and to end the IRS.

But the trolls are already out. Obama has already stolen a step on Cruz by buying the domain name. It a liberal front supporting Obama and illegal immigration. It’s a tossup if the new domain owners are Obama or La Raza or one of the other uberliberal front groups. It really makes no difference as long as they prevent Ted Cruz or his supporters from using it.

The trolls seized the domain but the real Ted is using On his website, Ted Cruz lists his policy positions and his voting record unlike liberals and RINOs who fear to make public their positions and voting records.

Pedro Gonzales, who is the editor of a website called, wrote a column about Cruz in the American Thinker.

Ted Cruz’s policy positions

By Pedro Gonzales, March 23, 2015

Now that Ted Cruz has decided to run for president, he is the first one with a website that actually states his policy positions.  Other would-be candidates, like Scott Walker and Rand Paul, have none, since they are not yet declared candidates.  (They do have websites for their current office, but none specifically addressing policy positions of what they would do as president.)

There’s a lot to chew over at, but here’s a sampling of Cruz’s positions.

Authored the Obamacare Repeal Act as his first piece [of] legislation.

Led the fight to defund Obamacare — the largest regulatory challenge facing our nation which has resulted in killing jobs, cutting workers’ hours, and causing millions of Americans to lose their doctors or health care.

I remember when Cruz had his “mini-filibuster” on this subject.  He spoke for 21 hours straight.  He and Mike Lee were basically alone; no other senators came to offer support for any substantive period of time.  Rand Paul made a cameo appearance for about five minutes.

Authored legislation to end taxpayer dollars subsidizing corporate fat cats, including the Ex-Im Bank.

Opposed the Renewable Fuel Standard ethanol subsidy.

All the other candidates support ethanol, except for Rick Perry.

Led the fight against regulating the Internet as a public utility because it threatens the Internet as a haven for entrepreneurial freedom and unlimited opportunity.

Rand Paul, to his credit, has been outspoken on this as well.

Set an early, high standard for meaningful Republican opposition to increasing the debt ceiling.

Demanded a 60-vote threshold vote on a clean debt-ceiling increase in February 2013, when Republican leadership wanted to allow the Democrats to raise the limit with a simple majority vote.

Led the charge on behalf of 13 states to successfully defend, before the U.S. Supreme Court, a federal law that bans one form of late-term abortion, the Partial Birth Abortion Act.

Joined 18 states in successfully defending the New Hampshire parental-notification law before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Successfully defended in federal court Texas’s Rider 8, which prohibits state funds for groups that provide abortions.

Fought for the right of states to define marriage, without intrusion by unelected federal judges, by drafting the State Marriage Defense Act.

Opposed the Obama Administration’s dangerous deal with Iran that would allow Iran to pursue nuclear weapons.

Successfully pressured the Obama Administration to lift its unprecedented FAA ban on flights to Israel after exposing the move as, in essence, an economic boycott of our strongest ally in the Middle East. The ban was lifted within 36 hours of the Senator’s actions

Championed the Expatriate Terrorist Act to prevent Americans who join ISIS from returning to the United States to commit acts of terror at home.

Joined Texas and 25 other states in a lawsuit to stop President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty.

Authored legislation to triple the size of the U.S. Border Patrol.

Played a crucial role in preventing federal legislation to restrict the Second Amendment rights of Americans.

Led 31 states in District of Columbia v. Heller where the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a ban on firearms in a 5-4 landmark decision.

This is just a small sampling of the material on; there’s a lot on his positions and record there.  People think of him as being only a senator in his first term, but they forget that he was solicitor general of Texas and litigated a lot of cases to preserve our freedoms.

I like a lot of what I read here, and I suspect that you do, too.  I look forward to the other candidates declaring and putting up websites showing their policy positions so we can compare and contrast.  But for now I’m impressed not just by the amount of information Cruz has put up, but by the degree of detail.

Now we conservatives have a candidate who is one of us. Who has the same dreams and visions that we do, one who wants to restore constitutional government to Washington.

And finally, he’s a flat tax advocate rather than that god awful consumption/national sales tax.

What’s next?

A typical Tea Party meeting.

I attended a Tea Party meeting earlier this month just after the mid-term elections. Part of the meeting was to celebrate the wins by the GOP. One of the ladies who attended was asking what’s next? I had my opinion but I listened for someone to answer her. No one did. I didn’t either because my opinion would have differed with some of those in attendance.

There was a lot of talk, talk about Agenda 21, GMOs, Common Core, a plethora of opinions about many subjects. But not one said what really was the next step—elect a conservative ‘Pub into the White House and the Governor’s Mansion in 2016 while building a conservative majority in both Houses of Congress and our Legislature.

In truth, I didn’t expect anything more than I heard. It’s the failing of the Tea Party and why it has lost it’s influence in political events—no common plan on what to do next.

When the Tea Party first appeared, there were many agendas driving the Tea Parties, but there was one common theme—No More Taxes, hence the name T.E.A Party or Taxed Enough Already party.

The Tea Party has lost that cohesion and watching many grassroots organizations, I doubt it will recover. The Tea Party is not, was not, a singular organization.

Everyone has an agenda. I do, too. I want to elect conservatives into office. That is the only way to effect change. Once we have those conservatives in office, then, we can change those push-buttons, like Right-to-Work, Common Core, Agenda 21, repealing Obamacare and Frank-Dodd and others. But, without achieving that first goal, there will be no success achieving the second nor the third.

Not only are those other agendas diverting our attention, some of them are questionable validity. Too many of us, now, have no experience in critical thinking, nor interest in validating their viewpoints.

There was a TV ad this last year, one about a dating service I believe, where a woman dates a phony Frenchman with an obvious phony French accent. She met him on the internet and “everything on the internet is true.” We all laughed. But it is an example of the failings of too many.

The left has created a religion of global warming based on a computer model that was created to fit the theory that Man was ruining the planet. Us unbelievers, looked outside an the lowering temperature averages, looked at the average temperature for the last fifty years, and saw no evidence of global warming. Then we watched while the studies supporting global warming were found to be manufactured and filled with cherry-picked and false data. We pointed out these flaws to the believers…and they refused to understand, nor accept any criticism of their beliefs.

We, like them, have our faulty beliefs. Beliefs founded on faulty science and the believers will allow no one to argue contrary to those beliefs. We’re just as bad as are those on the left.

But I digress.

So, what’s next? Is there a plan? Do we have a goal?

I do. I’m going to work to elect conservatives at all levels of government. I will do my own vetting of candidates. I’ll not rely solely on others who may or may not have the same agenda as I. I will make mistakes. I will, at some point, support someone who is not worthy. When I do so, it will be my error, not that of someone I followed blindly.

The lack of critical thinking, a concept no longer taught in school, is one reason why so many are lead astray. The lack of critical thinking like the failings in teaching real science, instead of pseudo-science, is one reason why our attention is diverted from a common goal, why we cannot reach a common consensus. We have not learned to question assumptions or even recognize when arguments are based on unsupported theory.

Like the TV ad, we believe whatever we’re told if the source appears to support our thinking while never questioning its validity…just like the left and the global warming advocates.

I have friends whose sole focus is fighting against Agenda 21. Other friends are strong activists for Right-to-Work, others are against Common Core. I will support them as I can because with my support, they will support me, in turn, towards my goal, electing conservatives.

I will not, however, allow myself to be diverted from my goal to theirs. The fault of the Tea Party today is that too many have no common view, no central goal. They’ve allowed themselves to be nothing more than a debating society with a different discussion topic each month.

The Great Grass Roots Uprising of 2010 has failed. Unless we conservative Tea Partiers consolidate our efforts towards a single goal, the Tea Party will just be another footnote in history, if that. Its epitaph may read, “The Tea Party. Died while dithering about a direction.”

Henry V, Act IV, Scene 3

My high school English teacher was an older, unmarried lady who had a, well let’s say, a risque reputation when she was younger. My parents knew her for years and when I was a high school sophomore, she was my teacher.

She loved Shakespeare. We were required to read a number of Shakespeare’s plays and his poetry. I barely passed. At age 15, Shakespeare didn’t interest me.

Fast forward four years. I’m now in college and once again I’m in an English lit class and we’re reading Shakespeare’s “historical” play, the Henrys, Richard the Third, and a few of his comedies. I’ve forgotten the instructor’s name. It’s been over fifty years. I do remember he read to us in class, in dialect of the times. Shakespeare became real. It became one of my favorite classes.

It was a four credit-hour class. We met four times a week and we spent a week on Henry the Fifth, one of Shakespeare’s most well known and most quoted plays. One of those famous quotes is  in Act IV, Scene 3 when Henry is in France, at Agincourt…on St. Crispin’s Day eve.

SCENE III. The English camp.



Where is the king?


The king himself is rode to view their battle.


Of fighting men they have full three score thousand.


There’s five to one; besides, they all are fresh.


God’s arm strike with us! ’tis a fearful odds.
God be wi’ you, princes all; I’ll to my charge:
If we no more meet till we meet in heaven,
Then, joyfully, my noble Lord of Bedford,
My dear Lord Gloucester, and my good Lord Exeter,
And my kind kinsman, warriors all, adieu!


Farewell, good Salisbury; and good luck go with thee!


Farewell, kind lord; fight valiantly to-day:
And yet I do thee wrong to mind thee of it,
For thou art framed of the firm truth of valour.


He is full of valour as of kindness;
Princely in both.
Enter the KING


O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!


What’s he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin:
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Now, let’s move forward nearly 700 years and revise Henry’s speech into modern terms. It is still potent and applicable today—with a bit of tongue-in-cheek.

Henry V, Act IV, Scene 3.

Henry V, Act IV, Scene 3, Revised.

Why am I a conservative instead of a democrat?

I chose today’s blog title purposely. I excluded the label Republican. I am not an establishment republican, I am a believer and follower of republicanism. There is a difference. In that same vein, I used the term democrat instead of liberalism. In this case I’m referring to the classical democrat philosophy of the mid-20th Century instead of the current democrat philosophy of liberalism. Again there is a difference. You’ll also notice I use the term “democrat” instead of “democratic.” There’s nothing democratic in the democrat party.

My parents were democrats in the classical sense and members of the democrat party. My mother was an elementary school teacher in the days before the infiltration of unionism into the NEA. My father was a coal miner. He and his father were members of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). One of the more powerful unions during the first half of the 20th Century.

My parents…I’m trying to find the correct verb…adored…no that’s too strong…respected…no that’s too weak. Let us say both understood and believed in classical democratic philosophy best defined by Yves R. Simon. I remember my mother talking about “Dr. Simon.” She once traveled to Springfield, IL, to hear him speak at an Illinois education conference. I went with her.

I think, in those days, I attended more teacher’s meetings, conferences, conventions that most active teachers. Dad worked, my older sister was in college and at that time my grandmother did not yet live with us.

At that young age, I was steeped in democrat philosophy. It would be natural for me to be a democrat party supporter when I was older.

It didn’t work. Nor, surprisingly, did it work with my older sister. She graduated from college with a teaching degree and eventually became President of her local American Federation of Teachers union—as a Republican. In the 1950s and early 1960s, education and teachers unions were conservative.

Why did we change? What happened? A short answer was the events of the latter half of the 1960s. The real answer is more involved.

Through the first half of the 20th Century, schools taught history, real history about the Founding Fathers, about Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Madison. Because we lived in Illinois, Lincoln was included. 

Lincoln, at that time, outside of Illinois, was not viewed all that favorably. That view could be understandable in the southern states but it was also true in many of the northern and western states as well.

The common view was that Lincoln violated the Constitution. He waived Habeas Corpus, imprisoned political enemies without trial nor charges levied, and he violated the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and the 10th Amendments in the Bill of Rights. The excuse that Lincoln had to violate the Constitution in order to save it was not universally accepted.

The national culture at the end of World War II, those called the “greatest generation,” was conservative.  A conservative today would have felt at home in any democrat household. The democrat party leadership, however, was already tainted by the Progressive philosophy of the early socialists of the Wilson era and those brought into government by both Roosevelts.

Everyone was a “bitter clinger of their Bibles and guns” as Obama labeled us. If those voters were brought forward sixty years, there wouldn’t be a single democrat politician in office.

By the time my wife and I graduated from college in 1969, the liberal infiltration of universities and education was a fact. The transition of education with a conservative philosophy to a socialist philosophy took less than a decade. Many believe the transition was the culmination of long-term subversion by the USSR. There are many documents released after the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s to support that view.

Returning to the question why I, my wife, whose parents were also democrats, and my sister turned out to be republicans instead of democrats is an easy answer.  We didn’t change. The democrat party, infiltrated by socialists, communists if you will, and progressivism, changed.

Modern researchers claim that if John F. Kennedy was alive today, he’d be a republican. Maybe. I’m not so sure of that but I do agree with his statements and actions at the time of his presidency were more conservative than democrats like to admit.

The core difference between the two parties in the 1950s was a single concept. The democrats, following a philosophy similar to that of Simon’s believed in a top-down government—the primacy of the federal system. Republicans on the other hand, believed in a bottom-up government—the primacy of the individual and of the states.  That was, and still is to a large extent, the single division between today’s republicans and the views of the establishment Republican party and the democrats.

The final answer, as I said above, is that we did not change. The political parties did. We stayed faithful to the views taught to us by our parents and by our educational system.

We can correct the drift towards more federalism, more statism, more socialism, but to do so we must first reclaim our educational system, remove the taint of political correctness and teach the truth about our history, not the liberal pablum taught today—in the few remaining areas where history and government is still taught.

Out of touch

I sent an e-mail to my U. S. Representative, Vicky Hartzler, on Tuesday of this week asking her to join with other House conservatives and remove John Boehner as Speaker of the House. Ms Hartzler was first elected in 2010 with the assistance of the various Tea Party organizations in her district. With that help from the Tea Party, she sent long-time democrat Ike Skelton home.

However her conservative track record is not as solid as many would like. Case in point. She voted for the USDA bill that expanded the Food Stamp program.

It’s [the Food Stamp program] the fastest growing major program in the United States government. In the year 2000, we spent $20 billion on food stamps nationwide per year. This year it’s $80 billion. Last year it was $80 billion. It’s gone up fourfold in 10 years… It’s increasing every year and virtually every month. The most recent report in September had one of the largest increases in history, another 600,000 added to the rolls, totaling now 47.7 million people, one out of every six Americans receiving food stamps… — Committee on the Budget, US Senate.

The wild expansion of Food Stamps and the consequence increase of federal spending is not supported by conservatives of any stripe. Her vote upset many of her supporters. Frankly, this slipped past me. Research on another topic recently lead me to this and other votes by Ms Hartzler that is not consistent with conservative principles.  Unfortunately, those votes were consistent with the agenda of the ‘Pub establishment in Washington.

But Vicky Hartzler’s voting record is not the subject of this post. Her communications with her constituents, their concerns and how closely she monitors those concerns are. Here is the text of an email I sent Ms Hartzler earlier this week. I was greatly upset with the actions…or rather the record of liberal compliance, of John Boehner. I asked her to join with other conservative Representatives to remove John Boehner as Speaker.  Here is the text of that email.

Ms Hartzler, I’ve met you briefly at a number of events, the most recent at the Cass County Republican Christmas party.

I’m writing you to urge your support in removing John Boehner from his post as Speaker of the House. Representative Boehner has exhibited none of the qualities we need at this time as Speaker. He lacks leadership, fighting more often against members of his own party than he has our opponents. When push comes to shove against Obama and the democrats, he folds. Just review his activities with holding the debt limit. He has folded at every instance.

We cannot continue along this path. There are a number of strong conservatives who have the leadership abilities, the backbone to stand against Obama and the continuing demands for more taxes, more spending, more debt.

This cannot continue.

I urge you to support Paul Ryan as the next Speaker of the House. I know he is the Chairman of the House Budget Committee as you will be next year. He is needed more in the position of Speaker than as Chairman of the committee.

Please join the other conservative members of the House and remove John Boehner. He has failed in every issue that has come forward. Instead of supporting taxpayers, he has retaliated against those Representatives who do support less spending, fewer taxes and smaller government.

Thank you,

Mike Watson
Raymore, MO

It may not have been the most literate message but the subject of this email could not have been misunderstood. I received a response yesterday.

Dear Thomas,

Thank you for contacting me about the “fiscal cliff,” the looming increase in tax rates combined with deep cuts to defense and discretionary spending. Current tax rates on personal income and investment are due to expire December 31, 2012, immediately slamming individuals, families, senior citizens,  entrepreneurs, and business owners with tax increases. Simultaneously, automatic, across-the-board spending cuts (also known as “sequestration”) will occur on January 2, 2013, hitting the military with cuts that will jeopardize our readiness and defense capabilities. 

Allowing our country to go over the “fiscal cliff” would devastate our struggling economy and harm our long term recovery. I share your concerns and frustrations that we have reached this point of crisis after months of intense debate over how to address our country’s out of control national debt. Please know that I am committed to finding common ground to avoid the crisis and to protect families and businesses from huge tax increases. 

I have voted repeatedly throughout 2012 for legislation that would avoid the “fiscal cliff” by extending current tax rates and cutting waste in federal programs in order to pay for sequestration; yet, the Senate has failed to pass or even discuss the proposals put forth by the House. Now is the time for straightforward leadership from the President. The House has put forth multiple plans for replacing the sequester and beginning serious tax reform; we now wait for the President to present his plan so that meaningful discussions can begin and common ground can be found. Talk is not enough; the President must provide a framework to avert the crisis so negotiations can take place in good faith. 

Above all, it is time for an honest conversation with the American people. Under both Republican and Democratic leaders, our country has spent far more than it has, racking up an unprecedented $16 trillion in national debt. Even if income tax rates were now hiked to almost 100% for the wealthiest Americans, the federal government would still not have enough revenue to pay for its mandatory spending and budget commitments. And, raising tax rates would hurt businesses, destroy jobs, and wipe out long term economic growth. This reality underscores the fact that we must reassess what the federal government’s role should be and how it can be limited so we can preserve our country and prevent economic collapse. Our situation calls for urgency and honesty. 

I am committed and eager to begin substantive talks to implement a solution to this crisis, and I await serious action by the President to join this conversation. I and my Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives have passed several bills (H.R. 8, H.R. 5652, and H.R. 6365) any of which could serve as starting points for negotiation. While listening to your input and views, I will continue to work diligently in the coming weeks to avert the fiscal crisis facing our country. Again, thank you for contacting me on this serious matter. It is a privilege to work on your behalf.  

With best regards, I remain,

                                                    Very truly yours,
                                   Vicky Hartzler
                                   Member of Congress

Obviously, this is an automated response concerning the issue du jour and really says nothing. I’m not surprised by an automated acknowledgment of my email. That is common practice today. However, I did expect that “some” human eye would read my message and respond accordingly. That, apparently, is too much effort.

I know that our congressmen are busy and usually have canned responses when they get constituent messages on the same subject. What really upset me was her response had nothing to do with removing John Boehner.

Perhaps in 2014, it’s time for Ms Hartzler to have a conservative opponent in the primary. One more in touch with their constituents and not a rubber-stamp of the ‘Pub establishment.

Divergence vs. Convergence

I had an interesting weekend…well Saturday at least. Like many, I’ve been greatly disappointed in the ‘Pub establishment at all levels. Most of my ire is focused towards the Washington leadership, slightly less so at the state establishment.  With those sentiments in mind, I’ve been looking and searching for other conservatives who feel like me. I thought I’d found one such group.

One of the problems we conservatives have is that we’re divided. If you analyze the 2012 election results, you’ll see that more than two million “conservative” voters stayed home this year. Those missing voters had an impact at the federal and state level. The primary problem appears to have been the disbelief and rejection by those voters of the establishment ‘Pub leadership, platform and candidate. A portion of those voters dropped out due to the man-handling of opposition delegates during the Miami convention.

We all laughed when the democrat party ignored their delegates on reinstating God into the dem platform. No one laughed when the ‘Pub establishment added more constraints on grassroots organizations with the goal to minimalize the power of those delegates.

So I and others have been looking for conservative groups whose aim is to rebuild the party—to create coalitions, to unite the various splinter groups, to build a convergence of thought to strengthen the party and to reinstate, to renew and merge, our views with those of the establishment. The establishment has run rough-shod over internal opposition too long. It’s time to force change. With those thoughts in mind, I drove to Columbia to meet with some folks whom I thought may be one such group.

There were only a dozen people overall. Many had driven similar distances as did I. A couple were local drop-ins who sought more information. The group leaders had some slick flyers stating their purpose and vision and copies of the state by-laws.  I scanned the material and found nothing therein that I opposed. In fact, from the documentation, I thought my search was over.

I was mistaken.

I followed my usual methodology…I listened. The groups was clearly divided by age—the “thirty-somethings” and those in their fifties and older. I was encouraged. The age spread would provide a good mix.

Then I listed to the rhetoric and doubts began to appear. The younger and more numerous members were clearly frustrated Ron Paul supporters. Some of the older members were too. As the discussion continued it became clear that the purpose of this group, contrary to the printed documentation, was not toward convergence with other conservative groups nor with the Tea Party organizations.

Some of the older members invoked the Reagan/Goldwater rule, “Never speak ill of another republican.” The more vocal speakers agreed, reluctantly, to abide by that rule and broke it within minutes.

Instead of soliciting ideas for moving forward, the meeting was quickly devolving into complaints about ‘Pub state officials and other conservatives groups. Instead of building consensus, some attendees used the meeting to promote personal political views. Rather than allowing the meeting to continue to slide, a member asked to shelve discussion and elect members. 

I was not surprised to see the new leadership rest with the more vocal, younger members. I didn’t have issue with that. They were more plentiful and demographics ruled. Someone nominated me for Secretary and I quickly declined. I had not yet decided if this was a group that I was searching for and wanted to join.

The meeting broke up after two hours giving me plenty of time to drive home and do some research. I wanted to compare the written goals and purposes of the national group with the personal views of those attending the meeting. It was easy, most were on Facebook and I could visit their pages and see exactly what and who they supported.

My fears were confirmed. Instead of building support among other grassroots groups, a number of the members were seeding discord. No coalition building but creating more discord and divergence. They claimed to support freedom and liberty…as long as it didn’t interfere with their pet positions.

The group was not for me.  I wish them well and I hope they return to those principals and goals they supposedly followed. However, I doubt that will happen.

All-in-all, it was an interesting day. I did meet a few like-minded folks and I was able to meet some I’ve only conversed with via the internet. For now, I’ll continue my search.