Independence Day. It’s More Than Just a Day at the Beach


Bookmark and Share   On this day in 1776 was born a concept that blossomed into a government that founded the greatest nation in the world.  The concept of a government that believed freedom came first and that government’s main purpose was to defend our freedoms,  inspired a force that brought an end to tyranny and gave birth to a Republic that became a beacon of hope for the world.

The celebration of our nation’s birth is not partisan.  It is a celebration shared by us all.   Yet as we struggle with the responsibilities that come with freedom, there exists a partisan divide regarding how we proceed to keep our nation strong.  For me though, there is no question about the direction we must go in.  I believe that the very concepts and principles which gave birth to our nation, are the very principles and concepts that we must adhere to.   That direction is found within the conservative ideology.

As evidence, I would like to present the arguments once made by one of my political heroes,  a former member of the House of Representatives named John Ashbrook.

On the topic of overegulation, Ashbrook once wrote;

“This nation was founded on a number of principles. One of the main ones was the concept of limited government.

The virtues of limited government seem to have been forgotten by many political leaders. Government bureaucracy has grown. Regulations stifle more and more aspects of life. Regulation by government has taken on awesome dimensions. Proof of this can be seen in the regulatory agencies.

Federal agencies have steadily grown in number, in size, in complexity, and in the number of regulations issued. Just stop and think for a minute. There are so many agencies: EPA, FCC, FPC, FTC, ICC, EEOC, OSHA, CAB, CPSE, FAA, and the SEC. And this is only a partial list. I am sure that if you gave a few more seconds of thought, you could easily add another half dozen to the list.”

Ashbrook’s statement was not intended to commemorate our nation’s birth, but on its birthday, those words offer us a reminder of why we became a nation and what our government is supposed to be about.  The statement was made several decades ago, yet Ashbrook’s contention that the virtues of limited government  have been forgotten by many political leaders, still applies today.  Especially in the case of our President.

More government means less freedom.  Yet today, while we celebrate our independence, our political leaders are burdening us with more government and less freedom.  To debate the issue, the dynamic of left versus right, liberal versus conservative, Democrat versus Republican, is inevitable.  But if one were to base the argument on the principles that founded this nation, the debate is not as much left versus right as it is right versus wrong.  Many may disagree and at times such basic ideological differences can become heated and create greater divides than they should.  But on this day we can all unite in celebration of  the fact that thanks to the limited government principles that created us, we are free to disagree.  For that we thank God ……and America.

Seven Versus One

The debate is over and there is a clear loser.  Whether by pact or we just got candidates this good, Obama was the only one with a target on his back last night.  Even Pawlenty wouldn’t take the obvious bait to attack front runner Mitt Romney.  The result was a debate of seven on one, and the One wasn’t there to defend himself.

The other loser in last night’s debate was CNN’s John King who amidst annoying grunts failed to turn the candidates on one another.  Even when he tossed Palin’s name out as an easy target for Republicans seeking to moderate, the response came from Tim Pawlenty and it was perfect.  Joe Biden has failed in every aspect as a Vice President, his views on Iraq were completely wrong, and Sarah Palin would be a better president than Biden or Obama.

Can Bachmann break through media created stereotypes?

The candidates handled tough hot button issues amazingly well also.  The shining example here was Michelle Bachmann who deflected an easy gotcha by making it clear that the role of the President and the role of the states in determining the fate of gay marriage is not equal.  She provided a balanced states rights view, while promising to protect the states from the courts if it came to that.  The other good answers on gay marriage were Ron Paul, leave it to the church and get government out, and actually Rick Santorum who explained that a constitutional amendment would require the approval of 75% of the states, something opponents rarely mention.  Cain appeared to struggle the most on the muslim staff question.

While there were no clear winners, I believe this debate showed two classes of candidates.  Michelle Bachmann led her class of fired up TEA Party approved candidates fighting for principled social and fiscal conservatism with unmeasured attacks against Obama and willingness to take heat for their views if deemed controversial.  Cain is included with this group, although he appears now more as a TEA Party candidate who jumped in feet first and now is searching for substance beyond catchphrases and buzz words.  He did not find that moment last night.  Ron Paul’s anti-establishment libertarianism may catch up to him this year when all the Revolution liberals realize that he does not support any federal entitlement programs.  Santorum failed to set himself apart as anything but a sacrificial lamb for 1st term George W. Bush style conservatism.  While they all performed well, Bachmann outshined this group.  Given the TEA Party’s success in 2010 and their conservative appeal, I would not write this group off.

The other group becoming apparent are the “intellectual”, restrained conservatives in Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty.  Their answers would not pass a soundbite test, but they were clear, well thought out, and flawless.  At the same time, these three touted socially conservative views and credentials which should make each one palatable for any Republican voter.  Newt was in a tough place and would need to be the only shining candidate last night to pull his campaign out of the rubble.  His performance was near flawless and enough to start the rebuilding process, but not good enough to bring him in from the dog house.  And while he may be right about ensuring that America is on board with the Paul Ryan plan, he is sure to take more heat for some of his comments last night.

Tim Pawlenty was perhaps the closest thing to a winner last night.  He made a great case for his pro-life record, perhaps settled some social conservatives with his call for his stance on homosexuality, connected with union and blue collar America, and magnanimously skipped a golden opportunity to play John King’s game and trash the front runner.  While the left-wing media rakes Pawlenty over the coals for his choice, conservatives should take a much closer look at a candidate who knows the enemy.

Mitt Romney will remain the front runner after last night.  The campaign has been nearly effortless for him sofar, and he made no mistakes that would cause him to lose his front runner status last night.  But he shouldn’t get too comfortable.  With Huntsman entering the race and with Rick Perry and Rudy Guiliani mulling Presidential runs of their own, the space Romney and Pawlenty occupy could get real crowded real quick.

In the end, the field last night did what they had to do.  They stayed focused on the economy and Obama.  They did not bite on questions obviously designed to turn them against each other and other Republicans.  They agreed with one another publicly and showed that any one of them is better than and can beat Barack Obama in 2012.

Is it me?

Donald Trump is on to something. Trump was on the Rush Limbaugh radio show today during Rush’s annual Leukemia Lymphoma fundraiser, and Rush mentioned that the most recent poll has Trump in the lead. That’s when Trump said this: “I don’t know if it’s me or the message…”

The Donald may recognize that many consider him to be about as serious a candidate as Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, or Ron Paul. On the other hand, conservatives are eating up Trumps no nonsense, pro-America, anti-Obama message.

It is the same

Do people love Trump? Or what he stands for?

message that brings tens of thousands of people to Palin rallies and has conservatives who don’t take Paul seriously as a Presidential candidate standing and applauding when he speaks and admitting great respect for him. It’s a message of a strong country, low taxes, low spending, limited government, and free markets. But is it electable?

“Mainstream” candidates tend to temper their rhetoric and take veiled jabs at one another while punctuating their sentences with political buzzwords like compromise, bipartisan, together, and of course, both sides are equally to blame.

But besides TEA Party favorite Republicans, there is another candidate in 2012 who has taken a no non-sense, partisan approach to elections. In fact, while giving only minimal lip service to bipartisan togetherness, the Democrat’s sole 2012 candidate has given us such phrases as “if they bring a knife, we’ll bring a gun” and has filled his campaigns and Presidency with partisan rhetoric. Barack Obama, even while being portrayed as a sort of political messiah who would unite our country, took no issue with blaming the nation’s problems on Bush, even as he continued many of Bush’s policies.

We may all wish that the nation was united and that politicians could just magically work together and fix things the right way, but in all honesty there are incredibly clear lines of demarcation between the left and right. This leaves the right with a serious question: do we campaign the way we have been told to and pretend the next President can unite the country? Or do we show the kind of confidence in conservatism that Trump, Palin, Bachmann, Paul, and other popular, not serious candidates are using to draw the masses and win polls?

The Democrat in 2012 has found his confidence in extreme liberalism.

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