A Conservatarian Manifesto

The Coherent Ramblings
of a Disillusioned Former Republican

“If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn’t thinking.
General George S. Patton, Jr.

Rob_Scowel_Obama_portraitAs I reflect on my short life, I often have the chance to ponder on where my belief system began.  It has been an interesting journey from an uninformed teenager to a semi-apathetic college student, to today. I am now an informed adult quickly hurtling toward middle-age, although I refuse to act it.

The Early Journey

Most of my ideas, thoughts, and belief system (political, religious and otherwise), started with my parents. I am a Christian and an Eagle Scout. I feel that these experiences have molded and shaped my work ethic and way of thinking. One of my greatest heroes is my dad, who has had a profound influence on my life.  We often talk of political issues and agree most of the time.  Even though I am a little more radical in my way of thinking, we do agree most of the time.

Going through life I feel I have made the right choices, most of the time, in regards to life and education. I went through my undergraduate work in five years gaining two bachelor’s degrees. I later attended graduate school achieving a master’s degree. It was at this time that I discovered that the “real” education begins outside of the classroom!

I give this basic information only as a background on my life experiences and as a basis for my belief system.

The Political Journey

In 1988 I voted in my first Presidential election, or any election for that matter. My vote went to George H.W. Bush. I don’t remember the reason I voted for him, but it seemed like a better choice than his competitor, Michael Dukakis.  Not much thinking on my part.

Throughout the next four years I concentrated on my collegiate work and having a good time (friends, parties, etc.). I was by no means a lush – I just liked enjoying myself and the college life. I did not follow many domestic or world affairs during these years.

In 1992 I was a little older and hopefully a little wiser. I was working on a second degree at my university and becoming more informed on domestic and world affairs.

It was that summer I started to listen to (and watch) Rush Limbaugh. He said all kinds of things that I agreed with, and I felt like I had found a kindred spirit in the media. He had many of the same thoughts and desires that I had.  At that time he was the lone voice of conservative political issues.  Finally, someone was speaking my language on the national stage! I was by no means some kind of mind-numbed robot that agreed with every word Rush spoke, but he merely expounded on my thoughts and values already in place.

Throughout the 90’s, my life changed drastically. I got married, started my first job, and continued to move up the proverbial corporate ladder. In 1996 I voted for Bob Dole. He was the Republican and was, in my mind, a better choice than another four years of Bill Clinton. I soon realized that he was given this opportunity, not necessarily to win the Presidency, but as political payback for years of service to the GOP.  I knew, (and suspected that many others did too), that he would never have beaten the popular Bill Clinton…so begins my education in the political realm.

The new Millennium ushered the end of the Clinton era and the beginning of the George W. Bush era. I actually loved the idea of the younger Bush carrying the conservative banner. I saw him as a much more conservative candidate than his father and hoped for big things.

“I started to listen to Rush Limbaugh.  He said all
kinds of things that I agreed with, and I felt like
I had found a kindred spirit in the media.”

I truly believe that George W. Bush started off very well after all the election snafus in Florida. He seemed to be settling into office and dealing with a downturn in the economy after the “dot-com bubble” burst. Then 9-11 hit. I couldn’t have imagined Al Gore dealing with this situation with as much poise and honor.

As the 2004 election came around, I was still in the Bush camp and enthusiastically voted for him a second time. As the election ended and reality set in, Mr. Bush started to play the center, and some times left, in his positions. I watched him cave into the left on issues like prescription drugs and illegal immigration. It seemed like he had lost his way and just wanted to secure some type of legacy beyond the Iraq War and 9-11.  I learned what compassionate conservatism really meant: the abandonment of conservative values.

“The Republicans have failed the country by being lukewarm
on important issues, like spending restraint and domestic
security.  The Democrats have failed us due to their
proclivity to push the country to the left, and develop
a more collective (socialistic) society.”

When the election season of 2007-2008 came around, I was totally disillusioned with the whole political process.  I certainly didn’t identify myself with the Republicans and had nothing in common with the Democrats. To put it quite frankly, I was a man without a party. I started to look elsewhere for a candidate that would make a difference. Sadly, the only candidates I really liked didn’t make it out of the primaries.

In the beginning of 2008, shortly after the birth of my second child, I started a little blog site called Rob’s Rant.  This seemed an appropriate title for my writings and I was not concerned if anyone actually read them. They were meant for my own therapy. I started this forum out of my frustration with the caliber of politicians and the Bush administration. I felt that my voice was not being heard. I had a couple of readers that consisted of some friends from high school and college. Of course, they mostly agreed with my positions on issues. I posted when I was interested.

We witnessed the highly contentious election of 2008 between John McCain and Barack Obama. Being from Illinois I knew that Mr. Obama was not the right person for the job. The more I read about John McCain the less I really liked his outlook for America. I didn’t see much difference between the two presidential candidates.  I reluctantly voted for the lesser of two evils, John McCain.  It was the first time in my life I voted for an individual I had no confidence in to turn the country around. I liked the prospect of an Obama presidency even less.

To be honest, Senator McCain only received my vote because I didn’t want Barack Obama in the oval office.  I also liked that he chose Sarah Palin as his running mate.  I cared very little about her political inexperience and problems with the media. Mr. Obama had less experience running anything, and he now calls the White House home. Fortunately for her, she is distancing herself from the GOP and really attempting to chart her own course.  We’ll see where that leads.

“I am tired of the two party system
with their inherent dishonesty
and disingenuousness.”

Before the 2008 election, I was starting to lean Libertarian in my views, but I didn’t really identify with their whole belief structure. I still consider myself a Conservative but with marked Libertarian tendencies. I don’t believe I am alone in my views and think there are many people who fall into this group.

The Realization

After the election of Barack Obama to the highest office in the land, I decided to see what was happening with the local GOP group.  I was looking for some glimmer of hope for the Republicans. I had been invited by an acquaintance to get involved with the local group so I decided to give them a shot.  I attended my first, and only, meeting in December 2008. I soon realized that although they called themselves the “NEW” Republican Party, the same old people were involved in the same old way doing the same old things. It was the longest two hours of my life and I couldn’t wait to leave.  I know I only gave them one meeting but I just couldn’t torture myself like that again.

The Republicans have failed the country by being lukewarm on important issues such as spending restraint and domestic security issues. The Democrats have failed us for their proclivity to push the country to the left and develop a more collective (socialistic) society. I am tired of the two party system with their inherent dishonesty and disingenuousness.  Do I believe that all Republicans and Democrats are evil? Of course not. I do believe there must be a better way to run the country.

“I consider myself an Glenn Beck conservative.
He is a lot like me.  He rants and raves passionately
about issues that interest him.  Sometimes he swerves
off the rails into perceived lunacy.  I’ll admit it, I like that.”

Since the beginning of 2009, we have witnessed seemingly average citizens, like myself, take time out of their lives to attend loosely organized, as well as extremely coordinated events, protesting hot button issues like taxes and health care. We, as citizens, have been misaligned as radicals and out of touch with society. I believe it is just the opposite.  Having attended a couple of these events, I felt very comfortable in the presence of these groups. I think this is the start of a real awakening of common sense conservatives in America.

As of today, I consider myself a Glenn Beck conservative.  He is the current whipping boy of the left-leaning (and some right-leaning) commentators and main stream media types.  I really don’t care. He is a lot like me.  He rants and raves passionately about issues that interest him, is usually correct on the facts, but like a typical human does make mistakes from time to time and sometimes swerves off the rails into perceived lunacy. I’ll admit it, I like that. If that makes me an unhinged loon, then so be it.

The Future

I have no idea how I will vote in the 2012 election.  I will not whore myself out any longer for a party that seemingly has no interest in preserving conservative values. We need a TRUE conservative to right the ship and reduce the massive amounts of people on the public dole. Other tasks should include a plan to distribute the tax burden more evenly among all of the income levels. Stop punishing the ‘”rich” for their success! Also, stop spending like a drunken sailor on shore leave (sorry, Navy guys, I liked the analogy.)

“When we complain about some group receiving
several million dollars, we are told,
‘That’s just a drop in the bucket to the government.’
Well, in my estimation, that is part of the problem.”

Why are these concepts so hard for the average politician to swallow? I think many, not all, of our politicians have lost touch with their constituents and forgotten they are spending the people’s money. When we complain about some group receiving several million dollars, we are told,

“That’s just a drop in the bucket to the government.” Well, in my estimation, that is part of the problem. When you start adding up all those “drops,” you start to fill up the bucket and then overflow this proverbial bucket. True reform starts with that one drop. Real change comes when we fill up the bucket. Revolutionary change comes when we throw out the collected drops and start over.

Do I think it is too late for the Republican Party to rebound and become a truly conservative party? Unfortunately, I do.  I believe that too many wishy-washy Republicans have infiltrated the GOP ranks for true reform to happen. I hope I am wrong. Until then, I will vote my conscience and not a party.

I will continue to rant and complain about issues I am interested in and hope to strike a chord with someone. I’m not always factually correct and tend to fly off the handle on some issues, but I do have an opinion that I can express for all to hear. Until I’m carted away by a goon squad or silenced by the fairness doctrine or some form of localism, I’ll continue to express my heartfelt thoughts.

Download a pdf copy of this article here.

Of course, this is just my opinion.

Rob’s Rant

 

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Anita Dunn Punks the Press

I believe Anita Dunn, White House Communications Director, is an incredibly smart woman.  Either that or she has very smart people around her.

It was no secret that the Obama campaign utilized technology better than any other Presidential candidate (or any candidate for that matter) ever has in modern history.  The video below describes their strategy of how they really shaped the way the media reported things about Obama during the 2008 campaign. 

From WorldNetDaily:

President Obama’s presidential campaign focused on “making” the news media cover certain issues while rarely communicating anything to the press unless it was “controlled,” White House Communications Director Anita Dunn disclosed to the Dominican government at a videotaped conference .

“Very rarely did we communicate through the press anything that we didn’t absolutely control,” said Dunn.

“One of the reasons we did so many of the David Plouffe videos was not just for our supporters, but also because it was a way for us to get our message out without having to actually talk to reporters,” said Dunn, referring to Plouffe, who was Obama’s chief campaign manager.

“We just put that out there and made them write what Plouffe had said as opposed to Plouffe doing an interview with a reporter. So it was very much we controlled it as opposed to the press controlled it,” Dunn said.

Continued Dunn: “Whether it was a David Plouffe video or an Obama speech, a huge part of our press strategy was focused on making the media cover what Obama was actually saying as opposed to why the campaign was saying it, what the tactic was. … Making the press cover what we were saying.”

 

What a brilliant strategy.  If the present day press can be led along on a string so easily, why is the other side not doing this?  Is it really that easy?

Really, this is not a new strategy.  In sales you always want to be driving the car moving your prospect from point A to point B.  You may veer off the path during the trip but you really want to be the one in charge.  The same goes here: the democrats are much much better at framing the argument and sticking to their guns no matter what comes along.  If you think back during the 2008 campaign it was the McCain camp that was generally reactive to situations and the Obama campaign was proactive.  This video lays that out perfectly.

Now I’m not an operative for the GOP, and don’t want to be one, but if the conservative side is going to combat this they are going to have to wake up and embrace technology.  The bloggers have already done this, but the majority of the American public do not read blogs.  The Republicans are much more likely to have varied opinions about the direction of the country (within the party) and a strategy like Ms. Dunn’s would probably not work the same way, but you have to start somewhere. 

Attn: Michael Steele – take notes from Anita Dunn and the Obama campaign.  This is the only way you will have to take back any seats next year. 

Of course, this is just my opinion.

Rob’s Rant

Obama Health Care Reform Boondoggle

color-obama-heathc-shot-web

I keep thinking on all the Obama proposals…what is the rush?  First it was the “Stimulus” bill, then it was “Cap and Trade” and now it’s “Health Care.”  The same mantra that is rolled out is that we have to do it or else!  Or else what?  Reduced care to the masses?    I think not.  Higher costs to the actual taxpayers?  I think so. 

From the televised speech last night:

“If you don’t set deadlines in this town, things don’t happen. The default position is inertia,” the president said, singling out his critics for playing political “games” with health care reform. 

Reform is critical for rebuilding the economy and controlling the deficit, Obama argued. But with momentum slowing considerably in the effort to reach a deal on time, the president conceded that he wants to “do this right” and said he wouldn’t sign a bill that doesn’t achieve key objectives like reducing costs. 

At the news conference, called to rally support for health care reform, Obama acknowledged that Americans are “understandably queasy” about debt and deficits — and the impact health care reform would have on both. 

Obama used the news conference to try to put skeptics at ease, both inside and outside the Beltway. He said health care reform would not only improve the quality of care they receive at reduced cost but in the long run actually rein in spiraling deficits and debt. 

“If we do not control these (health care) costs, we will not be able to control our deficit,” he said. 

He rejected the notion that his administration only wants to “spend and spend.” In an odd boast, the president said his administration has already reduced the 10-year deficit projection from $9.3 trillion to $7.1 trillion. 

Reduce deficits huh?  The GOP House Ways and Means Committee has come up with their own figures and it projects the costs out past the Obama presidency (presumed to be 8 years) and past the natural lives of most of Congress:

gop_heathcarecosts_7-09

  • According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Democrats’ health care proposal includes over $1 trillion in new spending between now and 2019.
     
  • The plan includes more than $820 billion in job-killing tax increases on small businesses and families making as little as $18,700 per year over the next decade.
     
  • But even these massive new taxes aren’t enough to pay for the Democrats’ plan.
     
  • CBO found the Democrats’ plan will increase the federal deficit by $239 billion over the next 10 years.  What the Democrats don’t tell you is that the bill is not fully implemented until 2015, hiding the true costs and deficit impact of this government takeover of health care.
     
  • CBO also confirmed that the Democrats’ rate of spending will lead to “a substantial hole that would need to be filled by the other provisions if the overall legislation were to be deficit neutral at the end of the 10-year window and into the following decade.”As the graph below shows,if the Democrats’ health care spending continues at those rates, it could cause a massive spike in the federal deficit – reaching as high as $1.6 trillion over the next 20 years.

 

Here’s a chart that the GOP came up with to outline the democratic plan for the “reform” of the health care system:

GOPDemHealthChart

OK, to be totally fair, here is the democratic chart (the original one).

Do we need reform?  I would say yes, but a government option is not the right answer.  Just look to Medicare and Medicaid for the answer of whether Uncle Sam can administer an adequate health care option.   Taking more time to actually draft a good option – outside of total government control – should be the goal of our lawmakers.  I won’t hold my breath on that one.

Of course, this is just my opinion.

Rob’s Rant

New GOP Head A Turncoat?

I applauded the selection of Michael Steele as the head of the GOP.   Smart, talented and very capable to change the direction of the center leaning GOP.  For years the Republican party has skewed to the center – and sometimes left – in their dealings with Democrats and Liberals (usually one in the same).   I’m starting to have my doubts about Mr. Steele.

In a recent interview on the D.L. Hughley show, he took on criticism of him by the real leader of the conservative movement in America, Rush Limbaugh. He could have really struck a chord and articulated a true conservative position and backed up Mr. Limbaugh, but sadly this was not the case.  Rush is an entertainer, but he entertains while he informs.  You don’t have to agree with Rush or his delivery, but he is a very powerful force in America.

(The Rush Limbaugh comment comes about 6 minutes in if you don’t care to listen to the rest)

Mr. Steele, it’s breakfast in America and you need to wake up and smell the coffee.   Conservatives will not return to the Republican party until the GOP starts to show some character.  Stop apologizing for Conservatives and don’t dismiss them from your plans.  You can fool me once (George Bush), you can fool me twice (John McCain), but you won’t fool me again (2012 election).  I’d rather have incompetent liberals elected than compromise my principles again. 

Of course, that is just my opinion.

Rob’s Rant

Republicans Bail on Jindal

Only some Republicans bailed on Bobby Jindal in regards to the Republican Response to President Obama’s speech to Congress on Tuesday evening. I watched his response. Not sure what they were watching, but the content was incredible. Very positive, uplifting and reasoned. Sure, he can use some work on his delivery – but that can be developed. I guess at least he doesn’t stammer and stutter over his words like our current and former President.

[blip.tv ?posts_id=1821753&dest=-1]

Bottom line, I’m growing very tired of the Republican Party, although my discontent has been brewing for some time. When are we going to start valuing Substance over Style. America elected the biggest style merchant in Barak Obama – All Style, No Substance.

Many Conservative citizens in America are done with the Republican Party. I’m really convinced that they have no clue what the last two elections really meant. I’ll give them a clue: You strayed from your core beliefs and the mostly conservative American public abandoned your liberal light ideas. I don’t expect them to actually listen, but it was worth a try.

Of course, that’s just my opinion.

Rob’s Rant