Archive for conservative

Life’s Not Fair; Get Used To It

Posted in politics with tags , on November 10, 2008 by nighttwister

From the time my children were little, I’ve worked hard to get them to understand this concept. I’ve repeated it so many times that I know they now cringe any time they say “That’s not fair!”, because they know what’s coming as soon as those words leave their mouth. It’s something that I believe we’ve forgotten as a party, and need to embed in our political subconscious.

For as long as I can remember, the mainstream media organizations have treated the parties differently. They are only too willing to cover stories for one that they are also perfectly fine with ignoring for the other. I give you three examples of this phenomenon.

Breaking the Public Trust
Over a year ago, William Jefferson (D-LA-2) was indicted for accepting bribes. Six months ago, Ted Stevens (R-AK) was indicted for accepting for falsely reporting income. Both leaders have broken the public’s trust, but Congressman Jefferson’s bribery charges are much more serious. Yet, even before Senator Stevens’ conviction, the media treated his the more serious, while mostly ignoring Jefferson’s problems.

Sexual Misconduct
Consider the difference between how congressman Barney Frank, who’s partner was convicted of running a prostitution ring from his house was treated vs. congressman Mark Foley who sent inappropriate emails and instant messages to underage congressional pages. Personally, I consider the latter to be worse since it involved minors, but even senator Larry Craig was treated worse by the media for his actions.

Gaffes
The recent Presidential campaigns highlighted the differences in how the candidates were treated when they misspoke. Every gaffe from Obama (57 States) and Biden (TV in 1929, 3 Words) were mostly ignored, while the media was more than willing to invent things and propagate rumors about missteps by McCain and especially Palin.

The fact is, we are not on an even playing field, and we never will be. The media is now openly the propaganda wing of the Democratic Party; the general public admits this, yet it makes no difference in how they vote.

This is the political arena in which we toil, and it is not going to change any time soon. Some think it is enough to enlighten the masses. Surely, once they realize how unfair the playing field is, they will demand that it change. As we have seen in the last election, this just isn’t the case. We need a new strategy to work in this environment. To that end, I make the following proposals:

Stop whining about how unfair things are.
People don’t like to hear others whine, even if they have a legitimate case. Sure, the traditional media is against us. Whining about it not only doesn’t change that; it just turns people off. Instead, we need to do our best to get our story out in other ways, such as letters to the editor, blogs, conservative radio, and word-of-mouth. We can also use these means to answer the slurs against conservatism in general, and our candidates in particular.

Find a modern way to tell our ancient story.
Sure, it’s a cliché, but I think everyone here will agree that conservatism works every time it’s tried. I’ve heard many times over the course of the past few months that it’s much easier to sound-bite liberal talking points than conservative ones. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter. We must find a way to communicate conservative points, and why they are better than liberal ones, in thirty seconds. It won’t be easy, but I believe it can be done.

We need to hit some singles first.
Sorry for the baseball analogy, but it is my favorite game. When you’re down eight runs, it’s not the time to hit the long ball. There aren’t any eight-run hits in this game. We’re down about as low as we can be, so it’s time to concentrate on the issues we think we can win. This means we’ve got to stop whining when our pet issue isn’t being addressed. For instance, how about we concern ourselves with making sure that women considering abortion have access to all the information they need before making that decision instead of going straight to the Human Life Amendment? There are other examples I could give, but I believe you get the point.

We need to be positive.
I hear people all the time saying we need to stop the negative campaigning. Sure, people love a good train wreck, but ultimately the positive message won this time (empty as it may have been). We’ve got to stop talking about what’s wrong with the other side and start talking about what’s right about ours. We need to constantly promote the positive conservative message of freedom, opportunity, and prosperity.

We have to break up the circular firing squad.
We need to stop attacking each other. Every issue cannot (and doesn’t need to) be addressed at the same time. That means your issue may have to wait. If we continue to attack each other when we don’t get our way, or disagree over the minutiae of each minor point, we’re never going to progress. Also, we also need to call out conservative pundits when they aren’t being conservative. We need to do what we can to let people know that certain experts don’t represent us. We have to be relentless about this like RedState was about Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic for supporting the other side. We’ve either got to run these people out of business or force them to fully and openly admit they are not of us.

I believe we’ve got to constantly remember that life’s not fair, and we had better get used to it, otherwise, we’ll never be able to promote the freedom and opportunity that conservatism brings again.

Night Twister

Blogivism vs. Activism

Posted in Elections, Get Active!, politics with tags , , , , , , on May 7, 2008 by Randy Streu

It is a unique little hobby we political bloggers have undertaken.  We spend untold hours a week following the news, poring over political and legal texts, studying history, not to mention checking the other blogs to see what we’ve missed, and ultimately writing it all down — becoming arguably some of the best-informed voters in America — all for the few dozen, few hundred or few thousand people who happen to wander by our web pages to read what we have written.

This is done, ostensibly to inform our fellow voters, thereby helping to create a better America.  For the Conservative blogger, this means an attempt to convince others of going back toward a more Constitutional view of government.  However, if this election season has shown us anything, it’s that the blogosphere is a great deal like Vegas: what happens here tends to stay here.  Just ask a Fred Thompson supporter

Blogging is a great outlet for thought and opinion, and it can satisfy that activist streak — at least on an intellectual level.  As a real-world tool, however, it has its limitations.  Even at the most popular individual sites, like IMAO, or group sites like RedState, where there is a built-in audience, bloggers ultimately find themselves preaching to the choir.  Though there are occasional dissenters, regular readers are often those people who already agree, for the most part, with what you’re saying.

Even new readers, people to whom your blog has given a new way of thinking about an issue, will only rarely let it effect their lives on a level that inspires change.  I liken this to preaching.  From experience, I know that a well-given sermon will inspire people at least in theory.  They listen.  They nod.  They tell you they “enjoyed it” or that it “made them think.”  They may even tell you their favorite part.  But rarely does it inspire anything above a temporary life change — if that.  There are those for whom a sermon or a piece of writing really does create a paradigm shift.  And it is because of those people, I suspect, that we find our practices worthwhile. 

In short, even if you advertise your blog to get a wider readership, the capacity of the blogger to affect real change through just writing, is very limited.  That doesn’t mean blogging isn’t a wothy pursuit — quite to the contrary!  But as informed citizens with a heart for our nation, and to create positive change, we have the ability — and perhaps the responsibility — to do more.  To act.

There is no shortage of opportunity for Conservative activism — much of it right here on the net.  And quite often, it takes no longer than five seconds.  What follows are some links to some of those opportunities.

First, if you’re not a member of RedState, I recommend it.  Not only is it a excellent place to blog, and a great community for discussion of issues, but also for information and activism.  Sign up for RedState Action Alerts: semi-regular emails outlining where action is necessary, and what sort of help is needed.  This is a great starting point for the political activist, providing addresses and numbers for key players in particular issues or pieces of legislation, opportunities to help candidates, and more.

Next is the NRA-ILA: the Institute for Legal Action.  You needn’t be an NRA member to stand up for the Second Amendment.  Sign up for weekly emails (and more as necessary) to learn about potentially threatening events and legislation throughout the country — on both a national and State level.  The emails also link to surveys, petitions and ways to contact representatives.

NumbersUSA is an immigration reform organization.  You may or may not agree with all the group’s goals (I don’t), but they are also the premier clearinghouse for anti-illegal immigration activism.  Regular emails from this group (again, I recommend you sign up) detail immigration legislation and provide means of contacting legislators — including FREE faxes to your local rep’s office with a click of the mouse.

Finally (cue shameless plug), keep checking with the Society for Independent Thinking.  When this site was conceived, it was always meant to be a Conservative activism clearinghouse.  Consider this post inaugural to that goal.  Regular “Get Active” posts will outline ways opportunities for spreading conservatism, upcoming legislation, and how to be heard on it, and more.  There will also be permanent links to the above sites and others so you can be informed of opportunities as they happen.  Stay tuned also for the creation of a SIT mailing list which will regularly discuss such opportunities.

If you know of other conservative sites like those mentioned above, also feel free to leave those in the comments section.  I’ll check them out and link those as well.  Thanks.

Well… here we are.

Posted in blognews, general with tags , , , , , on November 2, 2007 by independentthinking

This is the first blog of the first day of the life of the Society for Independent Thinking… well, its life as anything other than a semi-generic and unformed concept, anyway.