PART 1 of 2
by Beverly Eakman
March 4, 2014
Part I: Why Whiners Can’t Be Choosers
This year’s themes for the Conservative Political Action Conference (March 6-8), as well as for the institutions typically associated with the Republican Party, is BOLD NEW IDEAS and VISIONARY PLANS. Maybe someone in the hierarchy tripped over an article I wrote in February 2009, alleging that conservatives’ lack of bold, new ideas would not only impact elections for years to come, but render the Republican Party itself irrelevant.
Not a month later, the Tea Party and a mixed bag of seriously hacked-off populist groups, ranging from Silent Majority traditionalists to Reagan Republicans to Ron Paul Libertarians, were ready to rumble.
Unfortunately, most of the damage had been done. Consensus-minded Republican legislators—ever afraid of appearing “divisive” — believed they could achieve common ground with and their liberal-left opposition. It boiled down to a misunderstanding, Republicans said, coupled to miscommunication.
But American ideals and principles were under attack, not misunderstanding. The Democratic Party had swung wildly leftward, and more troubling, its leadership had started equating concepts like self-reliance, self-sufficiency, patriotism and individualism with mental illness. Folks still harboring such beliefs were characterized as loners, sociopath's and fundamentalists — “a danger to themselves and others.”
Yet, Republicans clung stubbornly to the hope they could find common ground with leftist Democrats — poster-children for a “hostile environment.” Republicans predictably settled for “losing ground,” and mostly caved on the issues.
Republicans’ largest error was underestimating the education factor. Even good, conservative leaders simply did not comprehend how schools were the key factor in molding public opinion. Instead of boldly jump-starting a plan for franchising rigorous schools, they ignored half a century of leftist indoctrination and then were surprised to encounter a population of little socialists instead of constitutional republicans.
Today, Boomer-generation Republicans are astonished by Gen-X’ers’ and Millennials’ relaxed attitude toward massive invasions of privacy. What’s the big deal, surmise the progeny of former hippies, Beatles fans and “conscientious objectors” — unless, of course, one has “something to hide”! As for the abrogation of rights without “probable cause”: Well, don’t governments exist to impose order? And why on earth, wonders the Generation Y cohort, do we need more satellites when people can just click an “app” on their cell-phone (yes, that’s a real statement by a college-educated congressional staffer!). And what’s all the hoopla over entitlement spending? “Everyone knows” the playing field needs to be “leveled”!
The expression “from each according to his ability; to each according to his need” sails right over the under-30 crowd. When prodded, their reaction is, “Well, duh! Who said that, anyway? Wasn’t it Franklin Roosevelt? Karl who?” Outcomes matter. Vague notions about “equality of opportunity” don’t.
Fast forward to 2014: “[Republicans] have a responsibility to advance good ideas,” wrote Ed Feulner in a February 24 commentary for the Washington Times.
“You don’t just sit back and nick the other side — you’ve got to lay out a plan,” said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker talking to MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, as quoted by Mr. Feulner in the same article.
“To win in the future, conservatives … must do better in connecting our policies and principles with how they improve the lives of American families,” intoned Jim DeMint, the Heritage Foundation’s new president in 2013. “[C]onservatives should continue to push for bold, positive ideas.”
Presumably, such calls to the faithful mean thinking outside the box. Trouble is, when anybody dares to pose a bold, new idea, it is ignored.
Republicans at CPAC can be expected to rehash standby slogans on limited government, low taxes, welfare reform, and a strong defense, which are all well and good, but increasingly fail to energize the Party base — and the American public.
Which leaves what?
Pick up any conservative publication — neo-conservative, constitutionalist or otherwise. What you see is whining, bulked up with copious examples. Whining about leftist bias in media; whining about an ever-rising out-of-wedlock birthrate and fatherless homes; whining about blatant, vicious crime; whining about illegal immigration’s strain on social services; whining about the war on Christian values and churches; whining about a pop culture that glorifies destructive behavior, crude “song” lyrics, blood-n-gore, and nasty language.
How much whining? “Let me count the ways” (if any schoolchild still studies Elizabeth Barrett Browning):
• an unabated drug culture;
• a culture of domestic spying;
• destruction of the American Dream, as in home-ownership;
• systematic deterioration of critical infrastructures;
• ever-increasing prices and red tape for basic services
• “mission creep”among government agencies;
• an increasingly in-your-face homosexual agenda;
• wars without end (what part of “unconditional surrender” do policymakers not get?);
• out-sized costs associated with scientifically discredited climate theories;
• budgets and tax codes that morph annually; and
• an eroding “common body of knowledge” (if anybody still learns about Noah Webster’s early vision for public schooling).
But whiners can’t be choosers. Readers of conservative publications have already been inundated, a thousand times over, with statistics about fatherless children being more apt to live in poverty, do poorly in school, suffer drug addiction, get sexually transmitted diseases, etc. They’ve been grilled to death on media bias, culture rot, failing schools and government overreach.
Throwing $600-a-plate dinners featuring mostly speakers who will regurgitate all these ills is almost as useless as raising funds for a National Republican Senatorial Committee and a National Republican Congressional Committee to elect conservatives,or as goofy as challenging liberal-leftists to “debate” Ann Coulter — especially on our own turf. Whenever you have a mainstream press and entertainment industry that ridicules conservative ideals; schools that indoctrinate children against the Founding principles; a federal workforce that is majority-left and unionized; and an IRS that targets a shrinking body of conservative-friendly institutions, the jig is up.
Instead of showering fancy hotels and cyberspace with dough that hasn’t gotten the job done in 30 years, and recycling the same commentators as though the conservative faction were some kind of club with a secret handshake, it’s time to put the same money to a different use!
Where? See Part II for a few viable options that CPAC leaders might want to try on for size. For part two click below.
Click here for part -----> 2,
© 2014 Beverly Eakman - All Rights Reserved
Beverly K. Eakman’s 8th book, PUSH BACK! How to Take a Stand Against Groupthink, Bullies, Agitators and Professional Manipulators (Skyhorse Publishing), has an expected release date of January 2014.Mrs. Eakman began her career as a teacher, left to become a scientific writer for a NASA contractor, and went on to serve as a speech writer for the head of the Voice of America and for the chairman(a former U.S. Supreme Court Justice) of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. She was a writer for the U.S. Dept. of Justice before retiring from federal government. Her first book in 1991 blew the whistle on misrepresented standardized testing of schoolchildren. She specializes in covering education policy, mental-health fraud, data-trafficking, privacy and political agitation strategies.
Her website is: beverlyeakman.com