We Can Waste Time or Begin to Solve Our Problems

November 12th, 2012

By Dan Miller

There are many pleasant actions that can be taken that won’t do any good. There are others that might at least begin to do some good.

These won’t do much good beyond diverting attention from our problems and maybe providing a good feeling. Feeling good is comforting, and that’s it.

1. Hit your thumb again and again with a big hammer.  That will focus attention away from the November 6th debacle. Still mad about November 6th? Then

2. Get drunk. Still thinking about November 6th? Then

3. Sign petitions to:

♦ Impeach President Obama for … anything you feel like; it doesn’t matter what. Even in the unlikely event that the House would agree on a bill of impeachment, a Democrat controlled Senate would not convict him. 

obama_chairSecede (peacefully) from the Union. As of late last night,

On Nov.7, the day after President Barack Obama was re-elected, the White House’s website received a petition asking the administration to allow Louisiana to secede.

If 25,000 people sign the petition by Dec. 7, it will “require a response” from the Obama administration, according to published rules of the White House’s online “We the People” program.

The Louisiana petition has collected more than 12,300 signatures in four days. A separate effort from Texas has 15,400 supporters.

Similar petitions from 18 other states began arriving Nov. 9, bringing the total — for the moment — to 20.

I am not aware of any constitutional provision authorizing President Obama to grant such petitions. However, as a world class constitutional scholar, he probably has a different version of the U.S. Constitution than the only one with which I am familiar. Might his version authorize or require him to do that?  I have not seen it, but it probably doesn’t. Instead, it apparently authorizes or requires him to do whatever he wants to do and considers politically useful. That could explain many of his actions thus far as well as many likely to be taken during his “more flexible” second term. At most, such petitions show that there are some, perhaps many, unhappy people. That’s great. Now we should do something potentially effective about it.

♦ Have a new, this time honest, election to overturn the results of November 6th. What are the chances of that happening? Somewhere between 0.0000000% and 0.0000001%.

4. Write letters to your CongressCritters about how unhappy you are about the election results. The cumulative result might help to keep the U.S. Postal Service afloat for a few additional minutes.

5. Write a letter to President Obama. See number 4.

6. Cancel any subscriptions to and ignore left-wing newspapers and other left-wing media. That might help, slightly (if you still have any such subscriptions or pay attention to them) but would make it more difficult to learn what they are up to. It would be rather like pulling spies out of other hostile places.

7. Boycott MSNBC, NBC, ABC and a bunch more. (That assumes that you still watch them.) I can’t honestly claim credit for that idea because Andrew Sullivan beat me to it:

Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan, who seemed to take the ups and downs of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign very personally, said in his Friday night appearance on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” that the Republican Party should rebuke conservative talker Rush Limbaugh and “demonize and cut off” the Fox News Channel.

“The first conservative who will be the future of that party will be the one that says Rush Limbaugh does not speak for the Republican Party,” Sullivan said. “He is a poison on the discourse, and until they start — you see, the media-industrial complex on the right is so lucrative they don’t want to lose it. And it is now controlling a political party. That has to be severed. Fox News has to be demonized and cut off.”

I remember as a young boy watching chickens whose heads had just been twisted off so that grandma could cook them and we could eat them. They ran around aimlessly. The killing wasn’t a pretty sight to watch but the really fresh chickens tasted great.

That was not a very good video; it was the only one I was able to find and it is consistent with my recollections. Running around like a recently deceased chicken seems similar to what some of those engaged in the activities noted have been doing, except that running around probably does not make a late lamented chicken feel at all good and except that lots of Libruls probably enjoy watching the spectacle.

These would also feel good but just might begin to make the country better in the long term.

Thinking is sometimes a last resort, but it’s last resort time.  I wrote here and here that we should think about three mutually exclusive alternatives:

Helping the Republican Party to become more popular with those who now vote Democrat by adopting (or seeming to adopt) enough positions similar to theirs and those of the Democrats;

Helping the Republican Party to become more popular with conservatives by seriously adopting and pushing for conservative principles; and

Forming a new conservative party.

For the reasons stated at Parts I and II, doing the first would be counter-productive, accomplishing the second would be prevented by what we like to refer to as Republicans in Name Only (RINOS) but who now unfortunately seem to  control the party and doing the third is our best if not only shot.

If I am right, what can we do? Here are a few ideas. There are other and probably better ideas and I hope that someone will think of them. These are just a start:

1. Get more involved in local politics and push for a conservative agenda.

2. Get more involved in State politics and push for a conservative agenda.

Herman CainAllen West3. Keep up with Allen West and Herman Cain and try to help them. Both are reviled by the “ethical” media and hence by many in the left and even middle sections of the Republican Party. Those on the left would despise them regardless of what a different, actually ethical (fat chance of that) media might say and those in the middle probably would not change their minds very much. With strong evidence of conservative, rather than Republican, support they might even help with the formation of a new conservative party. I have never had the pleasure of meeting or discussing anything with either gentleman, but sense that neither feels much gratitude to the Republican Party for the help it has provided; it has provided little and tea party groups have provided much. Either could be a big help; both could be a great big help. So might Governor Palin. She has been cut by the Republican Party about the same as they have. She is prettier than either, but that’s probably detrimental.

Sarah Palin

4. If you belong to a church or synagogue, discuss the matter with your friends there. Some may be similarly inclined and some won’t be. Some of the latter might be offended. Is that a sufficient reason not to try? Robert E. Lee wrote (from Rod Cragg’s A Commitment to Valor):

If you will act in accordance with the dictates of your conscience, to the best of your judgment … you will do right.

I think it is better to do right, even if we suffer in doing so, than to incur the reproach of our consciences and posterity.

Never do a wrong thing to make a friend or keep one; the man who requires you to do so is dearly purchased at a sacrifice.

We must all, however, resolve on one thing — not to abandon our country.

I pray we may not be over whelmed. I shall, however, endeavor to do my duty and fight to the last. (Emphasis added.)

5. Contact other groups and friends not in groups.

6.  Dave Nalle, National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus, had some excellent suggestions in remarks on the state of the Republican Party. It seems better to quote him directly instead of rephrasing his words and using bullet points.

It is time for the Republican Party to return to the control of the grassroots and to a simple, ethical agenda of limiting the size and power of government and protecting the rights of individual citizens. The practice of giving special influence to outside groups whose first loyalty is to their own interests and issues must stop. Our allies should be drawn to us by our principles, not by our willingness to sell influence and trade favors.

The party is aging and becoming isolated from the people. Republicans have forgotten how to be activists and stir up popular enthusiasm for our cause. We have lost touch with the younger generation and we have abandoned minority groups which ought to share our principles. In too many counties and too many states the Republican Party has become an exclusive private club rather than the inclusive political movement it was meant to be. This is the course of extinction for a political party. If we do not grow and embrace new members and new strategies we will continue to stagnate and age into irrelevance.

The voters we need to attract to revitalize the party want less government on their backs and more liberty in their lives. They do not want to live in fear of external threats or internal security. They do not want to see the fruits of their labor seized by government or devalued by irresponsible policies. They do not want government in their businesses, their schools, their churches or their bedrooms. The Republican Party of the future should be young, entrepreneurial and inclusive. There is no hope for a party which is not strong enough to preserve its core principles while still embracing change.

This is the vision of the Republican Liberty Caucus. It is a challenge to the Republican Party to become a better party, rededicated to its founding principles. This election must be a turning point for the party and if we do not pick up the banner of leadership and embrace the changes which must come, then the GOP will fade away into whiggish obscurity. (Emphasis added.)

Those would be great ideas for the Republican Party if there were sufficient interest there in them or otherwise in returning to the Basics. I don’t think they will take hold there, but do think that a new conservative party would be pretty good at implementing them; perhaps not all and probably not immediately, but enough to get off the ground.

At this point, I see little harm in trying and great harm to the nation if we don’t. We won’t know whether it will work unless we try, and we should.

(This article was also posted at Dan Miller’s Blog.)

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