Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

TODAY WE GUZZLE SOME YUENGLING. TOMORROW WE FIGHT.

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

I know this is a sad and disappointing day to many people (myself included), but let’s remember one thing above all: as Conservatives we believe in this country and the principles it was founded on no matter who is in power. We are not liberals who go on a temper tantrum saying how “stupid” the country is because the majority voted the other way. Right off the bat, here are some actual positives of the results from last night:

  • I got to watch The Shield last night! The early call of Ohio meant I could go on with my regular routine.
  • More seriously, the election of Barack Obama is actually a repudiation of a long held Liberal contention that America is a racist country. I desperately wish that this historic event could have involved someone who is not an empty suit, but it’s hard not to acknowledge that the crossing of this barrier is a good thing for America. The more commonplace events like this are, the less traction race baiters like Jesse Jackson will get in their attempts to divide us (although The Onion tries. Heh).
  • Branching off from the “liberals think all Americans are idiots when they’re out of power” notion, it will be nice to have the other half of the country like America again, even though they’re trying to radically alter it. Perhaps now that they share some responsibility, they will have the luxury of taking the War on Terror seriously instead of just squatting on the carpet repeatedly and fingering George W. Bush as the culprit. On a personal note, I’m looking forward to not seeing those “1/20/09: Bush’s Last Day In Office” bumper stickers anymore.
  • While it may appear that the country wants to move to the left, remember that there’s a sizeable portion of the electorate that still doesn’t know anything about Obama other than “HOPE!”, “CHANGE!” and that he comes from outside of George W. Bush’s party. Obama’s liberal voting history runs counter with the centrist campaign that he ran. This presents two scenarios, and both of which (I hope) would end up positive for us: 1) If Obama’s smart enough to know he has to campaign as a moderate to get elected, then he’s smart enough to know he’ll have to govern as a moderate to stay in office. Given the voting results he has the right to govern the way he wishes and if he can hold off the Pelosi radicals in his own party and live up to the message of compromise in his victory speech then he should be applauded. 2) The more likely scenario I see is that there’s going to be tremendous pressure from Congress to bite off more than they can chew immediately and Obama will go along with it. Let’s also not forget that the Democratic Congressional leadership is completely inept and Obama’s first major accomplishment as President will be the first accomplishment of any magnitude of his political career (aside from winning the offices he holds of course). Hopefully this will result in some major missteps (see the first couple of years in the Clinton administration) and the damage will be limited. However, even if a large portion of their agenda is enacted, I still believe this is a center-right country and we’re not ready to accept socialism. Hopefully this will result in a major backlash in two years (see 1994). In 2012 Obama will not have the benefit of having his entire career shrouded in a cloudy haze. If he is truly a wolf in sheep’s clothes then it will be easier to hold him accountable in four years.

For this to happen though, we have work to do. It may just be relief that the eternal election is finally over, but I feel invigorated somehow, especially in comparison to 2006. While `06 was bad, it never felt like rock bottom. This does. This is the Dems’ biggest victory since LBJ over Goldwater, but let’s remember that four years after 1964, LBJ was so unpopular he couldn’t even run for re-election. In 2012 we won’t have perceptions of the Republicans running the country (even though the Democrats have controlled the Congress the past two years) and we won’t be weighed down by having to defend an unpopular president who doesn’t even defend himself (a situation that would have doubtlessly been prolonged had McCain won).

I haven’t figured out exactly what action items need to be taken to restart the Conservative movement, but here is a short reading list in the meantime that I recommend to everyone.

  1. The Constitution of the United States and the Federalist Papers – Let’s start with basics. We all think we know the Constitution, but it’s been a long time since high school. Let’s look at it with fresh eyes to keep ourselves centered. While the Constitution has been endlessly distorted by liberals, one only has to read the Federalist Papers, written primarily by Alexander Hamilton, to see how off base they are. If the 18th century linguistics don’t wear you out, check out the Anti-Federalist Papers as well to see what the arguments against the Constitution were. It’s interesting to see which concerns were valid and which ones didn’t pan out.
  2. Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg – I read this book earlier this year and it is one of the most educationally shocking books I’ve ever read, even while being much more reasonable than the title would indicate. There is history in here that is so out there that your instant reaction will be that it can’t be true. However, in every instance that I researched, Goldberg was vindicated. This is an absolutely essential read for a Conservative not only to understand what’s wrong with Liberal thought, but also to weed out your own Conservative fascist leanings. Honestly, if you only read one thing on this list (other than the Constitution of course) make it this one.
  3. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand – I believe it was meant as a satire of progressives to show what will happen when we punish the achievers, but the extremes described in this book that desperately needed a better editor are quickly coming to pass.
  4. An Inconvenient Book by Glenn Beck – Look! Pretty pictures! You could use a break from all this heavy stuff anyway.

Speaking of Mr. Beck, his must-read list following the election included Liberal Fascism as well as The 5,000 Year Leap and The Forgotten Man. I have not read the latter two, but I intend to. That is all for now class, book reports are due at the end of the month!

Remember even when elections don’t go our way – even ones as seemingly devastating as this – that the pendulum swings back quickly. Four years ago the hot phrase was “permanent Republican majority.” There’s always hope for America because it’s populated by Americans. Let’s act like it by first shoring up what we believe in and then fighting for it.

-MPAW

  

ATLAS SHRUGGED IN 1958

Wednesday, January 5th, 2005

For National Review’s 50th Anniversary, NRO is republishing some classic articles. Today’s feature was a review of Ayn Rand’s classic, Atlas Shrugged. Keep in mind this is one of my favorite books of all time and I think that the author has a very harsh take on the book (which is surprising given the overall conservatism of the book), but he does hit one aspect of the book on the head. My encapsulated viewpoint of the book is this: Rand take on economics is dead on, her take on social responsibility is partially correct, and her take on morality is completely wrong. I won’t go into details on why I think this, but I will share this quote from the NR article that captures the fatal flaw of Rand’s philosophy:

Like any consistent materialism, this one begins by rejecting God, religion, original sin, etc., etc. . . Thus, Randian Man, like Marxian Man, is made the center of a godless world.

I find it very ironic that for as much as Ayn Rand hated communism and socialism, her basic concept of man had much in common with the communist vision of man – that he is the pinnacle of nature and god-like. If you wish to read the article in its entirety, you can here
-MPAW