Monday, December 05, 2016

A Winning Sales Pitch

It would be foolish for conservatives to ignore a demographic momentum that does not favor conservatism. While many celebrate the latest victory by a non-conservative on the national stage, it is this victory in itself that should leverage some caution with many of the celebrants.

When the GOP gave primary voters a choice between several conservative presidential contestants and Donald Trump, it was The Donald whose scepter was raised in the end. Indeed, in a charging herd of pachyderms it could be said that Mr. Trump protected the left flank. And yet this leftward position was used as a springboard from which to attain the top rung of America’s historically most conservative party.

In a Democrat Party election exercise that by design favored the Clinton royal family, the most energetic portion of that long lost party was in the camp of the neo-Marxist Bernie Sanders. Hillary may very well have ended up the victor of her party’s primary process on an even playing field, but the youth, the next generation of economically illiterate voters, favored Karl Sanders in huge numbers despite party insistence, machinations and propaganda.

Finally, the popular vote in the presidential election went to the most progressive big party candidate remaining in the field.

At the end of it all we cannot say that Mr. Trump will not govern with some conservative principles and I have been impressed with some of his appointments and comments since those sad moments in which he called Ted Cruz a liar, Ted’s wife an ugly addict, and his father a communist conspirator and political assassin. At least now we have a positive trend. Whatever Trump’s conservative positions might be at this particular point in time they seem to have been arrived at through whim rather than philosophy.

Trump’s voting coalition was cobbled together in much the same way a windstorm throws debris on my front porch. Many traditional democrats voted Donald in an effort to stem the loss of American jobs. Many conservatives felt the tide of the party was sweeping too far leftward because of entrenched establishment party operatives and preferred a non-political candidate that at least had one foot outside the party’s corral. Many millions more felt a vote had to be cast for Trump because his loss would mean a corrupt career politician with no morals, ethics or honor would assume the highest office in the land. Finally, alt-righters voted for Donald because they have shit for brains.

What resulted was a coalition of evangelical Christians who stood beside Neo-nazis who stood beside union workers who stood beside libertarians who in turn stood beside many nervous looking conservatives peering out of the corner of their rapidly blinking eyes. It was a tent just big enough to produce a victory.

We must be a ‘big tent’ party say those strategists closely aligned to the party. But what big tents might provide in terms of the ability to enfold a larger divergence of opinion, by definition, it would also necessarily be willing to sell off chunks of its founding principles.

For instance, a cohesive and coherent conservative party cannot promote both free markets and protectionism; the former having provided for more created wealth in the history of mankind than under any other type of system, while the latter has helped enslave the impoverished for centuries. The two positions are mutually exclusive and should not be part of the same big tent.
The message of conservatism should be the selling point, not a position we are willing to parcel off in order to attract more voters. When we do this we end up with a larger party led by candidates with no investment in conservative courses of action. I give you Donald Trump. And before him Mitt Romney. And before him the (now) six times elected senator from Arizona, John McCain.

Republicans in general and conservatives in specific are not good at selling their wares. In a world where conservatism and free markets produce wealth and high living standards, socialism the world over produces poverty and shortages. Yet the vacant fields message of socialism sells while the full cupboards of free market capitalism are found wanting to more and more voters.

Satellite imagery of the Korean peninsula displays to the world the inability of a socialist north to light up the landscape. While South Korea is bright and visibly prosperous from space, the depth of northern darkness is not the result of just a shortage of electricity, though that is an issue. Along with their inability to produce the electricity there is also insufficient infrastructure to transport it if it were ever generated. There is also insufficient manufacturing ability to produce electrical devices and components that would use the electricity if it could be produced (it cannot) and transported (it cannot,) and not least, it suffers a horribly impoverished people lacking the basic wealth to consume the electricity, if it were produced (it isn’t,) transported (it isn’t either) and if devices were available (they’re not.)

In America spoiled consumers place night lights in cramped hallways to avoid kicking cats and table legs on our late night journeys to rooms wonderfully blessed with indoor plumbing. On the Korean peninsula those same night lights, if that miracle were even available north of the DMZ, would more likely be used to look for what the cat might be eating so it could be enjoyed over a fire kindled with the table legs. It beats eating tree bark.

On the other side of the world, in Venezuela, a country sitting atop some of the world’s largest energy reserves, the people do not enjoy ample food, medicine or toilet paper. Or energy. Gasoline is rationed and brownouts circulate the country. Meanwhile, political opponents are prevented from leaving paradise or are jailed while state controlled broadcasters proclaim the national wonder.

This is what socialism sells and what, increasingly, American voters are willing to buy. The only difference is that today’s socialists or, as Bernie describes the movement, the “democratic socialists” sell their wares from a perch of economic success erected with the ideas and innovations that their political corner could never produce.

Ms. Clinton’s shrill pitch carried a long way having been buoyed by the $150 million she and Bill reaped by selling off the US State Department. She left the White House dead broke in 2001 but managed to enter the 2016 presidential race with a purse well fattened with graft. No wonder she hates capitalism. But compared to the now mouldering Fidel Castro she was a mere piker. The now horizontal former Cuban leader left this world a billionaire though his people, living in the soft glow of a socialist state, shared little more than poverty together.

The central ideas of conservatism need not be tossed aside in order to attract the ignorant. Rather conservatism must be sold completely and vigorously so that the ignorant might become informed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Rougblog Reboot

I’ve been away for a while as the struggles of aging and the demons of electronics conspired to force my silence.

My absence was neither easy nor intended to be permanent despite anything my former one-time reader was praying for when I dropped off the planet. So, I’m back but this return will be closer to an easing onto the service road rather than a break neck plunge onto the Autobahn. I don’t even have reliable internet at home yet.

It is my intent to take this sight as seriously as I ever have with posts on economics, politics, culture, current events, things that humor me and, of course, my total contempt for socialists.

One thing that makes it difficult for me to consistently power away at uncompensated writing is the feeling that I do so and no one listens. I know when someone travels to the site because the hit meter registers each solitary voyageur. However it is the commenting, either positive or negative, that provides the sole reward, at least until such time as I can leverage this free squawking into a paying gig.

I do encourage commenting but I’d prefer it not be dedicated to the assassination of my character however much my character deserves a good butt-kicking. I try to treat people respectfully in the comments but in my posts themselves a promise of restraint is off the table. I will only excoriate those who are public figures or those who wade into the pool first.

I talk the way I want to talk in my posts because I feel public officials and personalities are pretty much fair game. Don’t take it personally that I feel the wife-beater Sean Penn is a low life. Don’t get too insulted because, after all, you have the exact same right to start your own blog that no one reads too, just like this one.

I really enjoy input even if it is contrary to my own opinion. I’m also one who is willing to agree to disagree until I get personally insulted at which point I will either cry like a baby or come at you like a poo-flinging spider monkey. I don’t like it when those who comment refuse to play nice with each other.

Welcome back to the site. I’ll try to keep it interesting.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Michigan Entrepreneurs Still Active

Imagine my thrill at watching a wonderful lady several years my senior seek to make her fortune at an advanced age.  I’m a chicken whose spring passed many years ago and this lady was scratching worms from the summer soil long before I ever witnessed my first equinox.

I discovered the spirit of America knows no age limit.

I truly appreciate inventiveness and the entrepreneurial spirit because, among other reasons, I verily appreciate America and the American spirit.  America embraced the free market and capitalism at its founding and was willing to suffer decades of transition from the cash-poor/barter heavy society at the founding to one that burgeoned a slowly developed wealth as its first century waned.

And wealth is a wonderful thing for it is wealth, principally created by those who had a better idea, process or product, that produced a society largely capable of eliminating hunger, homelessness and disease.  This is not to say that there are none who suffer hunger or homelessness or disease in this country, but only that those who are willing and able to interject themselves into the mainstream economy are largely capable of living lives today that completely avoid toothless scurvy ‘neath a cardboard box.

Yet America’s embrace of the free market has done more than simply reduce malnourishment, homelessness and disease.  It has also helped to produce an American population entitled to a basic education, a very modest retirement, passable roads, protected landscapes, parks, libraries, and now, a disgustingly inefficient, impersonal and expensive heath care benefit.

Even beyond these supposedly deserved entitlements, we Americans have grown to expect reasonable access to groceries, health clubs, gas stations, auto parts stores, insurance agencies, pharmacies, theaters, restaurants, florists and the ever-necessary tattoo parlor/piercing studio.  (The former benefits, of course, made possible by the producers of the latter.)

We should not forget that it is the government skimming of cream off the surface of privately produced milk that makes all entitlements possible but it is the milk itself that is, it seems to many, an ever-flowing stream of torrential mammalian nectar.

Assumed limitless production of this magic elixir makes the vision of entitlements also nearly limitless. Teddy’s progressivism begat Wilson’s socialism begat FDR’s New Deal begat Johnson’s Great Society begat Nixon’s HUD begat Clinton’s CRA begat W’s prescription drug benefit/NCLB which begat Obama’s everything under the sun which will sire the…what can we imagine…exactly?

A little pushback, I feel, is in order.

So, I stood in admiration of this woman at a local BP in northern Michigan who was working to create the wealthpot from which future generations might enjoy what is, even to this day, a yet unimagined entitlement. Like the industrialists of old she was willing to take her hard-earned capital and invest it wisely in an economy where capital is king and industry, both personal and collective, is royalty.

She marched to the counter and used her Bridge Card to buy the most expensive gallon of milk she could find in the county but wisely saved her start-up capital to buy herself 10 Michigan Lotto tickets (all the state enjoyed profits of which will go to Michigan schools!)

It is the wealth the free market created that makes such shenanigans possible.  It is the unabated shenanigans that will lead to the collapse of our free market, one poor investment at a time.