Political scientists know that while Americans are sick and tired of the political climate in Washington , our often derided, two-party system is nothing new.
Our current viable, political parties, the Democrats and the GOP, are descendants of the fathers of American politics, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.
Since the country was conceived, these two factions have taken different names and have had different positions make their way in and out of their party’s platforms.
However, the core beliefs, which have been passed down from the Hamiltonians and the Jeffersonians to the Democrats and the Republicans of today are still very much intact.
Hamilton, whose political lineage can be connected to the Republican Party of today, believed that government’s primary function should be to facilitate freedom among the people.
Jefferson’s belief was that the government needed to make equality among the people its first priority. This mindset is still prominent among today’s Democrats.
As history shows, the two political dogmas have been used over the years to create the world's most just and most free society.
Fom time to time, we have seen one side take priority over the other in order to solve problems which threaten the very fabric of society itself such as the problems of war or slavery.
Once these problems are solved however, the two tend to hover back to their well-balanced positions which have kept America free and prosperous for the last two centuries.
The modern Democrats used Jefferson’s principles of equality to acquire for blacks the rights and tools that they deserved and required, so that they could share in America’s prosperity. The civil rights movement ensured that African-Americans were no longer second-class citizens.
The problem arises from the fact that since the end of segregation and the successes of FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society, the modern Democrats still haven’t put the brakes on the equalization train.
Damaging policies intended to convince those who were once left out of society that they are still at a disadvantage have become the norm and have produced little more than political benefit for those proposing them.
Programs to redistribute wealth and to keep the antiquated policy of Affirmative Action alive are perfect examples of these Jeffersonian ideals gone mad.
The most telling example of this trend however, is the recent talk of the reinstitution of the Fairness Doctrine.
What makes the proposed resurrection of the Fairness Doctrine particularly grotesque is that rather than being intended to equalize things among the citizens of the nation, it is instead intended to benefit one particular political party which controls the legislative process.
This incredibly bad idea, which was rightfully put to sleep by Ronald Reagan in the 80’s, has been dug up and is being repeatedly shocked, Dr. Frankenstein style, by liberals everywhere.
The Center for American Progress, a far left think tank, in a 40-page study released last week reached the shocking conclusion that--are you ready for this?--talk radio is overwhelmingly conservative.
Well, duh! You guys needed 40 pages to prove THAT?!!
Democrats picked up on this incredible revelation and began what appears to be a covert effort lead by Senators Barbara Boxer and Hillary Clinton to drain the power of conservative talk radio through government mandate.
They intend to do this by requiring that any station which broadcasts a conservative talk radio show also dedicate an equal amount of time to “opposing viewpoints.” This, of course, would require that stations which broadcast conservative talk, also put an equal number of liberal talk shows on their programming schedule.
Liberals have long been irked at the power of conservative radio personalities who have been able to energize and mobilize the Republican Party base as well as convert disaffected Democrats.
What makes this relatively recent development more irksome to the Democrats is that every attempt they have made to develop a politically-oriented radio army of their own has been a complete and utter failure.
This despite the fact that privately-funded projects such as Air America were given tons of positive, free media exposure when they launched.
The theme is a recurring one among Democrats. Because the people don’t know what’s good for them, government must interfere and force us to consume what they feel we need. In their opinion, what we need is exposure to more left wing ideology.
Their arguments are weak to the point of absurdity.
One specious left wing argument is that the presence of conservative talk radio gives the GOP an unfair advantage during elections.
This argument does not take into account the left’s domination of most of the editorial pages of the nation’s major newspapers, NPR, the nightly network news, and the blogosphere.
If the GOP ever proposed legislation to force The New York Times to run a piece by Bill O’Reilly next to every column by Paul Krugman, the left wouldn’t hesitate to label the move a fascist power grab and an assault on freedom of the press.
If for every movie by Michael Moore that was released in theaters, a movie with an opposing viewpoint had to be released on the same number of screens, movie executives would be throwing themselves off the Hollywood sign in droves.
That’s where the left’s next argument comes in. They argue that because the radio airwaves are a “limited national resource,” ownership of which can be controlled by government in trust for the public, the content generated by such stations can also be regulated. Remember, the Democrats translate “the public” to mean the government first and the people second.
The truth is that whether or not access to broadcast licenses are controlled by the government, the content which is broadcast over the airwaves is controlled by market forces, just as the content of the rest of the media is.
Regulation of political analysis on a radio station is no different from the regulation of a newspaper editorial page. Both should be unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The government can regulate how the trees which are used to make the paper are cut down, but not what is printed on the paper itself.
What’s really at play here is politics. The Democrats say they want to even the playing field, but the truth is that the “playing field” is already even. In fact, in terms of reaching people through different media outlets, the “playing field” is currently still slanted overwhelmingly to the left.
As if any further evidence of this was required, one need only look at the list released last week showing where political contributions made by those in the media end up. The answer, by a ratio of 9 to 1, was, of course, in the pockets of Democratic candidates.
What the Democrats are aiming to do in this situation is to gain an advantage by taking away one of the Republicans' most effective tools. That’s all there is to it.
When Liberals are put on the radio and begin touting their views, listeners generally tune out. This drains money from the station’s advertises. Under the Fairness Doctrine, stations would only be able to broadcast profitable programs for half the day. Station owners would inevitably be forced to change their format.
Lawmakers know this, a fact which leads us to the most ironic part of the situation.
Recognizing that it is market forces that have lead to the rise and success of conservative talk radio, Clinton, Boxer and others are hoping to implant a virus within the system. This poison pill would turn the market forces against the industry, eventually leading to its demise.
Since Rush Limbaugh became a political force in the early 90’s, those on the left have reviled conservative talk radio and have attempted to label it as misleading and hate-filled.
The awful truth, however, is that conservative talk radio was born out of a dereliction of duty by the mainstream media, much of which to this day seems incapable of covering politics in a fair and balanced fashion. In other words, conservative talk radio polices the police.
In addition, conservative talk radio has led thousands to become interested in politics and to become more politically informed. It is true that there is a fair amount of political cheerleading, unchecked sources and embellishment that comes from the mouths of the enormous egos which have access to those afternoon microphones. But such programs are still far more educational and informative than any “rock block” or “shock jock” on the dial.
Indeed, Hamilton and Jefferson would be ashamed. While they disagreed passionately, even to the point of hating each other personally, they would never have attempted to stifle speech simply because an opponent’s speech was unpopular.
Moreover, the fact that only two major parties exist in this country does not entitle (Oh, there's that word again. Funny that it should show up here.) one party to benefit from a special government regulation while excluding all of the others parties from that privilege.
If you give liberals and Democrats equal time, does not fairness require that you give Communists, Socialist, Libertarians, Anarchists, Scientologists, The Black Panther Party and The Wi
ccan Brotherhood for the Legalization of Cannabis, equal time on the AM soapbox.
Surely, the Democrats are not saying that their views are more deserving of radio time than those of these minority parties. The Republicans certainly aren’t saying that. All we’re saying is that in a democracy, the people are supposed to decide and those people have consistently decided that they want to listen to conservative thinkers on the radio and not liberal ones.
When radio first came on the scene it was determined that those who were permitted to use the radio airwaves were expected to serve the “public interest.” I encourage them to continue to do so, keeping in mind that the public has shown that they have no “interest” whatsoever in liberal talk radio or the Fairness Doctrine.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Political scientists know that while Americans are sick and tired of the political climate in Washington , our often derided, two-party system is nothing new.
Posted by Falling Panda at 8:12 PM
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
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So NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg has gone from being a Democrat to being a Republican and is now uncommitted as he positions himself for an "Independent" run for the Presidency. While Ralph Nader's 2000 role as spoiler was a gift from God, a Bloomberg candidacy would be more reminiscent of Ross Perot's 1992 presidential bid. A bid which trimmed GOP voters from George H.W. Bush and handed Bill Clinton the keys to the Oval Office.
A lot of voters fall hard for that word "Independent" when they make their decisions regarding a candidate, mistakenly thinking that the "I" next to the candidates name, means that the candidate subscribes to a "middle of the road" ideology.
Fortunately, in this cycle voters should have had enough time between now and Election Day to see that Bloomberg’s even further to the left than most of those running on the Democratic side.
Bloomberg is only an” Independent” in the sense that he can spend a billion dollars of his own money in trying to get elected without the aide of an organized political party and that neither of the two major parties would ever nominate him for the Presidency. Otherwise, he’s an old-school New York liberal.
Not that I’m complaining. A Bloomberg candidacy should bode very well for the GOP, which faces an uphill battle in the upcoming cycle. Just look at New York State, where John Kerry beat George W Bush by 17% in 2004.
Bloomberg has a 70% approval rating in NYC right now and will almost certainly take votes away from Hillary in ’08, leaving the GOP vote intact (especially if the candidate is Rudy Giuliani)and putting one of the most left-leaning states in the nation back in play.
Because of all of his money, Bloomberg is very capable of getting at least 15% of the nationwide vote in ’08 and I’m guessing that those votes will overwhelmingly come from disaffected Democrats who don’tlike Hillary.
Therefore Bloomberg’s potential run could be the best thing to happen to Republicans…well…ever.
Posted by Falling Panda at 4:41 PM
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Let the Segregation Commence
Separatist graduations proliferate at UCLA.
13 June 2007
Commencement weekend is hard to plan at the University of California, Los Angeles. The university now has so many separate identity-group graduations that scheduling them not to conflict with one another is a challenge. The women’s studies graduation and the Chicana/Chicano studies graduation are both set for 10 AM Saturday. The broader Hispanic graduation, “Raza,” is in near-conflict with the black graduation, which starts just an hour later.
Planning was easier before a new crop of ethnic groups pushed for inclusion. Students of Asian heritage were once content with the Asian–Pacific Islanders ceremony. But now there are separate Filipino and Vietnamese commencements, and some talk of a Cambodian one in the future. Years ago, UCLA sponsored an Iranian graduation, but the school’s commencement office couldn’t tell me if the event was still around. The entire Middle East may yet be a fertile source for UCLA commencements.
Not all ethnic and racial graduations are well attended. The 2003 figures at UCLA showed that while 300 of 855 Hispanic students attended, only 170 out of 1,874 Asian-Americans did.
Some students are presumably eligible for four or five graduations. A gay student with a Native American father and a Filipino mother could attend the Asian, Filipino, and American Indian ceremonies, plus the mainstream graduation and the Lavender Graduation for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered students.
Graduates usually wear identity-group markers—a Filipino stole or a Vietnamese sash, for instance, or a rainbow tassel at the Lavender event. Promoters of ethnic and racial graduations often talk about the strong sense of community that they favor. But it is a sense of community based on blood, a dubious and historically dangerous organizing principle.
The organizers also sometimes argue that identity-group graduations make sense for practical reasons. They say that about 3,000 graduating seniors show up for UCLA’s “regular” graduation, making it a massive and impersonal event. At the more intimate identity-group events, foreign-born parents and relatives hear much of the ceremony in their native tongues. The Filipino event is so small—about 100 students— that each grad gets to speak for 30 seconds.
But the core reason for separatist graduations is the obvious one: on campus, assimilation is a hostile force, the domestic version of American imperialism. On many campuses, identity-group training begins with separate freshman orientation programs for nonwhites, who arrive earlier and are encouraged to bond before the first Caucasian freshmen arrive. Some schools have separate orientations for gays as well. Administrations tend to foster separatism by arguing that bias is everywhere, justifying double standards that favor identity groups.
Four years ago Ward Connerly, then a regent of the University of California, tried to pass a resolution to stop funding of ethnic graduations and gay freshman orientations. He changed his mind and asked to withdraw his proposal, but the regents wanted to vote on it and defeated it in committee 6–3.
No major objections to ethnic graduations have emerged since. As in so many areas of American life, the preposterous is now normal.
John Leo is the editor of the Manhattan Institute’s
Posted by Falling Panda at 12:30 PM
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Show this article to anyone you know who doesn't understand how the economy works. It's simple enough for even the most jaded of the class warfare set to understand.
WE HAVE TO GET THE TAXES RAISED ... AND FAST!
By Neal Boortz
Class warlords and those suffering from wealth envy might not want to hear this, but our federal budget deficit is shrinking. The deficit through May of 2007 is down 34.6 percent from the same period a year ago, now totaling about $148.5 billion.
Why? Prosperity, that's why. Incomes are up. Corporate profits are up. Unemployment is down. Much of this is driven by tax cuts. That's right ... tax cuts. It's all very simple, really. You allow people to keep more of what they earn, and they will do more to earn more. It's a lesson as old as civilization. You get more of the behavior you reward, and you get less of the behavior you punish. Most (but certainly not all) parents recognize this. The more you penalize hard word with high taxes, the less hard work you will get. The more you reward achievement and hard work the more work you'll get. More work = growing economy = more government revenue = lower deficits. If, that is, the government doesn't increase spending faster than the revenue increases.
In the midst of this good news, just what are our friends in the Democrat Party proposing? You guessed it; more taxes. They want to punish this hard work that's going on out there with higher taxes on the higher achievers. The goal here is not to increase government revenues. Even Democrats are smarter than that. They realize that these higher taxes they're talking about will likely slow down our economic growth. Their real goal is power, and power comes from the ballot box. They know that a huge segment of their voting base wallows in envy every single day of their lives; envy of the wealth accumulated by those who have worked harder and smarter than they. They want these people punished ... NOW! And they believe that the best way to punish these high-achievers is to take away more of that which they are working for; their wealth.
Wealth envy is nothing new. In fact, we can thank wealth envy for our current income tax system. When the 16th Amendment (income tax) was being sold to the American people the proponents of a new federal income tax needed a way to get people to ask their states for ratification. Wealth envy was the key. The people were told that only rich Americans would ever have to pay the income tax, and virtually all of these rich people lived in the Northeast; generally in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New York. The voters in states like Michigan or Kentucky had nothing to worry about. They would reap the benefits of all of this new federal spending without having to pay a part of the tab. Only the evil rich would be hit. The 16th Amendment sailed through.
How far will people go to hurt someone that has more than they? They'll even go to the point of hurting themselves -- quite willingly -- in the process. Some years ago researchers gathered a cross section of Americans together to play a game. They were each given a set amount of play money. Some were given more than others. The subjects were then allowed to play an investing game. At the end of the game some had acquired more "wealth," while others had lost. Those with less wealth were then approached and asked if they would like to "burn" some of the dollars earned by the winners in this investing game. They were told that for each dollar they were willing to give away, four dollars would be taken from a rich person. They would get absolutely nothing for their dollar except the pleasure of knowing that one of the "winners" was having money taken from them. To nobody's surprise, most of those with the fewer dollars elected to throw away some of their money just for the joy of knowing that one of the "winners" was getting nailed.
And so it goes with our economy. You could tell your typical lower-income Democrat voter that if taxes are raised on the evil rich it might slow down our economy. You could tell them that a slowing economy and lower corporate profits might mean fewer pay raises. You could tell them that an economic slowdown brought on by higher taxes might mean fewer job opportunities. You can tell them all of the negative consequences of increasing taxes on the high-achievers, and it won't make a difference. They are perfectly willing to take a hit if they just know that those nasty rich people are taking it in the chin.
Democrats are well aware of the dynamics of wealth envy and voting. They give the voters what they want -- punishment for the wealthy -- and the voters will respond with their votes, even if it hurts them to do so.
Ain't life grand?
Posted by Falling Panda at 1:16 PM
Monday, June 11, 2007
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I think most of the GOP faithful expected that Nancy Pelosi would be the first one in the new Democratic Congress to say something colossally stupid, however since the Dem's took the reins it's been Senator Reid who appears to have caught the foot-in-mouth bug.
First, he sent the message to our troops that the war was lost. That was a really, really dumb thing for the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate to say.
Today a video was posted on Reid's website showing him speaking on immigration and referring to illegals as "undocumented Americans".
Huh? How do you defend that statement? Anyone?
Now, the Democrats have much to gain from a mass legalization of some sort as well as from increasing the flow of Mexicans coming here legally.
The now stalled immigration legislation would have helped Reid's party by bringing in the families of current illegals, many of whom would rely on entitlements and therefore be more likely to vote for Democrats.
This is pandering of the worst kind on Reid's part.
He really needs to go back and watch the results from election night 2002, when Tom Daschle, another Democratic Majority Leader from a conservative state lost his job, due to obstructionism and a cadre of dumb statements.
Reid has already made a lot of people angry, and not just on the right. He either needs to start choosing his words more carefully or suffer a Trent Lott-style beat down from his own party. One hopes that Democrats have enough sense to see how damaging this could be. Then again William Jefferson still has his job.
Posted by Falling Panda at 1:04 PM
Monday, June 04, 2007
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At no point in our nation’s history has a fringe political movement been permitted to become more powerful than has the far left during the post 9/11 era.
The extreme left has essentially taken control of the Democratic party, forcing the top Presidential candidates to shape their rhetoric in increasingly liberal tones and use the Iraq war as a launching pad for an agenda which is not in sync with the values and priorities of most Americans.
In addition to the immediate abandonment of Iraq, these groups also advocate socialism in its purest form, a more Amsterdam-esque, hedonistic America with moral equivocation when it comes to America’s enemies and a “blame America first” attitude going well beyond patriotic questioning of American policy.
The most striking aspect of the far left’s surge in influence, however, is the renewed fashionability among liberal elites towards atheism. The mainstreaming of Bush hatred and other such practices has had a trickle-down effect which has led an increasing number of those on the far left, especially young people, to believe that there is no God.
A number of authors such as Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins have recently published books making arguments in favor of Godlessness as part and parcel of American political life. As might be expected, these authors are being given lots of face time in the media as of late.
To be clear, this trend does not include those who consider themselves agnostic. One of the ploys adopted by atheists attempting to spread their ideology has been to lump those who are unsure about the existence or nature of a deity in with those who are confident that no such higher being exists.
This is an intellectually dishonest tactic meant to make the numbers of the unbelievers seem greater, and it works.
As voices from the American left become more and more audible, thanks in large part to the comfortable home which they have found on the Internet, atheism has experienced a surge in popularity among the liberal elite not seen since the leftist glory days of the 1930’s. My guess is that this is, in some large measure, a reaction to President Bush’s deeply held religious beliefs and to the power of the evangelicals who helped him get elected.
But how long will the Democratic presidential candidates be able to maintain the political balancing act which, on one hand, requires them to publicly state their belief in God in order to prevail in a general election setting, while on the other hand, playing footsie with the beliefs of their radical base? A sizeable portion of that activist base considers believers to be naïve, unenlightened fools who pray to an invisible being, who sits on a cloud somewhere in the sky, controlling the universe.
When coupled with the possibility that some of the more “progressive” candidates themselves may actually be closet atheists (Dennis Kucinich, I’m looking in your direction.) how long until the more moderate candidates will be forced to adopt a hostility towards the concept of God and those voters who do believe, in order to win a primary election?
We know that the Hillary Clintons and John Edwards of the world will say just about anything to satisfy the folks who control the money over at MoveOn.org and Media Matters. Therefore, is it that much of a stretch to imagine a future election in which hostility to God and religion is taken to an extreme level by a serious contender in order to satisfy an important political faction?
Just as the Evangelicals have proven their power in electing GOP candidates to high office, is it possible that Atheists could begin to wield a similar power among Democrats?
What consequences if any would Atheistic candidacies or tenures in office have on our nation?
While liberals constantly warn us of the boogeyman of theocracy dwelling in the motives of the current Administration, the truth is that these very people know in their heart of hearts that their fear mongering is based on a ludicrous distortion of reality.
Surely even they understand that the American people would overwhelmingly reject a Mullah style Christian candidate, if one existed.
They also must understand that Atheism represents the other extreme, which would be overwhelmingly rejected as well if a candidate espoused its principles, which are openly hostile towards religion.
Remember Communism? Yeah, it didn’t work.
It's important to keep in mind that Atheists tend not to be neutral on the question of religion. They view religion as bad. They see it as having a negative effect on society.
For the time being, Hillary and her ilk will continue to make speeches in African-American churches and pay lip service to those religious individuals whom the Democratic party has pretended to understand in the years since the 2004 Bush victory.
But as its left wing radical elite continues to grow in power, the time will come for the Democratic Party when the believers will not be able to co-exist with the non-believers. Then a re-alignment surely will occur, similar to the one of the 1970s and 1980s when the Southern Democrats abandoned the party for the GOP.
The same questions regarding the far left’s proclivity towards atheism could also be raised when it comes to their belief in 9/11 conspiracy theories. Thus far, not even the most insane among the ’08 presidential candidates has given the slightest nod to the surprisingly high percentage of liberals who believe that the U.S. government was in some way behind the 9/11 attacks. Of course, there is still plenty of time and one of these guys (or gals) is bound to become desperate eventually.
Posted by Falling Panda at 9:05 PM