Monday, June 28, 2010

5 things Conservatives shouldn't say

Obama isn't my President.

It's unsurprising that the first time I heard someone declaring that the President wasn't their President was during the Bush years.  Although I'm certain others have made this statement toward other Presidents, I doubt it was quite as widespread, and so the statement has come to personify the rabid, foaming at the mouth hatred that liberals expressed during those years.  The statement isn't offensive because the man in charge happened to be from my political party, but it offends me as an American.  To disagree or even hate a President is one thing, but to declare that he isn't your President is something else entirely.

The same goes for Obama.

Is it unfortunate that an incompetent, far-leftist got elected to office?  Of course, but does that mean he's not your President?  Absolutely not.  Him being your President doesn't mean you owe him any particular loyalties.  Americans aren't expected to love or follow their Presidents, but we should be expected to respect the office.  I hardly consider it respectful to ignore the current officeholder just because you disagree with - or outright loathe - his policies and ideology.  Like it or not Barack Obama is the current President of the United States of America, so unless you're in the process of throwing a revolt or giving up your citizenship, he is your President.

There's a surprisingly thin line for legitimate dissent to outright insanity.  Liberals sprinted across that line without looking back, and conservatives could find themselves teasing with that boundary if they're not careful.  I can count the number of people I've heard say "Obama isn't my President" on one hand, but virtually no one offers any sort of condemnation for such statements, and that's what worries me.  Conservatives need to ensure that we don't become what liberals became during the Bush years.

Obama is a Kenyan!/Where's the Birth Certificate?

Where is the birth certificate?

That question isn't aimed toward Obama, but the Birthers who, for whatever reason, have pursued this relentless despite having little to no proof.  Initially I was open to the suggestion that Obama wasn't a natural born citizen and thus wasn't eligible for the Presidency, but as time went on I became less and less impressed with Birthers and their arguments.

For the last year and a half they've been going on about this, and for the last year and a half they've produced...nothing.  Their argument never evolved past its original point, in which they point to Obama having never released his birth certificate.

For a starting argument it isn't bad.  It is suspicious that we've never seen a birth certificate, and that Obama has blocked that information with an executive order, but that's circumstantial evidence at best.  At some point you have to start producing something to validate the serious nature of your claims, but they never did that.  There was never any decent answer to the certificate of live birth, or the newspaper clipping declaring Obama's birth, but their absolute lowest moment came when they declared that they had the birth certificate, only to find out it was forged by a blogger.

Conservatives should treat Birthers for what they are:  Conspiracy theorists.  If they want to spend their own time pursing this, then that's their business, but conservatives need to continue to distance themselves from people who believe Obama isn't a natural born citizen.  At the same time we really do need to pass legislation which requires presidential candidates to produce their birth certificates.

Obama is a Muslim!

The argument for Obama being Muslim goes something like this:  Because Obama's father was Muslim, and because he spent time as a child in Indonesia learning in Islamic schools, Obama is a Muslim today, as is evident by his poor treatment of Israel.

It's a bit difficult to address that argument simply because it's so absurd, and is on the same level as doubting Nikki Haley's conversion.  I'm not even sure why they would bring up his faith of his father since that's certainly does not bind a man toward any particular faith, especially when you grow up in a completely different culture.  Pointing out that he spent time reading the Quran and learning in Islamic school has a bit more validity, but again has no consequence on choices he made later in life in regards to faith.  It would be like saying a Muslim child is Christian because her family has embraced the American life and now celebrates Easter and Christmas in the same commercial sense that so many other Americans do.

I've repeatedly maintained that if Obama is anything other then what he says he is, it's Atheist, but ultimately it's not something worth focusing on.  Arguing over whether Obama is Christian, Muslim, or Atheist doesn't change what he's doing to this country, but it does serve to make his opposition look radical and/or insane.

When will the States/People revolt/secede?

Revolt and secession should always be a legitimate option for the American people to take should it ever come down to it, and wondering how far you would have to be pushed before you take up arms against your own government and countrymen is something we should all think about at least once.  However it's a thin line between asking yourself what the prerequisites are for rebellion, and openly demanding/supporting it.

Advocating revolution is a serious thing, so unless times are extremely dire or your reasoning is perfect you won't find much sympathy with the public, and to be honest that's a good thing.  When people make such threats they often do so not because they believe they have an obligation to fight against a government that has usurped the law, but because they disagree with the current ideology/policies in practice.

Again we can look to the Bush years for an example.  During this time it wasn't uncommon to hear smug liberals saying that the blue states should leave the union, have their own President, and watch the red states crumble and die.  This talk wasn't driven by a belief that they had a legal obligation or case to rebel, but from a hatred of the man (Bush) and his policies. 

There are some similarities the conservative case for revolt against Obama.  It would be dishonest to say that the majority of flirting with revolt doesn't stem from a conservative hate of the man and his ideology.  While there is a valid argument that his ideology could be outside the constitution, and thus illegal, the argument isn't so clear cut as to permit talk of revolution.  There is quite a bit of gray, and certainly nothing that mainstream America would see as valid.   It's worth noting that in some cases the threat is merely on the table, with legitimate reasoning for it, such as when Governor Perry of Texas spoke of secession if the Federal government continues to usurp state power. The distinction has to be made between the two, otherwise you risk coloring the entire movement as one of radicals who may very well be those "right-wing terrorists" the DHS spoke of.

Impeach Obama!

Much like how I'm offended as an American when people say Obama isn't their President, I'm also offended when people call for the impeachment of Obama.

Throughout this post I've brought up the Bush years, and I've done so because it's easy, for me at least, to remember the disgust I felt over the way liberals acted during those years.  Those memories and feelings have been invaluable in guiding my dissent against the current administration, in reminding me where the line is and why I shouldn't cross it.  The call for impeachment personifies this best.  During the Bush years liberals were proud to call for Bush's impeachment, often validating it under the belief that he lied about the Iraq war.  It was, and is, a flimsy excuse, one that if true would mean the impeachment of many Senators and Representatives, including many Democrats and liberals, and would imply a greater conspiracy throughout the world.  Pointing this out doesn't change their mind, and only serves to remind you that their dissent is based in disagreement turned into rabid hatred.

Just to be fair:  The above picture actually came from a Ron Paul rally, but it's just an example of the type of thing you would see broadcast, proudly, by liberals.

Just as liberals had no legitimate reason to call for impeachment with Bush, conservatives lack a legitimate reason to call for impeachment with Obama.  Many of the arguments I made when talking about revolution apply here.  There is a legitimate line of questioning about if his ideology is legal under the constitution, but it's such a gray that I don't believe any of the arguments (that I've heard) for impeachment are reasonable, let alone legitimate.  The call for impeachment stem from a sizable minority, who often make the call during Obama's particularly bad moments, and often are never called out.  It's not beyond reason to believe that if Obama were reelected it could send conservatives into a frenzy not unlike that of liberals during the Bush years.

The consolation is that impeachment would ultimately do more damage.  Biden is a complete moron in every sense of the word, and impeaching Obama would only serve to make him a martyr for Progressives.  His defeat, however, would be a crushing defeat, and perhaps see moderates retake control of the Democrat party.

Final thoughts

Unlike liberals, conservatives do not have much in the way of leeway.  Liberals got away with their rabid, foaming at the mouth because they have the support of the media and as such they were able to present themselves as far more moderate and reasonable then they were.  The worst of them were not shown, and the bad was always presented as no so bad.

Conservatives, on the other hand, are always presented as bad.  We're violent, we're radical, and we're insane.  Most people don't buy into that, but conservatives can't take that for granted.  Conservatives need to remember what it was like during the Bush years, and always need to do their best to keep their arguments within reason, or at least be able to justify them when the time comes.

Often people say shocking things (and too often it seems they do it just to be shocking) and too people many look the other way, unwilling to attack another conservative.  However, this is our movement, and we have an obligation to police our own.  Maybe we can't control it, but we do have the right to try.

If nothing else internal dialogue offers us the chance to strengthen our views, and helps us to defend them against liberals later.  As the bible says:

     As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. - Proverbs 27:17

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