Most pundits attribute the narrowness of the Republican victory in the 1998 Congressional elections to three factors:
1. The excessive Republican emphasis on the Clinton dalliance with Monica Lewinski.
2. An unusually large Negro vote turnout for Democrats (in part related to l).
3. The failure of the Republican controlled Congress to accomplish much of a positive nature.
While these three factors were indeed the relevant ones in many States, most of the analysis was more than a tad off in any understanding of the actual dynamics:
1. It is true that the excessive emphasis on the Clinton dalliance hurt the Republicans. It is not true that the primary impact was in bringing out an unusually large pro-Clinton vote. The primary effect of the preoccupation with the Starr report and the speculation that preceded it was not in motivating liberals, but in "turning off" Conservatives. This was particularly clear in parts of the South.
In endlessly pushing the Starr approach, the Republicans divided their Conservative base; offending to the core, those Conservatives who adhere to a genteel code, which holds that no man or woman should have to undergo public questioning about their most intimate personal relationships. That Clinton does not qualify as a gentleman, does not excuse the rest of us from behaving as such. Previously offended by Clinton's unmanly policy of putting women into combat units, his advocacy of an expansion of unconstitutional Federal roles in health care and education, and his appointment of avowed Homosexual activists to public positions, classic Conservatives could not bring themselves to publicly defend the President. In disgust, they simply staid home. "Staying home," or not participating on election day has been a time honored and growing American tradition since the high point of participation in 1844.
2. The primary factor in bringing out the relatively large Negro vote was a frantic pitch to bring out the Negro vote; which employed some pretty outrageous tactics (ads suggesting that the Republicans supported Church burnings, for example). That the vote drive was as effective as it was in determining some of the results, really reflects more the unusually low Conservative turnout than anything else.
[Not only did the Republicans offend many in an apparent willingness to destroy a young woman for political ends, they ended up on the wrong side of some very important local issues. For example, in their inability to understand the politics of motivation, they sought to humor the crackpots by proposing to strike the Confederate flag at the South Carolina State Capitol; thus, in one stupid act of cowardice, putting themselves 'outside the pale' to a great many Conservatives. One suspects that the idea was that by demeaning their State heritage, they would somehow appeal to a larger Negro vote; hopelessly misunderstanding how the "Liberals" keep minorities in a form of social and ideological bondage. The answer was, of course, to nurture Negro self-respect and pride in race and heritage; not destroy Caucasian self-respect and pride in race and heritage. (Note at the end of our second essay, the comments on the demeaning terms, "Appalachian," "Native American" and "Afro-American," now used by the "Liberal" establishment.)]
3. The failure of the current Congress to accomplish more than it did, neither brought out the Democratic vote that some have claimed, nor did it induce very many Republicans to stay home. Rather the effect was in a missed opportunity to inspire more to vote. The bold, brave Republican counter-revolution, which Newt Gingrich led with a battle cry in 1994, largely faltered with a whimper in 1998. Its leadership had lost their way.
To change the political course of a people, you need to understand not what that people feel today, but why they feel that way; how they were brought to consider those things significant, which significantly influence their attitude of the moment.
There are few, if any, "ideas whose time has come" but for the skill of the marketers of those ideas; and equally important may be the lack of skill or courage of those opposed.
Only moral lepers and idiots sample opinion polls with the intention to adopt the positions they perceive as popular. The Newt Gingrich who led the Republicans to victory in 1994 understood this. He had a clear vision. He set policy goals, and led public opinion to accept those policies. The shell-shocked silhouette of the man, we saw in 1998, may still have understood this. The fire for innovation had been beaten out of him by four years of savage treatment at the hands of the "Liberal" media.
The night Newt announced his retirement, one of the TV channels aired a part of a speech he gave shortly after the 1994 victory, in which he was pointing out how unsuitable women were by nature for roles in combat units. The media suggestion was that this was the rash, former Newt, who had shot himself in the foot. But, of course, it was only the focused Newt, who understood the nature of people. Had he kept the fire, with the House control of the purse strings, he could have gotten women out of combat units; and the Republican party would have had another winning issue. Most women, if the issue is put correctly, have no desire whatsoever to take over the male responsibility for fighting wars.
Pinned down himself by enemy fire--if only verbal--the Speaker lost sight of the forest for the exploding trees immediately around him; and the Republican party, inspiring no one, ambled aimlessly to total inconclusion.
The art of politics is in the control of issues. A faction, able to define the issues over which a contest is waged, can almost always dictate the result. And the selection and use, or misuse, of words and their definitions, provides the customary methodology for that control.
Violent revolution, as well as most political excess, is usually fueled by the use of catchy slogans; the misapplication of common words to mischievous intent. Thus the French Revolution was carried out by those demanding "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," despite the fact that Liberty and Equality, in terms of the human situation, are inherently in conflict; and despite the fact that Fraternity, before so used, would have appeared better suited to a call for the differentiation of man on familial lines, than a collectivist demand for human unity.
In America, the 20th Century collectivist forces have used catchy labels to advance their agenda, while always prattling of "Progress," "Fairness" and "Social Justice." We do not suggest that other movements have not also tried to use language in the most favorable light. We would suggest that Conservatives, in the last two thirds of the 20th Century, have only poorly grasped the technique, and have not fought back effectively.
Consider, if you will, how much sooner America might have woken up to the socially destructive nature of the Welfare system, had Conservatives opposed to the Aid To Dependent Children program, when launched in the late 1930's, demanded that it be correctly labeled, a "Subsidy For Illegitimacy."
The confrontations, which tore America apart in the 1960s over the question of "Civil Rights," could more accurately have been catalogued under the heading, "The Struggle To Abolish Private Preference"; but, of course, that may be a bit too long. We could have taken up an answering call for "Civil Liberties." (That term does not belong to the ACLU, and certainly the provisions of the so called "Civil Rights" Acts of the 1960s violate traditional concepts of Liberty.) And we could have talked more about "Forced Association," and "Social Engineering."
But, of course, the real battle in the 1950s and 1960s was won over the use and connotations of the word "to discriminate." Up until the assault on American Society, which took place in that era, the primary meaning of "to discriminate" was to exercise "taste and judgment," with the usual suggestion of sound judgment. Yet, few fought for that meaning when the assault began.
Today, "discrimination" is equated in the minds of much of the public with "hatred and bigotry"; and those who love real freedom are kept on the defensive.
Now let us make it perfectly clear, we do not believe in the misuse of Government to benefit one class of citizens, or to hold back another. For Government to favor the few or many over their neighbors or coinhabitants on any basis other than merit or citizenship, is not tolerable under the American system. Favoritism, whether for the rich or poor, white or black, sick or healthy, Protestant, Catholic, Jew, or non believer, is not provided for in our Constitutional Republic.
But private preferences are the very essence of freedom. An American discriminates when he adheres to one religion and not another; when he lives in one neighborhood and not another; when he buys one newspaper and not another; when he joins one club or political party; patronizes one store and not another; one Doctor and not another; when he marries one girl and not another. And no one, ever discriminated against in employment because of race or creed, was ever hurt half so badly as the poor girl who had to live all her days a Spinster because of some superficial blemish.
In this age of "Affirmative Action," and Government ordained preferences, we might well consider whether we should not reassert our right to private choice; our right to "discriminate," in our daily lives.
A more recent example of how Conservatives have not properly responded to verbal tactics, is in a passive acceptance of the appropriation of the word "gay" to describe active asexual causes and activities. Review the postings on the most debated subject in many newsgroups, and you will see the point. The advocates of a Sodom type culture in America--as offensive as that is to Conservatives--have achieved a nearly unanimous acceptance of the misapplication of the term to those who are usually very far indeed from being "gay," as that word has always been used.
A young maiden, in the fresh bloom of a developing but still unfulfilled womanhood, who meets the nearly perfect young man, and finds him very interested in that fulfillment, may be described as "gay" when she later recounts that meeting to an older sister. That sister, a bridesmaid at a wedding where she is the center of attention for every eligible bachelor present, may be described as "gay." Some poor creature, hormonally out of balance--or corrupted by the wickedness of others--waiting in a smelly public rest room hoping to meet one of his own sex similarly inclined, in order to engage in an act of perversion, is not "gay." And we ought to speak of the appropriateness of language, whenever we hear him so described!
We are certainly not in favor of stoning those poor, unhappy creatures; or conducting any sort of witch-hunt to ferret out anyone who keeps their own conduct consensual and private. We can applaud the efforts of good-hearted, God fearing men, who feel that they can help the fallen come back into the life the Creator intended. We are all better for having men like Reggie White, willing to step forward. But those of us who believe in truth, freedom and tradition, need to start fighting the word game as vigorously as do our foes.
We will only turn this world around, when we do.
One of the more revealing of the semantic games the "Liberals" play is that of employing non-descriptive classifications for ethnic groups intended for relegation to dependent-client status as a Welfare State subculture. Rather than speculate as to what extent the following labels reflect the "Liberal" compulsion to deny the substance of human differences, a malicious contempt for the American mainstream, a gross insensitivity to the emotional needs of their intended clients, or merely their usual lack of empathy and understanding; or all of the above, coupled with a pragmatic need to first debase those they would control; we will be content to demonstrate only the absurdity of the terms, "Appalachian," "Native American" and "Afro-American, as presently employed!"
In each case, the "Liberal" establishment has stigmatized those it intends to make dependent with an appellation which tells more about geography than about those patronized. In each case the appellation, once applied, was given virtually universal recognition as the knee jerk reaction of the "Liberal" media and educational establishments--the "politically correct." But in each case, the intended client community, being stigmatized, have been in these United States longer than the families of many of the leftwing academics, who have been so happy to patronize and demean them.
Calling the varied and diverse peoples, who happen to live in parts of the various mountain ranges that stretch from Maine to Georgia, Appalachians is to cynically deny all the distinctions among some very individualistic peoples; to deny all their diverse histories--including some pretty graphic demonstrations that they were not one people in the 1860s--and hence to steal part of the self-respect of each and every one of them.
Again, lumping the members of the numerous and varied Indian tribes into a classification which types them all by continental geography, denies them the pride in race and nation, which is their birthright. The North American Indians were divided into fiercely proud Nations. And those Nations waged frequent war among themselves. They were never one people! More significant, they were not native Americans. The term American is a European concept--the name taken from that of an Italian explorer. And as a national, or sub-racial group, it was applied to the settled Colonists, of European extraction, who became rooted before the Revolution, and who although themselves subdivided by the many differences from State to State, still came to be recognized as a distinct grouping of peoples; if not yet a race, certainly a race in development. Calling the Indians "Native Americans," rather than respectively "Dakota" or "Seneca" or "Apache," or whatever else the case might be, is close to being the ultimate insult.
And all the same sort of things must be said about the sudden adoption of the term "Afro-American" as the new "politically correct" designation for American Negroes. Again, the substitution is for a generalized continental geography, which in the context means nothing, for a recognition of heritage and race. It is particularly insulting, because the ancestors of most of the present day Negro population were here well before 1800--long before the ancestors of some of the Professors now patronizing them. (Generally, we use hyphenated "American" designations to refer to first and second generation settlers, and the Negroes are surely not such. The term "Afro-American" could more realistically and fairly be applied to the small numbers of Arabs from North Africa or the small numbers of White South Africans, who have far more recently arrived.)
People need indentifications. Normal people have always drawn inspiration from a sense that they have a racial past, a heritage, a culture. You take away that inspiration, and they are much more likely to accept the dependent-client status, the Collectivist Left offers. In place of racial pride and a sense of history, the dependent clients are to be taught self-pity, hate and envy. And, oh yes, to vote for their debasers!
Ron Paul For President
How trashing normal pride in heritage & sexuality can lead to suicidal teenage rage>>>
"Something of Value"
Primary 2006!--Tactical Tips For Conservative Candidates
Bill Clinton & The Abuse Of Power
Conservative Intelligence Center & Menu
Lies Of Socialism
America In The 22nd Century
Racial Denial In America--Life & Politics In A Pavlovian Kennel