Monday, October 26, 2015

The Media-Created Myth of Hillary's "Success"

     We live in an age where truth is malleable, like a ball of Silly Putty. On both the Left and the Right, the truth seems to be subject to the advancement of an agenda by the political ideology that is proffering it. The most recent and glaring example of this phenomenon is the media's reaction to Hillary Clinton's testimony before the House committee on the Benghazi affair last week. Had one not watched the hearing and just relied on the media for analysis, one would have thought there was no there there, and that former Secretary of State Clinton made mince meat of the Republican's case against her, while enjoying all the Democrat members of the committee act as her defense team.
     I wonder how many of the political media pundits on either side of the aisle actually watched the hearings, or simply made their analysis based on the narrative being advanced by the rest of the pro-Hilary media? If in fact they watched the hearings and were not troubled by what was revealed, then either they are in full Hillary defense mode, or they have no moral compass to guide them. For Hillary Clinton's glib and rambling responses that represented the best in circumlocution to be considered an apt defense of her actions or inactions is ludicrous.
     For those who are not swayed by presentation over substance, it was more than just a little troubling that Ambassador Stevens, who was so brutally murdered along with three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 by terrorists, had sent over 600 emails to Secretary Clinton asking for beefier security in the days and weeks before the attack. It is incredulous that, as former Secretary Clinton purposed, she did not see any of Ambassador Steven's emails and that they all went to underlings. If true, then I see nothing that would preclude the legitimacy of a charge of gross incompetence against Mrs. Clinton.
     Of course one of the most disturbing aspects of the hearings is the evidence produced that supported what we knew directly after the attacks, i.e. that Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Obama administration deliberately engaged in a bald-faced lie about the attacks being a spontaneous demonstration inspired by an anti-Muslim YouTube video. But what has been missed is the illegal act perpetrated by Hillary Clinton in telling her daughter about the attacks the night of the attacks. This breach of not only protocol, but the law governing the handling of classified information, was not even given a second look by most of the media. It was the same kind of actions that placed General Petraeus in so much hot water.
     And then there is the lie itself perpetrated by the Secretary of State of an administration that had been downright braggadocios about the retreating influence of terrorism in the Middle East under its watch. A false narrative advanced in the face of a challenging re-election campaign, made even more so by an economy in the depths of mediocrity after more than 3 years into a supposed recovery. The administration could not win re-election if the American people knew the truth about the groundswell of terrorism growing rapidly, in large part to the very policies and ineptness that were highlighted by last week's hearing.
     Yes, Mrs. Clinton may have done her best impression of her husband wagging his finger at the camera. But for anyone with even a scintilla of fidelity to the truth and morality, there is no escaping her culpability in the deaths of four brave Americans and her deliberate attempt to hide the truth. For those "impressed" with her performance, God help this country if the majority of the electorate is as gullible and ethically out-of-balance as you appear to be.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Does Freedom Caucus Represent Constitutional Values?

     There has been a great deal of consternation and gnashing of teeth among conservatives over the current quest for new leadership in the House of Representatives. Congressional Republicans are split between the so-called Freedom Caucus that wants to elect a Speaker that will advance and advocate for their "principles," and the more moderate Republicans, often called the "establishment" or "Rinos" by the former, who want to elect a Speaker who will work with Democrats in the House to advance legislation that is generally good for the country.
     The Freedom Caucus in the House is populated with around 40 members, but even in its minority status it wields a big stick. The caucus operates under an 80% rule, which means 80% of its members must agree on an issue otherwise the entire caucus must oppose said issue. Even the congress of the United States does not in any situation have such an inflexible rule, nor does the Supreme Court in its decision making require such a majority. This 80% rule means that a mere 8 members of the Freedom Caucus can influence a decision being made by the entire majority of the House. Not exactly what the Founders had in mind.
     Speaking of the Founders, and their brilliance enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, which is rightly and often used by conservatives to illuminate where political opponents have strayed, that same fidelity to constitutional principles must also be applied to our political machinations as well. The Speaker for which the Freedom Caucus is advocating is not exactly in the spirit, if not the actual letter, of the law of the constitution. The Speaker of the House is not an ideological position, but a managerial one, constitutionally speaking.
     The framers of the constitution state very clearly that House members elect by a majority vote a Speaker to lead them in the procedural tasks in the legislative process. The Speaker is not a representative of a minority part of any one political Party, e.g. the Freedom Caucus, nor is the Speaker even a representative of any one political Party in general. Constitutionally, the Speaker is to represent the entire House and manage that body in the legislative process to keep order and integrity in the procedural habits of that body.
     Fidelity to constitutional values is what should drive every conservative, whether those values are an impediment or a benefit to our political ideology. Those who oppose every person, issue, or solution that involves the slightest modicum of what they perceive as compromise, are not representing the best qualities the Founders outlined in this great nation's founding documents. And any body that claims to hold the ideals of the republic near and dear, and yet allows for minority rule instead of majority rule, is not in any sense following the example or the ideals of Jefferson, Madison, et al.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Foamy Head of Our Politics On the Frosty Mug of Our Culture

     Most readers can recall the image of an ice cold beer in a frosted mug with just the right amount of a foamy head at its peak. The liquid comprising 80% of the mug is overshadowed by the airy foam at the top. I have recently thought about the beer with the foamy head as I have perused the rocky landscape of this nation's politics. Sometimes the most important part of our national life, the liquid part of our frosty mug, has been subjugated to the frosty head that draws our attention from what is really important.
     The frosty head on our national mug is the day-to-day politics, sometimes petty and meaningless in the long run, that draws our attention and energies from the core greatness of this country which was built on culture, not politics. It becomes more and more difficult to see the substantive liquid in the mug the closer the foamy head is brought up to our lips. And so it has become with our politics, I believe in large part due to the explosion of information in American modernity.
     I do not intend to advocate a position against modern technology, the Internet, or the ever popular talk radio. To do so would be foolish, as those things are here to stay. But as useful as these things are to the dissemination of information, they have also made the propagation of disinformation just as ubiquitous. And sometimes disinformation comprises most of the foamy head in our public debate, becoming the focus that veils the most relevant aspects of our culture in verbiage that many times is constructed only of invective and acrimony.
     This phenomenon, unfortunately, is not the sole property of any one political ideology or ethos, but seems to have displaced our culture on both sides of aisle. This practice can be seen in the relentless drumbeat present in one-issue-politics. So much so that it no longer is a virtue that someone agree mostly with the practitioners of this faith. What has become the yardstick of someone's dedication to the ideology is the one issue with which they disagree. In other words, the foamy head on the beer becomes more important than the refreshing liquid below.
     As we proceed deeper into the sometimes dark and twisted woods of the exhausting political process to select our next president, let us not forget that culture is more important than politics. After all, politics is just the foamy head created by the liquid of our culture. It is that liquid part upon which we should focus, then the political will follow. Of course sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the politics from the culture. Which is why we must set down the mug from time to time so as to facilitate our ability to delineate between the foam and the liquid.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Donald Trump: Republican Party Temper Tantrum

     I am not totally unwilling to acknowledge that the angst in the Republican Party specifically, and in the conservative movement in general with leadership in congress is legitimate, if not exaggerated. I further accept that the rise of Donald Trump in the race to acquire the Republican presidential nomination is mostly an emotional response, in part as a result of Republican leadership, and in part because of frustration over where the current administration has lead this country. Like most emotional responses, the support for Donald Trump is not based on reason and rationale.
     I have had several conversations with Trump supporters who have expressed the desire to give Mr. Trump almost dictatorial power if congress does not support him, if and when he becomes president. It is a flummoxed intrigue that I have experienced during these conversations with the same persons who want to give extra-constitutional authority to Donald Trump to advance their agenda, but who have criticized President Obama for usurping such powers to advance his. It is a political dichotomy that I can not remember ever seeing in my lifetime.
     The latest Trump-ism that has me questioning the reasoning acumen of his supporters is his statements that had he been president in 2001, the terrorist attacks on September 11 would probably not have occurred. Beyond the obvious desperation of a presidential candidate in 2015 reaching back 14 years to stoke his bona fides, is the fact that Mr. Trump, as per usual, offers no substantive response to the question of how he would have stopped the attacks that took over 3000 American lives that day. He says his "immigration" policy that would magically include "higher standards" for student visas would have prevented the hijackers from entering the country.
     Mr. Trump's non-response response is typical of all his policy positions. Making the aforementioned statement about immigration policy is like a football coach stating that his team will win by playing better than the other team. The lack of detail, or of even the slightest substance, offered by The Donald on anything is shocking. Shocking, not because he has engaged in such pettifoggery, but that so many who call themselves conservatives have accepted it as a solution to this nation's problems.
     Even though the support for Mr. Trump is a minority of the conservative movement, it is a large enough number to cause me a certain amount of solicitude. Like the emotional response of a child throwing a temper tantrum because he has not gotten his way, so too are the Trump supporters reaching for a purely histrionic solution to the problems they perceive facing this country. But like all temper tantrums, this one will come to an end with a whimper and not a bang.
     Hopefully that will transpire before Mr. Trump's votaries have visited upon this nation a president who they seem willing to bestow with the executive authority that the current president has taken for himself. I would caution my friends on the Right, be careful what you wish for. With Mr. Trump's proclivity to change his political ideology on a dime, the powers you want to grant him may be used for ill and not good.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Compromise: That Which Created a Nation

     There is a new dirty word in the modern world of political discourse. This word has the power to transform its practitioners into pariahs to those who worship at the altar of absolutism. The word that is sorely missing from the modernity of politics is compromise. Just the mention of this word in some quarters can set the zealots to ranting and spewing invective such as "sell-out," "wimp," and "traitor." But it was not that long ago that compromise was the linchpin that held together this fragile republic.
     Ronald Reagan use to say that he would rather get half a loaf than no loaf, the whole loaf not always being possible in the real world of American politics. And Newt Gingrich, the firebrand conservative warrior, spent many hours across the negotiating table from President Clinton in an attempt to walk away with, not what was perfect, but what was good. Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Reagan, et al knew that the perfect should be strived for, but should never be the enemy of the good. The good being that half a loaf when a whole loaf was not possible.
     This nation's history is saturated with compromise. In fact the very document which formed our government and society, the constitution, was birthed out of myriad of compromise. The constitutional convention that lead to that most sacred document was arguably the most contentious and compromising political event ever. The Founding Fathers were not in agreement as to how this new government should be formed. Their beliefs ran the gambit from not forming a new government at all (which Thomas Jefferson who was not in attendance advocated) to creating a system where there would be no states rights, only a sovereign federal government (which Alexander Hamilton and George Washington advocated).    
     Through the sweltering summer days of 1787 in a Philadelphia hall, the Founders of this great nation were moved by the spirit of compromise to form a government which would allow for the free exercise of the people's God-given rights, and yet still empower a central government to the extent it needed to be to protect those rights. Those wise men who gave us the greatest system of government ever devised did not do so out of a religious adherence to their individual beliefs, but out of the perspicacity that comes from compromise. Each one knew that half a loaf was better than no loaf.
     From that auspicious founding of this great nation forward, the greatest of our advances has come not from standing on the lofty perch of perfection, but from rolling up our sleeves and digging the foundation of reasoned solutions with the implement of compromise. Too many of us today have forgotten the lessons of our Founders, and have even recast them as men who held collective principles which they enshrined in our constitution. Instead it was the many deeply held and disparate beliefs of our Founders that came together in compromise that breathed life into the greatest document of change the world has ever seen.

Monday, October 12, 2015

What Really Killed Tamir Rice?

     You may have heard about the Tamir Rice shooting death at the hands of Cleveland Police, namely officer Timothy Lohman. The media's and Black Lives Matter narrative is that the innocent 12 year old Tamir Rice was playing with his pellet gun in the park when officer Lohman gunned him down in cold blood, presumably because he hates black people like all cops do. The truth about how Tamir Rice met his most unfortunate death is as far from this narrative as the moon is from the earth.
But as has been the case with all recent police shootings of blacks, political reality trumps actual reality.
     The 5 foot 7 inch, 195 pound Tamir Rice did not have a pellet gun that day he was shot at Cadell Recreation Center, but an Airsoft pistol, sans the orange tip on the barrel, which Tamir had removed to make it look more like a Colt45. A man who worked at the center was so scared of the threatening way in which Tamir was pointing his weapon at pedestrians and cars, that he waited until Tamir's back was turned before he called police. The Cleveland police are well familiar with gun play and crime in the neighborhood of the Cadell Recreation Center, having been called there for both on a regular basis.
     When Officer Lohman and his partner arrived on the scene and told Tamir to put his hands up, Tamir reached into his waist band and pulled out the pistol. At which point the officer shot him, feeling that his life, the life of his partner, and the lives of innocent victims may be in jeopardy. Of course the media and the standard array of advocacy groups tried to make Tamir out to be the innocent victim of racist police, using his age but not his size. They showed a picture of him as a bright-eyed six year old, instead of the surly out-of-control gangster wannabe that he had grown into in the ensuing six years between the photo and his untimely death.
        The Cuyahoga County Sheriffs Department and the Ohio State Patrol both investigated the incident and cleared Officer Lohman of any wrong doing. At which point the anti-police county prosecutor, Tim McGinty, commissioned two independent, outside investigations of the incident. The results of those two investigations have found that Officer Lohman was justified in shooting Tamir Rice, fearing for his safety as well as the safety of others when Tamir drew his weapon on them. Of course, Prosecutor McGinty being a completely political being, is not convinced by the findings of the four investigations into the matter and is continuing to suggest bringing the case to a grand jury.
     The death of Tamir Rice was unfortunate. It was unfortunate that the 12 year old had the pistol to begin with. It is unfortunate that he removed the orange tip to make it look more like a real gun. It is unfortunate that he was threatening innocent people with that gun in the park that day. And it is unfortunate that when instructed by police to raise his hands, Tamir instead chose to raise his gun. But his death can not be attributed to bad policing, but to bad parenting. Just like Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, etc. Unfortunately in our nation today police have been made the scape goats for uninvolved and non-committed parents.


Friday, October 9, 2015

The Myth of the Wage Gap Between the Sexes

     It is a wonder how out of touch with reality Democrat presidential candidates, et al are and still seem to garner support among the rank and file. Some things one will not hear from the Democrat cabal is the pathetic GDP growth this country has experienced over the last 7 years under Democrat guidance. A rate of growth in the U.S. economy that has struggled to reach 2%, when the post-WWII average has been 3.2% for the last 80 years. A participation in the labor force by working age adults that is at an almost 40 year low. And an explosion in food stamp participation and poverty unseen in this country since the Great Depression of the 1930s. And what are Democrats on the campaign trail concerned about? Wage inequality between men and women.
     Employers have been restricted by law since the mid-1960s from paying their female workers less than their male counterparts for the same work. Yet there has been several laws passed in recent years, most notably the Lilly Ledbetter Act, to address a non-existent problem. These laws have nothing to do with wage inequality experienced by women, and everything to do with Democrats codifying more opportunities for litigation for their supporters among the trail lawyers of this country.
     Those on the Left promulgating the notion that women make 70 cents for every dollar a man makes doing the same work is based on faulty "research." Primarily these studies all use 35 hours as a gage for full time work. But they do not distinguish between 35 hours and 50 hours for example. Both are considered full time. And since men in the same jobs work more hours than their female counterparts, they make more money. Women are more likely to work fewer hours because of maternity leaves, being primary caregivers to ageing parents, and taking off work to address issues with children.
     The other reality that the women-make-less-than-men crowd fail to acknowledge is that of the 10 college degrees with the lowest income potential, only one is dominated by men. And of the 10 college degrees with the highest income potential, only one is dominated by women. So women earn less than men, not because of some plot by business to devalue their contribution, but because they typically matriculate in professions that pay less. This reality is not considered by those who perform the studies that support the idea that women are paid less than men.
     Considering that any good businessman would take advantage of any cost-cutting opportunities he can, and if women were really paid 70 cents on the dollar to men, why would businesses not be totally populated by women workers? Of course a sensible question like that, and the statistics showing in some cases women making more than their male counterparts, does not advance the agenda of the Left and therefore are not considered. The Democrats' constituency group of plaintiff attorneys can not make much money suing businesses for paying too high of wages to women, and Democrat politicians can not make political hay from the truth that the wage disparity between the sexes does not exist.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Political Incorrectness: The Right's PC

     Anyone who has followed politics in recent years, or even has a cursory awareness of the same, understands the term political correctness. Although there is debate among some as to whether this political strategy is a function of the Left or the Right, most persons are aware of the basic principles behind the concept. Political correctness is not so much a political strategy as it is an ethos. The Greek definition of that word, the habits of the creature in his place, applying to those who practice political correctness on a regular basis.
     My simple definition of political correctness is the avoidance of debate on any subject with which  its practitioner can not defend with reason and logic. Although this practice has been in long standing in the world of progressives, going back to almost the beginning of that movement in the early 20th century, it has only retained the label of political correctness in the last few decades. And the case is certainly made and accepted by many that the practice of political correctness has been used to great effect by the Left to limit free speech on issues that they wish to impose on others without debate.
     But there is a sister ethos to the Left's political correctness on the Right. Being politically incorrect has actually become the Right's version of political correctness . The desire for our candidates and leaders to "blast," "destroy," and "devastate" in the most blunt and earthy terms possible, has the same effect as the Left's ethos of politically correct rhetoric. Before anyone reading starts accusing me of being "establishment" or a "Rino" and thus proving my point, allow me to explain my thesis further.
     If one accepts the concept that the goal of political correctness is to reject, without intellectual examination, an opposing view, then political incorrectness for the sake of being politically incorrect, has the same goal. I can not count the number of times I have been viciously attacked for simply suggesting a position that, while fact-based, veers off the plantation of what some consider to be conservatism. The goal with political incorrectness sometimes is to shut down speech that contradicts the practitioner's beliefs, just as it is with those who practice political correctness.
     The use of reason and the thoughtful examination of facts has always been to me one of the things that separated the Right from the Left. Conservatism is committed to the truth more than to its own ideology. At least that is the conservatism that I wish to practice, and the conservatism I learned watching, listening to, and reading those like Ronald Reagan, Jean Kilpatrick, William F. Buckley Jr., et al. I think the ethos-based ideology of political incorrectness can be just as dangerous as that of political correctness. They both have the same goal, i.e. to shut down the free exchange of ideas, whether those ideas come from someone on the opposite end of the political spectrum, or from someone right next door on that spectrum.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

What About Our Anger?

     We have heard, especially on the Right, that there is much anger among the American people with our representatives in Washington. And even though culturally the United States has fallen short of the grand expectations for it held by our Founders, we have as a nation exceeded anything our Founders could have imagined economically. And although recent studies have shown that people are angry in general, the same studies show that those people are generally happy in and with their own lives. The solution to anger is not more anger, as some in the conservative movement seem to think.
     The general happiness in this country is not unfounded. We have, after all, created a country that has attained a level of prosperity and freedom unknown in the world today, let alone when our Founders put quill to parchment and birthed the very documents which made the aforementioned prosperity and freedom possible. The ability for the citizenry to pursue their happiness unfettered by overbearing government was so important a concept to our forefathers that they enshrined it in the original founding document for the new nation they were creating, the Declaration of Independence.
     Today that pursuit of happiness is being threatened by an administration whose values are antithetical to those that founded this great nation. And some feel that the two houses of congress created by the Founders to keep the Executive Branch in check have failed. Without outlining in great detail why that is not true, the greater issue is one of culture, not politics. The Founders never intended the constitution to be practiced by men who did not believe in its principles.
     There has been much talk recently, especially among some in the conservative movement, about a convention of states as a means to cure the ills of our federal government. The Article V convention, as it is called by some, is an end around congress in passing a constitutional amendment that is somehow going to magically restrain congress and repair the damage some think they have visited upon this country. Normally a constitutional amendment would need 2/3 approval from both houses of congress and 3/4 of the state legislatures to support it. The Article V end around requires 2/3 of the state legislatures to agree to a convention at which an amendment can be added to the constitution with 3/4 of those states agreeing.
     Those who push such a measure as an Article V convention have not been able to tell me what amendment they would propose that would solve this nation's problems, which I believe are cultural, not political. Additionally these same folks have not been able to articulate how they intend to get politicians in the state legislatures to act any differently from politicians in the federal legislature. And finally, the insistence on taking this magic pill of an Article V convention assumes, and wrongly so I might add, that all our problems are the result of career politicians. But these folks miss the point that this country was founded, and has been governed all of its existence, by career politicians.
     I feel that our history clearly showing the dominant role of career politicians in this nation's founding and progress can not be dismissed. The act of talk show hosts and first term senators lamenting about career politicians wrecking this nation is a diversion from the real problems we have as a nation. Problems which will not be repaired by a constitutional amendment or any other political solution. Our problems reach to the very foundations of our culture and will require patient, thoughtful, and intellectual solutions implemented over decades, and not just supporting candidates who justify our anger and make us feel righteous about it.

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Lefts Inconsistency in Blaming Inanimate Objects for Tragedy

     As per usual with a tragic situation, the bodies of the dead in Oregon had hardly reached room temperature and the screams of the terrorized injured had barely subsided before President Obama, et al latched onto the tragedy in an attempt to push a political agenda. The president made outrageous statements about the shootings in Oregon, just as he has done with every other shooting that has happened during his misguided presidency, which would lead one to believe that there was not a shooter at all. The president's characterization of the dead and injured was that they became that way as a result of the firearm used, not the human agency involved in the act.
     It is a fascination that reaches beyond the scope of reason how the Left in this country seamlessly takes the position that an inanimate object can do so much damage, seemingly without much involvement from the evil intent of a human being. No other object but a firearm receives this kind of desperately illogical analysis by the Left. If someone plays a musical instrument poorly, it is not the instrument which is blamed for the bad music. If a person paints a uninspiring picture, the Left does not blame the paints or the canvass. And a house or building that is shabbily built is not, in the opinion of those on the Left, the fault of the tools used.
     In every aforementioned case, as well as others, the blame for undesirable results is always blamed, as it should be, on the human agency involved. But somehow the gun, to the mind of those on the Left like our president, becomes like the magic flute in that children's fairytale. To those on the Left, firearms of every stripe have the ability to become animated on their own. Not only that, but they somehow have the influence and power over human beings to cause them to do evil. In the world of the Left, there is not human agency when it comes to firearms.
     If we were to carry the Lefts belief about guns to other areas, we would blame the computer for identity theft, the camera for child pornography, and slim jims for car break-ins. Unfortunately the Left is not an ideology of common sense. If it were, those on the Left would not become so exercised over these shootings, not because they are not tragic, but because the overall trend over the last 25 years has been a mitigation of gun violence, not an augmentation of it. In fact, as the nation has added almost 100 million guns in the last 25 years, gun violence has been cut in half, according to data from the Justice Department.
     The statistics also show, and the Left never acknowledges, that two thirds of all homicides committed with a firearm are suicides. I guess I will never understand the Left, who somehow have more compassion for nine lives in Oregon taken by a mentally ill evil man, than they do for the three thousand lives taken in the same day through this country's legal infanticide. Not only does the Left support the taking of those innocent lives, but the harvesting and selling of their body parts for profit. But then, it is not those Mengele-like doctors at Planned Parenthood who are to blame, but the medical instruments they use.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Whisper Sweet Nothings in My Ear Conservatism

     It has recently occurred to me that there are two main drawbacks to living one's political life in an echo chamber. The first is that in being constantly bombarded with one's own beliefs, the senses become dulled and flaccid. The second is that echoes never solidify into solutions, they just create more echoes. It disheartens me that so many of my fellow conservatives have chosen to firmly occupy space inside a political echo chamber, resisting any attempts by truth or common sense to extricate them from this vacuous crucible.
     It seems that some in the conservative movement have substituted the substance of solutions for the vapidity of sweet nothings being whispered in their political ear. They seem willing to ban the torpedoes of real solutions in favor of emotionalism spoken in a language their hearts understand, but which is foreign to their intellectual sensibilities. The whisper-sweet-nothings-in-my-ear form of politics is the only explanation I can find for the popularity of candidates like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
     Both men say the things impressionable conservatives want to hear, yet in the echo chamber there is no room for the substance of results. There is only more and more echoes, building to a fevered and completely emotional pitch as one would experience at a Grateful Dead concert. In some cases the feeding of this echo chamber is characterized as "standing on principles." As if this is always a good thing. Sometimes the principles one stands on are not the right principles, then "standing on principles" is just pigheadedness for the sole sake of being pigheaded.
     Once one steps out of the echo chamber a whole world, brimming with ideas and solutions, can be realized. No more is the individual trapped in a relationship with self where political charlatans can advantage their political careers on the back of the individual's "principles." Not that principles are a bad thing, just the opposite. But principles that one never challenges are not principles as much as they are dogma. And dogma in politics is shorthand for achieving nothing.
     So I would implore my fellow conservatives to look at the good a candidate does and not whether they make you feel good. Step out of the echo chamber and intellectually process new information. It is only then that you will be able to truly see reality as it exists, not how you wished it existed. It is only then that you be able to see the destruction wreaked by the whisperers of sweet nothings in your ear, and your conservatism will be even stronger and more dynamic.