The New Elephant: 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Can Morality Be Legislated? An In-Depth View

In today's political environment, it is common to hear the term "Values Voter." However, few people truly understand what a real "Values Voter" entails. To many people, the term refers to a person who votes for candidates who espouse conservative ideals and conservative opinions on today's hot-button political topics.

Oftentimes, self-proclaimed "Values Voters" seek to change society through the enactment of "Christian" legislation. While it seems reasonable to think that a country with "Christian" laws will be a nation of Christians, nothing can be further from the truth. This paradigm begs that the age old question of whether morality can be legislated be asked.

Can morality be legislated? To be able to come to an educated and reasonable conclusion regarding this question, there must be a standardized meaning of "morality." The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes "morality" as: "A doctrine or system of moral conduct." This definition is not helpful to us, as we are essentially seeking "What is the meaning of morality?" The same dictionary describes "moral" as: "relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior." While moral relativists will tell us that there is no absolute right or wrong, most people with any inkling of a moral compass knows what is basically right and basically wrong.

Essentially, when people ask if morality can be legislated, they are asking if principles of right or wrong can be legislated into the character and moral fabric of people. Can principles and character traits be legislated?

Many people say that legislation cannot be divorced from morality. It has been said that a call for a ban on abortions (which I would wholeheartedly favor) is legislating morality. Nothing could be further from the truth. A ban on abortions is not a system of principles of right and wrong in a person's character. A ban on abortions is a legal framework that creeps in the medical field are required to work within.

The actual belief that human life is sacred from the moment of conception is a moral position. Perhaps it can be said that morality can affect legislation but morality itself cannot be legislated. A ban on abortions has no effect on an individual's moral code. Example: a person, although they abide within the framework set by the ban on abortions, can still have the immoral belief that human life is not sacred.

To accomplish the infusing of morality into the moral fabric of a culture would require the basic transformation of that culture's belief system. It is the responsibility of the legislative branch of government, indeed, to propose legislation that has its roots in morality. It is the responsibility of the people of that culture to educate themselves what is absolutely right and absolutely wrong. Therein lies morality.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Why America Should Intervene in the Georgian-Russian Conflict

The Russian bear is slumbering no more. The period of hibernation is over.

The unfolding incursion of Russia into sovereign Georgia is a chilling event, to be sure. This invasion by Russia of a democratic nation such as Georgia is evidence that Russia has taken the proverbial "one step back to take two steps forward" hailed as the modus operandi of Marxism. It has been years since Russia has shown such military might and is living proof that Communism is not dead; in fact, Communism in the former Soviet Union bloc is alive and well and is beginning to rear its ugly head once again.

Vladimir Putin makes no bones of his former career in the Soviet KGB. He is essentially leading a communist revolution in Russia as we speak. However, instead of appealing to the "bourgeoisie" as before. Putin and the Kremlin are targeting Russia's elite and former Soviet comrades to revive the Great Bear of the North.

This is a serious threat to U.S. national security. The threat is not necessarily that Russia has invaded a sovereign, peace-loving nation such as Georgia. The threat is that Russia is embracing its tragic history. The threat is also that there is a massive Muslim movement in Russia that is being spearheaded by the state itself. It is a controlled form of Islam, attempting to intertwine the economic and social idiosyncrasies of Communism with the intolerance of Islam. There are state-sanctioned mosques in Russia and the Russians are trying to influence the role that Islam has in Russian society with the "Muslim Spiritual Department" (please see NY Times article referenced prior).

A resurrected Soviet Union, in collaboration with radical Islam, spells trouble for democracies of the West. It is imperative, then, that the United States do more than call for Russia to reverse course in its inquest into Georgia. At the least, if Russia does not pull its troops out of Georgia within 72 hours, the United States needs to send forces (not peace-keeping forces, such as were familiar in Bosnia in the 1990's) to bolster the Georgian forces and repel the Russian invaders.

America may now be in an ideological battle with two evil forces: radical Islam (some would argue Islam in general) and a rejuvenated Communism. The end goal for both of these ideologies are to take over the world. The merger of these two could result in a force to be reckoned with for decades to come.

It is time for America to flex its muscles and repel Communism once again. As Barney Fife, the bumbling deputy from Mayberry, used to say, "Nip it in the bud." We need to squash this before it is allowed to gain root. If not, we may be saying to each other every day upon leaving company, as Edward R. Murrow ended his broadcasts, "Good night...and good luck."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Need to Counter the Left-Wing Kooks

As technology infuses itself into our political system, it seems that the crazies from the fringes have become more vocal and, in the process, more legitimate. For example, the degenerates over at The Daily Kos spew out some of the most hateful and repugnant vitriole seen in modern-day politics. Granted, there have been some fine contributions to the political media sphere by reputable bloggers such as Matt Drudge at the Drudge Report, Michelle Malkin, and Townhall.

An unfortunate example of the detestable things being discussed on sites such as Daily Kos was the celebration of the recent death of former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow is below:

"Isn't it ironic that a man who held onto and fed people the lies, the smears, the condescending attitude, who hurt so many should be overcome by the very thing that his own body was feeding and growing. It seems that way to me. Nothing worse in life than a Hypocrite. Nothing."

There should be no place for this type of nonsense in today's political debates. Yes, there are times for strong disagreeance, but this type of vitriole is beyond the pale.

There is a strong need, as I have said, to counter the influence that such sites have on the American public. It needs to be said, however, that this is not, and will not be an easy proposition. The Daily Kos used to hold a yearly convention called YearlyKos. It is now called Netroots Nation (August 13-16, 2008 in Pittsburgh) and is going to be attended by a cacophany of liberal and progressive types, including: Howard Dean, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome, Nancy Pelosi, and Democratic strategist Joe Trippi. Virtually every kook representing various groups from feminists to anarchists will be on hand at this event. This event, however, is a serious grassroots event that is invaluable to their agenda. This is something that the conservative movement currently is lacking!

It is more important than ever that we (that being conservatives) arm ourselves to the teeth with what is important to our cause, just as the Daily Kos types do. There are a variety of places that we can gather knowledge and talking points.

But it is beyond talking points that I am referring to. We need to come together as a cohesive group (just as the liberal nut-jobs are going to be doing). Young people need to consider joining groups and clubs such as your local Young Republican clubs. These groups are groups of young republicans (under 40) that are in tune with Republican ideals. I would love to see a Young Conservatives club, as there are certain platforms of the Republican Party on the national level that I think are non-republican!

Please contact me if you have any questions about the new movement towards youth conservatism. There are Young Republicans all over the country. Please join yours and become active in your future and the future of our wonderful country.

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

You can take this or leave it...kind of neat though...

I will not vote for John McCain if...

Conservatives have finally begun to rally around the Republican Party's presumptive nominee John McCain. In light of this, McCain can still lose the votes of many conservatives with the decisions that he makes in the coming weeks, most importantly his pick for Vice President. However, the obstacle course that McCain must navigate in the days to come can either shore up this conservative suport or sink the hopes that he can continue to rally the conservative base.

McCain will lose my vote if he does any of the following things:

If McCain chooses a moderate as his running mate, he will lose my vote. Moderates such as Rudy Guilliani, , Tom Ridge, Michael Bloomberg, Chuck Hagel, etc will not be tolerated by the majority of the conservative base. As a matter of fact, some of the conservative base are saying that they will not vote for McCain if he chooses former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. I for one, would love to see McCain pick Romney, but it is appearing that McCain will forgo Romney for another Pick. I would love to McCain pick Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, but Jindal has already declined the position publicly. Jindal possesses all of the conservative creditials that McCain needs to secure the conservative base. The one drawback: Jindal is short on experience. McCain would legitimately have problems claiming that Barack Obama is short on experience while the man that would be second in line to the Presidency has no experience on the national scene. A pick of either Rudy Guilliani or Tom Ridge (both of whom have expressed their pro-choice views), would cost McCain my vote as well as thousands, if not millions, of true conservatives.

If McCain insists on immigration reform in the mold of McCain-Kennedy, he will lose my vote. Immigration, behind the challenges facing the economy, is a mainstay issue for many conservative Americans. As was demonstrated by the overwhelming response by conservatives after the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill was proposed, conservatives will not stand for amnesty in any form. The border MUST be enforced and we MUST build a physical barrier between America. In addition to these two items, we must increase the number of QUALIFIED immigration officers to enforce the imigration laws that are currently on the books. We cannot afford to lower the standards by which we hire our immigration officers (a move that the government is currently engaging in, according to a friend who is an immigration officer).

Conservatives are not asking a whole lot from McCain. We simply want him to abide by the principles that the Republican Party was founded upon: Reagan principles of economics, a committment to pro-life causes and the protection of our borders, language and culture (thank you, Michael Savage!) For the most part, true conservatives are not that excited about John McCain. For us, this election is more of a referendum on Barack Obama. McCain has much more to lose by making the decisions that many moderate Republicans would like to see him make. He does not need to fundamentally change the Republican party in the way that many moderates would like to see it changed. If McCain stays on the path of ruffling the fewest feathers possible in the Republican party, he will keep my vote, and I suspect the votes of many of America's true conservatives.

Congratulations, Rush!

Rush Limbaugh is a true American broadcasting hero. Not only does he reach over 20 million people each week with his hugely successful radio show, he affects the thinking and ideaology of many Americans. The fact that he uses this power, for the most part, to the betterment of society, is a true testimony to his love and adoration that he has for his country. Every day at noon EST, Rush sets the nation's radio waves on fire with his spot on commentary and scathing, critical condemnation of the liberal left.

While Rush is not perfect by any means (i.e. - painkillers, messy divorce, etc), he is an American whose contribution to our culture and society should be celebrated. While listening today, the 20th anniversary of birth of the Rush Limbaugh Show, listeners were able to hear a sincere congratulations from President George W. Bush, former President George H.W. Bush and former Florida governor Jeb Bush. This exchange, in my mind, shows just how influential that Rush Limbaugh really is. To hear these leaders (no matter what your opinions on them are) fawn over Rush for that moment, the listener really could get a sense just how deep into the American persona Rush Limbaugh has probed. That the sitting President, a former President and a former governor of Florida would call to congratulate Rush is pretty cool.

I must say that I do not always agree with Rush on some things, but the passion with which he delivers his message is not only infectious, but inspiring. It will be hard to replace Rush when his Maker calls for him. It is with deep appreciation that I say to Rush, "Thanks, Rush!"

Friday, August 1, 2008

The New Elephant has launched

The New Elephant is a blog destined to bring to light musings of an under-30 conservative republican who wants to see the Republican Party fundamentally altered. There are many disturbing trends in the Republican Party (although it sure as heck beats the other alternative!) and I aim to tackle these head on.

Basically, the GOP Elephant needs to be renewed or altogether re-constructed, therefore the name of my blog, The New Elephant.

With nothing more to be said, "I'm Out!"