It’s Time for a New Conservative Movement

Of all the people who felt shaken by last year’s election, conservatives might have been the hardest hit. Like a tornado ripping through town, Trumpism caught masses of conservatives off guard, people who felt safe and established and are now left homeless, unable to recognize their own community.

I grew up in a Republican home, but as an adult I’ve never really called myself a Republican. I’ve tried to keep an open mind to the views of liberals and others. As this presidential election approached, I found myself, for the first time, enthusiastically supporting Republican candidates. I drove from my home in Chicago to Iowa to make calls for Chris Christie before the caucus there. After Christie dropped out of the race, I turned to my second favorite candidate, John Kasich, and knocked on doors for him in my birthplace of Grand Rapids, Michigan ahead of that primary.

I always thought Trumpism was a fad that would pass, a practical joke that Republicans were playing on themselves. I was confident one of the 16 more qualified candidates would have the final say. As the last of them, Kasich, dropped out of the race, and I stared at the ruins of my hopes, I could not accept the outcome.

I joined the #DumpTrump efforts with hundreds of thousands of disgruntled Republicans on social media. I exchanged e-mails with Republican National Convention delegates, pleading with them to listen to us. I drove to Cleveland to see the debacle up close. Trump prevailed, and I wondered what to do next.

One morning in August, I woke up to messages from fellow #NeverTrumpers I had met on Facebook that a conservative independent candidate had emerged. A brief look at Evan McMullin’s website and background was all I needed. I created a Facebook group with my friends Maia Wilson and Mary Barber that morning, determined to do all I could to introduce America to McMullin in the 3 months we had until election day.

Like McMullin’s candidacy, my initial social media efforts grew in ways I never expected. I created state Facebook groups, and the national group grew to over 17,000 members by election day. With the hard work of another volunteer, McKay AhPing, we built a national online network of McMullin supporters. They ranged from an 84-year-old homebound woman in Indiana, to a Brazilian in Germany, to a Republican convention delegate in Washington state. We shared in each other’s excitement that someone was finally speaking for us, upholding decency and conservative ideas—and maybe, just maybe, this election would not turn out the way we thought. Volunteers collected signatures to get McMullin on state ballots, designed homemade fliers, funded dozens of billboards, called in to radio talk shows, made videos. This was a grassroots campaign like I had never seen.

“Evan,” as we affectionately called him, did not prevail in November, but the statement he made and the community that sprung up from his candidacy were strong. He had spoken during the election of the need for a “new conservative movement.” On election night, he made a bold pronouncement: “The Republican Party can no longer be considered the home for conservatives. Conservatism is about protecting the fundamental rights: that we are all equal, regardless of the color of our skin, the faith we practice, or our gender.”

As Trump took office, I felt like this was the beginning, not the end. There had to be a response. It occurred to me that if we could rally around a nobody and build a grassroots campaign in 3 months with little money or expertise, we could organize a movement the same way. I made phone calls to a few friends to talk it over. Then, in February, we did it: through our Facebook groups, I announced the launch of 8 local “New Conservative Movement” clubs in 8 states nationwide. The response was underway.

Our network of clubs has grown to 15 states, and supporters, including many who had not backed McMullin, continue to join our cause. Clubs are meeting every other month for a variety of activities, from assembling hygiene kits for homeless people, to holding a non-partisan rally for the Constitution. In our social media circles, you will always see refrains like “principle over party” and “a new generation of American leadership.” With no figurehead or endorsements from heavyweights, we’re building a real movement from the ground up.

At the beginning of this year, I reviewed the wreckage of the election and wondered: what will I do now? Will we go back to politics as usual, Republican vs. Democrat? Will we crawl back to the same politicians we’re disillusioned with? Will we become protest voters? Or will we build a new home? Many of us are choosing something new. If you’re a political orphan, I hope you’ll join us.

88 Comments

  1. Republican candidate for Congress Karen Handel (Georgia)

    “This is an example of the fundamental difference between a liberal and a conservative: I do not support a livable wage,” she said on Atlanta’s WSB-TV in response to a viewer question about raising the minimum wage. “What I support is making sure that we have an economy that is robust with low taxes and less regulation.”

    Yup, that sounds about right.

  2. Even if a New Conservative party emerges as a contending party staged to be a rival for the Democratic Party, they’re largely set up to re-absorb the same constituency, the same politicians, the same donors, and in short order, simply be hijacked into becoming a rebranding the same sausage.

    The meaning of conservatism has changed. It used to mean something different in the previous century, but it has now become a concept synonymous with puritanical loyalty to party above country. To simply try to ‘re-party’ conservatives while clinging to an obsolete definition is simply the same house of mirrors the current GOP is in.

    Second, These aren’t people who will cling to a dying party. They want winners, they want to be relevant, and they have been taught and trained to hate godless liberals unquestioningly. They will filter into whatever new anti-liberal vessel appears that they can fill.

    1. There are two paths if there’s a split in the Republican party.

      If they go Central Conservative, it needs to vehemently oppose the GOP on the grounds where it’s failed (principles, morals, responsibility) and scoop up moderates and leaning independents who are completely freaked the hell out of the GOP.

      If they don’t. If they simply want to rebrand a conservative party without condemning the authoritarian mania that has stripped the GOP of it’s moral authority, then they will only succeed as rebranding the same soured content.

      Personally, i’m not a fan of the deck-shuffle scam. When you see a bad restaurant suddenly sporting the banner “under new management”, there’s really no question about who’s the fool if you walk in and see the the same manager, staff, menu, and cooks.

    2. EJ

      The alternative to a “now under new management” scam is possibly even worse: if you remove one part of a group, each of the remaining parts is going to be relatively stronger. If you relaunched the Republican Party but without the white supremacists, then you had better hope that your audience really love the taste of theocracy.

      1. There’s a harsher reality:

        Thanks to modern infrastructure and consolidation around cash-cow donors (individual and corporate), neither the Republican Party nor the Democratic Party is capable of death.

        This is because this isn’t the industrial age, the age of practical applications. This is the information age, the age of shaped reality.

        The parties are no longer so weak that people can simply ‘change sides’ because of ideological drift. The parties are now partisans, there is no refuge for moderates. The parties are polarized. Moderates are disposable fringe elements in the face of rallying angry pitchforks and torches to the polls.

        This is the face of the next American revolution if it continues. There is no civil discourse in politics, only partisan politics in the face of a dying political system if bipartisanship cannot be restored as the primary mode of operation..

  3. EJ

    Congratulations, Brad! Recognising that your side were the bad guys, and leaving them, is always the hardest step. I’m glad that you were able to take that step and I wish your group the very best of fortune.

    The second-hardest step, in my experience as a political activist, is keeping the toxic people out of your new group. If they’re allowed to follow you away from the shambling wreckage of the Republican Party and infect your movement as they infected that one, then you may as well not have left at all.

    In other words, you have to alienate some people. This is hard, because at the moment you’re trying very hard not to alienate people; but if you don’t do it then the new party will rapidly look like the old one. A good example of how to do this is in your first and twelfth principles. Your first principle explicitly declares your opposition to secularism; your twelfth affirms your support for an armed populace. By including these principles, you have told non-religious people and anti-guns people that this is not a party which wants their support. That’s okay. No party can represent everyone. You’ve decided who belongs in your clubhouse, and are at peace with alienating the others.

    I notice, however, that you have not included any language to alienate the people who brought down the Republican party. There is nothing there to explicitly tell neoconfederates that they aren’t welcome. Likewise, you haven’t said anything to alienate the more unpleasant ideas that sometimes taint religious communities: dominionism, homophobia, misogyny, creationism, and others.

    It’s possible that this was just an oversight on your part. It’s also possible that you left these out because you don’t want to start an awkward, divisive fight. That’s a fight that’s worth having, however, because the alternative to it is that your party becomes as full of neoconfederates and dominionists as the old Republican Party is.

    I believe in you. I wish you well and hope you succeed. In order to do this, I would urge you to take steps to make your party as hostile a place as possible to those you don’t want in it; and unless you have something in your principles to that effect, it may become difficult.

  4. If I was designing a conservative agenda, here’s some points I’d start with:

    Preserving the institutions and traditions that have served us well over decades and centuries is central. Changes to those institutions and traditions must be made carefully and respectfully.

    Preservation of the environment is essential to any conservative agenda.

    Open and competitive markets have been essential to enriching people’s lives, and the corporate structure has enabled humans to amplify their power to achieve things that individuals alone could not achieve. But markets and corporations exist to benefit people, not the other way around. Appropriate regulations are needed to protect society from undue power.

    Government has the potential to enable great benefits to society, but most government actions will benefit some people more, others less, and still others not at all. Solving this problem requires a broad and inclusive spectrum of political participation.

    1. For a movement that purports the value of personal responsibility, accountability must go hand in hand. With that in mind, claims of preserving our institutions and their credibility should be made with a good faith gesture. Calling out those responsible for the ’08 crash and finally holding them to account (something that President Obama failed to do, infuriating many on the left, myself included) would be a strong first step.

      Talk is cheap and first impressions are everything. Any new conservative movement, particularly because conservatives’ place has been conflated with the GOP for so long, must be swift and bold.

      That aside, conservatives’ view on government has to be made as clear and pronounced as it can be. It just has to be. This whole subtle notion (if you’re gracious enough to call it that, that is) of anti-government masquerading as “limited government” has to have the kibosh put on it. Period, full stop.

      If that doesn’t happen, you can bet your kiester that any new movement’s ranks are eventually going to be filled with the same kind of assholes in today’s GOP that’ll eventually wear it down, either for personal or political gain. A bulwark must be forged in order to prevent that.

  5. For those who are interested, the ideological foundation of our movement is the 13 Principles for New American Leadership, devised by the McMullin campaign. Here they are:

    1. Our basic rights are God-given.

    Every American is created equal and has the same right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The fundamental purpose of government is to secure, not define, these rights for every member of our diverse society.

    2. We honor our Constitution.

    We must honor the constitution and the rights it enshrines as written, including the freedoms of religion and speech. Any changes to the Constitution must be made through the amendment process it provides, not by Judicial or Executive action.

    3. Government power must be separated and balanced.

    The Constitution grants separate powers to the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. We must return lawmaking power to Congress, ending Executive and Judicial overreach. Federal activities must be limited to those granted by the Constitution and all other powers must remain with the States and the people.

    4. Our leaders must be honest and wise.

    They must put the public interest ahead of their own, acting with integrity, transparency, and good judgment.

    5. We share responsibility for service and civic duty.

    Every American has a responsibility to serve our communities and our nation. It is our civic duty to be informed and engaged on important issues, and seek out leaders who will uphold our rights and serve the people.

    6. Our leaders must be fiscally responsible.

    Our country cannot be secure and prosperous with uncontrolled debt and deficits. Our leaders must have the courage to reform entitlement programs and pay down debt, rather than accumulating more.

    7. Government must promote a free market.

    Big corporations should not be able to buy government favors. There should be a level playing field for all companies, large and small. Smart, narrowly-focused regulation must protect health and safety without stifling innovation.

    8. We must help people in poverty overcome it.

    Government must provide a basic safety net for Americans unable to support themselves. Its programs should help people to overcome poverty, rather than simply survive it.

    9. We must protect life from birth to natural death.

    Our respect for life is a true measure of our humanity. We must protect the lives of the most vulnerable, from the unborn to the elderly.

    10. National defense is a primary federal government responsibility.

    Our national security requires unmatched military and economic strength, and a commitment to the cause of liberty.

    11. All Americans should have access to affordable, quality health care.

    The best way to improve Americans’ health care is to encourage competition and innovation. Our health care system must be responsive to patients, not simply insurers and bureaucrats.

    12. Our 2nd Amendment rights must be protected.

    We have a Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, which the government must secure.

    13. Healthy immigration is important to our future.

    We must secure our borders, enforce our laws and facilitate the legal immigration of those who will contribute to American prosperity, security, and culture.

    1. I typed a point by point rejoinder to your comment, but thought better about posing it.

      I hate to break it to ya, but that is just Republicanism. Republicanism without trump and bannon and the russians.

      You could have shortened it to “same old stuff without the insanity”.

    2. 1. Our basic rights are God-given.

      Every American is created equal and has the same right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The fundamental purpose of government is to secure, not define, these rights for every member of our diverse society.

      Which means what, exactly? I want specifics. Without telling me how you’re going to defend and expand these rights to all of our people, they’re nothing but hollow words that won’t reach anyone. I don’t need an essay, but a simple example(s) would do you a world of good here.

      2. We honor our Constitution.

      We must honor the constitution and the rights it enshrines as written, including the freedoms of religion and speech. Any changes to the Constitution must be made through the amendment process it provides, not by Judicial or Executive action.

      And? Do you have any amendments that you want made to the Constitution (a right to vote or an ERA, perhaps?) or are you happy with it as you are now?

      3. Government power must be separated and balanced.

      The Constitution grants separate powers to the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. We must return lawmaking power to Congress, ending Executive and Judicial overreach. Federal activities must be limited to those granted by the Constitution and all other powers must remain with the States and the people.

      No disagreements broadly speaking, but I’m a bit concerned with your talk of “overreach”. For someone who talks about separation of powers, you sound as if you want Congress to pass something to reign in executive and judicial “overreach”, which would be one branch of government imposing its will on two others, a very dangerous thing to do if not handled extremely carefully.

      5. We share responsibility for service and civic duty.

      Every American has a responsibility to serve our communities and our nation. It is our civic duty to be informed and engaged on important issues, and seek out leaders who will uphold our rights and serve the people.

      We definitely need good leadership, but let’s be real here. People need real world incentives to get involved and stay that way (our present situation being a perfect example). Any plans and/or ideas for how to do that?

      6. Our leaders must be fiscally responsible.

      Our country cannot be secure and prosperous with uncontrolled debt and deficits. Our leaders must have the courage to reform entitlement programs and pay down debt, rather than accumulating more.

      I’ll be frank here. Unless I get some serious specifics about you mean with this, this is an honest deal breaker for me. If you’re the kind that thinks of reform by way of replacing all our outdated welfare programs with something like a basic income (which would both save money and expand benefits to all Americans), we’re going to get along splendidly. On the other hand, if reform for you simply means cutting back benefits and the like to pay down debt on the backs of the citizens, then with all due respect, you’ve no vision and, politically speaking, I’ll consider you an enemy.

      7. Government must promote a free market.

      Big corporations should not be able to buy government favors. There should be a level playing field for all companies, large and small. Smart, narrowly-focused regulation must protect health and safety without stifling innovation.

      Broadly speaking, no argument here. That said, healthcare is not a market and if you think otherwise, we’ve got a problem.

      https://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/?toURL=https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisladd/2017/03/07/there-is-never-a-free-market-in-health-care/&refURL=https://www.google.com/&referrer=https://www.google.com/

      8. We must help people in poverty overcome it.

      Government must provide a basic safety net for Americans unable to support themselves. Its programs should help people to overcome poverty, rather than simply survive it.

      Absolutely agree 110%. That said, would you be on board with looking at a basic income so we can eliminate poverty in its entirety?

      9. We must protect life from birth to natural death.

      Our respect for life is a true measure of our humanity. We must protect the lives of the most vulnerable, from the unborn to the elderly.

      Okay.

      10. National defense is a primary federal government responsibility.

      Our national security requires unmatched military and economic strength, and a commitment to the cause of liberty.

      As long as that doesn’t lead us into pointless wars and ceaseless conflict around the world, I’m all on board.

      11. All Americans should have access to affordable, quality health care.

      The best way to improve Americans’ health care is to encourage competition and innovation. Our health care system must be responsive to patients, not simply insurers and bureaucrats.

      Nope, not gonna fly. Healthcare is not a market and you’re talking like it is a market. Security for all Americans means having healthcare as a guarantee, not a privilege subject to the whims of the marketplace. Thinking like yours, however well-intentioned, will inevitably leave some out in the cold, and that’s not acceptable. This is one area where an outcome must be guaranteed.

      12. Our 2nd Amendment rights must be protected.

      We have a Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, which the government must secure.

      Much as I despise guns and think that they’re soulless scraps of metal, I’m willing to compromise here, but some compromise has to be forged to protect our people and stop the ceaseless slaughter of innocents and children in society. If you can’t protect people’s lives and act in their defense, I don’t want to hear a damn word out of your mouth about protecting gun rights.

      13. Healthy immigration is important to our future.

      We must secure our borders, enforce our laws and facilitate the legal immigration of those who will contribute to American prosperity, security, and culture.

      Totally agree. 🙂

      1. Here’s where and why I agree with Ryan about your platform. You “talk a good game” but those of us who seriously study and follow politics (for a very long time) know exactly how “conservative principles” morph into (and out of) actions that achieve a much more self-serving, narrow purpose. Start with getting church out of your platform – make it something that speaks to and for all people – and is based on solid solutions for real problems ordinary people face. Elitism has become a problem for conservatives, so much so that they honestly seem to be unable to relate to or understand what people really need. America’s growth has been flat for years – some of that was due to the tough slog back from the greed of the Great Recession – but it was also due to the fact that incomes for working people – low and middle class – have not risen correspondingly to upper income classes. They lack the means to spend on little but necessities. Putting people back to work is fine but they need a living income. Instead, conservatives refuse to increase hourly wages, cut more services to working people, and have made health insurance – a huge element in most working people’s lives – very difficult to attain. (Blue collar workers – if they don’t work, they don’t get paid. No “sick” days for them or their families.)

        I lost respect for the conservative movement decades ago even though every now and then someone offers promise….then – they make lots of noise and grandiose principled statements and still back the GOP establishment and a man who defiles the office of president.

      2. After years and decades of hearing Republicans talk about principles, only to turn on a dime and sell their souls to Trump; with all due respect, you won’t be getting the benefit of the doubt from me. This is my country and my home that you’re talking about leading and I’ll know specifically what it is you want, not just vague principles that can be twisted to suit a person’s whims.

        And this is politics. Either you earn a person’s vote or you don’t. If you’re willing to show your hand on health care and have a serious discussion, I’m more than happy to oblige you. If you want to talk about real welfare reform, the same applies, but these are serious issues that deserve to be faced squarely.

        I’m not a man that bases his vote on purported principles. I want and crave real solutions and progress and I’ll have them, one way or the other. As a spokesperson for a movement, it’s up to you to deliver and make the sale.

      3. If you can offer and deliver on real solutions for the problems facing Americans, then you and I have something to talk about. However, if all you can talk about are principles and not even meet me for an honest talk about difficult issues, then however fine an individual you or Mr. McMullin might be, you’re not worthy to lead.

        For what it’s worth, I’m not a nice guy and I make no excuses nor apologies about that. However, I truly do want what’s best for me, my family, and this country. I respect strength, I’m open to discussion, and I cherish the will to see one’s convictions carried through until the end. That said, there’s a certain admiration to be found in people like you earnestly trying to salvage the conservative movement from the likes of Trump, though I admittedly find it to be like trying to roll a bolder up a mountain.

        Regardless, as I’ve said, what I crave is real progress and solutions that will open a path towards the future. I believe that sentiment is prevalent among many of my fellows Americans, and I’m here to tell you right now that if all your movement has is what you’ve made known here, you will absolutely fail. You can’t ride the back of disaffected Republicans and conservatives on purported principles that try to say everything and yet nothing at all. That’s no different than what Hillary Clinton tried against Trump, and we all know how that ended.

      4. Ryan, you didn’t comment on #4, Our leaders must be honest and wise. I believe one of the underlying assumptions of conservative political philosophy is that people are fallible, and that’s why the Constitution is written the way it is, with separation of powers, etc.

    3. This is not conservatism as I think of it, in which a conservative wishes to preserve the good parts of the status quo, but accepts change. My comments below particularly in regard to the Rockefeller Republicans makes that clear. The Rockefeller Republicans did wish to preserve the status quo where appropriate, but were willing to make changes when required for society.

      In my opinion this is the same old reactionary line that the hard right republicans have been talking about ever since I became politically aware around 1960. The only item of modernity is access to quality affordable health care, but the first statement is just propaganda. The second statement shows it to be more of the same – inadequate health care. As most of us have pointed out health care is not a market, though certain aspects of market competition might be introduced. Quality affordable health care is a human right and it must be regulated.

      This is not conservatism; it is reactionary. Following this approach would create a static unchanging society.

    4. “1. Our basic rights are God-given.
      Every American is created equal and has the same right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The fundamental purpose of government is to secure, not define, these rights for every member of our diverse society.”

      Bullshit. The only rights you have are those you are willing to fight for, or that someone else is willing to fight for on your behalf. Everything else is a privilege granted to you by your betters, who will take it away from you when (not if) those “rights” become inconvenient to them.

      Also, the fundamental purpose of government is to establish justice, provide for the common defense, ensure domestic tranquility, and promote the general welfare. Figuring out what that means and how to implement it is called politics.

      “2. We honor our Constitution.
      We must honor the constitution and the rights it enshrines as written, including the freedoms of religion and speech. Any changes to the Constitution must be made through the amendment process it provides, not by Judicial or Executive action.”

      It might be possible for one right to be absolute; it isn’t possible for all the rights enumerated to be absolute because they will inevitably conflict. Who adjudicates these conflicts?

      “4. Our leaders must be honest and wise.
      They must put the public interest ahead of their own, acting with integrity, transparency, and good judgment.”

      Wishful thinking. How are you going to handle the inevitable situation when they aren’t honest and wise?

      “6. Our leaders must be fiscally responsible.
      Our country cannot be secure and prosperous with uncontrolled debt and deficits. Our leaders must have the courage to reform entitlement programs and pay down debt, rather than accumulating more.”

      This shows a complete ignorance of what government debt is. Unless you understand that the Federal Government is monetarily sovereign, and that there is no analogy between the Federal Government’s finance and a household or firm’s finance, your economic policies will be completely misguided.

      1. Welcome to the big leagues of political analysis and commentary, Brad! You can learn a lot from this motley crew – lots of years of political watching and some deep thinking here. May I suggest that you also read through Chris’ archives and you will learn much from his posts. Good luck – focus on listening, not talking, and it will pay off.

      2. I concur with all the Craig wrote above.

        To his comment regarding the Constitution, I might add that the Constitution as written is not sacrosanct. It has to be interpreted to suit changing times.

        Also regarding fiscal responsibility. The first line is reasonable, but then the explanatory statement shows that to be the same rigid anti-debt rhetoric we have heard for years. It is the policy that was followed from 1929-1933 and made the Great Depression so bad. There is no room for Keynesian economics. Fiscal responsibility would leave room for that.

        Finally, throughout the statement of principles – the first line sounds reasonable, but the explanatory comment reveals the real intent. I conclude that the first line is just rhetoric, with the explanatory comment to be stripped away as applicable.

        I second Mary’s comment regarding conservatism in general.

    5. Interestingly, I agree with the first line of all your points. Except #12 which I believe is terribly wrong, immoral even to say. And #1 I would replace the words God-given with self evident.

      It is when you broaden the meaning of your points, I either disagree or like others here start to suspect a meaning that comes from listening to “conservatives” over the years.

      The question is, do you think non-conservatives do not believe these broad concepts? It seems you are claiming these things as “conservative” only?

    6. Basic rights for all are not given by your god.

      To identify them and achieve them is the citizenry’s never-ending goal.

      Your list has nothing about the physical world we inhabit. Future generations will have a tough time with dirty water and air and oceans lapping at their doorsteps.

      Your list sounds like a lot of same-ol’ same-ol’ to me.

  6. I’d like to second a lot of comments (requests:) below asking for what real conservatism should be for, aside from the obvious point Mr. Hoganson is making about personal and political integrity.

    Aside from the many specific items mentioned below, at least one big thing would be make or break for me in terms of a conservatism I could support. That would be a recognition of the limits of capitalism and the role of government in preventing capitalism from destroying society and the environment (and in fact preventing capitalism from destroying itself). This question anticipates a lot of the issues raised by others, including climate change, inequality, and the role of money in politics.

    1. One of the aspects of conservatives that I find so objectionable is their position on justice. There seems to be little tolerance or interest for those who are poor or disadvantaged. Ex. Bail bond issues, right to representation, offense classifications, severity of judgments. I think this is integral to conservatives lack of respect for the common man and inability or desire to understand problems driven by poverty and abuse. Of course, many consider this a social issue; I don’t – I consider this institutional bias.

      1. Right, equal justice under the law, regardless of social status, has to be central to any conservative philosophy, but then it has to be central to any liberal one too. One of the potentially legitimate disagreements between conservatives and liberals, though, is how much responsibility society should take for poverty and how much responsibility should be assigned to the individual. I’m sympathetic to the argument that people have to take responsibility for themselves, but this approach obviously has its drawbacks. Is there a role for government there, and if so, what?

      2. I believe people have to be responsible and justice needs to be consistent and fair regardless of one’s race, gender, class, financial status. However, we both know that is not what happens. Look at what is being lost with AG Sessions insisting on severe penalties for low level crimes. What drives that? Or the progress that was made in communities with policing problems who came together to work out fairer policing only for Sessions to end this. Or the increase in private prisons which make incarceration an industry…
        We can’t level the playing field entirely but it is skewed heavily against people of color and the poor. From apprehension to bail to representation to sentencing.

  7. I believe polarization is the issue here. In all parties, the tail wags the dog. The Texas ledge is a perfect example of that. The only saving grace the them is that it in not a full time freak show.

    My wife was once active in Republican politics and I dabbled in Democratic politics. Both of us have become estranged from our old parties as the centers of both seemed to vanish. Statesmen no longer exist and compromise is vilified. Our distaste for the candidates of both parties caused us both to vote Libertarian last year.

    I do not agree with everything the Libertarian party proposes, healthcare will not be solved by free markets alone as Chris has made clear. But I do believe that our two party system as it stands is FUBAR! Perhaps a viable 3rd party might be the lever needed to get our politics out of the ditch. I think it’s worth a try.

    One last thing. Trump promised to get term limits passed. I suggest we remind him of that early and often. As he gets more fed up with congress, his rancorous tirades might be able to get that done.

    1. End gerrymandering, throw out Citizens United, and eliminate voter suppression and you wouldn’t need term limits. There would be better, more independent candidates and greater voter turn out. People have to believe their votes count and their needs will be fairly represented or they lose the belief in the power of democracy to represent all people.

    2. With respect to the Libertarian Party, they’re nationally insignificant. If they were going to make any serious headwinds in politics, they would’ve done it by now. And while I agree with you that our two-party system is, by all rights, standing on its last leg, we’re heading into a chaotic transition period where no one knows what the frack is going to happen. IMHO, it’s best to just stand back and let the chips fall where they may before throwing your lot in with anything right now.

      As far as term limits and Trump are concerned, all I can say is is that there’s no point in reminding a con man in what he conned people over. Lying comes as naturally as breathing to him.

  8. Finding a new “conservative” niche in the present political spectrum seems difficult if not impossible. Most people consider conservative to be the opposite of liberal and, to be honest, the republican party has that wrapped up.

    I would enjoy talking to someone that considers themself conservative but willing to converse without fox talking points. I would like to know, for example, how they feel about Chris’s “Four Truths”. https://goplifer.com/2014/11/21/four-true-facts/

    At least this is a chance to define or redefine conservatism one more time again.

    1. One of the most jarring problems for a new conservative movement is two-fold:

      1) Virtually every Republican calls themselves a conservative these days, which is a yuge problem, because if everyone calls themselves a conservative, then really no one is. Today, being a conservative just conflates with being a Republican, which completely eradicates any deeper meaning.

      2) Following from the first point, Trump has compounded this problem many times over by taking an already badly damaged party brand and flushing it right down the crapper. An entire generation is looking at the Republican Party, a self-proclaimed conservative party, in the worst conceivable light. What sane person would want to try to start a “new conservative movement” in a developing political environment like this? Honestly, it sounds crazy.

      Trump is doing to the label of conservatism what Reagan did to liberalism on steroids.

      1. Doug Muder blogger of The Weekly Sift, has a good piece out that looks at our current situation and plays it forward…..Frankly, he’s more optimistic than I am but he’s probably a lot better grounded in history and political events than I am as well. For me, it’s the example America is setting not only for our future leaders, our children, but for other countries who previously admired the principles upon which Democracy rests as practiced in our country…..I see great skepticism in world leaders and lack of understanding in our youth about how democracy was attained and what is needed to protect it. There’s a lot at stake.

        https://weeklysift.com/2016/08/15/democracy-will-survive-this-with-damage/

      1. Hand over my heart, I’d pay good money to see Tracy show his face around here again. After the utter clusterf*** that Trump has been, making America a virtual laughingstock on the world stage, I’d love to see him try to defend his vote. And if he had the brass to try and pull a “but Hillary…!”, I’d tear the attempt to pieces and relish every minute of it.

        And if Tracy ever happens to come back and see this, I just hope it was worth it to him, because everything Trump has done has made complete and utter fools of his voters and humiliated them more than I could ever hope to.

      2. I miss “Sassy”, Rob Ambrose…as well as the others. I suspect the fallout from the election has something to do with who’s still hangin’ here at Political Orphans, but it could be other things…

      3. Oh, I’d forgotten about Rob for a moment there. Thanks for reminding me.

        Thinking about it though, I do wish he was still around here. And you’re right, there could be other things happening, but Election Night certainly reshuffled a lot of people’s priorities. Someday I hope we can hear about them.

      4. I still speak to Sassy through Disqus (comment engine). She is very active and still giving them “what-for”.

        I do miss JohnGalt, Bubba, and Owl. Dow Ripple was also on Disqus but has not make a comment there in at least two years.

        I do not miss Doug, Kabuzz, or Sternn. They were just trolling the old site to cause disruption without adding anything useful.

    2. I would enjoy talking to someone that considers themself conservative but willing to converse without fox talking points.

      —————————————-

      I became nostalgic at the mention of Tracy and some of the others who have left.

      Diversity of thought made the discussions all the more interesting. Perhaps, that is why the conversation has been lagging here lately.

  9. I cannot speak for anyone else, particularly Brad Hoganson, but fI would like to see a party that would recognize that there are some very serious problems such as the excessive inequity, inadequate education, inadequate health care, global warming confronting the US. There may be means of solving some of these problems without using a socialistic approach, which Democrats tend to lean towards. Such solutions might use regulation, some government incentives, use progressive
    but not confiscatory taxation or other methods including commercial as long as the various societal problems were solved.

    Also such a party would tend towards being socially liberal, accept other ethnic and sectarian groups into America without discrimination, would pursue full equality for women and minority groups, would welcome immigrants as full citizens once they satisfied standard citizenship criteria and of course welcome their participation in elections. Such a party would be pro-middle and working class. Such a party would recognize the importance of and support a strong labor movement with livable wages for all.

    In my experience portions of the Republican party did at one time fulfill those criteria. This group was known as the Rockefeller Republicans and tended to come from the Northeast and Midwest. Presidents that came close to meeting the criteria I’ve described would be Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, and T. Roosevelt. Nixon’s domestic policies would more or less qualify. He did establish the EPA and proposed comprehensive health care. Unfortunately, this type of Republican is now extinct. The Presidents I mentioned would now be classified as moderate or left of center Democrats.

    Whether a party such as I’ve described would go by the name of ‘New Conservative’ or not is irrelevant to me. I was originally a Rockefeller Republican, but have gradually moved towards a more liberal outlook. However, I do recognize the importance of a controlled capitalist economy. Some sectors should be largely private and subject to competition. Other sectors need to be largely government controlled. A sector that needs strong government regulation, but could be opened to private sector competition would be the healthcare sector, provided that the requirement of healthcare for all at a reasonable cost is met. Much of Europe uses private health care and insurance with strong government regulation.

    In summary, oftentimes I feel the liberal sectors of the Democratic party tends towards socialistic solutions that may not in my opinion be the best approach. On the other hand, the current Republican party tends towards a low taxation, low services approach that maximizes income for the wealthy. The best description of that approach is “comforting the comfortable, and afflicting the afflicted.”

    1. You bring up an important point, and it’s one that any conservative movement has to address sooner rather than later, and that is its view on the role of the federal government. Republicans today are not “small government” so much as they are virulently anti-government (except when it suits their interests, naturally).

      This is an important distinction that has to be made going forward. Whatever policies you’re for will stand on what your position is towards what you think of government.

      1. Republicans are “anti-government”…..while immersing themselves completely in the trough of government. They “use” government to improve their personal and class opportunities and enshrine their beliefs and, I suppose, when government has “served their purpose”, will merrily move along.

        If government service is predicated upon the concept of public service party is relegated to greatest need. It’s much more difficult to disregard donors, power and opinion brokers, but when choices are based upon sound reasoning that is not class or party-based but need-based, the right outcome can happen. Balance and fairness are integral to the process.

      1. mime,

        In response to your comment on the article, the author said:

        “The Republican replacement plan, in contrast, gives back a lot more power to states to make their own decisions regarding Medicaid, the exchanges and insurance regulation more generally.”

        Why such trust in state governments? In the real world, we have state governments that actively thwart voting rights AND deny medical care by not expanding Medicaid thru Obamacare. What is it about those harmful activities that suggests to the author that state governments are more likely to increase access to health care no matter how it is delivered?

        Willful blindness does not increase an author’s credibility.

      2. I have not seen the author’s reply but would agree with you that giving more authority to states that are hell-bent on perpetuating the same harsh policies as MOC is not reassuring. One doesn’t need to look any further than this session of the TX Lege for affirmation of how power can corrupt at the state and local level. Fundamentally, profit has driven health care reform, not services to people. It is now driving all budget decisions from our parks, health care research, environment, justice process, and so much more. I am not a proponent of any fixed single payer plan but let me note that other major countries (larger than Switzerland and Singapore which have very small populations), have made universal health care “in some form” the backbone of their commitment to their people. It can work, it will have flaws, but when money drives structure and policies rather than humanitarian, practical health-centered decisions, I simply won’t buy it. Sell that concept to someone else.

      3. I followed TMerritt to a post on the feasibility of state health care in off topic, “ACA, It’s complicated”. There are some very interesting thoughts within the story about the feasibility of single-payer health care run by states. I have to state up front that I’d have a great deal more confidence in the motive and quality of any such plan coming out of CA than I would in a Republican dominated state, but I should be more open-minded to alternatives to the AHCA. Basically, the parties that will fight single-payer of any kind are those who are raking in big profits now – health insurance companies, big pharma, and medical device manufacturers. Hospitals and physicians are getting squeezed, and so are the American people. While I am interested in the efforts of NY and CA to explore the concept of state-based single payer, I am not convinced that health care, much like national defense, is not more cost-effective and feasible being coordinated at the national level. With that interest in mind, I do not ignore the pitfalls inherent in such an undertaking but I also have always been bothered by the fact that America has not availed itself of the experience of other large countries who are using various methods to offer universal health care to their people – all of them. You can bet your knickers that those industries who are making big bucks off health care are not going to go quietly into the good night but I am past the point of worrying about them. Imagine if we didn’t have to worry about health care coverage or expense. That it was simply “there”. What difference would that make to each of us as we planned our jobs, lives, retirement? I’d like to know. I think other countries are getting it “more” right and they are hands down getting better outcomes for their investment. Why would America ignore their success?

        http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-single-payer-20170526-story.html

      4. This comment is largely in reply to Mary but has general applicability as well. Also let me state from the very start that I strongly believe that affordable access to basic health care of high quality is a human right.

        I have read T.R. Reid’s ‘The Healing of America’, which Mary recommended. I had also started Avik Roy’s white paper ‘Transcending Obamacare’. After getting part way through it I had to set it aside during my trip to Oklahoma at the end of April and have not been able to get back to it. My initial impression is Chris Conover’s approach is similar to Roy’s approach with a great deal of reliance on market forces and use of Health Savings Accounts. I am very dubious that such an approach will not work in an economy as large and as diverse as that of the US. Also with the great diversity, huge disparity and inequity in incomes, skill levels and opportunities present in the US, I am convinced that large portions of the citizenry will not be well served. But these conclusions are preliminary.

        T.R. Reid’s book is a thorough overview of the various health care systems throughout the world. He develops four classifications:
        • The Bismarck Model – This is basically what I have referred to as the highly, regulated private insurance model and is widely used in continental Europe including Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland and also includes Japan. I believe both the Netherlands and Singapore also fall into this category. All these systems require mandatory health insurance and are highly regulated.
        • The Beveridge Model – This is essentially the system used in Great Britain and has been referred to ass socialized medicine in the US. Nations using this model include Italy, Spain, Scandinavia and Hong Kong.
        • National Health Insurance Model – This is essentially the Canadian single payer plan. The providers are private with a government run insurance provider. In Canada, the insurance companies are administered at the provincial level, but there is considerable uniformity. Taiwan and South Korea also use this approach. Of course, in Canada there are certain national standards to ensure uniformity.
        • Out-of-Pocket Model – This system is the typical one found in undeveloped countries. It requires the patient to make an out of pocket payment for medical services. It is also the system that was prevalent in much of the US during the 19th Century and particularly in the rural West until medicine became more rigorous. This system persists in the US to this day and was only largely replaced in the US following WWII.

        The US health care system includes elements of all four of these. The Bismarck Model is that essentially used by those who have access to health insurance through employment, a family member, a group policy obtained through some organization or through the private health insurance market. However, in the US there historically was minimum regulation of these markets and no one was required to have insurance, i.e. they could opt to use the Out-of-Pocket model. The Beveridge Model is used for the VA, Native Americans, and military personnel. The NHI model is used for those of us on Medicare. Finally, for those Americans who are uninsured the Out-of-Pocket Model is used.

        The goal of Obamacare was to provide some rigor and to prevent collapse of the health insurance market. It relied on state-run health exchanges, considerable regulation, policies meeting certain minimum standards and the use of federal aid to cover those who had limited resources. In essence, Obamacare would introduce a degree of rigor to the private health insurance market. That met with a great deal of resistance for those who had sufficient resources. Many had high premium increases, some refused to buy insurance. Some felt that substandard policies were all they needed. Some states refused to accept the federal aid (Medicaid). As a result, Obamacare has not functioned as initially designed.

        Even though Obamacare has some difficulties and has not functioned as initially intended either through design errors, external interference, or refusal of individuals or states to implement the system, it has greatly improved health care in the US. The number of uninsured has been dramatically reduced. Prior to the ACA the number of uninsured was in excess of 40 million. People with pre-existing conditions now have insurance. People who are less than 26, are able to be on their parent’s policies. Mature adults from 50-64 who did not have access to group policies, can now obtain insurance at reasonable costs. But as mentioned above, some people have had significant premium increases.

        In general, I feel that Roy’s approach will result in large numbers of people who continue to be uninsured. How closely the AHCA compares to Roy’s approach, I cannot say at this time, but it may have some overall similarities. Certainly, the CBO score for the AHCA indicates that large numbers would continue to be uninsured. The comparisons that Conover uses to Switzerland, Singapore and The Netherlands are not applicable to the U.S. because all those nations use the highly regulated private insurance model with mandatory insurance. Their models are far more rigorous and regulated than even Obamacare is. In general, they are relatively small markets with fairly homogenous populations with limited income inequity. In essence, IMO, both Roy’s approach and Conover’s comparison are designed to satisfy the objections of middle income people who dislike the limited rigor of Obamacare but will still not satisfy the overall requirement to provide basic affordable health care of high quality to all. I am deliberately avoiding the term “universal health care”, because of the size, diversity and inequity of the U.S.

        So yes Mary, we are of similar opinions regarding the article in Forbes. I am still formulating my ideas in regard to health care. I intend to post a more substantive comment in your Off Topic – The ACA, It’s Complicated forum, but I do want to get through Avik Roy’s white paper. This is preliminary, but shows my evolving thoughts.

        BTW, I echo Bobo’s and your comments regarding the states. While some states such as CA, NY and some smaller states, want to design good health care systems others are purely driven by the need to “comfort the comfortable”. We need a national system.

        Also, Mary I did post some links in your ACA Off Topic forum, hoping you might have some comments.

      5. Thanks for your thoughtful, detailed response. We are in agreement. Believe me, as one nears retirement and must depend upon individual coverage, health insurance will become increasingly more important to your budget. Once in Medicare, costs are more controlled but chronic illnesses can result in significant additional expense. All of this happening in a nation where a good percentage of people are obese, lack employer-provided health coverage, and whose income is being divided into critical portions. What’s striking is that those who are designing the plan for the rest of America, have guaranteed, quality coverage, 71% of which is taxpayer subsidized. They feel no pain, no vulnerability, except if they “elect” to attend a town hall in their district – which few Republicans have deigned to do, further isolating themselves from having to confront the reality many of their constituents face as they try to balance basic living needs with adequate health coverage affordably. The lack of sensitivity and willing denial of what is reality for the majority of the American people is despicable to me.

        I’ll check Off Topic for your posts, TMerritt. Thanks again for your serious response.

      6. Thanks Mary, moving my link to here is a good idea.

        I am very interested in following California’s efforts and to a lesser extent NY’s efforts to develop a single payer system, largely because both states a large enough and diverse enough to become good models for the rest of the union. That is particularly true of CA with its large diverse population, 6th largest global economy, high income inequity and its dynamism. In many respects, it mimics the US as a whole. If CA can design a single payer system that works, there is a good chance one could be designed for the US as a whole.

        The national press does not realize it yet, but California is on the move again. I speculate that the changes in their election laws may be largely responsible. They have gotten past the long lasting gridlock in Sacramento. The present gridlock in Washington, DC is similar to the one one that bedeviled CA. The CA economy is growing. Some major trends are developing there. Not the least of which are self-driving vehicles, high reliance on renewable energy and the development of high speed rail between the Bay Area and Southern California. I am only aware of some of this because, I live in that northern metropolis called “Pugetopolis” that is strongly influenced by California.

      7. Not to come across as arrogant, but solving health care, insofar as policy, is pretty damn easy. We need a national healthcare program, whether by way of single payer or a public/private program along the lines of what Chris has talked about. In addition though, we also need a vast expansion of primary care centers along the lines of what Spain and other countries have enacted.

        This is really important, because the overwhelming majority of people, myself included, don’t need a comprehensive coverage plan that you would get in something like Medicare-For-All. Because so many just have chronic conditions (obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), depression, osteoporosis, etc, etc.), having a local heath center that one could walk to within a few minutes would be ideal, and it would save a metric ton of money (something Republicans should be able to get behind) because we’d be treating conditions before they morphed into something a whole lot more vicious that cost more money to cure.

        These two articles really emphasize that point:

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/katherinerestrepo/2017/02/06/states-prove-why-direct-primary-care-should-be-a-key-component-to-any-health-care-reform-plan/#18bd6754419b

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolynmcclanahan/2017/03/27/rising-from-the-ashes-a-novel-bipartisan-approach-to-health-care-reform/#6b09f9312ab4

        If we could enact these two measures, I honestly have every confidence we could deal a virtual death blow (no pun intended) to our healthcare issues and expand comprehensive and fiscally sensible coverage to everyone in this country.

      8. Ryan, as long ago as the 80s, public school visionaries pushed for school health clinics so that kids who lacked parental help or transportation difficulties or financial limitations, could at least get “some” health care. That concept where it was allowed to be implemented did a great deal of good. Your primary care centers would achieve much the same thing and were a part of the ACA, just not as able to be funded and thus accessible. School health clinics have been relegated to the dust bins as cuts have been made to public education.

        There are a lot of “easy” fixes – the problem is our politicians don’t want health care for the masses to be easy. I honestly believe there is a deep-seated desire to humiliate the poor and make it difficult for them to access health care, otherwise, why not expand primary care centers as you suggest? Put health clinics in schools? Common sense ain’t what’s driving the train here, unfortunately, and even I am smart enough to figure that out!

      9. Thanks Ryan, I copied the articles into my Health Care File.

        My thoughts continue to evolve. Thought this is the first time I’ve mentioned it in Political Orphans, in the U.S. I do not think one single universal system can be implemented and all four systems described above will be required. Perhaps a network of community health centers could be implemented. The CHCs could be either private or through a national health service. In either case they would be free. For private CHCs the costs would be covered by mandatory insurance either private (Bismarck) or public (NHI). These would provide primary care and provide referrals to specialty care which is covered by mandatory Health Insurance either as a single payer (NHI Model or Bismarck Model).

        There are special segments of our population (particularly disabled veterans or Native Americans) that have some specialized needs. Most likely these should be covered a national health service as at present.

        Myself, I am 72 and use both Medicare Advantage (NHI) and Veterans Health Care (Beveridge). The VA is used for hearing aids, since Medicare does not cover that. Additionally, dental care is obtained though Out-of-Pocket with some separate insurance (Bismarck). So I am using three of the models. Part of my hearing loss is due to military service, though I am not disabled. Regardless careful management on my part is required.

        Mary’s point is that the problem is political and as you know skinning the political cat is never easy in our system. That has been true ever since Theodore Roosevelt first proposed national health insurance in 1912. Over a century later, we are still arguing about it and we still do not have an effective system.

      10. I hope all concerned reads the article Mary talks about and then reads this-https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-the-US-healthcare-system-and-Switzerlands

        Fist of all I would take Switzerland’s system in a minute. But the article on Forbes talks about it as a free market solution. It seems there are price controls, mandates, and supplements and ….

        It just proves to me that the crazy side of politics will lie when the truth will do. (my mother used to say that)

        Switzerland’s system is NOT a free market.

    2. Good points, tmerritt. What would such a conservative party be for, aside from Mr. Hoganson’s obvious wish for integrity in its candidates. Some above have pointed to recognition of Chris’s four truths. For me to support a conservative there would have to be a recognition of the limits of capitalism, a recognition that unregulated markets will inevitably destroy society and the environment, and a recognition of the role of government in keeping capitalism on a track that serves society and the environment.

      1. Many years ago, sometime during the late 1950’s, I concluded that theoretical Communism had the fatal flaw of ignoring the very human quality of selfishness. That is giving to each in accordance with their needs but the state controlling all production. Then sometime later say during the 1960’s, I concluded that unregulated capitalism inevitably leads to the concentration of wealth in a few organizations. That then leads to the collapse of markets. Basically the same conclusion Henry Ford made early in the 20th Century. From those two observations, I reached the conclusion you have regarding unregulated markets.

        The first conclusion was reached during a talk with my Dad. I was only a teenager then. The second was reached during an ECON-101 course at University.

  10. Perhaps it’s just our comparatively recent history of every Republican and their grandmother calling themselves a conservative, but I don’t really understand. What is it, exactly, that sets you and those with you apart from the Republican Party? Calling for freedom, liberty, and opportunity is all well and good, but those words have to backed up with a realistic policy vision that sets you apart from the intellectual bankruptcy that’s corrupted the GOP.

    Those assholes think every problem in the world can be solved with tax cuts (for rich guys) and descaling, if not outright withdrawing any government intervention (except when it suits them personally and/or financially, of course).

    What is a new conservative movement going to do about climate change? Are you going to advocate for a carbon tax? Cap and trade?

    What about our outdated Welfare State? Do you support a basic income, or are you at least willing to give it a try? What about a negative income tax?

    What are you thoughts on racial injustice, housing discrimination, mandatory minimum sentencing, the failed “war on drugs”, etc, etc, etc.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to put you on the spot here and saying you have to answer any of that right now, but for a new movement of the kind that you’re proposing, it’s important to get out there and say what you’re for if you’re hoping to bring in people beyond disaffected Republicans and/or conservatives. What kind of a vision does this conservative movement see for America?

    1. Yeah, when I read this:

      “The Republican Party can no longer be considered the home for conservatives. Conservatism is about protecting the fundamental rights: that we are all equal, regardless of the color of our skin, the faith we practice, or our gender.”

      from Evan McMullin, quoted above, my thoughts are,

      “Great, you and everyone else.” Who DOESN’T claim to be the protectors of equal rights, regardless of whether that claim is a lie? When Republicans would rather let children get shot and killed than pass minor, non-conflictual measures to make that action more difficult, they claim they’re protecting the equal rights of all citizens to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment. When Republicans allow schools, businesses, and other institutions to discriminate against LGBT+, women, immigrants, and minorities, it’s under the argument that they’re providing equal rights to all religions to believe what they please; and of course when they turn around and target Muslims specifically for travel bans, surveillance, and how they dress, it’s because Muslims across the world are horrible to women, Jews, and non-Arabs… when they’re not outright terrorists.

      It’s a shame that the United States’ fundamental values have been subverted by hateful, ignorant assholes, but unfortunately they have. So, when the words no longer match the values, greater care is required in choosing your words. “Conservatism is about protecting fundamental rights” just isn’t true. Instead of protecting fundamental rights by declaring yourself conservative, drop being a conservative and protect fundamental rights by your actions.

      And from there I could get back into the whole thing about how if you declare yourself an ‘-ism’, you’re essentially asking some group of opportunists to take your own values and identities away from you for their own power. That’s why this whole country over party thing matters: if all that being a Republican means is that you vote for every motherfucker with an ‘-R’ after his name on the chyron on FOX News, regardless of how mothers that dude fucks, then I don’t really see much use in being a Republican.

      If ‘conservatism’ is just a bunch of angry old white dudes getting red in the face because women want control of their own bodies, gay people want to buy cakes, and Muslims want to wear hijabs, then why try to take ‘conservativism’ back from anybody? Let them have it, as an easy and accessible way of identifying the assholes. Meanwhile, just speak entirely in your ideas and fixes, and let the name come from whichever academic political science master degree student decides to apply some neologism to describe you and your cohorts.

      What’s in a name? A rose by any other name smells so sweet. Meet Rose:

      http://woodstream.scene7.com/is/image/woodstream/hh-animals-skunk-5?$ProductPgLarge2$

      1. ^ This, right here, is a perfect encapsulation of the problem I mentioned in an above comment about how conservatism has been utterly corrupted. Republicans have rendered the label void of all meaning to the point that there’s no distinction anymore between a conservative and a Republican, and Trump has taken that dynamic and flushed whatever semblance of hope there might’ve been for a comeback right down the crapper.

        “Trump isn’t a real conservative and never was,” you might retort? I can appreciate that, but as far as public perception goes, that means shit. Ever since Republicans started being conflated to being conservatives (you can thank Goldwater and particularly Reagan for that) as a matter of course, conservatism itself was laid bare to the whims of any random asshole that just so happened to take the reigns. Trump can paint it over any color he wants in the eyes of the public, and we’re all seeing the real world results.

        Now I can appreciate disaffected Republicans and honest conservatives wanting to rescue their movement, but in the context of a situation where the Republican Party (again, where it’s automatically assumed to be inextricably linked to conservatism) is being torn to pieces in the court of public opinion, you have to be a little bit crazy to try and do something like this.

        What, exactly, is the plan here to rescue conservatism from Trumpism? Desperate times call for desperate measures, and I’m just not seeing it.

      2. Distilled into its most simplistic form, conservatism means to preserve the status quo and to quell the tide of change; not to stop it, but to effectively manage it in an appropriate manner.

        Frankly, there’s nothing wrong with that and I happen to agree with it, but as I’ve said numerous times now, conservatism’s original meaning has been utterly trampled over and corrupted, particularly in the Trump Era. It’s what Reagan did to liberalism on steroids and anyone trying to fight the tide is going to find it’s like trying to roll a bolder up Mount Everest.

        That said, what’s important, more than anything else, is to preserve conservatism’s original intent and purpose, in whatever new form that may take. So a label dies and gets discarded to the waste bin of history. Big f’ing deal. Democrats renamed themselves and kept persevering, so why shouldn’t Republicans be able to do the same? If they’re giving up just because they lost a word, then conservatives are much weaker than I’d been giving them credit for and they deserve to die out.

      3. I would never have defined conservatism as you did – preserving status quo/quell the tide of change, but you offer me yet another reason to object to it based upon your definition. I support respect for the status quo while embracing change. Rigidity limits us whereas openness expands us. This, to me, is the fundamental difference between the two parties. I’ll stick with the folks who welcome diversity.

      4. Aside from all the negativity, Brad, I’m glad you posted this and I’m glad to hear about the groups you’re involved with and their formation across the nation. It’s good to see this comment section active again, too.

        One thing I would recommend is checking out local Indivisible groups — not necessarily to join but to get an idea of what work they are doing, how they are doing it, and how they go about discussing it and activating themselves. Another advantage to this is learning how to talk to them. In my experience, their conversation is wrapped up in the concept of ‘progressivism’ the way yours would be in ‘new conservativism.’ But there’s nothing you’ve said about new conservativism in this post that a progressive would disagree with.

        There’s that concept of “We shouldn’t let X divide us.” Rather, we should let the current administration swallow up the toxic party that has only been promising everything 45 has been doing for the last four decades, and in the meantime form groups based around similar interests that are willing to talk to and collaborate with groups with dissimilar interests.

      5. Regarding conservatism, I’ve read the definition mentioned above and agree. Taking it from there, I have thought recently that many conservatives think with a “zero sum” mindset, whereas liberals tend to look for “win, win” solutions so that we have an increasing pie.

    1. Sorry, I meant for this reply to go here but it ended up above:

      Aside from all the negativity, Brad, I’m glad you posted this and I’m glad to hear about the groups you’re involved with and their formation across the nation. It’s good to see this comment section active again, too.

      One thing I would recommend is checking out local Indivisible groups — not necessarily to join but to get an idea of what work they are doing, how they are doing it, and how they go about discussing it and activating themselves. Another advantage to this is learning how to talk to them. In my experience, their conversation is wrapped up in the concept of ‘progressivism’ the way yours would be in ‘new conservativism.’ But there’s nothing you’ve said about new conservativism in this post that a progressive would disagree with.

      There’s that concept of “We shouldn’t let X divide us.” Rather, we should let the current administration swallow up the toxic party that has only been promising everything 45 has been doing for the last four decades, and in the meantime form groups based around similar interests that are willing to talk to and collaborate with groups with dissimilar interests.

      1. Thanks, Aaron! I’ve actually gotten in touch with the Indivisible chapter here in Chicago and told them that, even though we’re conservative, we want to help reduce polarization and work together with them however possible. Our Arkansas club is going to join them at the March for Truth.

    2. Hello and welcome, Brad!

      I went to your group’s Facebook page but saw that it was a closed group. However, I noticed that we have a mutual personal Facebook friend in common. My oldest nephew is friends with you. Small world. 🙂

      Chris, thanks for sharing your platform with Brad and giving him an opportunity to discuss what he is doing.

      1. Brad I sent you a facebook message with my nephew’s name.

        By now you may feel like you’ve been tossed into the lion’s den. Hope you will stick around this blog. It’s good to see another conservative posting.

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