Monday, July 6, 2009

President's Independence Day Message

Not to pile on the reading for the weekend just passed, but I just stumbled across this very brief President's Independence Day message and thought it worth sharing and discussing. I think it is a nicely written greeting and I believe our President is justly proud of this nation and its heritage. I also believe he respects the founders as a "courageous group of patriots [who] pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the proposition that all of us were created equal." What stands out to me though is this little morsel that I believe speaks volumes about what motivates this man:

"As long as some Americans still must struggle, none of us can be fully content. And as America comes ever closer to achieving the perfect Union our founders dreamed, that triumph -- that pride -- belongs to all of us."

On its surface, it is an honorable objective. But the founders never intended that Americans would not struggle, even fail miserably. What they intended is that Americans would be minimally fettered by a government as they struggled to achieve wealth, private property, livelihoods, start families and pursue happiness. For those who believe this man is some form of incarnate evil, I don't ascribe to that. I believe he is a man who firmly believes that what he is doing is taking this country to a new level of greatness. And, in my experience, when a man or woman is so motivated, he or she is hard to stop. In this business of politics, it all hinges on having the most votes. We better find a way to appeal to those we currently lack. Libertarians, Hispanics, Jewish Americans and even Christian blacks have more in common, I believe, with the GoP platforms and principles than the Dems but we continue to send the message, sometimes intentionally, that they are not welcome here. That's going to have to change to turn this well-intentioned, powerfully-charismatic leader away from the course upon which he is currently sprinting...while dragging us along kicking and screaming.


Anonymous said...

Excellent distinction.

Sally said...

Mudge, how is it that you see that minorities are sent an 'unwelcome' message by the GOP? I don't ask that in a combative way, just curious.

Mudge said...

When I speak with Dems, especially minority Dems, I find they tend to agree with a lot of our GoP platforms and principles once they actually listen to them. But they are nearly unanimous in their characterizations of the GoP as being a party of "mean old white men". I contend that many simply turn off their listening when a Rush Limbaugh speaks and then see flocks of Republicans shaking their heads in agreement and they paint the entire party with the same mean old white paint. Heck, my own railing on Marion Barry, the most popular human in Democratic NE and SE DC in 50 years, and my diminishment of the DC citizenry's choice of vote is an example of that kind of "meanness" from their perspective. We make no apologies for a particularly un-American part of our history, we dig in our heels when people use slavery as an excuse (I am strongly among them) for behavior today that in our opinion has no excuse. For Hispanics, we see illegal aliens, invaders who have cut in line to gain access to our home. We feel disrespected that they can not only come here illegally but stay here and use our taxes to cover their medical and family expenses. When we rightly complain about it, the message is "get out of our country" the logical extension of which is "and don't even think of joining our party". Jewish Americans are the one I have the hardest time understanding. I can only believe it is a reaction to the hard line Christian base of the GoP, even though that is a relatively recent phenomenon. We have always forwarded policies far more favorable to Israel than the Dems, yet we have somewhere between 17 and 22 Jewish Americans in the GoP at any given time. Many of us GoP claim to have a libertarian streak running through us, yet we, can't quite reconcile that whole embracing atheism piece. We tell anyone who once had an unplanned pregnancy as a young woman who chose to abort it in accordance with the laws of our nation, that she is a murderer. I'm, again, one of those who finds abortion to be a depraved option for dealing with a defenseless human life, but if we can't find a way to say you are welcome in our political party, we'll just have to spot the Dems a whole demographic AND their friends and families. Likewise with gays. I know a lot of gays who, with the exception of their desire to be intimate with people who have bodies with which they are far more familiar, actually have some pretty darned conservative views. I am not saying we have to individually abandon our principles, but if we want to have much hope of turning this runaway train, we're going to need some outside help.

"The Hammer" said...

Of course he's not "evil", he's dangerous. He believes his own BS. Lyndon Johnson was such a man, and look where that got him...and us. As far as conservatives attracting blacks hispanics or whomever, to hell with them. I will not compromise my beliefs. If someone wants to treat elections as one big auction, as in what can you do for me, then fine, but they can go to hell.
Listen, liberals need us, the productive people, to pay for their vote buying schemes. We don't need them. Read "Atlas Shrugged" and get back to me.

"The Hammer" said...

Oh one more thing. The GOP doesn't send the message minorities aren't welcome. That's what the media wing of the Democratic party does. You know, ABC, NBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, NY Times, LA Times etc. etc. Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell and anyone else who embraces freedom and liberty are very welcome in the Republican party. We could give a damn about what color they are, we care about the Constitution.

Mudge said...

Sally - Greg has done a far better job demonstrating my point than I did. Hope you found it helpful.

Mudge said...

and Greg, I owe you a response but for now i feel like hammered hell and am just not up to lengthy, impassioned discourse. suffice it to say that i am asking no man or woman to compromise principles. what i said is there are plenty of voters out there who, when they allow themselves to listen to our party's approach to running this nation, tend quite often to say, "Gee I didn't know makes sense." And more often than not it is because of their perspective that we are angry with all of them that they never hear our message. CW mentioned an excellent speaker at his outing at
Gov Sanford's who discussed just this point with an even finer nuance. We have to be able to communicate more effectively.
We're losing that battle and our country is being driven by those who, this time at least, were far more effective at it.

Smoothfur said...

I have been a Conservative and a Republican since Barry Goldwater was the standard bearer of the GOP.

I have always believed, long before the Reverend, Doctor King said it that we should judge people by their character rather than their color.

When one compromises their principles, they have no principles.

Mudge said...

Changing one's tone does not require a compromise of one's principles. (consider this bold underlined print)

I have been far more effective at changing democrats' perspectives when I discuss with them rather than lecture them or do battle with them about GoP policies and, yes, principles. I have tried all three "tones" and have always been the most persuasive with the former approach. Irrespective of the tone I use to communicate, I have never strayed from my principles, which, it is important to note, probably differ from each of your principles yet we find common ground in how this country should be run. I am simply saying that we need to be better at conveying what I believe is a very good message (CWs "10 Principles" is a good example) that can be well-received by voters who currently consider themselves Democrats or Independents.

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