Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Virginia's Grim Old Party": Attacks on Virginia Conservatism

In no time in the recent past have I seen such an orchestrated attack and on the very Virginia conservatism that has populated much of our great Commonwealth since World War II. Liberal bloggers have coined the phrase "Grim Old Party" in describing Virginia Republicans as they attack conservatism on all fronts pushing an agenda in their view based on the conscience of bigger government, regulated markets, multiculturalism, trade protectionism and frankly the destruction of the Amercian family structure.

Now of course this attack is not being conducted out in your community per say as most of us regardless of political ideology keep mostly to ourselves and simply want to raise our families in a safe and secure environment and provide the best for our children. This is somehow lost on the establishment and yet the blogosphere has spurned a revolution, not one of based on futhering ideas but one based on hate in politics and the sport of tearing people down. Activist Bloggers are talk radio jockeys on steriods with very little accountablity for their words or actions. No going after advertisers as a means of punishing these folk.

Recently, it appears as if Republicans are being attacked not out of politics, but out of who they truly are as people. The core beliefs of conservatism that have contributed so much to Virginia's economic standing in America are being dragged through the mud by a liberal led hijacking of the New Democrats of old.

The days of Bill Clinton and the voice of the centrist are long but over in national politics if you merely read the countless blogs that have themselves become great forces in instituting the very divisive language that appears to be ripping Virginia from its roots. The far left liberalism with its coffers of seed money (Move have left those Democrats who believe in economic institutionalism behind and have used a rather interesting approach with Media Matters as the frontman. While many media outlets may throw stones, Media Matters is in the business of launching missiles at conservative values and beliefs.

These are groups that somehow correlate one individuals actions into the actions of entire group or Party. If one Republican for example, is found to have been involved in an extramarital affair then the whole groups basic core belief in family values is frivilous. Why?

This new Liberalism is rooted in the individual. It is basing much of its platform and agenda on the individual choice or reason over that of the commonality of its ranks. These liberals attacking Republicans on "family value" grounds is rooted in the fact that they have no desire or need for the family structure as we as Americans have grown to know it. We have seen our family value structures come under attack through various measures in the past, whether it was under the guise of removing religion from schools some thirty years ago or the lastest measures to redefine the family structure and gender roles for that matter. These liberals do not see a difference between a Father and a Mother. They equate no real value in the difference in nature between a man and a women and therefore do not recognize the family structure the same way conservatives do. This is why the marriage definition has been such a hot topic throughout the country with regard to family structure.

Family life as defined by most of us is in direct conflict with what these new liberals seek to advance. Conservatives believe in the Father, Mother, Child structure under the notion of the nature of man under God almost natural selection where we have no control over who we are born to. These Liberals do not subscribe to that belief. They believe in many forms of Family. They believe in Family Choice. They believe in the deconstruction of the conservative view of family, gender roles, social norms and seek at times to permit government to become part of the family view. In short, Liberals see family under the guise of free choice. Hence, Liberals have supported "no fault" divorces in an attempt to allow it to be easier for family structures to be broken. They place no greater significance on the parental role as that of government as a means of social reform; ie using government as the sword for same sex marriages and its equality of scale with traditional marriages.

Alot of this is witnessed in Virginia politics when you review positions with regard to stem cell research, abortion issues and individual freedoms. Liberals will never see life beginning at conception because of their individualistic idealogy in that they will only perceive life at the time of delivery when an actual child is seperated (delivered) as an individual. Conservatives will push for recognition of life at conception as a means of down the road ending abortions all together. The very view of "life" in all its forms it seems to me is where we should be moving the debate., whether it be family life or whole life.

Internationally, the situation in Iraq has of course led to the rise of the what I call the "discontent". The Iraqi situation has been a springboard for extreme Liberalism to attack Conservatism but for in my estimation the wrong reasons. On the one hand, Liberals are very internationalist and mostly supporting a multicultural America over one embedded in nationalism. The Liberal bloggers throw patriotism and rednecks and references like the KKK all over the Virginia Republicans these days without really examining just exactly what it is they are advocating. The premise that we are a multicultural society based on internationalism or "global" societies leads one down the road that "illegal" aliens are somehow justified in there determination to break the laws of the United States. Liberals do not recognize our laws in those terms, but rather from a world view and in fact tend to believe in the World Court over our own system because they perceive our Supreme Court to be too Conservative in nature. To Liberals the "illegals" are justified in their entry because as individuals they made that choice. The laws of the land carry very little weight in this regard when put up against the reasoning and rationalism used but the extreme left.

Conservatives in Virginia have a more nationlistic view with regard to immigration. The portrayal that Virginia Conservatives are racist and "hate mongers" beacause they support the upholding of our immigration laws is but one layer of extremism being levied across the blogoshere. Liberals somehow believe that "illegals" have equal right to be in America as those of us who were born here whereas Conservatives do not see it in terms of rights but rather in terms of national identity. If an immigrant wishes to become an Amercian citizen or and "illegal" wishes to gain legal status there is an obligation of that individual to adhere or accept the national interest and assimilate part of which means abiding by the laws that govern our nation. Again it is the difference between a multicultural stance versus an American culture rooted in our Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and Constitution.

I think when these Liberal bloggers go after those in Virginia who would merely seek to have our very laws enforced as to their intent they do an injustice to all Virginians. They seek to promote an environment of supporting Government but one where people are supported by the Government. These folks would not have supported JFK thats for sure.At every turn we see a criticism directed at Conservativism and its core beliefs which I find striking since most of those belief structures are based on our founding documents. With every attack I reflect more and more on those documents as a means of bearing witness as to why it is they mean so much. They are idealistic, nationalistic, patriotic, and god orientated all of which seems counter to the New Liberal agenda.

In the coming months ahead we will see that are striking differences between what mainstream Democrats support and those that have hijacked the Party on the national level. I have always held Virginia Democrats in highest regard largely because over the years they have certainly been more moderate and centrist in nature, but there is a new wave of liberalism growing and it is unlike anything in Virginia's history.

If Republicans do not rise above the political traps of engagement and fail to hold true to the values of Family Life, Free Markets and Economic Growth, Freedom of Choice with regard to Healthcare options, Limited and Small Government, and the very Nature of Law then maybe the New Liberals have it right and the Virginia Republicans will become the "Grim Old Party"

But friends the next time you hear someone blaming Virginia Conservatives for Virginia's flawed Transportation systems remind them that six of the last eight Governors have been Democrats in Virginia and not a single one of them had the vision to see down the road that this was bound to happen. Why? Because they to fell into the trap of putting politics before planning.

We must really begin to break down the differences between the agenda of the far left and its New Liberalism and determine if it is what we truly want for Virginia's future. Frankly, it scares me.


Anonymous said...

As a Virginia Democrat I found it very easy to support Jim Webb but find many of the other "new" liberals far too left for Virginia's taste. These people seem to forget that there are quite a few conservative Democrats in Virginia as well that do not support the agenda of the far left let alone same sex marriage, universal healthcare, or protectionist trade. How many more jobs would we have had NAFTA gone away I wonder? I will support Virginia Democrats to be sure, but not those supporting the agenda of the far left. I do not see Mark Warner doing that with policy though he may pander to them during the campaign. Conservatism is not dead in either party here in Virginia, our issues should be with the extremes of both parties.

Will C. said...

We are being bombed with rhetoric on a daily basis with the intent of division to be sure and I wonder just what it is about these so called liberals who everytime out nation is forced to fight a conflict they always seem to favor the opposition over their own. Your point regarding nationalism is right on and is flat out shameful. Not all Democrats subscribe to the views of the minority of the Party but the problem is the minority is the most vocal which creates an environment where all Democrats are lumped into the same group as the far left. fact is the far left has NEVER been able to elect anyone on their own period. Apparently they seem to forget that while they alienate the middle of the Party with their rhetoric regarding illegal immigration, healthcare, taxes , etc. The extremist pay homeage to the likes of Chavez while they portray their very own President as evil. There is something wrong with that.

Bill Garnett said...

I appreciate that your perspective of having lived in both Loudon County and Chesterfield gives you a basis of comparison. I have lived in, as a gay man, four states and traveled in 28. I have lived in three countries and traveled in 22. Since coming out at the age of 27, I am now 64, I have met and talked over these years with gay men in most of these places and I can not recall once a gay agenda mentioned in any conceivable way similar to the statement you make: “They believe in the deconstruction of the conservative view of family, gender roles, social norms and seek at times to permit government to become part of the family view.” I have no idea how you can make such an overarching generalization.

Your historical perspective must realize that similar charges hindered women’s suffrage and decriminalization of interracial marriage. Perhaps it is the conservative value of constancy versus the liberal view of consistency that is at odds here.

As many conservatives have repeatedly admonished me: “You have the right to your own views; you just don’t have you right to your own facts”. The overwhelming conclusion of peer reviewed science and medicine have concluded that homosexuality is not a moral choice but is a state of being.

You mention in your vision statement that, “our leaders should heed some of the wisdom of our forefathers”. May I suggest some wisdom from Virginia native Thomas Jefferson who, in his Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom wrote:

"Well aware that the opinions and belief of men depend not on their own will, but follow involuntarily the evidence proposed to their minds; that Almighty God hath created the mind free, and manifested his supreme will that free it shall remain by making it altogether insusceptible of restraint; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments, or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, but to exalt it by its influence on reason alone; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time:"

I respect your religious beliefs; I hope you respect mine. I believe that God gave me the ability to discern, and to read the Bible in the context of the time and place in which it was written. However, I hope you are not suggesting that decisions of our political leaders would be founded on their interpretation of the Bible, as I’m sure you would not want to be governed by my interpretation of the Bible. Our elected officials place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution; and not vice versa. After all, it was the wisdom and historical appreciation of our founders that recognized the intrusion of and conflicts caused by religious intrusion into civil matters in the Europe they recently left that prompted the secular government they invented.

I won’t get into a theological debate with you, only to state that very learned theologians even today debate over even whether the Christian Bible admonishes homosexual relationships that exist in the context of a loving committed relationship.

I would also recommend this writing of Jefferson which is one of four chosen to be to engraved on his monument in Washington:

"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."

As we as a people came to recognize the equal humanity of people regardless of race, to respect equality for women in civil affairs, and reject the inequality of segregation, those prescient words of Jefferson were realized. I don’t pretend to dismiss the uncomfortableness of our older generations, or the perceived threat to long held belief systems, nor the ignorance of many to current science and medicine. However, none of these is an excuse to not want the sons and daughters of our community, to all, gay or straight, have the opportunity to grow up in Chesterfield, afforded the equal benefits and protections as do heterosexual committed relationships, to be equally loved and supported by their families and communities, and to be afforded the same opportunities to reach their potential and thus contribute fully to our common good.

As we both live in this county and have a concern about her future, I’d be happy to meet with you at a Starbucks and over coffee listen to your point of view and perhaps give you a better chance to listen to mine.

J. Scott said...

Bill I appreciate your comment and fully respect your views. I would never pretend to understand the theological differences as pointed out by scholars and you on the subject. For me we are all individuals created in Gods image. This is what makes me lean more conservative as I believe just that, that we are ALL equal in Gods image and the basis of religious freedom in our country's histroy is profound and should never be removed or lessoned from significance. I believe their are elements on the left seeking to do just that and rather under the radar.
My commentary was about distinctions of difference between the new liberals on the far left and conservatives. I am no expert but it seems to me most homosexuals for example tend to be liberal in large part in response to the perceived conservative positions. I know quite of few gay Republicans who have switched to the Democrats since coming out in lareg part because I think we all tend to migrate to areas of acceptance and for some reason, unjustified in my book, conservatives have not be able to get around the religious implications of the subject and be able to see all individuals as a divine spark and see gays as a valuable entity in the movement.
The example in my life, which honestly you have seen more and experienced more as I am almost twenty five years your junior, is I grew up Episcopalian as a child and as a young adult began witnessing a transformation in our Church that created much of the division in it today where many Catholics that were homosexual were driven away from their churches. Many homosexuals found ahome in the Episcopalian ranks in large part because of our acceptance of human beings as just that, human beings. I rationalize that the church I was raised in is not the Episcopal Church of today and frankly that may be a good thing and we are better for it. We did not have women priests nor did we have gay priests in my youth, but if a Church is to be the reflection of its mass are not these things long over due?
I am a father of three now raising my children in the Catholic Church, my wifes faith and reason both faiths in my heart continually.
I do believe in the family structure of one man, one woman and child but do not endorse nor defend the efforts of those seeking to deny ones right to live in the way their relationship with their core beliefs and God intend.
I am a firm believer that when something touches you or your family that ideology certainly shifts. My childeren will be raised to not only understand but respect the orientations of the members of their very own family but also those outside our family. It is true that so much of what divides people is bent on the exploitation of religious underpinnings but the one thing I am most opposed to is the classing or grouping of individuals to where they are granted special rights or treatments over and beyond our founding documents.
I simply believe we are all equal under God and our laws and we should go about respecting that and not be granting preferential treatment in any manner to anyone on the basis of race, creed, religion or orientation period. We are ALL Americans and there is so much we can get behind but instead we are trapped by what people will have divide us.
Conservatives believe to a large extent that the core "family" structure is under attack by groups that wish to make gay marriages equal to that of those they see as legitimate. This was my point regarding "deconstruction". If it were my call I would eliminate the role of marriage with regard to government all together but that would be impossible given how we structure taxes, incomes, rights, etc. My view, and my Church has moved towards endorsing such a view, that anyone should be able to be married should the church and therfore having recognition before God makes it so. For people who do not want government in their lives I find it hypocritical for some far right conservatives to somehow use government to step in and define marriage. Thats something I can not get around at all.
If you get a chance take a look at the bills coming before the GA this next session and you get a pretty good indication of whats ahead and debates that will ensue between far left liberalism and conservatism.
I am interested in the one around declaring abortion clinics as "ambulatory" hospitals which are regulated differently and evidently harder than clinics. Stem cell and also life at conception will certainly create some fireworks as well.

James said...

J.Scott whats the deal with this thing out of Congress about taking the word "God" off the flag certificate request by citizens? Is the Democratic leadership really going so far overboard to statisfy the far left that this is going to stand. Are they really seeking to removal all reference to God from our institutions.
Why is also that 80% of Americans support English declared as official language and they are opposed to that as well? Is this because of the "multiculturalism" you refer to?
Seperation of Curch and Stae was a 1950's court case interpretation by the Supreme Court and no where is it refered to in our founding documents in the manner in which we live under today. Jefferson never spoke of the "wall of seperation" until the early 1800 and was an advocate of involvement of religion in governing just not governments involvement in relgion, ie mandating a religion.
You don't have to be ultra religious to see that alot of our problems began when we started playing with the role of religion, it led to private schools creation, led to increasing crime as our young people lost the exposure it once was getting through schools to values, and certainly led to segregation and busing issues in the 70's.
If history is any indication we are in for more attacks on our very way of life to be sure.

Bill Garnett said...

J. Scott,

It is refreshing to be able to have a civil conversation with someone who has a different point of view. Although I would prefer that you not nuance your posts to imply that the far left does not have its corollary in the far right. It is not the far left against conservatives – nor should it be an exaggeration of the far left played against a stylized moderate conservatism. The reality is that reasonable liberals and reasonable conservatives have far more in common – and reaching a common ground is where the conversation can lead to solutions to our common problems. When the left/right imbroglio overshadows our commonly faced threats, then we are hurting our common good.

When either the far right or the far left is hung out as exaggerated stereotypes, and when contemporary media can so successfully pander to the knee jerk hot button mentalities that drive the left/right divide, then growing numbers of the population can begin to see the other as the “enemy”. That must not happen – we can not become enemies of each other, particularly if that would provide an opening for some charismatically led movement to exploit. History is replete with that narrative.

I think we both know that the marriage amendment in Virginia had the subtext of a political ploy to energize socially conservative voters. That off year election brought out 22,000 voters in Midlothian district when the analogous election four years earlier brought out only 6,000 (and was largely responsible for Sowder winning over Gecker despite Gecker’s natural constituency and his better name recognition).

I don’t want special rights or privileges because I am gay. I want equality as a citizen. I want to have the same standing and protection and privileges. The same protections and benefits, as a gay person from my government, as does a straight person has from his government -- and equally for a committed relationship compared to a heterosexual relationship. And should someone paint “FAG” on my house I would expect the community to be as offended as if a cross were burned on the front lawn of a black family, or if a swastika were painted on a local Synagogue. When a class of citizens are specifically targeted with crimes of intimidation against themselves and their property, when does not society see this as requiring a special and stronger deterrent – and punishment?

J.Scott said...

Amen Bill.

Anonymous said...

You guys give me hope. Coffee's on me.

Jim R. said...

Bill G.
The greater issue may be that we have allowed ourselves and individuals in our community to be "classed" in the first place. We are allowing radical elements to divide us into groups for the means of exploiting our differences instead of us making those differences strengths through the kind of dialogue and conversations like this one here on this blog. Until we stand up and send a message that we do not need people like Jackson and Sharpton as selective watchdogs who seek every opportunity to exploit race for their own gain we will never make progress on race. In terms of sexual orientation, until we start teaching our children it is not about "forgiveness" but about "acceptance" of individuals for who they are as people and their contributions to our community we will never make progress on that fron either. As long as you tell people they have to be forgiven for something you are basically condeming them and thats not how you bring about unity.

Anonymous said...

Part of me wants to give a different view on the usefulness of "forgiveness" but I shall succomb to the part of me that understands what you are trying to say and basically agree.

In that light, I accept both liberals and conservatives :0)

Anonymous said...

Bill and J.Scott I know you guys are both from Midlothian so ditch the coffee at Starbucks and try the Cafe Caturra up by Sycamore Square along Rt. 60. Great coffee , food and patio for enjoyment.