Friday, April 22, 2011

A Political Strategy For Conservatives

Former NFL coach of the NY Jets Herm Edwards uttered the words “You play to win the game” at a press conference in response to a question about the Jets playing “not to lose” rather than aggressively playing to win. The Edwards quote is funny in the way he says it but playing to win is not as obvious as his quote makes it seem.

In sports, there are some teams or individuals who play aggressively, trying to force their opponents into mistakes while risking mistakes themselves. Other teams don’t take chances, playing less aggressively while waiting for a mistake from their opponents that they can pounce on. Some teams try to outsmart their opponents, some use gimmicks while others try to physically intimidate.

One strategy is not necessarily better than the other. It depends on the personnel of the team and the personnel of its opponent, as well as weather conditions and other considerations. One thing is clear in sports – you find your own strength and your opponent’s weakness and try to maximize your strengths while exploiting your opponent’s weaknesses.

In U.S. politics, one of the biggest strengths of democrats vs. republicans is that the democrats get to frame the rules of the debate. This is helped by a media that is mostly made up of democrats. There are narratives and cliché’s that are accepted as absolute truths such as: The rich get richer while the poor get poorer. Republicans are the party of the rich and corporations while democrats are the party of the working class. Democrats care about the elderly, minorities, children, women, gays, transgender people and the physically handicapped while republicans care about the religious right and gun fanatics. Democrats are thoughtful, thinking people while republicans are back woods people ready to support war and killing in the name of blind patriotism.

Republicans need to attack these clichés at their core before they can go into specific debates about policy. As long as republicans are portrayed in this way, they will not be successful. The worst part of these clichés is that the republicans often lend credibility to the stereotypes by trying to put themselves above other republicans.

For example, when republicans use a term such as “compassionate conservatism”, they lend legitimacy to the idea that most conservatives are not compassionate. Instead of a candidate saying that as an individual, he is a compassionate conservative, the candidate needs to say that conservatism, itself, is compassionate. The candidate needs to be able to display how and why conservatism is compassionate. Before conservatives and republicans can become the political force they need to be, they have to change the take on who they are perceived to be.

Republicans are afraid to defend anything that took place during the Bush administration and that continues to be used against them. Some political strategists, no doubt making a lot of money and being experts in their field, have decided that the past is the past and that political debates must be based on a vision of the future. But when your vision of the future is consistently compared to what you have done in the past you are put in a position where you HAVE to defend the past whether you want to or not.

An honest analysis of what took place during the Bush administration would show that Bush and the republicans were the only ones who saw the impending disaster of Freddie and Fannie, along with the housing market collapse. There are democrat politicians from Barney Frank and Andrew Cuomo to Barack Obama, himself, actually on tape saying that Freddie and Fannie were not in trouble. They are on tape saying they wanted to continue the course of sub-prime loans. These are the same sub-prime loans that were the driving force behind the economic collapse.

The republicans know the complete playbook of democrats. It’s class warfare, lying about actual facts, and portraying the republicans as mean. There is no ingenuity behind that playbook. The republicans know that an 85 mile per hour straight fastball is coming straight down the center of the plate belt high but they refuse to hit it! Since they are already being sold to the public as mean, republicans are careful not to hit the ball too hard because then they might be perceived as even more mean! Yet people would respect and like republicans more if they fought for their issues rather than ran away from them.

When Barack Obama states “But I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don't mind cleaning up after them, but don't do a lot of talking” -- or when Obama says that republicans have driven the car into the ditch and he is trying to get the car out -- or when he says about republicans that “they can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back”. All of these comments are based on the assumption that the Bush administration, the republican congress and the republican senate created the economic mess the U.S. is in.

When the entire strategy of the democrats is based on the idea that Bush and republicans “drove the bus into a ditch” then it is incumbent on the republicans to show that they were screaming to stop the bus while the democrats kept driving. In fact, there is a rumor that while the bus was speeding toward the cliff, it was stopped by a traffic cop but when the officer asked for a license and registration, Barack Obama chided him for being extreme. Apparently the officer let the bus go after Obama showed him an old learner’s permit from the state of Hawaii.

Obama was recently caught off camera by CBS and said “Go at it” in referring to republicans attempt to repeal his health care plan. If Obama wants a fight, the republicans should give him one. Start by isolating the lies constantly being told by the left and then attack the motivation for saying the lies, as well as the substance of the lies themselves. It can’t get done through the media and must come in a “mano a mano” challenge directly to Obama. Obama will get angry and will try to hide it by his signature smile. Nevertheless, if he is really challenged, he will come across as bitter and vengeful.

A quick word about the “Birther” issue – a friend recently applied for a job at a large financial firm. He had to provide: Proof of citizenship, A full college transcript, Allow the company to do a full credit check, Show documentation and proof of all residences for the last ten years, Copies of passport and drivers license, Get a drug test. Why does a person applying for a job at a financial institution need to show more proof than the person who has the most powerful position on earth?

The President works for the people and we have a right, actually an obligation, to make sure that he is who he says he is. In fact, we know he has a large collection of friends (too numerous to name here) who have anti-American sentiments. Is it unreasonable to ask to see what he wrote during his informative years in college, especially given who his friends are? Every other president has released his transcripts, why not Obama?

As to the birth certificate, if it has been lost then say so and tell us why. Obama has spent about 2 million dollars fighting lawsuits that want him to simply show the birth certificate. He clearly does not want to show this document. Maybe he is a citizen and maybe he isn’t but he clearly seems to be hiding something.

George Bush had about 10 minutes unaccounted for from his service in the National Guard and every media company in the world tried to find out what went on in those 10 minutes. Now we have a president who hasn’t released his medical records, college transcript and writings, and birth certificate. Where is the media curiosity? Republicans need to (pardon the expression) grow a set on this one and simply demand that Obama release these documents as all other presidents have done.

The republicans have to fight on their terms. Despite an antagonistic media, there is no need for trick plays. All republicans have to do is toss the ball down the field and they will win. There is no need to take a call on a cell phone in the middle of a news conference. Leave this kind of idiocy to the democrats. Are you listening Rudy Giuliani? Don’t insult the intelligence of the citizens of this country with silly games. State your case honestly and without fear, with humor if possible but not with gimmicks. Play to win the game.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Big Government Virus

A biological virus is defined, according to as: “an ultramicroscopic … metabolically inert, infectious agent that replicates only within the cells of living hosts, mainly bacteria, plants, and animals … composed of an RNA or DNA core, a protein coat, and, in more complex types, a surrounding envelope. “A computer virus is defined as “a segment of self-replicating code planted illegally in a computer program, often to damage or shut down a system or network.

There is a new type of virus known as BGV (The Big Government Virus). This is a virus that combines the maliciousness of a computer virus with the heartbreaking reality of a biological virus. BGV is similar to a computer virus in that it is caused by people and planted in hosts with purposeful intent. It is similar to a biological virus in the way it replicates itself in the body politic.

There is no cure for BGV. There is no treatment, antibiotic, or anti-virus software that will remove it once it takes hold. The virus reproduces itself on a geometric scale. The best way of dealing with this treacherous disease is to prevent it from infecting the host in the first place. Like all viruses, BGV is a parasite that needs to feed off of a living host in order to survive and spread.

The good news is that BGV is completely preventable. It requires education from a young age and continuing vigilance throughout a person’s life but as long as people are aware of the warning signs, they can prevent the infection from contaminating them and their neighbors.

Schools have started many education programs for the prevention of viruses such as AIDS. They have handed out condoms to young children and explained to these young kids how to have sex so that it is less risky. Now with this new wicked virus, young children will need to be educated to how BGV works, how it spreads and how it can be prevented.

Like many viruses, at first BGV seems harmless. Its danger is in its deceptive nature. It often fools people into thinking that it is beneficial. This is why education of BGV is so important. People first need to identify carriers of the virus. There are people who knowingly carry this virus and purposely spread it to others. Most of these people are democrat politicians. The virus works thusly:

A democrat politician such as Barack Obama will say something such as “The rich need to pay their fair share”. This is the entry point of BGV. Taxes then get raised. At this point the BGV bug takes hold. People will naturally try to prevent giving their hard earned money to the government. They may try to put it in tax shelters. So, a new government agency needs to be created in order to monitor the economic activity of citizens. A certain amount of freedom is lost as this new agency tells people how and where they can invest their money.

This new agency costs money as well. Hundreds of new IRS agents need to be hired. Therefore, the raising of taxes has an expense associated with it as a portion of the new taxes has to go into paying for the new agency.

Then the people who have to pay the extra taxes have to change their plans. Not having the money to invest the way they want, they have to cancel certain expenditures. A person planning to buy a BMW puts those plans off until the economic situation is better. Other people do the same. Soon there is extra inventory at BMW. Sales people are let go as cars are not selling.

The sales people who are let go from BMW file for unemployment. Now, instead of the government receiving taxes from all those BMW sales people, the government has to pay them unemployment checks. So the extra revenue from raising taxes now has another bill associated with it. There are less people paying taxes because less people are working and not only are there less tax payers, but the government goes from receiving money from those people to PAYING money to those people.

The trucking companies that deliver BMW cars, the mechanics that repair them, the suppliers who supply the steel, computer components, electrical equipment, and leather for the seats all let people go because demand is so low. Now the unemployment rate is really starting to rise and in an act of compassion, the unemployment insurance period is increased by six months which causes government to pay out even more money.

Now the BGV illness has completely infected the body politic. People have less money because the government is confiscating more and more. In addition, the government is telling them how and where they can invest the money they are allowed to keep. This loss of freedom and individual wealth is not offset by any gains in government revenue because whatever new money the government hoped to obtain is paid out in new expenses that didn’t exist before the tax increase.

This is only the beginning of the damage caused by the BGV virus. Not only is there a bunch of new expenses, but there isn’t any new economic growth. A person who was planning to create an extra room in his home puts those plans off because after paying the extra taxes, he doesn’t have enough money left. The construction firm that would have gotten the job and would have paid taxes on it now pays no taxes and goes out of business because no one else is adding rooms to their homes either.

The insidious virus is now in full replication mode. Politicians see the infection spreading but instead of trying to treat it, they perpetuate it with more of the same. With unemployment levels skyrocketing and debt growing, the politicians decide to create new government jobs. The people who do these jobs go off of unemployment but their very salary is still paid by other tax payers! These jobs cost money and produce little. In addition, the people who do these jobs become dependent on the very system that gave them the jobs in the first place. A vicious cycle begins as the people who work for the government become permanent perpetuators of the BGV disease!

With all the new government jobs, there is no innovation by individuals. People who may have come up with inventions and ideas that could improve the lives of others don’t have the money to invest. There is no entrepreneurialism because not only do people lack the money to invest but they also know that even if they manage to scrape up the money, come up with a great idea, work hard and have success, they still won’t get to keep the fruits of their hard work! Soon people become dependent on other countries for products because the cost of producing them here and taking risks versus the potential rewards becomes prohibitive.

At this point the BGV germs are circulating all through the body politic. The infection is severe. Debt and unemployment are high. Individual freedom is in danger. There is no growth in the economy. Opportunities are few and innovation is null. So what do the politicians do? They ask to raise taxes again! This is similar to an endless loop in the worst computer virus. A loop is a piece of computer code that repeats itself over and over until some condition is finally met to stop it. But with another rise in taxes, there is no exit to the loop as it repeats again and again while doing more damage each time it runs through. The patient, already infected with a severe case of BGV, will not survive if the loop continues to run.

Awareness of diseases is important. People have cancer walks and AIDS walks in order to prevent the spread of diseases and to raise consciousness. They remind people to see doctors and get checked for breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer. The time has come for a BGV walk to create awareness and to put a definitive end to this horrific epidemic. It is now time to educate the public to the scourge known as the BGV (Big Government) virus. This self perpetuating disease has always been around in one form or another. It can be reasonably argued that this disease has caused more death and destruction than any other. The infection rate has, hitherto, been kept in check in the United States. Now the country is in danger of a BGV epidemic. It must be stopped.