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The American ideal:
individuals not government responsible for quality of our lives

Commenting this morning on “this analysis from Fortune editor and columnist Geoff Colvin that”, as he puts, “hits both Obama and Romney for offering agendas that are, he [i.e., Colvin] contends ultimately irrelevant to the problems generating anxiety and disappointment for America’s middle class”, Jim Geraghty concludes:

If we really can’t face the notion that we, and not the government, are principally responsible for the quality of our lives . . . are we even really Americans anymore?

Read the whole thing.

Freedom the focus of Romney’s economic address

Shortly after reading about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s economic speech in Chicago, I decided to read the address itself and see if a word search confirmed my hypothesis that the GOP presidential frontrunner emphasized the word, “freedom.”  Sure, enough the word,”freedom” occurred 32 times, (30 not counting the titles) in the prepared text.

This “word cloud” shows you just how central the word is to this man’s economic ideas:

Now, to be sure, this cloud does show that Mr. Romney also used the word, “government” a good deal (17 times by my browser’s count), but mostly to criticize state intervention in the economy:

The government does not create prosperity; free markets and free people do.

For three years, President Obama has expanded government instead of empowering the American people. He’s put us deeper in debt. He’s slowed the recovery and harmed our economy. And he has attacked the cornerstone of American prosperity: our economic freedom.

In response to these attacks, the Republican was going to tell us “why economic freedom is so critical – and how” he would “restore it in order to get our economy growing again”.  He found that the ideal of liberty distinguished American culture:

But one feature of our culture that propels the American economy stands out: freedom.

The American economy is fueled by freedom.

Free people and their free enterprises are what drive our economic vitality.

He went on to detail some of the damage regulators do and took the incumbent to task for the crony capitalism he practices: (more…)

Republicans Must Keep Eyes on Defining Choice of 2012 Election:
Freedom & Free Enterprise or Bureaucracy & Government Control

In his book, The Battle: How the Fight between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America’s Future, perhaps the most important public policy manifesto of the Obama era*, Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, spells out the choice facing Americans in the coming election:

This is not the culture war of the 1990s. this is not a fight over guns, abortions, religion, and gays. Nor is it about Republicans versus Democrats. Rather, it is a struggle between two competing visions of America’s future. In one, America will continue to be a unique and exceptional nation organized around the principles of free enterprise. In the other, America will move toward European-style statism grounded in expanding bureaucracies, increasing income redistribution, and government-controlled corporations. These competing visions are not reconcilable: We must choose.

Clearly, the incumbent President of the United States has chosen the “other” path. And the real question for this fall’s campaign is whether the Republican nominee will be able to make a compelling case for American exceptionalism. On his good days, Newt Gingrich does do that. And from time to time so has Mitt Romney.

Rick Santorum, unfortunately, sometimes get bogged down in the culture war, managing, as Carol Platt Liebau (quite sympathetic to social conservatives) the contraception mandate, “to transform the debate over the HHS regulations from an issue of religious liberty – uniting conservatives, libertarians, and other Americans of good will in opposition to the ObamaCare overreach – into an issue of contraception.”  (Via Hugh Hewitt.)

Indeed, many conservatives (& libertarians) have criticized the mandate with arguments nearly identical to those they use to articulate the principles of free enterprise.

We simply cannot lose sight of the stakes in this election.  The Republican candidate for President will likely win should he keep the focus on this choice and remain ever aware that the incumbent, his party and the legacy media will be doing all in their party to keep from having this debate.

* (more…)

Giving Thanks for the United States of America

I’m glad I stumbled upon this item in the Wall Street Journal today.

Any one whose labors take him into the far reaches of the country, as ours lately have done, is bound to mark how the years have made the land grow fruitful.

This is indeed a big country, a rich country, in a way no array of figures can measure and so in a way past belief of those who have not seen it. Even those who journey through its Northeastern complex, into the Southern lands, across the central plains and to its Western slopes can only glimpse a measure of the bounty of America.

And a traveler cannot but be struck on his journey by the thought that this country, one day, can be even greater. America, though many know it not, is one of the great underdeveloped countries of the world; what it reaches for exceeds by far what it has grasped.

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We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Understanding the meaning of “pursuit”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:57 pm - November 3, 2011.
Filed under: American Exceptionalism,Happiness

The cover of the October 31 issue of the National Review featured a picture of a handful of #OWS protesters with a woman hoisting this sign at the center.

It seems that this young lady is not familiar with the the precise manner in which Mr. Jefferson updated the standard classical liberal list of rights. Up until, political philosophers often talked about the rights of life, liberty and property. In the Declaration of Independence, Mr. Jefferson removed the third, replacing it with the expression, “pursuit of happiness.”

I emphasized the two words the woman left out as they help us understand the Founders’ view of the role of government.

NB:  More on this anon.  Purpose of this post is to stimulate discussion on the reasons the Continental Congress ratified the Declaration with Mr. Jefferson’s expression intact, that is, why they understood “the pursuit of happiness” to be a right, but not happiness itself.

Herman Cain’s Plan To Revive The American Economy

Common sense solutions from my candidate for President….

Herman Cain in Wall Street Journal: “My Plan to Revive Economic Growth”
Published: Thursday, September 15, 2011

Last week, President Obama unveiled his eagerly anticipated jobs plan. After 43 minutes of his speechifying, Americans were left wondering: We waited 30 months for this?
Indeed, it seems Mr. Obama’s first term has been spent advancing a legislative agenda that pays no mind to our ailing economy and the Americans whose sufferings are casualties in his ideological war. After a failed stimulus package, preferential industry bailouts, and the disastrous government overhaul of the health-care industry, it seems the plight of the American worker has remained an afterthought.

This is the worst jobs recovery since the Great Depression. If the Obama administration’s aim was to merely tie for last place with the previous worst recovery, it would have created eight million more jobs, based on comparative data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If our recovery were more typical of the postwar era, as former Sen. Phil Gramm reported on this page in April, we would have 14 million more jobs today.

As a longtime leader in the business community, I know firsthand that government does not create jobs. It can only create the conditions in which businesses operate. These conditions can spur growth, or they can suppress it. The conditions imposed by the current administration have suppressed growth.

Still, there is hope. That hope begins with economic certainty, a sort of assurance the president seems unwilling to provide. I, on the other hand, have proposed a plan that would stabilize and grow our economy:

“Cain’s Vision for Economic Growth,” also known as the 9-9-9 Plan, is founded upon three guiding economic principles: Production drives the economy. Risk-taking creates growth. Units of measurement must be dependable.

The plan begins with restructuring the tax code to include the broadest possible base at the lowest possible rate. The elements are:

• A 9% corporate flat tax. Businesses would deduct purchases from other businesses and all capital investment. The resulting gross income is taxed at 9%.

• A 9% personal flat tax. Individuals would deduct charitable contributions, then pay 9% on the rest of their income. Capital gains are excluded.

• A 9% national sales tax. This levy would be placed on the consumption of all new goods. Used goods purchased would be excluded.

My plan would also permanently eliminate taxes on repatriated profits, as well as payroll taxes and the estate tax.

All of these measures would free up capital, spur production, and incentivize risk-taking, thereby fueling the economy and creating jobs. The plan has been designed to be revenue neutral initially, and then revenues would grow in line with the economy.

But these policies must be coupled with sound money. A dollar must be worth the same tomorrow as it is today. Stabilizing the dollar’s value starts with the federal government taking significant measures to rein in its spending and pay down the national debt. Americans must be assured that the federal government will live within its means and get serious about eliminating our crippling debt. Repealing ObamaCare, Sarbanes-Oxley and the Dodd-Frank bank-regulation bill would be critical steps.

Finally, my plan promotes enterprise zones, also known as “empowerment zones.” Coupled with tax reform and monetary stabilization, empowerment zones would revitalize inner cities by providing tax credits to businesses that hire workers living and working in underprivileged areas.

Some of the most tragic unemployment numbers can be found in minority communities and in urban centers around the country. Empowerment zones would create a whole new generation of wage-earners providing for their families. The late Jack Kemp, a secretary of the department of Housing and Urban Development and a dear friend, was one of the first lawmakers to propose empowerment zones. He understood the tremendous economic benefits they would provide.

Each job lost today is not merely a statistic. Americans are struggling to determine whether to pay their mortgages or buy groceries, whether to buy school uniforms or pay the electric bill.

Such despair is unfitting for the greatest nation the world has ever known. After all, it is inherently American to work, to risk and to dream. Our government’s policies should encourage that, not stifle it.

Mr. Cain, a Republican, is running for president of the United States. He is a former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and a former chairman of the board of directors to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

HERMAN CAIN FOR PRESIDENT

I am proud this morning to announce my support for Herman Cain for President.

This is a personal decision by me and does not reflect the views of my co-bloggers nor should be construed as an official endorsement by GOPROUD of which I am a board member.

Now that I’m done with that disclaimer….let me shout this from sea to shining sea — AMERICA NEEDS HERMAN CAIN!!!! I have been flirting with the Cain candidacy for over a year now. I had the pleasure to meet him at CPAC and I have been closely following his campaign long before most people knew his name.

I felt it was important to declare my preference publicly today as I have decided to become actively involved in Team Cain to assist in the South Carolina primary and beyond. I owe my readers the transparency of knowing why I am writing about certain things and not to be confused by my intent.

Why Herman Cain? Well, haven’t been this excited about a Presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan in 1984 (the first year I was old enough to truly know anything and make a difference).

Some will now say, “now Bruce….there will never be another Ronald Reagan!” And that is true. And I am NOT equating Mr. Cain to Mr. Reagan. What I am saying is that Mr. Cain excites me with his common sense ideas, love of country, and ability to connect to the American psyche. Choosing a President has always been a “gut feeling” thing for America. I have a great feeling about Herman Cain.

Herman Cain has been plucked by destiny to arrive at America’s electoral doorstep at just the right time. He has a solid business background, is an inspirational leader of people, and understands the complexities of the world economy. He wasn’t a community organizer, he is a jobs and growth creator. He wasn’t a concocted creation of America’s radical left and academic centers of power, he is a true child of the American Experience. He has never scoffed at American values, he embraces our nation’s special place in the history of mankind and knows we are teetering on the edge.

Mr. Cain is familiar with rescuing failing enterprises, which to me is his most important qualification. In a sheer coincidence to the timing of my announcement, Daniel Henninger wrote this yesterday in the Wall Street Journal:

Does a résumé like Herman Cain’s add up to an American presidency? I used to think not. But after watching the American Idol system we’ve fallen into for discovering a president—with opinion polls, tongue slips and media caprice deciding front-runners and even presidents—I’m rewriting my presidential-selection software. [Emphasis added.]

Conventional wisdom holds that this week’s Chris Christie boomlet means the GOP is desperate for a savior. The reality is that, at some point, Republicans will have to start drilling deeper on their own into the candidates they’ve got.

Put it this way: The GOP nominee is running against the incumbent president. Unlike the incumbent, Herman Cain has at least twice identified the causes of a large failing enterprise, designed goals, achieved them, and by all accounts inspired the people he was supposed to lead. Not least, Mr. Cain’s life experience suggests that, unlike the incumbent, he will adjust his ideas to reality.

No other GOP candidate can bring the fight to Obama over the sorry state of the American economy than Herman Cain. Our other choices are, I’m sad to say, more of the same old thing — career professional politicians. Yes, even Ron Paul, folks.

So there you have it. My big announcement. Herman Cain is the first Presidential candidate I will actively and ENTHUSIASTICALLY campaign for through blood, sweat, money & tears since Ronald Reagan in 1984. That’s a long time of being unmoved by GOP nominees, don’t you think?

There will be more to say about Herman Cain and the issues. But I wanted to stand up today and proudly declare my support for the 45th President of the United States of America and the next true heir of the American Experience — Mr. Herman Cain.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

After Ames….Now What?!?

I’m headed to Boston for work this morning, and good fortune has given me a few extra minutes before boarding my flight. So you lucky people get the benefit of my random post-Ames GOP nomination thoughts.

First, I’m not surprised that T-Paw dropped out. He was boring and completely boorish in his very personal attacks on Michele Bachmann during last week’s FOX News debate. Second, I am NOT a Bachmann supporter, but I’m pretty pissed off about how she is being treated by the press — liberal and conservative alike. Yes, Byron York — I’m lookin’ at you.

With regard to Bachmann, I see a major flame-out coming for her campaign. That’s all I’ll say about that…

I’m still a Herman Cain fan, I’ve given his campaign some of my hard-earned money, but I just don’t see him catching on as I hoped by now. I hope I’m wrong and he turns it on soon.

I’m told I should be flocking now behind Rick Perry. Sorry, I don’t see “it” yet. Someone please educate me.

In a week from today, I’ll be a South Carolina voter. So hopefully I’ll get a firsthand chance to meet my potential future President. I’m still holding out hope that Marco Rubio & Paul Ryan hear the desperate call of their fellow Americans to defeat Barack Milhous Obama.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Barack Obama is no George Washington

I’ve been listening to Ron Chernow’s biography of George Washington in the car.  A number of things struck me about this great man who faced much adversity in the early days of the French & Indian War.  Chernow points out how although the young officer in the British army made some, well, bone-headed military decisions, like establishing Fort Necessity, a frontier outpost near French lines “poorly situated to withstand and incursion,” he, by and large, learned from those mistakes.

The current occupant of the office he would be the first to hold seems to lack that ability.  As the fetching Stephen Green observes:

Obama can’t recognize mistakes — even though the evidence is as plain as last month’s hideous jobs report. He will continue to demand that reality conform to his theories, no matter what damage he does to this country. He doesn’t doge, he doesn’t weave — he keeps pursuing failure in the face of failure.

(Via Instapundit.)  Even after the failure of his “stimulus”, with the depletion of our coffers and the diminution of our nation’s once good credit, the Democrat still calls out for more spending* and fails to recognize that the regulations his administration has increased have reduced those he identified as those “produce most of the new jobs in this country” to hire new employees.

The president’s policies haven’t worked.  A real leader would understand that his goal was not to demonstrate the rightness of his approach, but to shift course and find an approach that did.

George Washington did that.  And because of that capacity, he won an unwinnable war and fathered a nation that offered opportunity for tens of millions, inspired others yearning to be free in distant corners of the globe and provided a level of prosperity that few had even imagined.

Our nation achieved all this in large part because George Washington learned form his mistakes.  Would it that Barack Obama could follow his predecessor’s example.

* (more…)

Liberty: Our National Creed

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:06 am - July 6, 2011.
Filed under: American Exceptionalism,Freedom,Patriotism

The Statue of Liberty

Stride Toward Freedom

Battle Cry of Freedom

. . . land of the free. . .

God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?

. . . the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

. . . secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity . . .

. . . with liberty’s lamp guiding your way . . .

. . .  a new nation, conceived in liberty . . .

. . . one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,

A thoroughfare for freedom beat

Celebrating an Independence won with George Washington’s Sword, John Adams’s Voice and Mr. Jefferson’s Pen

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:06 am - July 4, 2011.
Filed under: American Exceptionalism,American History,Freedom

While it was the force of arms (under the shrewd guidance of George Washington that secure the independence we celebrate today, it is the force of ideas preserved in the document declaring that independence that endures, ideas which remain as potent today as they were 235 years ago on a humid summer’s day in Philadelphia, PA.

As we remember those powerful words which served to sever us from a King (and Parliament) who denied his American subjects the rights those inhabiting his sceptered isle had been acquiring piecemeal for centuries, we recall also how hesitant was Mr. Jefferson to write them.  He had little idea then that his words would come to define a nation and inspire men and women suffering under the lash of tyranny around the world for centuries after he was all but dragooned into writing them.

At the time, writes Joseph J. Ellis in his insightful study of the Virginian, American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, “no one . . . regarded the drafting of the Declaration as a major responsibility or honor.  [John] Adams, like [Richard Henry] Lee, would be needed to lead the debate on the floor.  That was considered the crucial arena.”  In that arena, Adams excelled, delivering a three-hour address that exceeded all expectations and moved many of his colleagues.

But, because Adams spoke extemporaneously in an era without recording equipment, his address, powerful at the time has been lost to the ages.  Without his words, Congress may never have ratified Mr. Jefferson’s.  The Virginian even called his Massachusetts colleague “the Colossus of Independence.”

(more…)

Ronald Reagan Celebrates Independence Day with Lady Liberty

I remember this footage like it was yesterday. It is vintage Reagan, vintage 80s, and vintage America.

Happy Birthday USA!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)>

NASHVILLE BOUND!

I’m sorry to interrupt WeinerGate… but I wanted to say hello from I-40 West near Knoxville, TN. I’m on our 3rd annual Nashville road trip for the CMA MusicFest this week.

To keep track of my escapades, please follow me on Twitter!

The awesome week of Country Music starts tonight with the Grand Ole Opry show. The lineup is amazing: Darius Rucker, Martina McBride, Oak Ridge Boys, Lady Antebellum and Carrie Underwood. I know! Awesome, right.

You can listen to the show at 10:30 Eastern on Opry.com.

I’ll try to tweet or post some pics tonight.

More from Nashville later!!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Herman Cain RAWKS!

I am underwhelmed with the GOP Presidential Candidates so far. Except for one… The Herminator.

Check out this interview with ABC News on their web program “Topline”.

And here is the Herman Cain Train video put out by his campaign.  How can you NOT like this guy?!?

YouTube Preview Image

I met Herman Cain at CPAC and I continue to be impressed every time I see or hear him.  I’m not endorsing anyone yet… but at least Herman Cain has a lot of Americans EXCITED about a potential leader for our great nation.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Prayers For The Heartland

I’m enjoying a cup of coffee on my porch this morning as I prepare for the workday. And I can’t stop reading and thinking about those in America’s heart and soul lands where horrific weather has struck this year. Please stop today and say a prayer with me for those we’ve lost and families still suffering across the Midwest and South from floods and tornadoes.

We will get through this. Americans are never better than when we are under challenge and join behind a common purpose.

God Bless America.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

On Dominique Strauss-Kahn & French class consciousness

Back when I was living in Paris, trying to write a novel, I supported myself by teaching English to young French professionals.  Working late one evening, I decided to share some pastries I had bought with my fellow teachers and staff members at the language school.  When I offered some to the janitorial staff, then cleaning the classrooms, they looked at me as if I had come from Mars.  My offer was unexpected.  They didn’t know how to respond.  They turned away and continued cleaning.

One of my fellow teachers, an American woman who had lived in France far longer than I had, explained that French professionals and intellectuals treat workers with disdain, seeing the class difference as a barrier to interaction.  The attitudes of the French aristocrats which precipitated the Revolution of 1789 persist today among the educated élite.

I contrasted this Gallic class consciousness with something I observed one summer in high school when my father gave me a job working at one of the apartment complexes he owned.  I swept parking lots, trimmed bushes, transported building supplies and hauled trash.  My c0-workers, none of whom had gone to college, treated me as an equal, once even chastised me for slacking off.  One of them who later distinguished himself by grasping the ins and outs of building management later would rise to manage first that complex, then another before taking a job in my father’s front office.

In the middle of that summer, when we needed to strengthen the upper floor of a parking garage, my father helped out on the day we hauled and poured the concrete, a somewhat daunting task because the engineers didn’t think the ramp could support the weight of the cement mixer.  During the day, not only did he push wheelbarrows full of cement, but he also joked with his employees and asked them about their families.  Some called him by his first name.  One who did so, a World War II veteran who had fought on D-Day, knew all of his kids by our first names, always asking us about our lives and shared our stories whenever we toured a construction site with our father.

These stories came to mind when I read this post yesterday on Instapundit about why Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the recently resigned managing director of the International Monetary Fund, thought he could have his way with a hotel maid: (more…)

Who can make a similar speech today?

Reagan reminds us of the Spirit of ’76

As we celebrate the greatest domestic policy president of the last century, we know that our words cannot improve on his own, so let’s give a listen to his defining speech, “A Time for Choosing,” where, in making the case for Barry Goldwater’s quixotic bid of the White House, he outlined a series of principles which would define his subsequent political career:

It’s time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, “We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self government.”

This idea? that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

Reagan: “There’s no question, I am an idealist”

As we celebrate  the centennial of a great man who was both graceful and gallant, I’ve been watching some of the memorial tributes offered on the DVD, Ronald Reagan: An American President, I had the chance to watch once again former Vice President Cheney’s tribute to the Gipper.

That fine man truly got the essence of the nation’s fortieth president:

“From my mother,” said President Reagan, “I learned the value of prayer. My mother told me that everything in life happened for a purpose. She said all things were part of God’s plan, even the most disheartening setbacks. And, in the end, everything worked out for the best.”

This was the Ronald Reagan who had faith, not just in his own gifts and his own future, but in the possibilities of every life. The cheerful spirit that carried him forward was more than a disposition; it was the optimism of a faithful soul who trusted in God’s purposes and knew those purposes to be right and true.

He once said “There’s no question, I am an idealist,” which is another way of saying, “I am an American.”

We usually associate that quality with youth, and yet one of the most idealistic men ever to become president was also the oldest. He excelled in professions that have left many others jaded and self- satisfied, and yet somehow remained untouched by the worst influences of fame or power. (more…)

The Great Man Who Loved America & its Ideals

“I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn’t spring full-bloom from my brow — they came from the heart of a great nation.”

–Ronald Wilson Reagan