Despite prognostications by #NeverTrumpers going into President Trump’s first year in office, he hasn’t been the liberal Democratic plant some expected him to be. I expected a couple of liberal programs and policies to hit this year, but so far they have all been pushed forward. 2017 has focused on Obamacare repeal, dismantling the regulatory state, improving border security, getting right-leaning judges on the bench, and our latest push for tax cuts.

This is good and bad news for conservatives. It’s good because we’ve been able to stay focused on the active components of the agenda and so far those active components have been aligned ideologically. I could go into great detail about the failings of the false attempts to repeal Obamacare (we were presented with “tweak and rebrand” efforts instead of “repeal and replace”) or the small degree we’ve been taking down the regulatory state (it should be a three-pronged attack with major cuts instead of the minor PR victories we’ve been seeing), but at least they’re sort of trying. It could have been worse.

Rich Lowry over at National Review went after those who continue to point to President Trump’s liberal actions when in reality, they haven’t been as liberal as many of us thought they’d be. I was on the verge of contacting him to explain what I’m about to write about here, but he finished the article by acknowledging what everyone needs to know.

The good conservative stuff was intentionally frontloaded into the administration’s agenda. Before the midterm elections, expect the White House and Congress to push the populist and liberal aspects of their agenda:

  • The trillion-dollar infrastructure plan that mirrors Chuck Schumer’s plan nicely will get a big push
  • Amnesty may be coming, regardless of what they call or it or how the President tries to justify it
  • “Fair trade” is still being pushed hard as the Establishment tries to convince conservatives in 1984 doublespeak style that we are opposed to free trade and have always been opposed to free trade
  • Budgets are going to be quietly engorged until the GOP is able to spend more money than we did in the Obama era
  • A continuation of silence on social issues; we’re still funding Planned Parenthood even today

It’s important for conservatives to be cognizant of all these things and anything else that screams of creeping liberalism coming from the GOP-controlled House, Senate, and White House. All of them, particularly the President himself, have demonstrated a willingness to be reasonable and even malleable when it comes to denouncing liberal ideas. We have to be loud. We have to be willing to oppose even when faux-conservative sheep announce their undying support for whatever their dear leader pushes. Be aggressive. Stay conservative.

It is safe to say that I’m a very voracious reader.  My primary passions, when it comes to fiction, are science fiction, horror, fantasy, and political thrillers.   I never discriminate when it comes to the political views of authors, even when their political views color their work.  Being a Libertarian, I much more closely identify with libertarian and conservative authors.  When I read books by liberal authors who infuse their views into their work I find myself debating with the author and the characters in my head as I read. This can be distracting, which is why I enjoy reading books by those on the right more.  Here are my favorite fiction authors that also happen to be on the political right:

Dean Koontz

Over the years I’ve read over thirty of his novels. There is no author whose work I enjoy more and there is no fiction author who I agree with more when it comes to political views.  Dean Koontz is very much a libertarian and those views permeate just about every one of his novels.  The heroes pretty much all expose libertarian views while the villains are most often progressives.  The central theme of most of the novels that I’ve read is– individual freedom will triumph over the forces of collectivism.

Here is how Wikipedia describes Dean Koontz:

Dean Ray Koontz (born July 9, 1945) is an American author. His novels are broadly described as suspense thrillers, but also frequently incorporate elements of horror, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and satire.

I completely agree with that description.  His books are thrillers and horror stories.  He uses his political views to color his novels.  They are not works of political fiction.  Dean Koontz is a very vocal Catholic.  His Catholic faith also permeates his novels.  Good versus evil is very often a central theme.

If you are thinking about checking out Dean Koontz, I would very much recommend “Watchers” and “Strangers.”  Those are the two novels that first got me hooked.  His “Odd Thomas” series and his “Frankenstein” series are also fantastic, along with so many of his stand alone novels.

Tom Clancy

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve reread his Jack Ryan series.  It is probably north of a dozen times.  Tom Clancy novels are political and military thrillers. The main character in the Jack Ryan series starts off as an analyst for the CIA.  Tom Clancy was very much a Reagan Conservative and he lets that shine thru very clearly in all of his novels.  In the novel “Executive Orders” President Jack Ryan discusses his political views in great detail.  They are a mixture of Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan.  Tom Clancy was a Catholic and so was his main character, Jack Ryan.

Tom Clancy was a very prolific author who wrote many different series of novels.  I’ve only read the Jack Ryan series.  The first ten novels in the series were all fantastic.  After the novel “The Bear and the Dragon” this series was nowhere as good.  If you’re interested in starting the series then “Patriot Games” is the perfect novel to start with.  His standalone novel “Red Storm Rising” is one of my all time favorite novels.  This book is about a nonnuclear world war between the US and the USSR, which takes place in the mid 1980s.

Suzanne Collins

A few months ago I came across an article listing libertarian works of fiction.  Featured in this article was the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  Before that article I had not given those books much thought.  I heard the name of the books but considered them to be just for young adults.   After reading the article I decided to give that series a whirl.   I’m not ashamed to admit that I enjoyed the series so much that I read it three times and have watched all of the movies.

The author of the article was correct about this series having a libertarian message.  The series is set in the future where the part of the world that used to be the United States is now part of a country called Panem.  This country is made up of twelve districts which are oppressed by an extremely tyrannical central government.  The main character, Katniss Everdeen, accidently ignites a rebellion then becomes a central figure in the rebellion.  Overthrowing an oppressive government and restoring individual freedom is the central theme.  During the third book Katniss overhears a discussion between two central characters about who should lead the government after the oppressive capitol is defeated.  Here is the answer

“Everyone,” Plutarch tells him. “We’re going to form a republic where the people of each district and the Capitol can elect their own representatives to be their voice in a centralized government. Don’t look so suspicious; it’s worked before.”

There is one line in the book that has a slight pro global warming message but no book is perfect.  The line mentions that a lot of the land has been flooded by rising seas.  There are no details. Man made global warming is never mentioned.  The series takes place in the distant future after many wars have been fought so this rise in the seas could have been caused by anything.  .

The political nature of the Hunger Games has been hotly debated by all sides.  Usually a few lines are pulled out from here and there to claim victory by a liberal or a conservative blog author.  After reading the entire series this libertarian stands firmly behind the conclusion that this series has a strong libertarian message.

There are so many other right leaning fiction authors I’ve read.  I may make this into a regular series of articles if there is enough interest.  If anyone would like to recommend an author please do so in the comments section.

by baldilocks

At NRO, Dennis Prager provides an explanation for the ascendance of the demonstrably un-conservative Donald Trump as the presumptive nominee of the allegedly conservative Republican Party.

It took generations, but the Left has succeeded (primarily through the schools, but also through the media) in substituting its values for America’s [equality for liberty].

(…)

While the schools, starting with the universities, were being transformed into institutions for left-wing indoctrination, American parents, too, ceased teaching their children American values (beginning with not reading to their children the most popular book in American history, the Bible).

Schools even stopped teaching American history. When American history is taught today, it is taught as a history of oppression, imperialism, and racism. Likewise, there is essentially no civics education, once a staple of the public-school system. Young Americans are not taught either the Constitution or how American government works. I doubt many college students even know what “separation of powers” means, let alone why it is so significant.

So, then, thanks to leftism and America’s taken-for-granted success, most Americans no longer understand what it means to be an American. Those who do are called “conservatives” because they wish to conserve the unique American idea. But conservatives now constitute not only a minority of Americans, but a minority of Republicans.

In short, the intellectual-educational foundations for the American Ideal have been gravely injured. With American history and civics no longer being taught; neither are contrasting examples. So it follows that when you don’t know what a big government strongman looks like nor know the dismal history of big governments and strongmen, you are unable to recognize such when he “walks up” and asks you to make him your leader–or tries to shame/bully you into it.

As for Bible-reading, it’s interesting that there is almost always an analogy in it for modern times. Consider how the people of ancient Israel asked God for a king “just like the other nations have.” The rise and downfall of King Saul is one of the most cautionary tales in the Bible. But people don’t read that stuff anymore either, as Prager notes.

We have all been victims of the Coconut Treatment. There’s a cure, but anger and pride have to be put down and books have to be picked up, starting with this one.

RELATED: We Will Get What We Ask For

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Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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Blogger with National Review Senior Editor Jonah Goldberg at CPAC in 2011
Blogger with National Review Senior Editor Jonah Goldberg at CPAC in 2011

By John Ruberry

Even if you are on the east coast and buried under two feet of snow, you probably heard that the conservative magazine founded in 1955 by William F. Buckley, National Review, just published a special edition titled Against Trump. The editors of the magazine–I am a longtime subscriber by the way–call the billionaire a “philosophically unmoored political opportunist.”

It reviews inconsistencies with Donald J. Trump’s immigration policy–or is it policies?–as well as on international affairs and economics, and it rightly throws a penalty flag at the businessman’s promise that he will deport 11 million illegal aliens. That’s logistically impossible. Yet NR rightly credits Trump’s decision to bring the illegal immigration issue to the forefront of the political discussion, something that the Republican, and yes, the conservative establishment has only paid lip service to, and even then only close to Election Day.

Trump is scolded by the National Review editors for often saying whatever pops into his head. But they fail to realize that part of Trump’s appeal is that what comes out of his mouth isn’t processed and varnished by conservative “experts” such as the writers of the National Review. Sure, NR writers as far as I know don’t work on campaigns much, if at all, but the people they interact with on a regular basis, whether in Washington or New York, often do. Trump has proven that he can succeed without those experts–some of those people I know–and these so-called sages don’t have to be consulted and that means they won’t be paid. I call this group Club Conservative. Typically its members are graduates of elite private colleges, they’ve interned for Republican members of Congress, and they have relatives who are part of the Washington power nexus. The Donald’s base of support is nothing like that.

In the op-ed, the Manhattan-based editors even make a quip about Trump sharing “funky outer-borough accents” with socialist Bernie Sanders.

Trump is a threat to the very existence to Club Conservative, whose income always spikes in even-numbered years (of course that means election years).

As for Trump’s shoot-from-the-lip campaign style, he should be thanked by every American conservative, for well, being himself. Trump proved that a Republican can say something the media elites judge as outrageous–such as remarking about John McCain, “I like people that weren’t captured”–and then ignoring and even mocking calls for an apology.

Trump proved that the mainstream media is a paper tiger. And Trump continues being Trump–with that same media along for the ride essentially financing his campaign.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

Is Trump a conservative? We’ll see. With the Democrats as the secular-progressive party, the GOP has become the de facto party of faith. And believers are always seeking converts. Why the fight?

For certain Trump is an American patriot who deeply loves his country; he’s troubled by the wrong turn it has taken under President Obama. And Trump deserves at least a little benefit-of-the-doubt from National Review and Club Conservative because of his patriotism.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

by baldilocks

As the opposite is so for many of us in America, citizens reared in other countries have little understanding of politics, history, and culture(s) in the USA.  I am in a special place in that my biological father is Kenyan and my siblings from the Old Country have trouble understanding the political opposition to Barack Obama—especially mine. To them, he is of our tribe and our brother who should have our support no matter what.  

Therefore, I am in the process of composing a series of posts meant to help the Kenyan part of my family understand that opposition. I may post them here, but for this particular post, I want to expand on an idea/observation which stems from an encounter I had this morning and, later, try to relate it to the upcoming posts. Call it a preamble.

After waking this morning, I got up, washed my face, brushed my teeth, threw on some clothes, and, without breakfast or coffee, went to get my hair cut (shaved). Black barbershops have a justifiable reputation for being places where real talk occurs and, sometimes, where shouting and anger occur.  Being un-caffeinated, I was in no mood to get into any conversation; much less, a political one with a bunch of liberals, but my barber alerted the room that I was a Republican. So the game was afoot.

Many wonder why black conservatives refuse to talk to black liberals about conservatism. It’s simply this: they won’t STFU long enough to let you complete an idea.  In addition, having to, once again, listen to able-bodied, able-minded, working, responsible, black adults go on about what the “white man” owes “us,” made me want to scream, though I restrained myself.

Being out-numbered 3-1, being talked over multiple times, being insulted more than once, not being allowed to answer proffered questions, and having my actual answers ignored, at some point–out of frustration–I let the “conversation” go. However, I was able to put forth a couple of ideas which I had not completely articulated in the past. One follows in a longer form than I was able to get out earlier today.

Black people—not just those who are American—view white people in the same manner that anti-theists view God. Anti-theists are different from atheists. Even though the former deny God’s existence with their mouths and keyboards, they believe in Him…and they hate Him. Many black people have a similar view of white people: they view all of you as their hated masters–yes, still, in 2014—but their masters, nonetheless. Moreover, as our masters, it is your duty to feed, clothe, and house us; and to give us anything else we ask of you.

As history shows, before the Civil Rights Era, most black Americans were Republicans; now, because of well-crafted strategy implemented by LBJ, et al., most are Democrats. That strategy is based on the real slavery mindset: that whoever provides the most things—whoever is the most generous patron to black people–is a friend to black people.  LBJ knew this; therefore, he strove to transform his party’s image into that of the good and generous patron.

Patron:  5 :  a master in ancient times who freed his slave but retained some rights over him

Even though the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 respectively disallowed patronage and de facto serfdom, the mindset remains embedded in the progeny of the “former” slaves/serfs . Thus, since the CRA, most black Americans have given their allegiance to the Democrat Party and, because of the mindset, they have certain expectations of white Americans—those expected of a patron.

From that notion comes this one: many black liberals believe that black conservatives give their allegiance to the Republican Party for the exact same reason, and that they are, therefore, sell-outs. (Note that, to black liberals, even politics always involves some imagined sale of black persons.) They are unable to view white persons outside of the master/patron/domination paradigm and cannot envision any relationship between black persons and white persons outside of that perspective. Somebody has to be on top. And, in light of our past[i] and our indoctrinated and unacknowledged feelings of inferiority, most black liberals believe it will be you, my white friends.

Most black conservatives have freed themselves from this mindset, but, like all long-term indoctrination, it remains insidious.

Therefore, I conclude this: until the majority of black people get white people out of their heads and begin view you as equals, the shouts of racism will continue, as will the shout-down of the truly emancipated. Freedom begins inside.


[i] The history of enslavement of black Africans begins well before the European and American involvement therein.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in early 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

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The President did his best to show anger and shock at the IRS’s mishandling of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in a press conference this evening where he took no questions.  He promised to “hold responsible parties” accountable claiming that he “will not tolerate” this type of behavior in any agency, but especially the IRS “given the power that it has and reach that it has in all of our lives.”

He promised safeguards and to work with Congress.  He claimed this is a “fixable” problem. (Of course, that makes sense now that the election is over.)

He had the gall to tell Congress not be partisan in its investigation. Even in the midst of a scandal with a clear abuse of power in his administration, he finds the time to take a swipe at Republican leadership in Congress. “Democrats and Republicans owe it to the American people to treat that authority with the responsibility it deserves and in a way that doesn’t smack of politics or partisan agendas.”  Let’s face it, that little remark was not directed at the Democrats.

He also talked about ensuring that the “laws are clear” so that they can be enforced fairly.  So, was he trying to say they were not enforced fairly because the laws were not clear?  He certainly implied that.

This was basically a press conference about nothing where the President just wants the evening news cycle to run a story claiming he is outraged and “doing all that he can.”

Charles Krauthammer on Fox said just after the press conference that this is the “bare minimum” that the president had to do.  He is exactly right.  This was basically punting the controversy forward a day with generalities hoping that the outrage will die down.

Lisa @AmericaisConservative.org

Happy Saturday!  I along with Rebecca who wrote earlier today am thrilled to be guest-blogging here on a regular basis! In her post, Rebecca described some of the background of our blog and how we met DaTechGuy. We are grateful that he graciously invited us to join his blog, and also enjoyed our time on Da Radio Show today!

For this first post, I hope to share with you my motivation for blogging.  I started blogging almost four years ago, and can attest that it is a lot of hard work.  Blogging is a labor of love.  You work to get your message out there and hope that people will listen.  You anxiously monitor your site’s statistics and hope that at least a few people who are reading are inspired by it.  Bloggers (most of us at least) know that we do not individually have the same impact of larger media outlets, but that doesn’t matter.  The point is that there are thousands of us, pouring our hearts and souls into our writing with a passion that we hope will persuade someone, somewhere to action.

After this last election, the GOP is wandering aimlessly looking for how it can attract more voters.  If you listen to some pundits and current elected officials, you’d think that the GOP is almost dead.  The truth is, if the GOP decides to move away from its core values, it will be dead.

My very first post on AmericaisConservative.org said:  “This blog is dedicated to the fact that I believe, in my heart, that this is a conservative nation. When conservatives express ourselves correctly, when we lay out our beliefs with clarity, when we aren’t stumbling all over ourselves, when we have a clue what we stand for – we are in the majority. But, when we lose this message, we lose support.”

I still believe that today.  We ARE a conservative nation.  Why, you ask?  Because the basic values that have bound us together for 200+ years are just as true and necessary now as they always have been.  And, when we clearly articulate those values, people listen.  Ronald Reagan won 49 states in 1984.  That seems almost unbelievable today, but it really wasn’t that long ago.  He was passionate, and he stayed true to conservative values. And, people listened.

So, what are those values?  What kind of nation are we?  Let’s talk about some of our most precious core beliefs.

We are a Judeo-Christian nation – From our earliest days, our leaders were not afraid to speak of God and His influence in their lives.  God was a part of the culture of this country.  At no point in time has everyone seen Him in the exact same way, but most at least looked His direction for understanding.  More and more now, our nation believes that all of the answers can be found elsewhere.  Our connection to Deity is growing weaker.

Why is it important for Americans (and all people, for that matter) to believe in a Higher Power?  The Declaration of Independence makes bold statements about the existence of rights that pre-exist any government.  Increasingly, Americans don’t make the connection that we have rights which are “inalienable.” They don’t link together the growing size and scope of government with the resultant reduction in freedoms.  They buy into the idea that the government gives and the government takes away.  Therefore, when the government does give or take away, Americans defend the “right” of the government to do so instead of the right of the individual to deny that power to government.

Most Americans, in their hearts, do believe in Deity.  It is not a huge leap to then understand the concept of God-given rights.

We believe religious freedom strengthens our nation – Go ask anyone on the street what the First Amendment says, and I guarantee you will hear a response that has to do with freedom of speech.  People forget that there is more to it than that:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Before anything is mentioned regarding freedom of speech, the First Amendment recognizes the rights of individuals to worship as they wish.  The robustness of our nation was strengthened by our zeal in valuing this right.

We recognize that the central unit of our society is the family – When I was in sixth grade, I took a social studies test and one of the questions was “what is the central unit of society?”  It was multiple choice and the two answers I could not decide between were: the family and the government.  I vacillated between those two choices, eventually choosing the government.  The good news is that I actually got that answer wrong on the test.  The bad news is that fewer and fewer individuals, children and adults alike, would get the answer right today.

The ties that bind a society together have always started with the family.  The Heritage Foundation has produced a lot of great work making this case statistically.  (See FamilyFacts.org)  A few tidbits of data from their site:  Single women are more likely to be living below the poverty level than married couples, more and more couples are cohabitating and not getting married, teens with intact families are less likely to be sexually active, nearly 1 in 2 children lives in a household with just a mother who has never been married.  The family adds stability to a society.  Children have the right to live with and be raised by both mother and father.  Of course there are special circumstances where the ideal is not possible, but that should not be our social norm nor our desired state.  Even in this society of “live and let live,” most Americans know that protecting the family is important.  We have to continue to make this case.  The data is overwhelming in favor of the family.

We value life – There is simply no excuse for the number of babies who never have their first breath because their very mothers who gave them life make the decision to abort.  And, when we have honest conversations with Americans about what we really value, they acknowledge that this practice is wrong and has gone too far.  Many of the people who support the “right” to have an abortion would never have one themselves, but don’t want to forbid others.  This is certainly a more convenient position, but many of these individuals can be persuaded.

We believe that individual freedoms are protected with a smaller central government – At this point, this is a given. If you consider the other values, then this one is obvious.  A strong, religiously diverse society filled with stable, traditional families does not need a large government.  They have little reason to rely on the government other than for national needs like national security.

All of these values in their aggregate support a strong society that values individual freedom and accountability.  These values represent our bedrock principles that must be guarded.  These values do not come from politics or government, but from the people.

That is why I blog, to be another voice promoting these values.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to introduce myself to DaTechGuy’s readers and look forward to many entries and robust discussions.  My entries will not always be so serious (for instance, when Suits is back on this summer, expect some posts about the greatness that is Harvey Spector), but mostly what you can expect from me is a happy warrior, attempting to articulate why I am forever grateful to be an American and why this is such a great nation.

Lisa @ Americaisconservative.org