Informal Poll: On what basis do we “move on” from a “losing issue”?

With the headway proponents of same-sex marriage have made over the last several years, and in particular the last year, and considering the inevitability of our SCOTUS ruling in favor of it later this year, the loud chorus I’m hearing from a majority of conservatives is that we have “lost” on this issue and that it is “time to move on” to issues where we can win.

Granted, my “evidence” of what I see as a “widespread sharing” of this opinion is purely anecdotal, but for purposes of discussion I’d like to find out what readers of this blog think of the idea of “moving on” from issues that are not just uphill battles, but ones we appear to be losing. This isn’t just confined to alternative forms of marriage, but ANY issue. Popular opinion appears to be against us on this issue, but what if it happened to also be against us on abortion? ObamaCare? Illegal immigration? Gun control? And consider this: I’ve read polling that suggests a majority of the American people think “the rich” should pay more in taxes than the rest of us. Is this a reason to give up and “move on”? I’ve always found this line of thinking as weak (unintentionally so) and fatalistic, a mindset that puts us on the path to essentially ceding so much ground to the left (something we’re already on the road to doing) on “losing issues” that the differences in the two major parties eventually becomes minute. After all, a quick perusing of pop culture shows a pretty significant tilt to the left, which makes any number of issues that much more difficult for us to win (like, for example, on student loans and mortgage lending).

Once upon a time, the polling was strongly against us on abortion. The tide has turned on that (thankfully) because pro-life forces did not give up – in fact, giving up was never even a serious option. And the pro-life movement is alive and well and fighting for the rights of the unborn to this day. The movement hasn’t completely “won” on the issue, but we’re winning.

But is there ever a time when the battles are so bruising, when the hill seems too high to climb, where we should just say “enough” and move forward to another issue in which we feel we have more solid ground? I suspect you can read between the lines as to my opinion on this, but I’m curious as to yours. I’m sincerely interested in where readers feel lines – if any – should be drawn on whether or not to continue to go forward on an issue or to just abandon it for “safer” ground.

Thoughts?

#GunControl as a sign of liberal cultural superiority

**Posted by Phineas

I came across an article this morning by Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner in which sees the current efforts to restrict our Second Amendment rights as another front in the “culture war,” a war in which the Left sees itself as morally superior to everyone else. That is, you can’t have rational reasons for disagreeing with them on gun-rights issues, you must be morally wrong.

The spark for his essay is a new book by Dan Baum, who’s both a Jewish liberal Democrat and a gun owner, called “Gun Guys.” As someone who sits in both worlds (the liberal and the gun-fan), Baum is able to understand how both sides thinks. Carney introduce’s Baum’s book with some examples of how the left sees gun enthusiasts as not just wrong, but inferior, even evil. Here are a couple:

The Post’s Gene Weingarten in 2011 spat on the Second Amendment as “the refuge of bumpkins and yeehaws who like to think they are protecting their homes against imagined swarthy marauders desperate to steal their flea-bitten sofas from their rotting front porches.”

After Columbine, a Boston Herald op-ed described the average participant in a 1999 Boston Common pro-gun rally as a wannabe “hicksville cowboy, as in way out there, somewhere off the Mass Pike or at the far reaches of 93. From towns with something to prove and lots of Amvets posts.”

And President Obama in 2008 famously told a wealthy crowd at a San Francisco fundraiser that rural voters “get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them … “

Well, the “antipathy toward people who aren’t like them” clearly is mutual.

From this, Carney segues to Baum’s discussion of the liberal-left’s loathing for the culture that guns represent and how they think they can use the law to control or destroy that culture:

Liberals, Baum writes, “recognized the gun as the sacred totem of the enemy, the embodiment of this abhorrent world view. They believed that they could weaken the enemy by smashing his idols — by banning the gun if possible … “

Many liberals hate it that some conservatives have a different set of values, morals and aesthetics — and so these liberals want to use the federal government to fix that.

(…)

“Assault rifles,” writes Baum, “were just as powerful symbolically as they were ballistically. A renewed assault-rifle ban would really smash the enemy’s idols.”

Also, when speaking about sales without background checks, gun controllers always refer to “gun shows.” Most guns used in murders aren’t bought at gun shows — they’re stolen or bought on the street. But gun shows are large gatherings of the “gun tribe” — and so they must be shut down.

Not mentioned directly, but certainly a subtext in this article and, I suspect, Baum’s book, is the idea that gun control as an assault on the so-called “gun tribe” is, as Dan Bongino put it, a form of people control. And that is the real objective of progressivism.

Makes sense, when you’re convinced you’re superior.

RELATED: And if you need another example of how the other side sees us, don’t forget, if you oppose gun control, you might be an Antisemite.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

(Video) Is America Becoming Europe?

**Posted by Phineas

A philosophical question for you from Encounter Books and narrated by, I think, Bill Whittle:

My short answer is “No, and I’d  rather not live in Europe, thanks.” (Even though I live in one of the states closest to “might as well just join the EU and get it over with.”) If it means permanent 10% unemployment, economic stagnation, dependency on a cradle-to-grace welfare state, the high taxes meant to support it, and rule by a political class that thinks the people are to be controlled, not consulted… Well, I’ll pass.

Wait. I’ve  just described the modern (Social) Democratic Party, haven’t I?

Seriously, I’m old enough to remember the stagnation, declinism,  and national bad mood of the 70s, particularly under Jimmy Carter. Those times passed, and I’m sure these will too, but only if we work tirelessly to remind people there is a better way.

Complacency really will make us Europe.

PS: I can almost hear someone saying “Yeah, but we had Reagan, back then.” But few if any in the 70s knew that Reagan would become one of the most successful presidents in our history. Many didn’t take him seriously, calling him a fringe politician, a Goldwater throwback, even a nut and an amiable dunce. It wasn’t until several years into his presidency that we realized how right he was and how much good he was doing. We may or may not have a “Reagan” waiting in the wings, now, unnoticed or underestimated, but my point is that we can’t sit back, waiting for that person to save us. We have to work at it and stand against the spread of statism and dependency and for the promotion of liberty day after day, every day.

/soapbox

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

QOTD: On polls and popularity contests regarding the issues we face

Read this over the weekend from Pastor Rick Warren on Twitter, and thought it was worth sharing here:

“Popularity has no bearing on what’s true and what’s false. The crowd, and opinion polls, are often wrong.”

I bring this up because of all the bandwagon-jumping I’m seeing on the issue of gay marriage – especially from Democrats (like Senator Claire McCaskill – MO) and some Republicans, most of who are not doing this out of principle but rather out of a moderate to severe case of “opportunistic-itis.” I exempt Senator Portman on this because I can’t hold it against a parent to reverse course, considering the thought I’m sure he put behind this in light of his son coming out as gay. Unlike President Obama, who has strung liberal gays along (and they have allowed him to) with his seesaw positions on gay marriage – positions he took purely for political purposes, Portman has a reason to feel the way he does now, even though I disagree with the notion that you can’t still be supportive of your son or daughter when they “come out of the closet” if you don’t support gay and other alternative forms of marriage. But that’s another topic for another day.

Reasonable people can disagree on the gay marriage issue. Then again, it seems that the loudest voices on this issue are extremists on both sides, with no consideration given for the “in between” people who are ok with civil unions for gay couples but who also believe that ultimately the best environment to raise children in is the traditional male/female two parent husband/wife marital/family structure – and that it should stay that way. There are also those “in between” types who have family members or friends who have ‘come out” who believe in gay marriage but who believe it should be a state-level issue, not one decided by the feds. We need to hear more such voices, rather than the yelling on the far left and far right about “homophobia” and “end times.”

Back to Warren’s quote, it’s interesting when you think about it. Right now, with the SCOTUS poised to take up two “gay rights” cases this week, an increasing number of politicos announcing their support, etc, pundits on the left (and some on the right who have given up on this issue and want us to stop getting beat up over it) are saying the conservative right needs to “get with the times” as a “majority of Americans” now support gay marriage or civil unions. Think about this, though: Remember the run-up to, and the aftermath of the Iraq war, when polls showed the American people overwhelmingly supported taking out Saddam Hussein? Think liberals bought the argument then that because a majority of the American people supported going into Iraq that they needed to hop on board, too? No, they didn’t. They’ve never allowed popular opinion on any issue favorable to conservatives (or America, for that matter) to dissuade them from their viewpoints. Why should we? When you believe in something – no matter what the issue – a poll and popular opinion shouldn’t be your deciding factor in whether you keep your opinion on an issue.

Do your research. Talk to people. Look at ALL facts on the table. Then determine whether or not you feel the same. And stick with it if you think it is right. Over time, you will either be proven to be on the correct side of the issue, and history – or not.

And here’s something else: It’s ok to evolve on an issue. I changed my mind on a number of them during the course of my switch from liberalism to conservatism, and I didn’t base my view point on polls and popularity contests and pop culture, but rather careful thought and consideration. Don’t be afraid to have a change of heart. But also don’t be afraid to stand strong in the face of adversity and major pushback. As the old saying goes, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

Babs Walters: Elisabeth Hasselbeck is not leaving “The View”

The veteran TV personality Walters today put the brakes on the reports that Hasselbeck was being kicked off the show at all – much less due to her political views, which are at odds with the rest of the cast:

Barbara Walters refuted reports that Elisabeth Hasselbeck is leaving “The View.”

Early on during Monday’s episode of the talk show, Walters discussed rumors that Hasselbeck was leaving “The View” because of the conservative opinions she often voices.

“There is a particularly false story that keeps getting picked up about Elisabeth’s departure,” Walters said. “We value her and appreciate point of view… She helps keep the show balanced… We have no plans for Elisabeth to leave the show.”

US Weekly was the first to report the longtime co-host would not be returning for the 17th season of the daytime chat show.

They quoted a show insider who said she was being dropped because she was too politically conservative for viewers.

Hasselbeck, 35, joined the show in 2003.

False rumors of her departure came just days after Joy Behar confirmed she would not be returning to the show.

Speaking solely for myself, I’d only ever get remotely close to the View studios if I were being held at gunpoint, but Hasselbeck has made a home for herself there amongst superficial liberal women who only pay her cheap lip service when it comes to being “tolerant” of differing viewpoints, so more power to her for holding her own. Hasselbeck reminds me of conservatives who occasionally appear on shows like Bill Maher’s – they’re there so the hosts can say they provide “all points of view” for you to consider but in reality they keep conservatives around either to try to embarrass, shame them, or hope they embarrass and/or shame themselves. Fortunately, most of the time these conservatives do just the opposite, which is infuriating to ultra-leftists like Maher. I know many conservatives who don’t care for the way Hasselbeck tries to get along with the others on the View by attempting to find “neutral ground” but if you had to work in that highly hostile & volatile environment, there isn’t much different you’d probably do unless you wanted to get yourself kicked to the curb.

I suspect Hasselbeck stays on in an effort to try to impress upon daytime viewers the need for a conservative “alternative” voice when it comes to talking about cultural issues, so in that regard she is “taking one for the team.” Things will probably become a little more pleasant for her once Joy Behar exits stage far left later this year.

Stay strong, Mrs. H.

Irony alert: Eyes finally open, liberals hope for military coup in Egypt

**Posted by Phineas

From Andy McCarthy’s post at NRO’s “The Corner” blog on commentators rising calls for the Egyptian military to intervene as that country starts to fall apart:

Here’s the really interesting part: The [Egyptian] Left does not have the numbers needed to defeat the Islamists at the ballot box. That is why the latter have won election after election, usually by overwhelming numbers, thus putting Islamists firmly in charge of the government and ensuring passage of the sharia constitution. So what has finally happened: the Left-leaning press in the West is suddenly discovering that maybe popular elections do not equal democracy after all. Maybe there really is something to the notion that democracy is not merely a procedural means by which majorities achieve power; maybe democracy, as us Islamophobes have been contending all along, really is a culture that is committed to equality and respect for such minority rights as freedom of conscience and speech.

The liberal left’s obsession with procedure, seeing elections as synonymous with democracy, is a good portion of what lead to the folly of the Obama administration’s support for democratic-in-name-only “Arab Spring” revolutions in the Sunni Arab world. Instead we cut the legs out from under a friendly but authoritarian regime in Egypt, in the process doing untold damage to 30 years of American policy in the region, and we removed a cruel, crazy, but nevertheless harmless to us dictator in Libya, creating chaos in North Africa. (c.f., Mali)

But, at least, they’d have elections, so all would be good. Majority rule, and all that.

Except that the majority is turning out to be the very groups most hostile to the democracy we hold dear. smiley d'oh!

And now that their Wilsonian unicorn dreams have turned into nightmarish reality, they want a military coup.

Welcome to the waking world, kiddies.

PS: Longtime readers will recall that I supported the liberation of Iraq under George W. Bush, including the effort to help democratic, constitutional government to take root there. I still think it was worth trying –for reasons local to Iraq, I felt it was the one country in the Arab world in which this might work– but, thanks to the Obama administration’s precipitous and premature bug-out from Iraq, my opinion of that country’s democratic future has become much bleaker.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Aide to Egyptian President Morsi: The Holocaust was faked

**Posted by Phineas

Consider this to be another example in support of this post: Holocaust denial is antisemitism, it is Jew-hatred, and it is endemic at the highest levels of the Egyptian government:

To Celebrate Holocaust Remembrance Day two days ago,   Fathi Shihab-Eddim, a senior figure close to President Morsi who is now responsible for appointing the editors of all state-run Egyptian newspapers called the Holocaust a hoax cooked up by U.S. intelligence operatives and claimed the 6 million Jews who were killed by Nazis simply moved to the U.S.

“U.S. intelligence agencies in cooperation with their counterparts in allied nations during World War II created it [the Holocaust] to destroy the image of their opponents in Germany, and to justify war and massive destruction against military and civilian facilities of the Axis powers, and especially to hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the atomic bomb,” Shihab-Eddim said. “The myth of the Holocaust is an industry that America invented,”

Remember, it was the Obama administration’s deft deployment of “smart power” that helped bring to power a Muslim Brotherhood-controlled government in the largest nation in the Arab world. A government that drinks deeply from the well of Islamic antisemitism. Great job, guys!

Read the rest at Yid With Lid.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Arab Spring: Egypt imprisons family for conversion to Christianity

**Posted by Phineas

That new government we helped to power is sure turning out fine, isn’t it? I mean, under Islamic Law, they could have been sentenced to death. Instead, for merely exercising the right of conscience inherent in all persons, a mother and her sons get “only” fifteen years in prison:

The criminal court of Beni Suef (115 km south of Cairo) has sentenced an entire family to prison for converting to Christianity. Nadia Mohamed Ali and her children Mohab, Maged, Sherif, Amira, Amir, and Nancy Ahmed Mohamed abdel-Wahab will spend 15 years in prison. Seven other people involved in the case were sentenced to five years in prison.

(…)

An individuals religious faith is listed in Egyptian identity cards. Christians, converted to Islam for various reasons that attempt to return to the religion to which they belong have enormous difficulty in correcting their names on the documents. This leads many people to forge them, risking prison. The reverse process, ie the transition from Christianity to Islam is not hindered, and in many cases is favored by the very Registry officials.

The woman had converted to Islam from Christianity on marrying her husband, but, after he died, she wanted to convert back. And she tried to convince her sons to join her. Under Islam, this is a huge sin.

I’m sure the Obama administration will be right on this, reminding the Egyptians that we did not facilitate their revolution so religious minorities could be persecuted. And they’ll listen and shape up, because the Hundred Acre Wood foreign policy is working out so well, isn’t it?

via Jihad Watch

RELATED: It’s the foreign policy, stupid!

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Demand a Plan! (To end celebrity hypocrisy)

**Posted by Phineas

Actually, I don’t know if they’re hypocritical so much as clueless, but the result is the same: yet another deep, meaningful campaign in which a bunch of vapid airheads go in front of a camera and repeat slogans over and over, hoping to brainwash you into submission, like a bunch of zombies.

This time, however, someone took that video and remixed it with interesting results:

So, celebs, does your plan include your own movies? Shouldn’t we be talking about the 1st amendment, as well as the second? Don’t your films promote the dread “gun culture” and glorify violence? If we’re going to restrict Americans’ rights to self-defense in the name of public safety, shouldn’t your films be subject to censorship for the same reason?

Or maybe, just maybe, the problem lies with the person, not the tool or the medium.

But that’s probably too difficult for for a bunch of zombies to understand.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Egyptian Muslim cleric threatens Copts with genocide

**Posted by Phineas

It’s that Religion of Peace-thing, you know:

Islamic leaders continue to portray the popular protests against President Morsi and his recently passed Sharia-heavy constitution as products of Egypt’s Christians. Recently, Muslim Brotherhood leader Safwat Hegazy said in an open rally, as captured on video:

“A message to the church of Egypt, from an Egyptian Muslim: I tell the church — by Allah, and again, by Allah — if you conspire and unite with the remnants [opposition] to bring Morsi down, that will be another matter…. our red line is the legitimacy of Dr. Muhammad Morsi. Whoever splashes water on it, we will splash blood on him.”

More recently, Dr. Wagdi Ghoneim — who earlier praised Allah for the death of the late Coptic Pope Shenouda, cursing him to hell and damnation on video — made another video, entitled, “A Notice and Warning to the Crusaders in Egypt,” a reference to the nation’s Copts, which he began by saying, “You are playing with fire in Egypt, I swear, the first people to be burned by the fire are you [Copts].” The video was made in the context of the Tahrir protests against Morsi: Islamic leaders, such as Hegazy and Ghoneim, seek to portray the Copts as dominant elements in those protests; according to them, no real Muslim would participate. Ghoneim even went on to say that most of the people at the protests were Copts, “and we know you hid your [wrist] crosses by lowering your sleeves.”

The heart of Ghoneim’s message was genocidal: “The day Egyptians — and I don’t even mean the Muslim Brotherhood or Salafis, regular Egyptians — feel that you are against them, you will be wiped off the face of the earth. I’m warning you now: do not play with fire!”

And to make that genocide even easier to carry out, he dehumanized them by comparing them to animals:

“Respect yourselves and live with us and we will protect you… Why?… because Allah has forbidden me to be cruel to animals. I’m not trying to compare you to animals … but if I am not cruel to animals or plants, shall I be cruel to a soul created by Allah? You are an infidel in Allah’s sight — and it is for him to judge you. However, when you live in my country, it is forbidden for me to be unjust to you — but that doesn’t mean we are equal. No, oh no.”

Ghoneim can weasel all he wants, but the idea is clearly planted. Copts are inferior, maybe even animals, and if they don’t act like good little dhimmis… If you noticed a resemblance to Germany in the 1930s, your mind wasn’t playing tricks on you.

The Coptic Christmas falls on January 7th this year. You can imagine what a merry season it is for them.

And speaking of Christmas, Islam’s birthplace (maybe…) demonstrated its dedication to tolerance for all by arresting 44 people who were engaged in a hideous plot.

They were planning to celebrate Christmas:

In the latest kingdom-wide crackdown on those who would violate the national religious policy of Islam only, Saudi Vice and Virtue Police arrested 44 on charges of plotting to celebrate Christmas, as reported on Dec. 27, 2012 by the Beirut-based Al-Akhbar news portal.

The raid took place in the northwest province of al-Jawf, at the private residence of an individual identified only as “an Asian diplomat.”

The fiends… It’s a good thing the watchful officers of the Vice and Virtue police were on the job. Who knows what might have happened? They might have sung carols, exchanged good wishes and presents, said a prayer or two — someone might have had a good time!!

Is it any wonder, in the kind of society that develops under Sharia law, that people can speak of another of the world’s major religions, Christianity, as being the most persecuted on the planet and even in danger of extinction in the lands of its birth?

A merry Christmas season and a happy New Year, indeed.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)