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Archive for the ‘Conservative’ Category

This blog was started with one central theme: our community can’t put all of its egg in one basket.  This morning the Sade classic “When Am I Going To Make A Living” came to mind because I am also “hungry but I won’t give in.”   

We are at a crossroad in American politics and Black blogger Travis Johnson of Republicans United just wrote a scathing indictment on Blacks and the GOP.  This brother has been down with that team for 16 years but decide no more because the mood and temperament have changed. 

http://republicansunited.us/2010/05/end-of-the-party/

People and groups change over time: it’s natural.  As I have written before, Travis’s now former party has ever opportunity to create a subsection of the conservative movement that speaks to fiscal soundness, personal responsibility and the limited role of government without getting ugly, divisive and incendiary.  Travis, Michael Steele and others know that won’t be happening on a large scale because angry extremists rather than reasonable conservatives are commandeering their ship. 

In a more baffling move, the few Republicans with histories of debate and discussions are struggling for their political lives or packing boxes—Senator McCain, Senator Bennett, former GOPer Senator Specter, and Governor Christ.

African Americans might find in early November that a party controls the Congress with zero AA members and few members with working relationships in our community.  Personally, I have no problems with my current congressional representation and I have learned from his moderate tutelage.  If the opportunity arises, I would help shape the agenda of congressional candidates in other southern districts because I am hungry for a chance to improve the spirit of the dialog.  Blog is interesting but being in the game in a constructive manner is much better for my wallet.

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Seth McFarlane did the Larry King Show recently and I found his humorous approach to social issues refreshingly interesting.  On Sunday, I watched the Cleveland Show’s  take on race relations, the Confederate flag and Black History Month.  McFarlane is the Norman Lear of this generation and people can grow on a sly note from watch his shows.

http://www.fox.com/watch/cleveland/84056229001

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The dictionary defines scope as the range of one’s perceptions, thoughts or actions.  A second definition is “the area covered by a given activity or subject.”  President Obama outlined his vision for a better America in his book the Audacity of Hope.  However, the hard part is implementing ideas into policy in a partisan nation where many of those who need improving don’t or won’t know it.

In the South, we need leaders with wider worldviews who can appreciate the salient points from the loyal opposition.  We need members of congress with scope.  The Republicans came to power in 1994 and the Democrats responded by accepting the moderate Blue Dogs subdivision in their party.  After the recent success of the Democrats, a similar subdivision on the Right seemed obvious.  Instead, we see a narrowing in the scope of southern Republicans and a national purification process in their ranks. 

The global economy is in flux and the South is competing with everyone for new job growth.  Companies might be reluctant to locate in what seems like a hostile environment.  Of course, people should stand firm in their believes but understand that in a democratic society other opinions should be respected. 

As a good southerner and proud American, I will discuss issues and solutions with a range of people and final actions could reflect a cross-section of views.  The “winner take all” mentality is sophomoric and reckless.  In military or political wars, you pray that you are strong and keen while also praying that diplomacy and common sense will avoid the need for conflict.  Some in the arena cherish conflict because division and fear are vital to their personal prosperity.  They should be ashamed of their ill-gotten gains. 

My friends on both sides want their political opposition to fail but will always discuss their rationale with others in hope that their views will improve.  We want other’s scope to widen.  In a more direct statement, the Right should seek counsel with the center in a manner similar to the Blue Dogs.  Most indications are that this won’t be happening.  We can call that the Audacity of Nope and it is unhealthy because leaders must dialog with a range of people to address problems and improve situations. 

My favorite politicians have always been those who constantly sought debate with everyone.  The better elements of the Right’s arguments rarely reach the correct ears—they are preaching to the choir.  When those elements are presented in wider circles, they come from the Blue Dogs who understand the diversity of our South.

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Clint Eastwood’s film Grand Torino got to me last night.  Seeing a veteran and retired autoworker single-handedly protect his community from domestic terrorists (thugs and gangs) reminded me of JFK’s question about what can you do for your country.  In the last chapter of his life, Mr. Walter Kowalski was teaching negative and positive youth the wisdom of his value system.  Walter needed some lessons on anger management, control and dare I say political correction/cultural sensitivity.  We all can learn something from others. 

I jumped out of bed this Saturday (before day in the morning) to participate in “Cleanup Sylvester, Georgia.” As I look at the dark cloud on the horizon, I knew a rain delay might keep the event from starting.  The real looming dark cloud is the mindset of the youth and adults who toss trash on the streets with zero regard for community.  Where’s Mr. Kowalski when you need him?

RNC Chairman Michael Steele recently said there is no reason for African-Americans to vote for Republicans.  To me, our southern community has always been conservative and Blacks Who Actually Vote (BWAV) have little tolerance for Black ignorance or far Right fear-based rhetoric.  We have plenty Black Walter Kowalski here and there should medals for their actions or combat pay. Steele was basically saying that the efforts and vision of his party isn’t reaching us for whatever reason. 

Disenchanted Black conservatives tell me that their party doesn’t have an urban agenda.  On the other hand, I think the far left’s policies of tossing taxpayer money at problems isn’t working either. 

We need to address issues before they become problems (nip it in the bud).  I wrote on this blog a few months ago that First Lady Michelle Obama should start a Cease Corp to marshal community human resources (people) in an effort to share experience, knowledge and wisdom.  The Barrack Obama story is interesting and unique.  The Michelle Robinson Obama story is the blueprint for a healthy, achievement-oriented American family. Clint Eastwood, a former California mayor, should join the cause with the lessons from Grand Torino as a starting point.  

I have a feeling that Mrs. Obama post-White House service will make her one of the most significant Americans of all times.  You can see in her eyes that she is being restrictive or selective in her public statements but one day she is going to speak freely and the message for a community will be stern and golden.  It’s the direct straight talk that we don’t hear from current leaders.  She can put the “40 under 40” overachievers at the table with the “40 who drink 40s” and those who were 40 years old 40 years ago. 

The subplot of this movie was equally important.  What happens when your family has little use for you?  I say forget them and find a constructive outlet like church activities, a “play” family or maybe the Cease Corp.  Like Walter Kowalski, a neglected senior should get even in his will.

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While watching PBS recently, the “Battle for the Bible” on the Secrets of the Dead series had me thinking about the current political climate and the role of faith in government.  Democrats aren’t all godless heathens and the GOP is not full of saints.   Of course, we want leaders whose decisions are based on their faith and moral grounding. The last part of this great show mentioned Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which served as the foundation for the related provisions in the our Bill of Rights.

Watching this documentary online is time well spent because we should know the effort and process of translating the Bible into English.

The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, 16 January 1786

Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities.

http://www.lva.virginia.gov/lib-edu/education/bor/vsrftext.htm

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I am the first to dub the coming Senate race in Georgia the “Mike and Ike” election.  State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond  and U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson come from an era in Georgia politics where the first inclination was dialog and cooperation.  That period is history and these two nice guys are generals in a rough political battle.  Hot Tamales, Red Hots, Atomic Fire Balls, Jaw Busters, and Lemonheads are candies that better describe the current political climate. 

“Now or Laters” seem to be Thurmond’s favorite candy because he has a reputation of make wise, calculated political decisions.  At times, a leader must take one for the team and Georgia Democrats couldn’t let a newcomer face Isakson.  I told the Senator he should get a pass for being one of the best Republicans in congress—Jon Stewart would say that is like being the skinniest kid at fat camp.  As a moderate Democrat, I wanted to leave Isakson’s reasonable temperament and sizeable warchest out of the mix.  One can speculate that an economic turnaround would be need for the Dems to do well this year and the Labor Commissioner taking about job creation and training helps the Dem ticket overall.   

To me, the biggest problem with Isakson is his inability to convince other members of his party to embrace his logical, less bitter brand conservatism.  We remember the Georgia GOP giving Isakson and Chambliss flack for simply negotiating with Democrat colleagues.  Will the angry fringe of the southern GOP pull Isakson into their bitterness or will he introduce them to coolness.  They better bring the coolness because Thurmond, Thurbert Baker and Sanford Bishop wrote the book on staying cool under fire—never let them see you sweat.  I think both Isakson and Thurmond put Georgia’s best interest above party bickering.    

My conservative African-American friends (all both of them) think Democrats should be afraid of Palin in 2012. Rep. Paul Ryan, Senator Johnny Isakson and Mario Rubio are the policy-based conservatives who if cloned would be the real concern.  Could we please turn our attention back to Palin.  For Dems, it is fortunate that the GOP  often emulates the wrong folks.

For reading this long babble, you should treat yourself to some old school “candy” music. Is Cameo’s Candy better than LL Cool J’s?  Real candy, like political campaigns, isn’t good for you, has little nutritional value and lacks the substance of policymaking –stick with Georgia-grown fruits and vegetables.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWuMtutu8rQ

Cameo- It’s Like Candy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqgeAvhoraQ

LL Cool J- Candy at 5:10 from live show

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMICD3aMZpw

Bow Wow Wow – I want Candy

Update:

How could I leave out 10,000 Maniacs’ “Candy Everyonebody Wants.”   Some of these races will be decided by 10K Maniacs. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5_bfBFHkOo

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In the film classic Purple Rain, Morris Day’s character laughed at Prince’s father attempted suicide.  Day’s band The Time (the best band ever) walked pass Prince’s dressing room singing, “let’s go crazy…let’s get nuts.”  Of course, the Prince song “Let’s Go Crazy” starts with the line “when you call up that Shrink in Beverly Hills—Dr. Everything Is Going To Be Alright—instead of asking him how much of your time is left…ask him how much of your mind.”  I love the part that says “And if the elevator tries to bring you down..go  crazy…push a higher floor.” 

Some political observers see the Tea Party Movement as folks gone crazy while others see them as fed up good citizens.  I ask my TPM friends how can they question the legitimacy of the Obama presidency when I never question W Bush (Bush v. Gore, Weapons of Mass Destruction, spent surplus.)  

With any large movement, you have intent and methods.  You have the core and the fringe.  The TPM basically has sound concerns (as President Obama repeatedly states) but the methods of their fringe are sometimes Machiavellian or the End Justifies the Means.  I attended the Million Man March and dug 90% of the message but knew that I would bounce out the second I heard any hate speech.  As a congressional staffer covering judiciary issues, my Saturday afternoons were spent listening to rallies on the National Mall for and against gun control and abortion.  It seemed like the right thing to do—I was paid to listen to all sides.

Quick…name a leader with whom you agree 100%.  Now name one you disagree with 100%.  It’s a big person who admits that the loyal opposition has a right to govern if they win fair and square. Moderates and centrists are encouraging to me because we take elements of both sides into policymaking.  I have some close friends who are very conservative and I constantly ask them why they want to govern with a “winner take all” mentality.  They have no problem saying that they should govern that way because they are 100% correct—and we thought Kante West had the biggest ego.

I think I owe Rev. Jeremiah Wright a sincere apology.  Rev. Wright, I am sorry for punking out on you during the drama.  Come on now, we have all said wild things or attended events where a few statements were questionable.  But, the speaker or movement were fundamentally well-intended.  At different times, every member of the Georgia congressional delegation said something they wish they didn’t say…oh, they meant it but wish they didn’t say it. 

Rev. Wright gets leeway because he is a senior and a veteran.  In the South, there is no telling what Black or White seniors might say and we understand because they are from a different time.  The funny thing about Black nationalism is that the principles of self-determination, limited governmental involvement, achievement, shame and community are actually similar to the far-right. For example, Al Sharpton and Newt Gingrich have found that they are singing from the same hymnal on education reform. 

I wonder if the same people who said President Obama should have walked out of Rev. Wright’s church if he heard one questionable word think people should leave a Tea Party behind one word or bad poster.  President Obama and I would say find the common ground, seek positive dialog and solutions, and at the appropriate time point out that some of the rhetoric was straight nasty and counterproductive.

Toward the end of Purple Rain, Morris Day knew he was dead-ass wrong for joking about mental illness and a guy’s family problems but he redeemed himself by cheering for Prince’s grand finale.  If Obama is successful, will the Tea Partiers acknowledge it?  No, they will say did it was bought with our grandchildren’s money.  Did the Right admit that Clinton’s budget actions were great?  No, they don’t roll like that.

Purple Rain ended with Prince’s “Baby Im A Star.”  I wonder if young Barrack Obama listened to this album, watch the movie and told his crew that he was going to be president because he “wasn’t gonna stop ‘til he reach the top.”  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkYamJjv6Eg

Prince- Baby Im A Star

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