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Life is a Highway

Life is a Highway
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Friday, October 21, 2011

Firing Line: William F. Buckley Interviewing U.S. Senator Charles Percy in 1967- A Foreign Policy For The GOP

U.S. Senator Charles Percy-
This piece was originally posted at FreeState Plus: Firing Line: William F. Buckley Interviewing U.S. Senator Charles Percy in 1967- A Foreign Policy For The GOP

This idea that a stronger America makes our foreign policy stronger, because it allows our opponents less ammunition to call us hypocritical, because they can't say when we criticize them, that they shouldn't criticize us because they have similar problems, like in poverty and human rights, is a powerful argument. And something I have a lot of respect for and could be used not just as a foreign policy, but an economic policy as well. Because it relates to how we deal with other countries, but also how we govern our own country as well. For a country to have a foreign policy that has the most influence possible.

You have to first be strong at home. Because for one your country would be better off. Because your economy will be stronger, more people will be working and making more money. Your infrastructure will be stronger, which will give you more credibility when you decide you should try to influence other countries in how they govern themselves. Or how they try to influence other countries as well. And you'll also have the resources to help those other countries. Because again you'll have the resources to help them and people like Communists, socialists, theocrats, whoever are against what you're trying to do. Will again have less ammunition in how they critique you. Because they'll have less credibility in how they critique you.

America proved in the Cold War with Russia that we were stronger in that war, when our economy was stronger. And we were improving our own situation as it related to human rights. Especially as it related to civil rights like in the 1960s. With the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Law of 1968. We were better in fighting the Cold War with Russia in the 1950s, 60s and 80s, because our economy was strong for the most part in those entire decades. And had the resources that we needed to combat Russia because of our strong economy.

Especially going up against Russia that had a communist system when they were the Soviet Union. And had very little freedom, economic or otherwise. And despite their vast natural resources that Russia has always had, they had a weak economy for the most part during this whole time. Especially compared with the European Union, United Kingdom and United States. And simply didn't have the resources to keep up with America and the West during this whole period. The best way to have the most influence in the world as possible, is to be strong yourself. And then you can say, "you should try this because we've proven it works." Ronald Reagan called this foreign policy Peace through Strength, but he was referring to the military. But Peace through Strength can also relate to economic policy as well. Which is what Senator Chuck Percy was referring to in this video.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Firing Line: William F. Buckley, Ann Scott and Phyllis Schlafly- The Equal Rights Amendment in 1973

This piece was originally posted at FreeState Plus: Firing Line: William F. Buckley, Ann Scott and Phyllis Schlafly- The Equal Rights Amendment in 1973

I believe all good Americans across the political spectrum believe in equal rights for all people. That there’s now a consensus that’s still growing as we get younger and more liberal as a country that we shouldn’t be allowed especially the public sector, to be able to discriminate against anyone based on their race, ethnicity, gender, color, creed, nationality, religion and now even sexuality. That in a liberal democracy like America, free people meaning free people not a particular type of people, have the constitutional right to live freely and not be harassed by government.

No American under the U.S. Constitution can be discriminated for the reasons I just laid out by the public or private sectors. That it says in the U.S. Constitution that all men meaning people, not just men, have the constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That these are constitutional rights. And if you’re a Constitutional Constructionist like US Justice Antonin Scalia, you take those words to mean exactly that. Even though our Founding Fathers when they wrote the U.S. Constitution didn’t mean those constitutional rights to apply to everyone. And things like laws attempting to block people from eating, voting, working, going to school, just because of their race, just to use as examples, are unconstitutional on their face. Because they violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The question is how best to enforce these constitutional rights. How best for government to enforce them. To me those enforcements are already there in the U.S. Constitution. And thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965, Fair Housing Law of 1968, Federal, state and local government’s, can no longer get way without enforcing these constitutional rights for everyone. The problem during the civil rights debates of the 1950s and 60s wasn’t our Constitution. The problem was that not everyone and several states weren’t enforcing our constitutional rights equally. But those laws cleared that up and now if people are unfairly discriminated against, they can take legal and civil action against that.

People are unjustly discriminated, now have recourse with either the executive or judicial branches, they can file a complaint with either or take the people who they believed unfairly discriminated against them to civil court and get their case heard. And if they win be rewarded at the expense of the defendant, for the discrimination they suffered. The reason why I’m not in favor of an Equal Rights Amendment, even though I’m a Liberal Democrat, because it’s not needed. It would simply be an addition to what’s already there under the U.S. Constitution. All men and women have to be treated equally under law. The law can’t discriminate based on gender or race as well as the other distinctions.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Firing Line: William F. Buckley- The Implications of Watergate

This piece was originally posted at FreeState Plus: Firing Line: William F. Buckley- The Implications of Watergate

The Watergate scandal from the summer of 1972 to the summer of 1974, was a horrible political scandal. That not only lasted two years, brought down a presidency, a president that was reelected by a landslide. Distracted the country from many other problems that we were facing. With a weakening economy, rising unemployment, rising health care costs, more people being without health insurance, an energy shortage, trying to get out of Vietnam, etc. It happened at about the worst time that any political scandal could hit us, where we had other issues that needed to be addressed.

And perhaps the worst part of the Watergate scandal, is that it never had to happen or become a scandal. It was completely unnecessary. President Nixon would’ve been reelected by a landslide in 1972 anyway. Had he announced what he knew about Watergate as he knew it. And had come clean his administration probably would’ve got some heat from it at least in the short-term. With Congressional investigations, but President Nixon would’ve done himself and the country a lot of good in the long-term. Because he would’ve been able to put Watergate behind us, because he would’ve been able to end his part of the scandal early on. Because the country would’ve known that he wasn’t guilty of anything. And he would’ve been able to move on with his presidency and attempt to address some of these issues.

Without the Watergate scandal as far as President Nixon covering it up, he would’ve gone down as a very successful President. Perhaps one of the best president’s America has ever had, with all of his foreign policy success’s. And this would’ve given him an opportunity. to address some other issues. As they relate to economic policy and getting the economy going again. Creating a national energy policy, which President Nixon actually did make an attempt at, as well as health care and Welfare reform. And perhaps campaign for more Republican Congressional candidates. Instead of the Republican Party dropping back to where they were in the 1960s as far as seats in Congress. In the House and Senate with Democrats having large majority’s in both chambers. As a result of the 1974 mid-term elections.

But because of the Watergate coverup, that’s the main if not only political issue that not only the Federal Government was dealing with, but what the country was paying attention to. Including even watching the Watergate hearings on TV. As a result of the Watergate scandal and coverup, the Republican Party got hammered in the 1974 mid-term elections. Democrats picked up something like thirty seats in the House and six in the Senate to add to their majority’s. And of course Democrats won the White House in 1976 while retaining their large majority’s in Congress. But thanks to President Carter, Republicans got a lot of those seats back plus some new ones in 1978 and 1980.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Firing Line: Firing Line With William F. Buckley- Wilbur Cohen and The Great Society in 1967

This piece was originally posted at FreeState Plus : Firing Line: Firing Line With William F. Buckley- Wilbur Cohen and The Great Society in 1967

One of the things if not the main thing that united the Republican Party in the mid and late 1960s, was President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society agenda and all the social insurance programs that came with it. Similar to President Clinton in 1993-94 with his deficit reduction plan, crime bill and failed health care reform attempt. Conservatives in America saw the growth of the Federal Government in the 1960s as a threat to individual freedom. Which is why they united behind Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964 and conservative candidates for Congress in 1966 and 68. And why they united behind Richard Nixon for President in 1968.

The GOP saw the Johnson Administration wanting to make America like Europe with a large welfare state. With things like Medicare and Medicaid, Head Start, Public Housing, increasing public education funding from the Federal Government, etc. And conservatives in America like Bill Buckley and others saw all of these programs as unconstitutional under the 10th Amendment. And didn’t like the new tax hikes that came from Medicare, especially since America was a fairly low tax country. Pre-FDR New Deal, LBJ Great Society and still a low tax country today compared with Europe. But Classical Conservatives and Libertarians, still believe that America is still overtaxed as a country.

American Conservatives wanted to get behind candidates and politicians who would work to downsize or eliminate the New Deal and Great Society. And they saw the Johnson Administration and Secretary Wilbur Cohen of the Department of Health, Welfare and Education, as people who wanted to make America more like Europe from the Federal Government. At the expense of individual freedom and state and local governments and try to centralize the power with the Federal Government.

This is how Barry Goldwater, Ron Reagan and other Conservatives got into to power. And how Dick Nixon got back into power in 1968 and how more Conservative Republicans got elected to Congress in the late 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s. And how the Republican Party became relevant again in the Federal Government and across America. By running against the New Deal and Great Society and saying that they want to change it and still try to solve the same problems. But do it in a way that gives the people more individual freedom in how they solve their own problems.

In some ways the Goldwater defeat in 1964 and the LBJ Great Society was great for the Republican Party. Because it brought them together and united them behind the same agenda. And why you saw more conservatives run for Congress and get elected especially in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Like Trent Lott, Ted Stevens, Orrin Hatch, Al Simpson, Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney and may others. Because the Republican Party came together behind the same agenda. And how the Rockefeller faction of the party almost faded away.

Firing Line: William F. Buckley Interviewing U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield- Was Barry Goldwater a Mistake?

This piece was originally posted at FreeState Plus : Firing Line: William F. Buckley Interviewing U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield- Was Barry Goldwater a Mistake?

By the time the 1964 presidential campaign came around, the Republican Party was already in bad shape. They lost the presidency in 1960, Democrats controlled Congress with huge majorities. And even added to those majorities in 1962 and the classical conservative base of the Republican Party, felt the needed to fight back and take control of the party as they did in 1964. After what they saw as moderate leadership from the Eisenhower Administration in the 1950s. And they saw Vice President Richard Nixon as a moderate presidential candidate.

This is how Senator Barry Goldwater became the 1964 Republican presidential nominee and one reason why Dick Nixon didn't run for president in 1964 and why Governor Nelson Rockefeller was treated so badly at the 1964 Republican Convention. Because a new political faction was in charge of the GOP. That believed the Kennedy-Johnson Administration was moving the Federal Government too far away from federalism. And growing the Federal Government too rapidly with the Great Society and they felt the need to step up and nominate someone who they saw as a Classical Conservative and a Constitutional Conservative. Who would bring the Federal Government back in line with the U.S. Constitution.

This is how exactly Senator Goldwater ran his presidential campaign and even had some success in the South. And won some Southern states that the Democratic Party use to own. 1964 was the start of a movement in American politics, that started to move the South from being a purely Democratic region and made it more competitive for Republican candidates. Which is one reason how Dick Nixon was elected President in 1968. And got reelected in a landslide in 1972 and how the Republican Party won 5-6 presidential elections from 1968-88. Four of those elections that they won were by landslides.

The Republican Party paid a heavy price for Senator Goldwater's landslide lost in 1964, but for only two years. From 1965-67 where the Democratic Party had the presidency and huge majority's in Congress, but it was a short two years, because by 1966, President Johnson was starting to become unpopular. And Congressional Republicans picked up 47 seats in the House and four in the Senate. Republicans were still in the minority in both chambers of Congress, but back in the ballpark, with a shot at making Congress competitive.

Because in 1968 Republicans picked up five more seats in the House to give them 192 and seven in the Senate to give them 43. So the democrats no longer had such huge majorities in Congress and be able to over run the Minority Party. Because the Republican Party now had new states and districts that were put in play for them. In some ways the 1964 general elections was a great defeat for the Republican Party.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Firing Line: Firing Line With William F. Buckley- House Minority Leader Gerald Ford in 1968: Does The Republican Party Have Anything to Offer?

This piece was originally posted at FreeState Plus : Firing Line: Firing Line With William F. Buckley- House Minority Leader Gerald Ford in 1968: Does The Republican Party Have Anything to Offer?

In 1964 the Republican Party was at its lowest point since the FDR New Deal era as far as their power in America. Especially in the Federal Government, where they were the opposition minority party. Democrats had the presidency with President Johnson, they had huge majority's in the Congress. With 289 seats in the House and 68 seats in the Senate. The Senate Republican minority couldn't even block anything on their own. And this was back when it took 67 votes to stop a filibuster. And yet the Republican Party had one of the most effective Senate leaders in Senate history, in Everett Dirksen.

House Republicans, a very small minority party. Only had 140 seats but they did have a very effective Minority Leader in Gerald Ford. Who went on to become Vice President of the United States and then of course later President of the United States. Who was pretty effective at keeping his conference united against what the President wanted to do. The Great Society being a pretty good example of this, but Minority Leader Ford was also very effective at coming up with alternatives to what President Johnson and House Speaker John McCormack brought to the House floor. The Republican Party was going through a very rough period.

Having been thrown out of power in 1960 when Vice President Richard Nixon lost the Presidency to Senator Jack Kennedy and Democrats retained large majority's in both the House and Senate. And to make it worse, House and Senate Republicans both lost seats in the 1962 mid-term elections. Generally the opposition party picks up seats in Congress in the mid-term Elections. So the Republican Party was in pretty bad shape. And then of course in 1964 when Senator Barry Goldwater lost in a landslide to President Johnson and Democrats again picked up seats in the House and Senate as well.

Which is one of the reasons why Representative Gerald Ford beat then House Minority Leader Charlie Halak. Because House Republicans felt they needed a new voice and new Leader and Gerry Ford was a very effective Minority Leader. And he helped his conference rebuild itself. And this is where Senator Goldwater's presidential campaign was very successful. Because he got the party back to classical conservatism and won some states in the South. And Minority Leader Ford was able to take that message to the House and his conference. And effectively communicated their message on TV and radio and in print.

House Republicans under the leadership of Minority Leader Gerald Ford, were able to offer and alternative agenda to President Johnson and House Democrats. And House Republicans picked up 47 seats in 1966 and Richard Nixon was elected President in 1968. And in some ways 1964 and the aftermath was the start of the Republican Party rebuilding. And building their party in the South.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The John Birch Society: "Robert Welch's Amazingly Accurate 1958 Predictions": The Forerunner For The Tea Party?

Source: JBS- Robert Welch-
Source: This piece was originally posted at FreeState Plus

The classical conservative movement didn’t start in 2009 with the Tea Party movement. Certainly not in 2000 with George W Bush, who had a neoconservative presidency, or in 1994 with the Gingrich Revolution. Or in 1980 with the Reagan Revolution or in 1964 with the Goldwater Campaign. The current thinking of classical conservatism goes back to the early 1900s or longer. That was about protecting individual freedom and constitutional rights and fiscal responsibility and having a foreign policy that’s based only on protecting our own national security. Thats centered a lot around the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which Classical Conservatives and Libertarians. Believe limits what the Federal Government can do and this movement really started to grow in the 1930s and 40s.

Thanks President Roosevelt’s New Deal agenda and then they saw the growth of the United Nations and other international organizations post-World War II and of course they didn’t like that. And then with President Johnson’s Great Society agenda in the 1960s, with the rise of Senator Barry Goldwater and his 1964 rise to the Republican Party nomination for president. And then with Congressional Republicans picking up a bunch seats in the 1966 mid-term elections. With help from Dick Nixon and of course with Dick Nixon’s Silent Majority presidential campaign in 1968. When Dick Nixon became President in 1969, Classical Conservatives, the JBS and others, weren’t very happy with President Nixon and his creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and other Federal agency’s.

The conservative movement of course is much broader than this. And there Neoconservatives as well as Religious Conservatives in it. And Classical Conservatives seem moderate to Religious and Neoconservatives, with both Political Factions. Having at least some influence on the Tea Party movement, especially Religious Conservatives, much less so with Neoconservatives. What really drives Classical Conservatives, is the limited government Movement. Restricting what the Federal Government as well as state and local government’s. In what they can do and to try to cut back the size and budgets of the Federal Governments And get behind political candidates and public officials who’ll support this agenda.

Which is also what Conservative-Libertarians in the Tea Party movement are about as well. The John Birch Society and other Classical Conservatives have influenced the Tea Party movement in a positive way. Trying to move the Republican Party past-George W Bush’s neoconservatism. And try to get the Republican Party past this and back to being about limited government. And if they don’t believe the Republican Party is about limited government, then they’ll find a party or create their own. That will do this for them.
The John Birch Society: Robert Welch's Amazingly Accurate 1958 Predictions