A Conservative Movement in Oregon

Here in Oregon, we have no shortage of liberals. (Heck, you can’t even spit without hittin’ one.) Even in the Republican Party, it seems, many of our elected officials are leaning more and more to the left, thinking that’s where the country is headed so they might as well jump on the train. I don’t refer to these elected officials as leaders, because they aren’t leading, but following the latest trends. Sometimes they look conservative before they’re elected but, once they get to Salem, they start fading to blue. When that happens, we need to uproot them and replace them at the earliest opportunity.

What we need in the Republican Party are strong conservative leaders. Leaders who believe in the time-honored Republican principles of limited government, private property rights, and the free market. Here in Oregon, there’s a PAC that’s promoting strong conservative leadership in our government. The group is called the Conservative Majority Project, and their goal is to restore a conservative majority to the Oregon House of Representatives.

The CMP is a pretty new organization, but they succeeded in raising $45,000 for the Oregon primaries, and used it to back true conservative candidates against “moderate” Republicans. Their current goal is to raise $200,000 to back true conservative Republicans against Democrats in November. They guarantee that they will only support real conservatives. They won’t waste the money contributed by hard-working grass roots supporters on RINOs or politicians who pander to the latest political fad.

To learn more about the Conservative Majority Project, visit their Web site. They also have a blog, where they post the latest news and progress reports.

Remember, in Oregon, you can deduct $50 per person ($100 if married, filing jointly) for political contributions directly from your Oregon state taxes. This is not a deduction that reduces your taxable income, but a credit that reduces your state income tax by the actual amount of the contribution. So it doesn’t cost you anything to contribute.

If you’re an Oregon resident, you can help take back the Republican Party in Oregon and support true conservative leadership in our state government by contributing to the Conservative Majority Project.

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Happy 2nd Amendment Day!

This date will go down in history as the date the Supreme Court finally affirmed the individual right of American citizens to keep and bear arms.

Taken in context, that was clearly the intent of the founding fathers from the beginning. The whole purpose of the Bill of Rights was to protect individual rights from usurpation by the government. However, there are those who disdain individual rights, who trust in the power of government more than in the rights of their fellow citizens. Those people have conducted a long and hard-fought campaign to focus attention exclusively on the clause about a militia, and to interpret that clause as somehow setting the 2nd Amendment apart from the rest of the Bill of Rights and excluding that particular amendment from applying to individuals.

Thankfully, the Supreme Court has now affirmed the intent of our founding fathers that we, the people of the United States of America, do have the individual right to keep and bear arms, and that the government does not have the legitimate power to strip that right from us.

God bless America!

God bless America! The principles of our founding fathers live on.

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What is Conservatism?

To me, conservatism is about believing in the principles on which this country was founded. Those principles are grounded, not in the unlimited powers of government to regulate every aspect of our lives, but in our inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Everyone understands what’s meant by life and liberty, but the pursuit of happiness clause is not always clear to people. The government doesn’t guarantee anybody’s happiness. But what it does guarantee is that each of us has the right to pursue whatever happiness may mean to us, as individuals, in whatever way we see fit, as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of anybody else. That’s a powerful concept.

What makes this country unique among all nations is the fact that our founding fathers believed so strongly in individualism that they placed the rights of the individual above the rights of the collective society, or the “common good.” From its inception, this country was founded on the precepts of individual freedom and individual responsibility. As an American, you have the freedom to live your life however you choose to live it. But the corollary of that freedom is that you also have to take responsibility for your life, and the choices you make, and the consequences of those choices.

It’s not the role of the government to protect you from yourself, or from your own bad choices, poor judgment, or ignorance. That’s up to you. It’s also not up to the government to provide you with basic necessities, like food, shelter, medical care, employment, recreation, or anything else, save the protection of your individual rights. All those are your responsibility to provide for yourself and your dependents. But, by the same token, neither does the government have the right to take away what is yours to provide those things for others.

The concept of private property is fundamental to the realization of individual freedom. What you earn by the fruits of your labor, your mind, your creativity, talents, and the skills you’ve worked to develop, belongs to you and you alone. You may choose to share what’s yours with whomever you want, but that, too, is up to you. It’s not up to the government to take what you earn and redistribute it to those who can’t, or won’t, or don’t earn.

Our founding fathers recognized that, to maximize individual freedom, you have to limit the powers of government. The only truly legitimate role of the government is to protect your rights from being infringed upon by others. Quite simply, the purpose of government is to protect me from you, and you from me, and both of us from a common enemy. Locally, that means law enforcement and criminal justice. Nationally, that means a strong military. I support both.

I’m not against all taxation. I recognize that you don’t get something for nothing. The protection of my rights as a citizen, and our national sovereignty, is worth a lot to me. And I’m willing to pay for that. But I’m not willing to pay for everything else anybody wants that they can’t afford to pay for themselves. If you want something of value, you have to provide value in return. Just because you can’t afford something, doesn’t give you the right to take it out of my pocket. Nobody owes you anything, except what you earn.

The other fundamental building block of a free society is the free market. Some people confuse the phrase “free market” with “big business.” Those two concepts are orthogonal. A free market simply means that every transaction is entered into by the free will of the participants, with no coercion. A free market transaction is always win-win because, if either party doesn’t believe he’s getting more value than what he’s exchanging for it, he can walk away from the transaction. When the government imposes subsidies, tariffs, price controls, quotas, or other regulatory constraints upon the free market, it only serves to circumvent the free will of the people to choose how best to spend the money we earn, under the premise that the government knows what’s best for us better than we do.

The basic building blocks of freedom are free will, free markets, private property, and limited government. And that’s what conservatism in America is about.

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Greenology is a Bankrupt Philosophy


Guest Article by Jack H. Swift

This is a first for Government Is Not Your Daddy. I’ve never published a Guest Author before, but Jack Swift is somebody who truly ought to have his own blog. Anyone who regularly reads GNYD is likely to enjoy Jack’s writing as much as I do. He’s top shelf.

The great green movement driven by the Sierra Club, the Audobon Society, and other more nefarious forces appears about to run out of gas. A half century of a reckless orgy of economic extravagance driven by environmental values is finally coming home to roost. We are about to discover that you cannot protect anything if you are broke.

For nearly fifty years the new environmentalists have hounded industrial manufacturing out of business in the interest of protecting the environment. The result has been a constant elimination of jobs and the transfer of manufacturing capacity to foreign shores. That is a monstrous expense in a world economy dominated by balance of trade considerations critical to the value of one’s currency. Industry by industry, it could be selectively justified in genuine feel-good considerations of the intellectually unwary. Collectively, it has been a formula for disaster.

For nearly forty years, the new environmentalists have prevented the development of nuclear power plants as an alternative to fossil fuel powered electrical plants while the nation’s demand for more and more power has increased incrementally. Site by site, an emotional argument in opposition could always be fabricated. The cumulative effect was to have the nation buy into a collective policy recklessly discarding cheap, clean, renewable energy. In the face of growing demand, another formula for disaster.

For nearly thirty years, the new environmentalists have log-jammed the exploitation of our domestic oil resources, be it drilling in ANWR, drilling on the continental shelf, or using the shale on the continental divide. In the face of that constraint nationally, we are today forced to purchase oil overseas in a market controlled by a hostile cartel and foreign speculators. The cumulative effect of that has been a further deterioration of our balance of trade and the subjection of our currency to the artificial inflation induced by regimes bent on our destruction. Yet another unthinking, ill-conceived disaster.

For twenty years, particularly here in the Northwest, the new environmentalists have frustrated the utilization of natural resources, renewable or not. Once again creating a loss of jobs and a dependence on foreign imports. This has been an unmitigated disaster community by community, with no relief in contemplation.

Recently, the new environmentalists are driving for and effecting the removal of our hydro-electric power generation system. Once again eliminating cheap, clean, renewable power and forcing greater reliance upon foreign fuel imports.

Today, the new environmentalists are pressing our representatives Wyden and DeFazio for legislation to effectively turn the rural portions of our state into a great pristine wilderness area.

The forces of the new environmentalism recognize no economic restraint and they are more relentless than a spend-happy teenager.

We have gasoline at $4.00 per gallon, looking for $5.00 by the end of the summer. That cost factor is appearing in every commodity we consume. We cannot avoid it any more than the spendthrift can avoid the interest on his credit card debt. The effect is runaway inflation with further devaluation of our currency. The total impact portends to be an economic disaster on a scale of the great depression.

The message is the fundamental one that one cannot spend one’s limited money on luxuries one cannot afford. Enhancing the environment at the expense of the economy has led us to the brink of national insolvency. Having to work for a living is not nice, but a necessary reality of life. One undergoes the unpleasantness in the interest of comfort and survival. Despoiling the environment to a limited degree is also a necessary trade-off in the interest of economic survival.

Unthinking and injudicious commitment to aesthetic values, emotions, and desires has brought us to the brink.

As a matter of survival, it is time to consign the environmental movement to the stupid bin in the ashcan of history. We need to get about the business of restoring our solvency and we need to do it now.

— Jack H. Swift

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