Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – What she’s talking about is not conservative or conservatism. She’s talking about Republicanism. There is party mantra. There is party dogma that makes one a Republican. This is why the term RINO, Republican in name only is still so popular, [mocking] “We gotta get rid of them damn RINO Republicans” and why it is a problem. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
AG: I’m not as frustrated over what happened yesterday and the past three weeks. I am frustrated at what happened in November. I’m also frustrated in the sense that I think this has serious ramifications for 2014 and the midterm election. I think Matt Drudge tweeted out yesterday “I expect Nancy Pelosi to have the gavel come January 5, 2015.” If that’s a real possibility, I think that’s way more concerning than yesterday and the past three weeks that was bound to happen. In that sense, it’s news, but I’m not all that surprised. I thought one of the interesting things, watching a bunch of the different news networks last night, was that Ann Coulter was interviewed by Piers Morgan. They had an interesting discussion about the impact the Tea Party is having on the Republican Party.
One of the things she pointed out was the Tea Party is killing the GOP in liberal states. That is not something that she sees happen to Democrats. Where there are conservative states and Democrats get elected, they are not overly liberal Democrats. You don’t see these super liberal pundits and politicians going after those blue dog-ish Democrats. That’s not something that’s happening in the Republican Party. What you’re seeing is the Tea Party and guys like Cruz or Lee or others absolutely blasting conservatives in liberal states for not being super, super conservative. That’s a huge disadvantage, because you’re ultimately going to lose those people in the political races. She was suggesting that there needs to be a change and you can’t have ideological purity in these liberal states for the conservatives. You kind of have to accept what you get there. I thought that was an interesting point she raised yesterday as well.
Mike: This comes up often that a northeastern conservative is not going to have very much in common with a southeastern, say from Athens, Georgia, conservative.
AG: She was just pointing out that that Athens conservative cannot blast that northeastern Republican conservative, whatever label you want to put to them, because it doesn’t do anything for the party.
Mike: I would prefer to say is not conservative. What she’s talking about is not conservative or conservatism. She’s talking about Republicanism. There is party mantra. There is party dogma that makes one a Republican. This is why the term RINO, Republican in name only is still so popular, [mocking] “We gotta get rid of them damn RINO Republicans” and why it is a problem. You just made a great point. You helped flesh out the point that I was just making, Andrew. Conservatism is not an id, it is not an ology. That’s the problem. That’s Ann Coulter’s problem, too. It is not defined by a set of political preferences. A party is defined by a set of political preferences. A something as transcendent as conservatism is not linked to a party. It is not linked to an ideology. It is linked to a defense of a set of traditions.
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Let me let a scholar explain this. Irving Babbitt is a lot better at explaining this than I will ever be. There’s so much in Babbitt’s book Democracy and Leadership that I could talk about. I’ve already been smacked down on the Twitter feed [mocking] “You ain’t gonna beat none of them damn Democrats with your stupid humility, boy.” Great thinking out there, wonderful thinking. Way to apply brain cells together and really in a cosmopolitan sense consider what it is I just said, and whether I was talking in the same vein you were, sir. Nice job. Let me let Babbitt, the great scholar, who was a conservative, weigh in on this.
The problem of pride versus humility is, of course, not primarily political at all. It is a problem of the inner life. Rousseau undermined humility in the individual by substituting the doctrine of natural goodness for the older doctrine of man’s sinfulness and fallibility. The forms and traditions, religious and political, that Burke on the other hand defends, on the ground that they are not arbitrary but are convenient summings up of a vast body of past experience, give support to the imagination of the individual; the imagination, thus drawn back as it were to an ethical centre, supplies in turn a standard with reference to which the individual may set bounds to the lawless expansion of his natural self . . .from a purely psychological point of view, Burke’s emphasis on humility [Mike: For the guy that just smacked me down on Twitter with humility, listen up, pal.] and on the imaginative symbols that he deems necessary to secure it, reduces itself to an emphasis on what one may term the centripetal element in liberty. Rousseau, at least the Rousseau that has influenced the world, practically denies the need of any such centripetal element in liberty, inasmuch as what will emerge spontaneously on the disappearance of the traditional controls is an expansive will to brotherhood. If one rejects like Burke this gospel of “universal benevolence” . . .
Mike: We hear this all the time, [mocking] “We’re good people. We give to the world. We’re the most benevolent, kind, giving . . . the world counts on us to bail them out from tsunamis. Does the world count on us or does your God command you to? This is the point that Babbitt is making, and he’s using Edmund Burke to make the point.
Mike Church Show Transcript – Congress Has A Few Patriots, But The Rest Are Just Fighting For Their Slice Of Leviathan Pie
If one rejects like Burke this gospel of “universal benevolence,” it is hard not to conceive of liberty in Burke’s fashion—namely, as a nice adjustment between the taking on of inner control and the throwing off of outer control. [Mike: If this seems a little hard to follow, just think of the term we used to use all the time, obedience to the unenforceable. That is inner control.] “Society,” he says, “cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without.” This adjustment between inner and outer control, which concerns primarily the individual, is thus seen to determine at last the degree to which any community is capable of political liberty. True statesmanship is in this sense a humanistic mediation and not an indolent oscillation between extremes. “To make a government requires no great prudence. Settle the seat of power; teach obedience; and the work is done. To give freedom is still more easy. It is not necessary to guide; it only requires to let go the rein. But to form a free government—that is, to temper together these opposite elements of liberty and restraint in one consistent work, requires much thought, deep reflection, a sagacious, powerful, and combining mind.”
Mike: Babbitt is kind of hard to read because he was a scholar. He uses prose that we’re not familiar with any longer. Since I read that passage about five times in the past day, let me break that down for you. What he is saying a conservative enterprise is is one that is rooted in the past but still has the ability to use that experience of the past to make the future better. To act upon the problems of today using your experience in the past, the conservative seeks to make the future better by using the experience of the past. You might even say that the conservative is content with making the future adequate, not even better, just as good as the past, saying that things that have happened in the past were quite glorious. They were quite good indeed. If we could just emulate that we’ll be doing well. That’s not something you hear a modern conservative talk about. It’s always about the future. It’s always about economic growth. Does anyone really believe you can continue to economically grow beyond a certain point? Is there no end point of the economic growth curve? Is it a never-ending roller coaster line that goes all the way from not so successful in the endeavor to where everyone is successful in the endeavor?
End Mike Church Show Transcript