Only twenty percent of Americans self-identify as liberals, but that doesn’t stop them from having a very loud voice in the media, and in our political process. Simply look the annual budgets of groups like the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – groups that represent heavily Democrat-leaning segments of our population – at $21 million and $40 million respectively. The NAACP boasts 750,000 members and donors, while HRC claims to have 750,000, which when combined represent less than 5% of the American population. Even the most generous accounts estimate that African-Americans represent 13% of the population, and openly gay Americans at 3%. Clearly these groups, and many other leftist organizations, have more than 16% of the influence in our government, politics and media, and it is often aimed at our most treasured traditions.
There is no time of year when liberals exercise their disproportionate voice more, than over the holiday season. Groups like PETA speak out against eating turkey on Thanksgiving, going so far as to use children to advance their vegetarian agenda. But being vegetarian isn’t good enough for PETA, because milk, eggs, cheese and numerous other products are still made by exploiting animals. Atheists, who claim 50 million Americans among them (14% of the population), routinely speak out against Christmas. They believe it is an oppressive holiday, celebrated by intolerant and ignorant Americans who worship false gods. They have no problem telling Americans that God does not exist, but have a big problem with people saying “Merry Christmas.” Christmas may be the biggest religious holiday of the year, but it has also turned into a “Hallmark Holiday,” for those who don’t subscribe to its religious significance. At the very least, Christmas represents giving, sharing, and spending time with family and loved ones. How can that be a bad thing?
Holidays aren’t the only traditions that liberals have a problem with. Religion, marriage, family and patriotism are all areas where liberals are at odds with most of America. Many liberals see religion as a joke, or farce, presenting many philosophical arguments as to why believers are deluding themselves as to the existence of God. Marriage, which culturally has always been between men and women, is being slowly altered into whatever they “feel” is a reasonable facsimile. A man in Japan even married an Anime character last year! Family, which historically and culturally has been represented by two opposite-sex parents, has been re-imagined as a hodgepodge of different shapes and sizes due to failed commitments, teen pregnancy, and selfishness. Even those who believe in same-sex marriage and parenting can admit that having two parents is better than one, and that children should not be the accidental consequences of poor judgment. Unfortunately, liberals find strength in victimhood, and overcoming challenges – even when they are self-imposed (See: Social Justice).
Our president, Barack Obama, gives us an unending list of traditions thrown by the wayside. He ended the White House tradition of holding a public ceremony on the National Day of Prayer – an annual observance for people of all faiths. There are some that see no problem with this, citing the separation of church and state. But that didn’t stop Obama from hosting the first Seder at the White House, or a Muslim dinner celebrating Ramadan. Then he chose to skip out on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall – an event that symbolized freedom for an entire generation of Eastern Europeans and Americans alike. He opted to not lay the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Memorial Day this year in favor of a vacation in Chicago. President Obama, and the White House website, made no mention of the 66th anniversary of D-Day this past June. Then, as honorary chairman of the Boy Scouts of America, decided not to speak before the group on their 100th anniversary, instead choosing to appear on The View. Finally, Obama ended a long-standing tradition in sports by not calling to congratulate the World Series Champions after their victory in 2009, or in 2010 when the San Francisco Giants won their first title in 56 years. Obama did invite both teams to the White House, as he has done to countless teams and athletes since taking office. In fact, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post illustrates how big of a sports fan Mr. Obama is by recalling his 44 rounds of golf, 16 off-site basketball sessions in addition to countless games on his home court, and a total of 45 sports-related events hosted at the White House (“about six times the number of news conferences he has held,” according to Milbank).
Perhaps it is the sports fan in Obama that prompted him to call Jeffrey Lurie, the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, and thank him for giving Michael Vick a second chance. He may have also thanked Lurie for maxing out to him in 2008. But seriously, he doesn’t honor the National Day of Prayer, the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the 66th anniversary of D-Day, the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts, or the last two World Series Champions – but a man who ran a dog-fighting ring resulting in the hanging, drowning, electrocuting and shooting of dogs deserves Obama’s attention? Keep in mind, at least nine dogs were killed at “Bad Newz Kennels,” and 48 of the 66 dogs seized from his property had been starved, tortured and severely injured. Yes. Thank you for giving him a second chance Mr. Lurie. I’m sure it has nothing to do with his ability to bring Philadelphia a championship, and everything to do with Vick’s remorse.
America is a free country, and if liberals don’t like our traditions, they don’t have to observe them. However, actively rooting against them is infringing on the basic personal freedoms that liberals claim to fight for. As Americans, we have the right to free speech, which means if I want to say “Merry Christmas,” that’s my right. I also have the right to be as patriotic as I want to be on July 4th, eat turkey on Thanksgiving – or any other day of the year, and choose to practice my faith. Liberals may not understand many of these traditions, or why they are important to many people in our society, but that’s too bad. A lack of understanding is no justification for intolerance – something liberals should practice as much as they preach it.
The views expressed in this blog are the author’s, and do not necessarily represent the views of Right Pride or GOProud.
As 2010 comes to a close, we can look back at the last two years of the Obama administration and huge Democrat majorities in Congress, and sort out the good, the bad, and the ugly. Part of that look back will include the lame duck session, and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) – a policy put in place 17 years ago by a Democrat-controlled Congress and signed by Democrat President Bill Clinton. The opinions of most Americans on the DADT policy can be classified into four distinct views:
Many people, a significant majority in fact, oppose DADT and support gays and lesbians serving openly in our military. Some Americans disagree with this viewpoint for many different reasons – some of which are valid. Of those who wish to see DADT go away, some would like to see it repealed immediately, while others believe we should go to great lengths to ensure that military readiness and efficiency is not compromised. On the other side of the issue, there are people who believe DADT is a good compromise which allows gays to serve, while protecting the military from political correctness and the liberal gay agenda. The fourth view is outright opposition, harkening back to a time when homosexuals were actively rooted out of the military. Those who hold this view are somewhat rare, but they exist nonetheless.
Repeal DADT Now!
The loudest voice for repeal comes from those on the far left, including the Gay Left and the myriad of organizations that encompass them. These are people who generally oppose military action abroad, support deep budget cuts within the Department of Defense, and the defunding of several aspects of our military apparatus. It seems counter-intuitive that these people would be so concerned with what goes on inside the military, but they do so under the umbrella of equal rights and equal treatment under the law. While their efforts seem noble, they often discount legitimate concerns offering few real solutions to the inevitable challenges repeal would naturally produce. Their hearts may be in the right place, but very little thought goes into the logistics behind repeal, mainly because they do not fully understand how the military works, or how these challenges may manifest themselves.
Repeal DADT – Responsibly
I am one of the many people who believe DADT should be repealed, simply because all Americans should be allowed to serve – and risk their lives – for our country, so long as they meet the physical requirements of the job and follow the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). It seems as though a majority of Americans fall into this category, feeling that the policy should be repealed responsibly, as we are in the middle of a two-front war, and a global fight against terrorism. While the definition of “responsibly” differs from person to person, it generally includes waiting until combat operations cease in Iraq and Afghanistan, or ensuring that military readiness is not impacted by repeal. I favor the latter. These people understand that repealing DADT will be an enormous undertaking by the military, and do not want to see one mission or one soldier’s safety compromised by a hasty decision or poor timing.
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is Working
There are those that believe DADT is a good policy, and should remain in effect as it is. There are many people in this group who have legitimate reasons for wanting to keep the policy in place, such as navigating the logistical nightmare of living arrangements and battlefield hygiene as just two examples. Other issues brought forward by this group, such as working alongside gay soldiers and keeping sexuality out of the military – which I will address shortly – may have been blown out of proportion and over-politicized.
“God Hates Fags”
The final group is a small, but boisterous, segment of the population. By now, almost everyone who watches the news has seen images of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) protesting military funerals, and unleashing a unhealthy amount of anti-gay propaganda in the process. According to their website, which is actually www.godhatesfags.com, the WBC admits to engaging in 44,819 pickets in 816 cities, even employing children in their horrific displays which include signs bearing slogans such as “Pray for more dead soldiers,” “Thank God for Sept. 11,” and “God Hates Fag Enablers.” These people, of course, are on the extreme end of the spectrum, but I use them as an example to illustrate that there is real bigotry out there, and it should not be tolerated. These actions are neither Christian nor do they represent the intentions of our founding fathers, who valued personal freedom, and our Constitution which guarantees it. Those who have an intense dislike of homosexuals believe that homosexuality and the military are incompatible. They support a return to the 1981 Department of Defense policy, in which gays were flat-out banned from serving. There are many valid arguments against repealing DADT, especially during wartime, but hating gays isn’t one of them.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
For some, this issue is seen as a battle against the “homosexual agenda.” For others DADT is seen as a partisan issue, and victory over pro-repeal Democrats and President Obama is of utmost importance. In speaking publicly about this issue over the last year, I’ve heard some interesting arguments both for – and against – repeal. Most of the arguments for repeal are based on what people perceive as a “right” to serve in our military. No such right exists. Our military is the most formidable fighting force on our planet, a fact that has kept us safe from foreign aggressors, and helped ensure tranquility and prosperity here at home. The military has always decided who can and cannot serve, with help from its Commander-in-Chief – our president. We could pretend that repealing DADT will create no challenges or conflicts, but we would be deluding ourselves in a dangerous way. While our military is extremely professional, and it has overseen racial integration and the inclusion of women, it did so for the most part during peacetime – and still faced challenges.
Troop morale, unit cohesion, the ability to conduct successful missions, and the safety of our troops – both gay and straight – should be our top priority, and that of our government. With that said, a 1992 report by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) estimated that nearly 17,000 men and women were discharged for homosexuality during the 1980s, and another 14,000 were discharged under DADT since 1993. Together that’s 31,000 service personnel – about 2% of our Armed Forces – with whom we have invested time and money in training, discharged from the military. That number includes good soldiers, officers, career veterans, and those trained in Arabic, many of whom were guilty of simply being gay.
The comfort level of serving alongside gay men and women is one legitimate concern, but the Pentagon’s own DADT study seems to have put that to rest. Of the roughly 400,000 military members and spouses surveyed, only 29% cared enough to respond, and 70% of those believe that repeal would have a positive impact or no impact at all. Of those who responded saying that they already believed someone they worked with or served with was gay, 92% said it was a positive experience. This seems to show that those currently serving will do just fine with DADT repeal. However, there are other issues which require greater examination.
Some believe there is no place for sexuality in the military. This is an argument I’ve heard often, especially from conservatives, yet it confuses me greatly. Clearly there is plenty of heterosexuality in the military. Men frequently talk about “hot chicks” and other things of a more sexual nature not fit for publishing here, yet no one advocates for a DADT policy for straight soldiers. It seems as though these opponents do not understand the meaning of “openly gay.” There is a clear difference between “being gay” and “engaging in homosexual acts.” For example, if a soldier is an orthodox Jew, he is allowed to serve as openly Jewish – meaning that he does not have to hide or lie about it. However, the military prohibits soldiers from wearing non-military issue hats while on duty, which prevents the orthodox Jewish man from wearing a yarmulke. If the Jewish soldier refused to follow the UCMJ and wore a yarmulke every day, he would be reprimanded, punished, or possibly discharged if he refused to comply.
The most relevant arguments I’ve heard against repeal have to do with the logistics involved in living arrangements, showers, battlefield hygiene, and personal conflicts. Currently, men and women have separate accommodations, for obvious reasons, but how do you add gays into the mix? When President Truman desegregated the military, a large majority of Americans were against it, and many white service members wanted nothing to do with black soldiers. There are stories of race riots on Navy warships during the Vietnam War, and sexual assault is an “epidemic” according to the GAO. Surely these are not reasons to ban straight white men from the military, and neither should they be reasons to ban blacks, women or gays.
The ultimate lesson from all of this is that implementation of repeal should lie in the hands of those in charge of our military. Even though Congress has passed repeal, and the president has signed it, it must be approved in writing by the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, followed by a 60-day waiting period, before it takes effect. This allows the military time to carefully implement repeal. This is preferable to having repeal pass through the courts. In the meantime, as everyone in our military honors their duty and follows the law, we will undoubtedly hear from those outside the military with an opinion on this highly emotional issue. Some are already insulting members of the military by insinuating that they cannot rise above sexual orientation and do their jobs professionally. Others are urging soldiers to quit the military, and urging parents to discourage their children from seeking military service. On the other hand, some institutes of higher learning like Yale and Columbia are reconsidering ROTC programs because they will no longer create a conflict with their non-discrimination policies.
In the end, DADT will soon be a thing of the past. Gay service members can now return to duty to fulfill the remainder of their contracts. Will they? Who knows, as many believe DADT had become a way out of the military for some. Either way, it is the right thing to do. This is America, and in this country we are supposed to believe that “who you are” is more important than “what you are.” As Barry Goldwater famously said, “You don’t need to be straight to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.” No one today would suggest that African-Americans be removed from the military, and it is my hope that decades from now, the same can be said for our gay soldiers.
The views expressed in this blog are the author’s, and do not necessarily represent the views of Right Pride or GOProud.
Ever since the beginning of the first national T.E.A. Party rallies I’ve studied the movement with an intense interest.
Beginning as a grassroots movement expressing rage and frustration over the establishment in Washington’s incessant ignorance to the will of the people, the Tea Party has now evolved into a driving political force mostly within the Republican Party, nominating and backing candidates for political office.
We saw that right here in Nevada during the 2010 Republican primaries when the Tea Party Express, a Sacramento-based organization created by a Republican-consulting firm, gave their endorsement to Sharron Angle—then one of the second tier candidates for the U.S. Senate.
Of course, the rest of that is history—at least here in Nevada. What happens now though is to wait and see how many of the Tea Party-backed candidates who won Congressional seats perform in the new session starting in January.
However, this article isn’t totally about the results of the 2010 Congressional elections or what influence the Tea Party had over it, but rather my questions center around two things: 1) Where do I fit in? 2) The future of the movement.
Consider this; though I am a Conservative Republican, I’m also 23 years old and in college. Not only would I normally not even statistically be either a Conservative or Republican, but I wouldn’t even be a “Tea Partier.”
Though I’m not a “Tea Partier,” I do support the movement because of its very simple message: Less spending, less taxes, less government interference in my life. Also, it’s perhaps the biggest popular Conservative movement ever which is something one rarely sees.
Gallup did polling on the Tea Party and found that by and large, the Tea Party—demographically—is fairly representative of America as a whole. Awesome.
What strikes me though is the age break-down amongst the Tea Party. According to Gallup, only sixteen percent of the Tea Party is made up of people between the ages of 18-29—the same demographic by-the-way that voted 66 percent for Barack Obama in 2008.
People between 30-49 years old make up one of the largest portions at 34 percent. This makes sense because its generally these people who—provided they haven’t lost them yet—have jobs and pay taxes.
However, it’s people over the age of 50 who make up over half of the Tea Party. These are the people who are either getting ready to retire or are retired.
Of all of these, occupationally, only four percent are considered students—generally between the ages of 18-24.
So, with sixteen percent of Tea Partiers being between the ages of 18-29, age-wise, I fit in just fine. I agree with the message and by and large the Tea Party has done a good job of staying away from social issues which generally turns young people away from the Republican Party.
Yet, young people aren’t drawn to the Tea Party. Why? Two things: The message and who presents that message.
What’s the message? Taxes and spending. That doesn’t register quite as high as say saving the planet on the sexy issue scale.
Why? Because taxes are boring and young people don’t pay taxes. So why should we give a damn?
Why should we also care about spending? After all, my generation has been raised to believe that the government MUST do things to help people and in order to do so it has to spend money.
Sure all of this spending is going to come back to haunt us like a dead prostitute, but since my generation has grown accustomed to being instantly gratified, if it doesn’t affect us now, it doesn’t matter.
Think of this unsustainable spending like taking a final in college. We don’t begin to care until the day before the test! Until then, we’ll be on Facebook or Youtube watching cat videos.
Also, who packages that message? Young people are incredibly susceptible to marketing—hence my purchasing of 200 leopard-print Snuggies—and a lot of it has to do with either who is presenting or how something is being presented.
So when young people watch the Daily Show or in a misguided attempt to appear intellectual, read the New York Times, the image they get of the Tea Party is severely skewed so that young people see a movement of crusty old people who believe President Barack Obama is a Kenyan Muslim.
This brings me to my last question about the future of the Tea Party movement and by extension the Conservative movement as a whole.
To figure this out, I do what I naturally do—snort cocaine and look to history for my answer.
Think about it for a minute. Why has liberalism managed to survive for the last 40 years? Think about the last major liberal movement—the counter-culture and anti-war protests of the late 60s and early 70s. Rather, think about who was involved in those movements 40 years ago.
The answer is basically people between the ages of 18-29 were involved. The reason radical liberalism has survived for over 40 years is because those involved aged with the movement so in effect, the radical, leftist movements of the late 60s and 70s are still on-going and essentially never ended.
They took what they learned protesting in the streets and applied it to their jobs in government, media and academia. Just look at the notorious radical leftist and friend, but not really a friend, of President Obama, Bill Ayers.
Ayers is founder and former member of the radical, leftist terror group known as the Weather Underground. Today, this guy now teaches twenty-somethings at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The Tea Party movement—a Conservative movement—has half of its participants already over the hill and they just started, meanwhile liberals have been doing this for over 40 years.
The problem the Tea Party now faces is that because so many of their members are old, they can’t build a foundation for Conservatism in time. See, after liberals left the street protests in exchange for university tenure, they began to turn their stupid ideas into a foundation to create more liberals.
Right now the Tea Party doesn’t have that unless they can attract young people to their movement where they can then build a foundation of Conservatism in later years.
To do that though the Tea Party, Conservatives and even the Republican Party have to deliver their message in a way my generation will understand and give us a leader who can not only deliver that message, but inspires us at the same time.
Until they do, the Tea Party will remain a movement that has to go to bed by eight o’clock just after they’ve watched Murder She Wrote, slowly becoming a footnote in American political history.
The views expressed in this blog are the author’s, and do not necessarily represent the views of Right Pride or GOProud.