What is “the Mission?”

I was going to post a reply to Utah’s “Here I am, Stuck in the Middle with You,” but, after reading the comments, I thought better of it. Contrary to popular opinion, I do listen to what others say. Where I suppose I fall short of what they would have of me is that I do not accept irrational criticism. With that, I’d like to offer a few observations by way of question. But first, I want to explain where I came from so that how I arrived at the point I am now might be made more clear for those who care.

For many years, I called myself a “conservative.” I considered myself to be on the side of the founders, I was convinced I believed in the same things, valued the same ideals and supported the same principles. I also accepted the arguments of conservative pundits such as Limbaugh and Hannity. This mean I believed conservatives were rational, supporting their positions with sound reason. Conversely, I believed liberals were irrational, and reacted out of fear and emotion. I say I used to believe because I committed a cardinal sin: I started to actually think for myself. And that started with another unforgivable sin: I stopped listening to the talking heads and started reading history. Oh, how my eyes have been opened since I made that mistake.

Now, let me ask my conservative friends some questions. These are serious questions. I mean for them to be taken seriously, and given serious answer. I am demanding sound reason – not some canned Party line. I will reject anything that rests on a fallacious foundation as being irrational. So, if any of these questions make you feel uneasy or cause you distress, feel free to get upset with me if it helps. Just know this: if you are as rational as most conservatives believe themselves to be, any unease my questions may cause should be an indication that the true problem does not rest with me or my question, but with the answer and the implications which follow from it.

My first question is simple: “What is the conservative mission for the 2012 election?”

I have heard it is to get rid of Obama. I have heard it is to elect a Republican to the Presidency. I have heard it is to get a Republican majority in both Houses of Congress AND in the White House. And all of these are fine goals, but which one is the mission? What is the primary purpose for which a conservative should be casting their vote both in the primaries and in the general election? I’d like you to think about that one and give me an answer.

My next question is: “If any of the above is the mission, how do we achieve success in that mission?”

This is not such a simple question. If the goal is to beat Obama, then how do we do that? If the goal is a majority in the House and Senate, then how do we do that? How do we do both? Assuming the mission of the 2012 election has something to do with the suggestions I listed for my first question, is the way the candidates are running their campaigns and the pundits are treating the candidates really the way to achieve that mission? Or is there a better way, or a different plan of which I have not yet heard? Where is the plan for success?


My nest question is: “Who do we support in pursuit of this mission?”

I know this will rub some people the wrong way, but, if the mission is to get rid of Obama, who do we support? Do we vote for the person we believe is most likely to beat him in a general election? Why not support someone to run against him in the Democrat primary? Why not Hillary? And if she loses in the Democrat primary, why not convince her to switch Parties and then support her? National polls have suggested she could win against Obama, so why isn’t this an option? I am serious: who should conservatives be supporting in this mission and why?

My last question is: “Assuming we get a Republican President and/or majorities in either/both Houses of Congress, how do we prevent them from repeating the policies they implemented under George W. Bush and the 6 years of Republican majority from 2000-2006?”

Here again, this is not asked lightly. If we somehow achieve whatever the mission is, what is the follow-on plan? If, by some miracle, we achieve whatever this mission is, what do we do next and how do we do that?

Now, here’s the admonishment to all of my conservative friends: if you think these are frivolous questions, they’re not. They are crucial to whatever your political ambitions may be, and you can be sure your liberal/progressive opponents are light years ahead of you in working on these exact same questions – only in reverse. You see, if they are anything, the liberal/progressives are planners. So, if you hope to have any chance of beating them, you need a plan, and any sound plan should – I would think – include the answers to my questions. So, if you don’t have answers to my questions, then you don’t have a plan, and no plan is a plan for failure. And if your plan is failure, how then – or better yet – why would you expect anyone to follow you?

12 thoughts on “What is “the Mission?”

  1. The “mission”, Mr. Phelps, should you decide to accept it is to convert a majority of the “moderate” to non-moderate, classical liberal thought while holding the “progressive” electoral tide at bay. It is a two front war. The point that I have been trying to make is that unless we are able to convert the culture, the political battles are just a sideshow. They are helpful as a measure of progress in the war but are not the war itself.

    We have to stop fighting inside the Republican Party over who is rightfully conservative enough and recognize that anything that is conservative is better than what awaits America on the other side…at least until the culture can catch up.

    I actually see the election of Republicans to the majority this time as a huge opportunity to convert these “moderates”. In business, you always want to enter a turnaround at the lowest point, when it is a bad as it can get. You don’t want to ride it down because everyone blames you for the downturn but if you get in at the lowest point, people are more attuned to what you have to say and are more willing to try your ideas. This is what the Democrats were thinking when Rahm Emmanuel said that they shouldn’t waste a good crisis…problem is that they came in at what should have been the bottom and immediately instituted policies that kept the shovels digging.

    We do have an electorate that is ready to listen.

    We, as citizens have to hold the people we elect accountable by being willing to continue to do exactly what we are doing and that is preaching the gospel, debating it and supporting local efforts to promote conservatism/classic liberalism so that when we have to vote someone out for non-performance, we have a ready replacement.

    This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds.

    • OK, the mission is to “win the hearts and minds,” and the way to do that is to preach the gospel. Now, is that the Gospel (big “C”), or the gospel (big “R”)? And is the gospel that conservative = Classic Liberal (because it does NOT)? I am still confused on that point.

      Now, setting the definition mess aside, how do we do this: get “R’s” elected when they are not necessarily conservative? And if we do succeed in electing “R’s”, how do we force them to do as we want want. It seems to me that electing them again in spite of their past performance only re-enforces the idea in their minds that we will keep electing them no matter what they do? So why would they change their behavior once in power? You didn’t address this for me and, as I said, I am trying to seriously figure out what the plan is (along with the mission).

      Oh, and just to nit-pick as always, I think the democrats meant that a crisis was an opportunity to get stuff passed that the people would ordinarily reject. I do not believe they have the same goals/mission in mind as you or I, so I REFUSE to grant them the benefit of the doubt on Raum’s comment – especially since I have read Wilson’s explanations as to EXACTLY how/why a crisis can and should be exploited for just this sort of thing. But then, as I say, that is a nit-pick.

  2. 1) “What is the conservative mission for the 2012 election?”
    It should be crystal clear to you what their mission is, and you’ve got M. backing it.

    2) “If any of the above is the mission, how do we achieve success in that mission?”
    I’m no soldier, but I’m taking a different strategy than M. I believe an ambush would be the most effective. Thus, my vote for Paul.

    3) “Who do we support in pursuit of this mission?”
    Asked and answered.

    4) “Assuming we get a Republican President and/or majorities in either/both Houses of Congress, how do we prevent them from repeating the policies they implemented under George W. Bush and the 6 years of Republican majority from 2000-2006?”
    This is the most difficult question. One would think that since our taxpayer dollars pay their salaries and their assistants’ salaries, that one could receive an e-mail that was not a “standard” reply, but actually had to with what the fuck I was bitching about! Breathe in, breathe out…….I’ll concentrate on my Naamen voice now. He was a warrior, you know. And the kids just love when I do my voices.

  3. Hows about an analogy. Picture a teeter-totter with progressives on one side and classical liberals on the other. As the years have gone on, the progressives have gained weight and the classic liberals have lost weight. The progressives have all the leverage on their side and the classic liberals are sort of suspended in the air.

    The big fat progressives are just about to jump off the teeter-totter and classic liberalism is going to come crashing down. We need to start adding weight and the only way we’re going to be able to do this is with education. ( That’s how the progressives did it, they infiltrated the education system decades ago.)

    Thankfully, with some parents home schooling their kids or sending them to private schools and teaching them what classic liberalism is, perhaps in a couple of decades, we can start steering our country back in the proper direction. It’s not going to happen over night, not in this election or the next or even the next for that matter.

    Short answer to your question(s), not a whole hell of a lot we can do except perhaps keep the progressives held at bay until we can “gain a little more weight.” As Utah has mentioned, it’s cultural. (Thank God we still have the “gun culture” in this country.)

    Mike G.

    • Bravo, Guy! Dig your analogy. And your strategy……Let’s face it: Who can’t add weight if you’re being fed in the stomach as well as the mind and the soul?

      Perhaps Michelle our Belle is doing a tremendous favor to one side of the see-saw. I sincerely believe those kids will revolt! I think they’re awakening to the fact that if they don’t want to eat their damn broccoli (even though it’s good for them) they don’t have to!!

      • The key is education. We have a long way to go to reverse the Leftist trend in our education system. Parents can help this along by keeping up with the claptrap they’re teaching our kids in school and pointing out where their teachers are wrong or misguided and correcting it. Of course, that means that the parents need to do their homework and get more involved in their kids’ schools.

        That means going to PTA meetings and studying the school curriculum, etc. A lot of parents can’t be bothered and that’s why we’re where we are today.

        Mike G.

    • Now THAT is a suggestion I can sink some teeth into. With one caveat: you cannot look to Progressives to help you keep Progressives at bay. Otherwise, I agree, education IS the key. However lousy and/or ineffective I apparently am at it, THIS is what I have been “trying” to do. I guess I need to keep looking for a more effective message/delivery.

      Thanks, Mike. THAT works.

  4. Amen!
    Oh, I’ve turned into Larry the Lobster for some strange and inexplicable reason to which I am positive I had nothing to do with. I think……
    ……I was just foolin around and now I’m a lobster. Damn! See where curiousity gets the cat? She turns into this ridiculous Larry the Lobster character.

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