Divisive politics, not a win-win

5 November 2013 and more than 8,000 people throughout Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, went to vote for the candidates for city council and a new mayor. That was quite the turn out compared to other elections in prior years. What should come as no surprise, Steve Widmyer, owner of the Fort Ground Grill and Tavern received more than a thousand votes to that of Mary Souza. He was just shy of 5,000 votes to her vote count of less than 4,000. Quite the exciting race to be sure. Of course, the Coeur d’Alene Press poll thought that Mary Souza would be elected. The Huckleberries online (Spokesman-Review) contradicted that resoundingly. The latter was also accurate. Then again, the Coeur d’Alene Press tends to cater to extremist partisan politics and those who like to engage in same. Souza received overwhelming support only from those who’s politics are divisive to begin with. Where the only poll that counts is at the voting booth however, the majority of Coeur d’Alene residents decided that divisive politics is no longer their cup of tea. I agree.

Take, for example the latest aborticide letter from Beth Franz. Her argument is that “self-control is key.” I agree that exercising some self-control, would eliminate half the problem of women willfully terminating their pregnancies. But in Ms. Franz’s case, the aborticide issue is also an opportunistic moment to pass judgment on others, to further the cause of the politics of division. Which latter argument does tend to undermine the whole idea of family values. Most certainly “the right of the child to be born,” if after that, you become the same person who attacks “that child” for living. On Facebook, a fellow who is unquestionably liberal posted a cartoon of a group of people who say they will “protect” the woman’s pregnancy. The child is born, the same group of people attack the child as a burden on society. That is I believe, Ms. Franz’s letter to a “T.” At birth, you have the free will to make all kinds of mistakes and accept the consequences for them. The anti-aborticidists, on the other hand, argue that it isn’t acceptable to disagree with their stances and politicized canon. Otherwise, your personal character can be utterly besmirched. Well, you have to be born to be able to do that. And in a Democracy, you actually have the right to do that.

Now just suppose in the near future, Ms. Franz wonders why Mary Souza did not become mayor. Perhaps Ms. Franz should look at what she wrote and had published in the Press. Understandably, letters like this are a big turn off for a lot of people. In an election year, they may choose to turn their backs on the less rabid, or radical, and go with someone else. Mary Souza’s own behavior and that of some of her donors was also a big turn off. The previously discussed published letter from Mr. Brooke, would equally be a huge turn off. If in prior years his Pachyderm Club had no problem inviting Mr. Patrick to come and talk to them after each and ever election result; then they should have no problem inviting him to their latest meeting. He is only the editor of the Press. If ultimately the Press endorsed Widmyer instead of Souza, that’s the business of that newspaper. The Pachyderm Club should appreciate where they live and what this country truly has to offer. Apparently, not.

Let me rehash what conservative means:

  • A cautious and moderate individual. A person who thinks things through, thoroughly before moving forward on anything.
  • In history, when facing tumultuous change, the first order of business is toward self-preservation. 18th century Edmund Burke was originally a liberal guy. That is, a member of the English Parliament who held utopian views much like the founding fathers of this nation. That is, up and until the French revolution, and then Mr. Burke did an about face. He decided that England’s monarchical rule was just fine after all. That would be one example. Another example involved anarchists and socialists coming to the U.S. during the industrial revolution. At the time, the anarchists and socialists wanted to violently overthrow this country’s system of capitalism and government. Obviously, Woodrow Wilson and other Presidents, Attorney General Palmer, and etc. would have a conservative reaction to anarchist or socialist inspired labor unrest. Conservative in this case, also meant self-preservation.
  • Right wing should be recognized in context with other factors. Take the fact that this country is a democracy. Then a “rightist” would vigorously support all that living in a democracy actually grants him or her. To not appreciate the fact that this country is a democracy, would not be, in my estimation, a “rightist” view of anything. Beth Franz’s letter being an example, Mr. Brooke of the Pachyderm Club being another. Democracy, and the freedom it provides, also means that people will disagree with one another. You don’t get to create an exclusive club in a democratic setting and call that “rightist.” Yeah, you can most certainly create an exclusive club and admit only the people you are comfortable with. But you don’t get to use that exclusive club to an end that pits an entire county against itself. That is definitely not “rightist” by any measure. Nor tell a newspaper guy, of the sole newspaper in town, that he isn’t welcome. Hopefully, my readers get the picture.
  • If you argue a need for a limited government, then that applies to everyone, not just the opposition party.
  • If you want to argue that government should exist within its constitutional restraints, you are no more an exception to that rule than say, the Democrats.
  • And what is a “social conservative?” Social having the same root as society: people. According to the more than 40 year old Random House College Dictionary, “state” is also defined by its “politically unified people.” Why don’t we just get honest about those “social conservatives?” Regardless of what the first amendment actually does say, they do want a state-sponsored religion. So, “social conservative” is in reality a statist; a person who embraces all that big government can do to further his or her cause and agenda. If the U.S. Constitution was supposed to matter, a true conservative would not be using excuses to make an end run around it.
  • My argument concerning conservative is, if it isn’t broken, don’t plan to fix it. If the root of conservative is a matter of preserving what you value, then you don’t wreck your own home in the name of “valuing” it. The radical arguments today, do indeed become “home wrecking” types of thinking. Online at say, Facebook or Twitter, an opportunity to attack everyone in sight, just because they said anything. An “us v them” mentality? This is the 21st century. Time to do some growing up and getting with the program.


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