Sunday, January 29, 2012

Missed Opportunity In the Response to the Presidents SOTU Address

By Ken Blackwell: The official Republican response to the President's State of the Union Address was fine - as far as it went. But Gov. Mitch Daniels missed a golden opportunity to put before the American people a better vision of family, faith, and freedom.

Interestingly,'the only mention of family in Gov. Daniels' response was his praise for President Obama's own family. Let me stipulate: The Obama family is a model family, apparently devoted to one another. The president even lives happily under the same roof with his mother-in-law. Now, that's devotion.

But Gov. Daniels could have noted that the policies of the Obama administration are the most antagonistic to the family of any administration in history. This is a fact. With 42% of American children born out-of-wedlock, a tragedy of fatherlessness is being visited on millions of homes. Bill Bennett rightly calls this "the broken hearth." And broken hearths lead to broken hearts.

Does the president address this in his budget? No. Instead, he gives hundreds of millions to Planned Parenthood, the world's leading trafficker in abortion. We know that the more sexual contacts young people have prior to marriage, the more likely they are never to marry, or to divorce after marriage. You cannot be pro-family and shovel money at this evil enterprise. This is one shovel-ready project we should reject.

Yet, President Obama has told Speaker Boehner that any cut in federal funds for Planned Parenthood is "a non-starter." President Obama has relentlessly pushed abortion at home and abroad. Obamacare is the most massive expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade. Under Obamacare, health care coverage will include abortion. Thus, we will all be forced to pay for the killing of unborn children.

The president is concerned, he tells us, about education. We must all share that concern. But he has taken over college loans, an unprecedented power grab. He does this even as his administration is menacing the liberty of every private and religious college in America. If your college does not want to push condoms in the dorms or dispense abortion-producing drugs at Student Health, the Obama administration threatens you with action.

Dr. Larry Arnn is president of Hillsdale College, a proud independent college founded by abolitionists in the 1850s. Hillsdale takes no federal funds. Dr. Arnn recently spoke of how the intact family undergirds limited government:

The principles of our country stem from the laws of Nature and Nature's God. This word "Nature" is full of rich meaning. It comes from the Latin word for birth, so of course the nature of man, and natural rights must be understood to include the process of begetting and growth by which human beings come to be . . . If families do not raise children, then the government will. What then becomes of limited government?

I offer Dr. Arnn's eloquent analysis to President Obama. That terrible figure of 42% out-of-wedlock births shows up the false promises of those who said that abortion-on-demand would end welfare and poverty. When they said that, the out-of-wedlock birthrate was less than half what it is today.

Social scientist Charles Murray has written a new book, Coming Apart, in which he shows that the dream of upward mobility for millions is being lost. In this important work, he shows that marriage and religion are central to the economic well-being of millions of Americans.

The Obama administration is actively hostile to marriage, refusing even to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. That law was passed by a Democratic Congress and signed by a Democratic president. And Mr. Obama's administration is seeking suppress the conscience rights of millions - including Catholics, Evangelicals, Lutherans, and Orthodox Jews. His radical demand that every federally-supported institution in the country dispense abortifacients is a grave threat to religious liberty.

To the fires of social discord this administration is adding fuel. To those on the lower rungs of life's ladder, asserting their God-given right to rise, this administration is breaking the first rungs. These are the issues I'd like to see both of our major parties address in 2012.
J. Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate. Blackwell is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the new bestseller: The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency. He is a National Federation of Republican Assemblies board member and a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Blackwell's article was also published today on TownHall

Tags: Ken Blackwell, family, faith, freedom, missed opportunity, response, Mitch Daniels, Barack Obama, State of the Union, SOTU,, 2012 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Obama Sacrifices Pawns for Politics

Img Via Polifake
Americans for Prosperity today released the following television ad in six states today. The ad exposes the outrageous cronyism and disregard for American taxpayers in the growing Solyndra scandal.

Tags: Americans for Prosperity, AFP, American taxpayers, Barack Obama, Solyndra, scandal, cronyism, ad To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. He Kept His Eyes on the Prize

Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison, ARRA News Contributing Authors: Informed in 1960 that the Rev. Martin Luther King, Senior would be voting for the Protestant Richard Nixon, Sen. Jack Kennedy smiled and said: “We all have fathers.” It was typical of his wit. Kennedy’s own father was a notorious anti-Semite and appeaser. Young Jack would never repudiate Old Joe, or fail to cash Joe’s hefty checks. Kennedy would win that election and go on to present Congress with the most far-reaching civil rights legislation in a century.

"Our lives begin to end the day we
become silent about things that matter."
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)
We celebrate this month the life and legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King, Junior. He kept his eyes on the prize: civil rights for millions of black Americans suffering under unjust Jim Crow laws.

Racial segregation was approved by the U.S. Supreme Court in one of the worst rulings in history, Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). In that case that the former Kentucky slave owner, Justice John Marshall Harlan, wrote this powerful dissent.

“The law regards man as man, and takes no account of his surroundings or of his color when his civil rights as guaranteed by the supreme law of the land are involved... We boast of the freedom enjoyed by our people above all other peoples. But it is difficult to reconcile that boast with a state of the law which, practically, puts the brand of servitude and degradation upon a large class of our fellow-citizens, our equals before the law. The thin disguise of 'equal' accommodations for passengers in railroad coaches will not mislead any one, nor atone for the wrong this day done.”

The wrong of that day of Plessy lasted into the 1960s. Justice Harlan, a Republican appointee, ringingly proclaimed that the Constitution must be “color-blind.” Let’s honor his memory, too.

Dr. King made his point in biblical cadences. He cried out from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial :” “Let justice roll down like a river, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24) Following the peaceful conclusion of that great March on Washington in August, 1963, President Kennedy invited Dr. King and the leaders of the civil rights movement to a meeting in the Oval Office.

It was not Dr. King’s first time there. President Eisenhower had made a point of inviting Dr. King to meet with him to discuss civil rights when King emerged as the leader of the Montgomery (Alabama) bus boycott in 1957. Dr. King and his followers refused to ride in the back of the buses that their tax dollars supported.

Ike had used his appointive powers to name Supreme Court justices who would correct the injustice of Plessy. Barely a year into Eisenhower’s first term, the high court unanimously ruled against segregation in public schools in Brown v. Board of Education (1954). And Republican Eisenhower sent federal troops into Little Rock, Arkansas when the Democratic Gov. Orval Faubus defied federal court orders to de-segregate that city’s schools.

Eisenhower was criticized endlessly by liberal elites for his emphasis on massive federal highway construction and for encouraging American prosperity. “A vast wasteland,” they dubbed TV in what all now see as its golden age. Still, it was over Ike’s new Interstate highways that the Freedom Riders of the early sixties blazed a trail to end segregation. And those TV news cameras let all Americans see, for the first time, the police dogs and fire hoses necessary to maintain segregation. Political reform followed quickly on the heels of Ike’s achievements.

When Democratic Sen. Hubert Humphrey led the fight for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he had no stronger ally than Republican Leader Everett Dirksen. Minority Republicans in the Senate gave even stronger support, proportionately, than Democrats did to push through that historic legislation.

Dr. King was willing to lay down his life. His assassination by a white racist on April 4, 1968 was the culmination of King’s lifelong advocacy of full equality under law.

“I have been to the mountain top,” Dr. King told his worried supporters in the days before his murder. He had indeed. He saw the promised land of equal justice under law. He had that vision because he kept his eyes on the prize. All Americans can be grateful for his legacy.
J. Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate. Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and a visiting professor at Liberty University School of Law. Bob Morrison is a Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council. He has served at the U.S. Department of Education with Gary Bauer under then-Secretary William Bennett. Both are contributing authors to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Martin Luther King, Ken Blackwell, Bob Morrison To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Reforming Governor

Gov. Mitch Daniels has guided Indiana through tough economic times while cutting government spending.
by Sheryll Poe, Free Enterprise: Indiana Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels isn’t running for the nation’s highest office, but that doesn’t mean he’s going away quietly.

Since announcing in May that he would not seek the Republican nomination for president, the Harley-riding, Princeton-educated governor has stayed in the spotlight, offering his policy prescriptions for getting the country back on track in his new book, Keeping the Republic: Saving America by Trusting Americans In it, the onetime Reagan White House political director and Bush White House budget chief lays out in stark, mathematical terms the threat that the American Republic faces if government spending is not brought under control.

“The point of the book is that we are about to test not only whether we can manage our fiscal affairs and restore our economy, but also whether we’re still the kind of people who are competent to govern ourselves,” Daniels says during an interview with Free Enterprise magazine just weeks after his September book release. “It’s not a matter of philosophy; it’s a matter of arithmetic. I would hope there are not too many people left now after watching what happened in Greece, Italy, and Spain who don’t understand that there are mathematical points of no return.” America has reached a dangerous point, says Daniels. “Congress hasn’t moved fast enough. It hasn’t done anything on entitlements. It hasn’t really done anything meaningful on spending. I hope we have enough time.”

Changing Indiana
For someone often portrayed as a serious policy wonk, Daniels exhibits charm and a fine sense of humor. When he had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee, Daniels took a sharpie and wrote “this one dummy” on the leg being operated on. In retaliation, his surgeon, a longtime friend, gave him a pink pedicure.

He’s also proud of his frugality, both when it comes to his cuts to state spending and in his own life. When running for governor in 2004, he traveled around the state in an RV and stayed in people’s homes. During our visit, he proudly showed off a light blue tie given to him by his friend Steve Forbes, gleefully pointing out that the tie was a leftover from Forbes’ annual Global CEO Conference in 2008.

No one can argue with Daniels’ success in turning around the Hoosier State. Since taking office in 2004, Daniels has turned a $200 million deficit into a $1.3 billion surplus by improving government services and creating private sector jobs. He’s lowered property taxes by 30%, privatized a major state highway, and ended collective bargaining rights for public employees without the contentious fights that other states have experienced.

He did it the old-fashioned way—by spending less than what the state takes in and by cutting government spending. Today, Indiana has the country’s fewest state employees per capita, employing the same number it did in 1975. “I say to people - you’d be amazed by how much government you never miss.”

Restoring Americans’ Autonomy
What bothers Daniels most about the current leadership in Washington is that it does not trust Americans to manage their own lives. “The problems I have with those in leadership now and the mentality that they represent is they’re really telling the American people: You can’t cut it. You can’t manage your own life. It’s just too complex, and left to your own devices, way too many people will simply make mistakes,” says Daniels. “So as I say in the book, we really have to decide if we are creatures of dignity or objects of therapy. I argue for policies that would affirm and restore the average citizen’s autonomy.”

Daniels points to the state health care reform he put in place in 2006. The Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) is a health savings account for state employees and the uninsured. It’s paid for by a new cigarette tax and a waiver approved by the federal government that allows the state to reallocate Medicaid dollars toward the plan. “Citizens make their own decisions and manage the money. They are protected in true insurance fashion,” Daniels explains, noting that 99% of Indiana’s state employees have signed up for HIP. “We now have a body of experience that shows just because people have a moderate or low income doesn’t mean they can’t make wise decisions for themselves, and in fact, we have substantially lower health costs—by double digits—than would ordinarily be expected. Why? Because people are acting like real consumers.”

Daniels doesn’t hold back his criticism of the Obama administration, which, he says, is pursuing an agenda in which “jobs and growth always lose—doesn’t matter what the issue is. And an administration that can’t immediately stop piling new regulations, costs, and doubts in front of job creators is not serious about anti-poverty. It’s not serious about bringing down unemployment in this country. There are other things that are more important to it. The administration probably doesn’t see it that way, but based on the facts, there’s no other way to see it.”

To put America back on track, the administration must reform the tax code and entitlements, take advantage of plentiful energy supplies in the United States, and declare an indefinite moratorium on new regulations, according to Daniels.

Despite his frustration with the current administration, Daniels says that he’s optimistic about the great American experiment: democracy. “Trust Americans to make more decisions in their own lives, and trust Americans with the facts regarding our national debt and the incredibly dangerous corner we’ve painted ourselves into. The solutions are going to require big change, but practical change that I believe we can assemble a majority of support for.”

Tags: Indiana, Republican, Governor, Mitch Daniels, Keeping the Republic, Saving America, Trusting American To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

SCOTUS Unanimous: Judges And The Govt Cannot Get Involved In Church Ministry

The Roberts Court 2011
(Back L to R) Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel A. Alito, Elena Kagan
(Front L to R) Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts,
Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg
ARRA News Service -
[1] Jesse J. Holland, GOPUSA: In a groundbreaking case, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held for the first time that religious employees of a church cannot sue for employment discrimination.

But the court's unanimous decision in a case from Michigan did not specify the distinction between a secular employee, who can take advantage of the government's protection from discrimination and retaliation, and a religious employee, who can't.

It was, nevertheless, the first time the high court has acknowledged the existence of a "ministerial exception" to anti-discrimination laws — a doctrine developed in lower court rulings. This doctrine says the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion shields churches and their operations from the reach of such protective laws when the issue involves employees of these institutions. . . . [Read More]

[2] by Peter Johnson Jr., FoxNew: Wednesday the United States Supreme Court delivered a knockout blow to the White House in the cause of religious liberty.

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for a unanimous court swatted away the government’s claim that the Lutheran Church did not have the right to fire a “minister of religion” who, after six years of Lutheran religious training had been commissioned as a minister, upon election by her congregation. . . .

There was just one big problem standing in the way of the government's plan: the U.S. Constitution. For a long time American courts have recognized the existence of a "ministerial exemption" which keeps government’s hands off the employment relationship between a religious institution and its ministers or clergy.

Here, in this case, the Department of Justice had the nerve to not only challenge the exemption’s application but also its very existence.

But, Chief Justice Roberts pushed back hard, telling the government essentially to butt out: “Requiring a church to accept or retain an unwanted minister, or punishing a church for failing to do so, intrudes upon more than a mere employment decision. Such action interferes with the internal governance of the church, depriving the church of control over the selection of those who will personify its beliefs. By imposing an unwanted minister, the state infringes the free exercise clause, which protects a religious group’s right to shape its own faith and mission through its appointments. According the state the power to determine which individuals will minister to the faithful also violates the establishment clause, which prohibits government involvement in such ecclesiastical decisions.”

Citing well-known legal precedent dating as far back as Reconstruction, the court made it clear that it is not up to the government to contradict a faith’s determination as to who should -- and should not -- be performing religious functions. . . .

The Court also took aim at Plaintiff’s Cheryl Perich’s claims for back pay finding that such relief would operate as an unconstitutional penalty against a religious institution for terminating an unwanted minister and exercising its constitutional right to make decisions about internal church governance. Unfortunately, the federal government has become expert in imposing penalties for practicing one’s faith. . . . [Read More]

[3] More Info: Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC

Tags: Supreme Court, SCOTUS, unanimous decision, Hosanna-Tabor Church v. EEOC, judges, Federal Government, Churches, ministry To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Failing Leadership

The Growing National Debt Is ‘Now As Big As The Entire U.S. Economy’ Despite President Obama’s Promises That He Would Stop Adding To It

Debt ‘Now Tops $15.23 Trillion,’ More Than ‘The Value Of All Goods And Services The U.S. Economy Produces In One Year’

“The soaring national debt has reached a symbolic tipping point: It's now as big as the entire U.S. economy.” (“U.S. Debt Is Now Equal To Economy,” USA Today, 1/9/12)

·    “The amount of money the federal government owes to its creditors, combined with IOUs to government retirement and other programs, now tops $15.23 trillion. That's roughly equal to the value of all goods and services the U.S. economy produces in one year: $15.17 trillion as of September, the latest estimate.” (“U.S. Debt Is Now Equal To Economy,” USA Today, 1/9/12)

The ‘Buck Stops’ With President Obama, Who Promised ‘To Stop Adding To Our Deficit’

THEN-SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL): “Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.” (Sen. Obama, Congressional Record, S.2237-8, 3/16/06)

·    “The first thing you do when you're in a hole is what? … you stop digging. So the first thing that we're going to have to do is to stop adding to our deficit.” OBAMA: “Keep in mind, the first 42 presidents, they amassed $5 trillion worth of debt, the first 42 of them. The first couple of hundred years-plus of American history, we accumulated $5 trillion. Now we're at $9 trillion. That's just bad -- that's not being fiscally conservative. And so we're going to have to change our policies. Now, it's going to be -- let me say this. It's not going to be completely easy, because we're in a hole. And the first thing you do when you're in a hole is what?” (UNKNOWN): “Stop digging.” OBAMA: “Stop digging. Who got that right? There you go. You stop digging. So the first thing that we're going to have to do is to stop adding to our deficit.” (Sen. Obama, Remarks To Campaign Event, Watertown, SD, 5/16/08)

JACK LEW: “The problem is that, for years, we have just put it on the national credit card. And we have built up the debt… we say it’s time to stop.” (PBS, 2/14/11)

$4.61 Trillion Added To Debt Since January ‘09 (“The Debt To The Penny And Who Holds It,” U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/9/12)

Having a national debt larger than our economy basically means two things. The debt is too big, and our economy is too small. - Rep. Jim Jordan R-OH)

Tags: Failure of Leadership, National Debt, The U.S. Economy, Barack Obama To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Smokescreen Behind No High School Diploma Necessary

The recent announcement, informal though it may be, about the requirement of having a high school diploma may violate the American Disability Act (ADA) is a smokescreen by the EEOC and the current administration for something far more dangerous.

First, when looking at the US workforce and labor pool, who compromise the majority of under educated, under skilled and non-employed workers? According to the US National Center for Education Statics, black and Hispanic young males continue to represent the highest percentage of students dropping out from high school, lacking employable skills and currently not employed. The majority of these young people come from lower income homes.

Second, looking at the school systems with the highest drop out rates many are located in urban cities like New York, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Chicago, etc. Most of these schools are public education institutions, supported by teachers' unions and some have graduation rates of under 50%.

The Indiana State Department of Education reported these graduation rates and consequently these failure rates in 2010 for these school corporations:
  • East Chicago School City, IN, 1 high school had 52% graduation rate or 48% not graduating
  • Gary School, IN, 2 schools had 56.7% graduation rate or 43.3% not graduating
  • Hammond School City, IN, 1 school had 62.6% graduation rate or 38.4% not graduating
  • Indianapolis Public Schools, IN, 1 school had 57.2% graduation rate or 42.8% not graduating

A quick Google search revealed these 2010 graduation rates for other urban school systems:
  • Chicago Public Schools, IL had an overall 55.8% graduation rate or 44.2% not graduating
  • Philadelphia, PA had an overall graduation rare of 71% or 29% not graduating
  • New York City, NY had overall graduation rate of 65.1% or 34.9% not graduating

Just imagine for a moment you were a business with these type of failure rate regarding your products or services? Would you still be in business?

Third, what are the first jobs for many young people? Answer is usually in the food service or hospitality industries. Even though the hourly pay is at minimum wage or above minimum wage, these jobs represent the foundation for future employment.

Fourth, what are the requirements for these entry level jobs? Usually the requirements such as for McDonald's are minimal in that the applicant must be a US citizen or documented alien worker as well as if over 18 years of age a high school diploma.

Fifth, who is hugely responsible for teaching these students? The answer is two-fold: Teachers many of whom belong to teachers’ unions and parents many of whom also did not graduate from high school. Back in 1969, the average national high school graduation rate was 77%. Thirty nine year late in 2008 the rate was 75%. At this time, there were very few teachers' unions.

Looking at expenditures per student these numbers become even more telling. Back in the 1960’s the yearly expenditure was $393 per student. Now some forty years later, the average expenditure per student in 2001 was $7,380 and by 2008 had climbed to $10,297.

Teachers' salaries averaged $8,635 in 1969 and by 2010 reached $55,350. Current estimates are $100,000 to publicly educate each young person K-12.

FACT: More dollars than ever before are being invested in public education with worse results.

Are you beginning to see the real reason behind the informal letter from the EEOC under ADA act? This is all about sanctifying the non-performance of teachers, supporting teachers’ unions, getting the vote of minority citizens many of whom cannot read or write at the sixth grade level and reducing the unemployment rate among these group of citizens.

This is not about discriminating against those with disabilities. And if you think it is then I have a bridge to sell you in the Mojave. Of course with the lack of very expensive public education in this country, some young people might actually buy the bridge because they did not know the Mojave is a desert.

Tags: no high school diploma, high school graduation rates, high school drop out rates, teachers unions, cost of public education, workforce development To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Obama’s New Year’s Resolution - Cut Free of Constitutional Restrictions

by William Warren:
Also Reads:
ARRA News Service: Obama's Recess Appointments Are UnConstitutional And An Abuse of Power
NetRightDaily: Obama’s Radical Non-Recess ‘Recess’ Appointments
The Scribe: Obama DOJ Undercuts President’s ‘Recess’ Appointment Stunt

Tags: Constitution, Obama, unconstitutional, Obama Recess Appointments, Political Cartoons, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A 2012 Conservative Case for America’s Future

By Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski (Contributing Authors): The United States is at a fork in the road regarding which way we will go as a people. The 2012 election could be the most important in our lifetime, and conservative leaders have reached a consensus on how to channel the energy and concerns of the American people to realize historic change this year.

The status quo will not survive the year. Our debt and spending have reached catastrophic proportions in the context of global financial difficulties and political upheaval. Consequently, by the end of 2012, America will either have taken a decisive step toward socialistic collectivism in the name of “equality” and “social justice,” where businesses and owners are punitively taxed to “pay their fair share,” or America will take a major step in the direction of returning to our Founders’ constitutional government, restoring the rule of law, federalism, free enterprise, and individual initiative and responsibility.

The American people will decide which path to take in the 2012 elections, not only in the general election on November 6 but also in the nominating process in primaries over the next several months for all major offices, including the presidency. Conservatives must act in a concerted and informed fashion in all of these contests to shape the public dialogue and thoroughly vet the candidates.

To achieve these ends, top conservative leaders acting under the umbrella of the Conservative Action Project have released “A Conservative Consensus for 2012” announcing agreement on major policies. These issues span all three wings of the conservative movement: economic, social, and national security.

The Conservative Consensus speaks to economic issues of fundamental tax reform, Obamacare, overhauling regulation, and energy production. It tackles social issues of strengthening families and advocating traditional values and religious liberty. And it covers defense issues of protecting the homeland, military superiority, and national sovereignty.

This document also advocates specific issues all conservatives must regard as essential. America needs a strong Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that caps federal spending. Immediate and drastic cuts to the federal budget. No corporate bailouts. The Second Amendment right to bear arms is a fundamental right, as is voting, so the ballot box must be protected from fraud and corruption. Because voting is also a citizen’s duty, reasonable conditions must be enacted to safeguard our democratic process. And none of these can succeed unless the right people are appointed as judges to our federal courts.

Achieving these goals is a tremendous challenge, and true constitutional conservatives must relentlessly pursue building a true coalition between the three wings of the conservative movement.

This means that true conservatives must not allow anyone to redefine conservatism as only about fiscal issues and the reach of government. Constitutional conservatives understand that strong families are the essential foundation for long-term economic prosperity. The demographic reality is that declining birth rates and rampant abortion creates a devastating loss of human capital that cannot sustain our entitlement systems or economic growth, and also result in millions of unfilled job positions that become a magnet for illegal immigration.

Fortunately most conservatives understand that national security is crucial to America’s success. But some wrongheaded individuals seek to silence or marginalize social issues, oblivious to the profound reality—proven throughout history—that where families crumble there is an unstoppable public outcry for government to fill the void with massive entitlements and programs. Government always grows when families fail.

Some economic leaders with libertarian or liberal beliefs fail to grasp this simple fact, and so pervert the concept of freedom to mean that individuals are free to do whatever they like, free of any concept of right-and-wrong or of personal responsibility or self-control. They willfully ignore our Founding Fathers, who believed that limited government only endures when individuals govern themselves.

Some social conservative leaders are making the same mistake. They were right to reject an unrealistic “truce” on social issues. But some are essentially calling for a truce on economic issues, supporting candidates who stand for traditional values but are not reliably conservative on limiting the size, scope, and cost of government.

While both social and economic issues are indispensable, and both move votes, the reality is that fiscal issues are moving more swing votes in this cycle than value issues. Social conservatives will overreach if they force voters to choose between the two by insisting on traditionalist candidates who are not also warriors for free markets, federalism, fundamental entitlement reform, and a strong Balanced Budget Amendment. Social conservatives must demand equal standing, not superior standing.

A perfect example where all three branches of conservatism can join forces is our national debt. America is now $15 trillion in debt, an unprecedented level exceeding 100% of our Gross Domestic Product. The only time we even approached such a proportion was the end of World War II, where we were in a global war that threatened our very survival as a nation. Instead of a temporary military emergency, our current debt is being fueled by deficits of over $1 trillion every year Barack Obama has been president.

In addition to an economic issue, this debt is a social issue. Our profligate spending is intergenerational theft, saddling each member of the next generation with over $120,000 in debt once they become taxpayers. That’s a mortgage on a house, with no house.

It is also a defense issue. The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said our national debt is the single greatest threat to national security. We are on track to be paying $600 billion per year just in interest on the national debt, more than our entire military and security budget. This hamstrings our ability to defend our nation today while developing weapons and systems to protect us tomorrow.

Another reality is that constitutional conservatism cannot become our national policy without all three branches of government. If conservatives retake both houses of Congress it can only block bad legislation. Without a two-thirds supermajority, conservatives in Congress cannot override presidential vetoes of good legislation or undo harmful administrative regulations through the Congressional Review Act.

We need a constitutional conservative in the White House. Not all Republicans are part of the solution, and some leading Republicans are even part of the problem. America needs a president who is reliable on fiscal issues, and social issues, and defense issues. Two out of three is not enough. Ronald Reagan was all three, and only a Republican solid on all three bases can pick up President Reagan’s mantle to lead this country through the daunting challenges we face.

In our system of government, none of this will succeed without the right people serving in the federal judiciary. But judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, so if the American people elect a constitutional conservative president and a Senate willing to fight for judges, there are scores of spectacular lawyers and scholars who are faithful to the original meaning of the Constitution. If we elect the right people, they can take care of the courts.

The courts are imperative for all branches of the conservative movement. In addition to abortion, same-sex marriage and religious liberty, the Supreme Court is deciding all-important economic issues like Obamacare and national security issues like Bill of Rights protections for terrorists captured by our military on foreign battlefields. All conservatives must demand that only principled originalists be nominated to the Supreme Court and lower courts.

So America faces a historic choice. And conservatives face a historic task, of making the case to the voters for how and why constitutional conservatism is the way to return our nation to strength and stability, and electing national leadership that will honestly and definitively tackle these challenges for the sake of our children and grandchildren.
J. Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate. Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and a visiting professor at Liberty University School of Law. He is a National Federation of Republican Assemblies board member.

Kenneth Klukowski is a fellow at the Family Research Council and at Liberty University School of Law,and a columnist for the Washington Examiner. They are the coauthors of “Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America.”

They are the coauthors of “Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America,” and contributing authors to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: 2012, conservative, conservative case, America, constitutional conservatism, Ken Blackwell, Ken Klukowski To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Food Stamps or Jobs

Also posted at TOTUS

Tags: commentary, food stamp, jobs,   To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!