Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Opinion: How Liberals Really Think, by William Voegeli, senior editor of the Claremont Review of Books and contributer to The Daily Signal blog

by William Voegeli
Published in The Daily Signal
November 18, 2014

It’s been more than 50 years since William F. Buckley first complained, “Though liberals do a great deal of talking about hearing other points of view, it sometimes shocks them to learn that there are other points of view.”

Since then, things have only gotten worse. At the dawn of the Obama era, for example, Mark Schmitt, former editor of The American Prospect, wrote that the “conservative power structure” is so “dangerous” because it operates “almost entirely on bad faith,” thriving on “protest, complaint, [and] fear.” Just before the recent midterm elections The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky called the GOP “as intellectually dishonest and bankrupt and just plain old willfully stupid as a political party can possibly be,” one whose only agenda “is to slash regulations and taxes and let energy companies and megabanks and multinational corporations do whatever it is they wish to do.”

In other words, it is impossible not only for any reasonable person to be conservative, but even to take such idiotic, malignant ideas seriously. And neither Schmitt nor Tomasky is a particularly shrill partisan, compared to the polemicists at Salon.com, MSNBC or the New York Times editorial page. With such allies, it’s no wonder that Barack Obama’s wish for a new political unity that would transcend and heal the divisions between red states and blue states has come to nothing.

It’s tempting, but mistaken, for conservatives to think that the problem is as simple as liberals’ failure to observe the Golden Rule of democratic politics: take your adversaries as seriously as you want them to take you. That’s a good standard, of course, but it’s sound advice for everyone. American discourse would benefit if all disputants observed what economist Bryan Caplan calls the “ideological Turing test,” which requires characterizing a viewpoint you disagree with so discerningly and scrupulously that an adherent of that position finds your summary of it as clear and persuasive as any provided by a true believer.

Caplan’s test turns out to be not only a good general rule, but a good way to grasp one of liberalism’s defining features. It’s hard to understand liberals as they understand themselves because they insist there’s really nothing to understand. Liberal rhetoric emphasizes compassion, empathy and kindness—“Kindness covers all of my political beliefs,” President Obama has said—because these emotions need not and really cannot be theorized.

Even its philosophers reject the need for a theoretical framework. “The idea that liberal societies are bound together by philosophical beliefs seems to me to be ludicrous,” the left-of-center philosopher Richard Rorty contended. Philosophy “is not that important for politics.”

Liberalism, as liberals understand it, is not a philosophy, ideology, body of doctrines or a mode of interpreting political reality. It is, instead, nothing more than common sense and common decency applied to the work of governance.

It follows directly from this premise that opposition to the liberal project is necessarily senseless and indecent. Viewing themselves as simply nice people who want the world to be a nicer and nicer place, liberals regard conservatives as either mean people who want the world to be a mean place, or stupid people who can’t grasp that impeding liberalism means impeding the advance of niceness.

MSNBC Shrill Is No Accident. It’s How Liberals Really Think
Convinced that no intelligent, decent person could take conservatism seriously, liberals believe it is not necessary or even possible, when engaging conservative ideas, to go beyond diagnosing the psychological, moral or mental defects that cause people to espouse them. Liberals claim to understand conservatives better than they understand themselves on the basis of seeing through the cynical self-interest of conservative leaders (and funders), and the fanaticism or stupid docility of conservative followers. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, scourge of the Koch brothers, went on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show in 2010 to deny that the Tea Party movement was “a spontaneous uprising that came from nowhere.” In fact, Maddow explained, many of those attending its demonstrations “were essentially instructed to rally against things like climate change by billionaire oil tycoons.”

Viewing themselves as simply nice people who want the world to be a nicer and nicer place, liberals regard conservatives as either mean people who want the world to be a mean place, or stupid people who can’t grasp that impeding liberalism means impeding the advance of niceness.

This condescension has always been part of the liberal outlook. In 1972, eight weeks after George McGovern suffered a historically massive defeat against Richard Nixon, film critic Pauline Kael told the professors at a Modern Language Association conference, “I know only one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.”

Conservatives will wait decades in the hope of a fair hearing from such adversaries. That time would be better spent urging Americans who haven’t made up their minds that the same traits that make liberals contemptuous of conservatism make them dangerous for America. Liberalism exists to solve problems, and liberals regard every source of dissatisfaction or discord as a problem, not an aspect of the human condition that we must always contend with but can never sanely hope to eradicate. In denouncing “Dirty Harry” as a “deeply immoral movie,” Pauline Kael explained in 1972 that crime is caused, not by evil, but by “deprivation, misery, psychopathology and social injustice.”

Yet the crime wave that made urban life intolerable from the early 1960s through the early 1990s has, somehow, receded dramatically, even though liberals are as agitated about deprivation and social injustice today as they were 40 years ago. Such reactionary ideas as more cops, more prisons and longer sentences—all based on the conservative belief that constraining human wickedness through stern disincentives is plausible, but solving it therapeutically through social work is deluded—has made the difference. Liberal disdain for the wary view of human nature, which is conservatism’s foundation, turns out to be of one piece with the “idealism” and “compassion” that culminates in governmental malpractice, rendering liberalism a threat to the American experiment in self-government.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Call to Meeting of 21st Missouri Senatorial District - November 22, 2014 in Carrollton, Missouri

Call to Meeting of the 21st Missouri Senatorial District 

5:30 PM Dinner Meeting

JB's Restaurant, 109 S. Folger, Carrollton, Mo.



Special Invited Guests--State Representatives in the 21st Senatorial District:
Chuck Basye, 47th; Nathan Beard, 52nd; Denny Hoskins, 54th; Glen Kolkmeyer, 53rd; Dean Dohrman, 51st; Dave Muntzel, 48th; Joe Don McGaugh, 39th; Donna Pfautsch, 33rd; Jim Neely, 8th; and Mike Lair, 7th. 


From: Linda Leabo, Chair of 21st Senatorial District, and chair of Carroll County Republican Central Committee. 

CALL TO MEETING OF 21st SENATORIAL DISTRICT COMMITTEE
Date:          Saturday, November 22, 2014
Location:    JB's Steakhouse, 109 S. Folger, Carrollton, Mo.
Time:         5:30 p.m.

Note:  Committee members may bring guests, but only committee members may vote. 
Meeting is open to public, but RSVPs needed for dinner reservations. 

State Committee Member Election: Pursuant to State Statues, the Senatorial District shall meet for the purpose of electing one man and one woman to serve on the Missouri Republican State Committee. These members do NOT have to serve on any other Republican committee, but they must be registered voters of the Senatorial District. These elected state committee members do not "take their seats on the State Committee until the reorganization of the State Committee which typically takes place at the Lincoln Days committee meeting in February.

Dinner will be compliments of Pearce for Missouri and will include choice of one meat (smoked pork chop, grilled chicken breast or cajun chicken
breast), served with baked potato, garden salad  and drink. RSVP dinner choice.


Proxies must be signed by the committee member giving the proxy and held by a qualified voter of the ward, township or sub-district of the committee member giving the proxy. All proxies must be notarized.  


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

2014 Lafayette County Election Results Summary

2014 Lafayette County Election Results Summary on link provided. Data: 15 precincts counted. 44.44% voter turnout, low compared to previous election years. In contested elections: Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer (R) was re-elected to serve in the 53rd Mo. House District. Also, Russell Kruse (R) was elected as Associate Circuit Judge. Current Prosecutor Kristen Ellis (D) was elected as well.

Select Election Results Then click on County Summary.




Sunday, November 2, 2014

Voting Guide on the 3 Ballot Amendments and 1 Initiative Petition that will be on the Nov. 4th, 2014, ballot - from Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer (serving Missouri's 53rd Legislative District)



Ballot Amendments
November 4, 2014

From: Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer (Mo. District 53)


Information on the 3 Ballot Amendments
 and the 1 Initiative Petition on Nov. 4th Ballot

I have received a number of questions from my constituents about the upcoming November 4th Ballot Amendments. Here are the three (3) Amendments the Legislature put on the ballot and the one (1) initiative petition. 

·      Amendment 2
o   Amendment 2 would allow evidence from previous criminal acts to be heard in court for crimes of a sexual nature involving a victim under the age of eighteen.
o   Currently, evidence from previous criminal behavior is not allowed as evidence in court.
o   How I will vote:  I will be voting YES on Amendment 2.  Currently, each case is treated like a first time offense. Amendment 2 will allow evidence from previous offenses to be presented in court.  This will help stop repeat sex offenders.

·      Amendment 3
o   Amendment 3 is an initiative petition. An initiative petition means it has never been touched by the General Assembly.  A Missouri citizen gathered enough signatures on a petition for the Amendment to be placed on the ballot this November.
o   Also, it would end teacher tenure and it would require teacher testing.
o   Amendment 3 would give DESE the constitutional authority to set standards to which our local teachers will be graded and retained or dismissed.
o   How I will vote: I will be voting NO on Amendment 3 as it will take away control from our local school boards and give more power to State Board of Education. I am against relinquishing local control to DESE. Amendment 3 will also put teacher testing in the Missouri Constitution. I am against DESE creating standards for our teachers. Again, this is an initiative petition. The General Assembly had nothing to do with placing Amendment 3 on the ballot.

·      Amendment 6
o   Amendment 6 would allow an early voting period of six business days prior to the general election. The six business days include the Wednesday prior to the election, and exclude Saturday and Sunday.
o   Early voting would only be permitted in years when the legislature provides the funding.
o   How I will vote:  I will be voting YES on Amendment 6.  I worked on this Amendment in the House Elections Committee.  It allows for no-excuse absentee voting at the Court House six business days before the election.

·      Amendment 10
o   Amendment 10 would prohibit the Governor from reducing funds already appropriated by the General Assembly without legislative consent.
o   Also provides restrictions on the Governor’s ability to increase of decrease line items in the budget.
·      Also prohibits the Governor from proposing a budget that relies on revenue from legislation that has not yet been passed in the General Assembly.



·      How I will vote:  I will be voting YES on Amendment 10.  Governor Nixon has been withholding funds from our public schools and habilitation centers and dispersing the money elsewhere.  This is the first Governor in states history who withheld funding for schools before the state was short on money.  Amendment 10 will increase legislative oversight on the Governors decisions. The Governor should have to work within the previously approved budget. 


Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer
53rd Missouri Legislative District

Serving all of Lafayette County and parts of Johnson and Jackson Counties

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Details: Nov. 4th Election Night Watch Party for Lafayette County Republicans and Friends

ELECTION WATCH PARTY

November 4th 

Beginning at 7 p.m. when polls close until?

P and H Event Center

(located in the former Maria's Restaurant)

1111 Main Street

Lexington, Missouri



 Federated Republican Women's Club

of Lafayette County


 and

Lafayette County Republican Central Committee






PAPA JACK'S PIZZA, APPETIZERS AND SOFT DRINKS PROVIDED

BYOB




Paid for by Lafayette County Republican Central Committee, Heidi Kolkmeyer, Treasurer, 
 and Federated Women's Club of Lafayette County