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news & opinion with no titillating non-news from the major non-news channels.


I am: progressive, not a wild-eyed Progressive; liberal, but shun liberals and Liberals; conservative, but some Conservatives worry me; absolutely NOT a libertarian. I am: an idealist, but no utopian; a pragmatist, but no Machiavellian. I am a realist who dreams.


I welcome all opinions.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Spammed and Slimed:
   The Attack of the Pol Spams

Consumer warning:

I took a couple spam hits.

here and here

Since I manually update the Recent Comments sidebar, though, you won't find it there.

My take on this almost-spam political advertising is that it is a lot of glam with a dash of idealism.

I've got no problem with the idealism, but the heavy-handed "branding" and suffocating name-dropping just turns me off.

My impression is they are just rebranding, repackaging a gentler Libertarianist philosophy. I may be wrong; I probably am wrong. But you wouldn't know it from all the fluff.

I asked Mr. Piper, the spammer, the following question:

What is a Pro-Con?

Beyond cute labeling, that is.

I have read a bit of what you have offered with great interest, but I am still unable to say, in a single simple paragraph, what is a Pro-Con. Qualitatively. So far, it sounds like a kinder and gentler mixture of Paleo-Con, Neo-Con, FiSo-Con and a dash of sensible Libertarianism. But mixing flour, salt, yeast and baking powder doesn't make bread. It can still be reduced to its independent elements.

I have my own notion (in one sentence) of what I consider to be Progressive Conservative philosophy, but I'd like to hear your Readers Digest version first.

With Regards and Great Curiosity,

Jay Cline

Well, all I got was more flour and yeast.

So, to answer my own question and bake a little ol' fashioned bread:

A progressive does not believe in the "fall from grace". Political evolution is as valid, and necessary, as biological evolution. The phrase "a more Perfect Union" implies that we can, and should, strive to make it better. "A Government constituted ... " implies that government, specifically our federal government, is a legitimate and absolutely necessary institution, when serving the interests of the sovereign people.

Government is necessary, but it is not evil. Evil reigns in the hearts of men, not in the halls of government. But, being a creation of temporal man, it can get stale and obsolete; even corrupted. A living Constitution, to bastardize Winston Churchill, is far from perfect, but it is the best we have come up with thus far.

A conservative (modern American-style) believes that the individual must not be sacrificed for the glory of the greater good. The Individual IS the greater good.

The difference between a traditional progressive (ie progressive liberal) and a progressive conservative is actually very small; yet the chasm that separates the two is very deep. It is not the bureaucrats, the technocrats, the philosopher-kings that know best; but the individual. That, despite post-Cold War socialist apologies, is why the Soviet Union failed, whether you tag the failure in 1989 or 1924.

The philosophy failed.

Government can, and should be used for the greater good. Without it, we live in anarchy, juvenile libertarian utopias notwithstanding.

In counterpoint, the traditional logic of a states' rights conservative, who believes in the supremacy of the state over the union, is an exercise in circular logic and resembles the Tyranny we left behind over 200 years ago. There is little difference, save proximity, for the individual who contrasts the state and the union. To say the state knows better than the union is something teenage boys do when no one is looking. And in today's world of high-speed transcontinental transportation and instantaneous communications, that proximity difference is mostly irrelevant.

(ok, so it was more than a sentence or even a simple paragraph, but at least it is honest. Besides, it is my blog...)

Now, all the name-dropping that Mr. Piper employs is interesting, and may serve as a starting point for an investigation into the (I hope) changing face of conservatism, but don't substitute it for Sunday Morning prayers....


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