Republican Report on
Growth and Opportunity Report
Turns on a Light
Much has been made
of the 98-page Growth and
Opportunity Project (GOP – get it?) Report commissioned by Republicans to
provide recommendations for how the Republican Party can make its way back to
electoral victory at the federal level (it has been doing quite well at the
state level), and what the report has to say about the party’s “re-branding,’
especially as the release of this report follows the 40th annual Conservative Political Action
Conference (CPAC) held this month, itself surrounded by public
speculation on where the party is headed.
The report actually
has only 73 pages of assessments and recommendations, with the other 25 pages
being nothing more than a re-statement of the recommendations made in the
first 73. Most of them have to do with
logistics, technology, organization, and other practical aspects of
campaigning. The rest addresses the more
exciting and controversial subjects of ‘messaging’ and policy. Overall, the report reads like a typical
corporate report, and reading it, a fair-minded person would glean that it
represents an honest and intelligent, if incomplete, attempt at
practical aspects of the report, one gets, with a slightly sinking feeling,
just how vast and enormously costly is a national election campaign, and
therefore, how much more the practical facts of logistics, infrastructure and
money determine the electoral outcomes, versus the merits of any candidate or
policy, than they might have fifty years ago.
It makes more obvious why new ideas originating outside of established
structures may never get far.
The messaging and
policy sections of the report have caused the most commentary, much of it
critical from the Right because it is viewed as attempting to appease pop
culture sensitivities, and from the Left because it is not calling for ‘fundamental’
change of “values and beliefs” that the Left sees as outmoded and even
ill-intended. One typical such
critique from the Left comes from an online Chicago Tribune post (too short to be called an article) by
Jessica Reynolds, titled “Republican
Rebranding,” posted Monday, March 18.
Like so many on the
Left, Jessica Reynolds’ recommendations as to what Republicans should do
center on her belief that it’s not how Republicans are messaging, it’s the
message. Here’s our Life Rule #1 (#1 within
this essay, anyway), to anyone anywhere in any organization doing anything at
all: The last person you need to
listen to is the person that shares none of your values, buys into the
negative propaganda about you, and wants you to lose. Obviously, following Ms. Reynolds'
solipsistic pro-Democratic definitions of good and bad (e.g. what constitutes
a "war" on women, immigrants, etc.) she of course finds that the
answer is for Republicans to "fundamentally" change their
"values and beliefs." No
doubt, the change should be in favor of the values she already supports
through her votes that almost certainly already flow to the Democratic Party
(after all, she would not be voting for a party she believes is at
"war" with her). Ms.
Reynolds, and her ideological kindred spirits, will never vote for
Republicans because she already has a Democratic Party to vote for. And what could the Republican Party change
in its self that would lead her, or any other liberal leftist, to vote for
them - except to stop being Republican?
If Republicans took
her advice, not only would they not get her vote, they would lose their entire
core base, and would be left only with the dwindling number of moderate
Republicans who are not activist, and are far less likely to volunteer for
any grassroots vote-getting efforts.
Having re-made themselves more like Democrats, their very reason for
existence would be put into question, and soon they would cease to exist at
all. And Ms. Reynolds, and all those
others so earnestly helpful with their advice, would not shed a tear. It was, after all, the racist, anti-women
to Self Can Be Risky
What if someone
told her that to succeed in the journalistic world, she needed to
fundamentally change her values and beliefs, to in effect, stop being who she
is? The thing is,
it could be true that who she is, as a woman, or as a part of cultural
minority with values antithetical to those of most journalists, might have
been an obstacle. The question would
then be, should she listen to those successful in journalism that oppose everything
she stands for, or should she double-down on making her case to the journalistic
profession, knowing full well she may never be accepted? Life Rule #2 (often ignored by young
liberals): Nobody is obligated to make sure your life choices and beliefs are
validated with success just because you are so sure of how morally and
absolutely right you are. Your choice
then is to either act on what you firmly believe, or on what you think will
bring you more profit.
The Republicans are
failing. (No one except us here on these pages was saying so in the wake of the
2010 midterm elections, as we persistently predicted since then, despite the
overwhelming Republican electoral success , that they were on a path to
defeat in 2012.) Sure, the reasons why
are hard to prove. It may be that there are no longer enough
Americans that will ever buy into the Republican message of personal self-reliance
and accountability for one’s own choices, economic freedom and autonomy,
limited government, strong national defense, secure borders with legal immigration, and so on. And, it is also a truth of life is that one
can be absolutely right about something, say, being anti-slavery in the deep
South of the 1840’s, and still be rejected by the world one inhabits.
We do think the
number of Americans receptive to the core Republican message is shrinking. The force of pop culture driven by the
alliance of huge, amoral, profit-hungry corporations that will promote any
base desire and indulgence in exchange for another dollar, with the Hollywood
Left that will take advantage of that greed, makes for a huge obstacle for
Republican ‘messaging.’ Still, we don’t
see that we have yet reached a point where that shrinkage is irreversible.
As we have been
saying for years, the Republicans have fallen into a reactionary trap. As with all reactionary movements, the
signature feature is a failure to stop reacting defensively and evermore
crudely to the opposition’s success and charges. Our best example of this is the Republican
Party’s re-doubled focus on entrepreneurs, at almost total exclusion of the
concern of the majority of Americans, Republican or not, who work as
employees of a company. Not helping
was the awkward Republican knee-jerk defense of major corporations’ decisions
that have led to massive re-allocation of the nation’s income away from the
middle class to the highest classes.
Moreover, they refused to even fully acknowledge the issue of stagnating
wages for most Americans as one within the purview of public policy.
And yet, staying
the Bush II course is not an option when it did not work! As President Obama has correctly observed: “we already did that.” Life Rule #3 (often ignored by most
conservatives): No rational, sane person is motivated, or even morally
obligated, to support with votes or otherwise, an economic system that is not
providing a fair economic path to prosperity –even if the entire economic pie
is growing. That Exxon and Apple are
richer than ever, and making our economic pie larger, is of no value to a
family if all the gains are going to a very few while that family’s welfare
stagnates at best, or has its jobs outsourced at worst.
What is lost on so
many Republican ‘free traders’ is that providing cheaper (and often inferior)
products and services through outsourcing abroad not only reduces the quality
and security of our wealth, it can reduce the size of our consumer base, and ultimately
put the economy into cycle of decline – not to mention that cheaper prices
are of little value to any people when that cheaper price was accomplished by
lower wages for them, or their outright unemployment
column 2 >
World Forecast &
Project – ultrapolisproject.com
Editor: Marco Antonio Roberts
Copy Editor: Michael Alberts
The Chair of St. Peter, in St. Peter’s
Basilica in Vatican City; symbolic throne of the first pope; and of the
authority of his heirs as earthly representatives of God; as viewed by
Catholics and, to lesser, varying degrees, by other Christians. The 17th century sculpture of
gilt bronze encloses an older wooden one from the 9th century. For scale, imagine that a 10-story building
could fit inside the nave before it.
The new Pope Francis I appears to prefer a more modest profile, but
the demands of the office will soon force him to upgrade his image at least
some. People say they respect humility,
but many only like to think they do.
From column 1
The report hints
that some of this is finally being considered at least in terms of messaging,
if not in policy. One excerpt from
should speak out when CEOs receive tens of millions of dollars in
retirement packages but middle-class workers have not had a meaningful
raise in years.
At last, the
obvious is acknowledged.
The Pitfalls of a
Republican policies of immigration and women’s concerns, the only ones
discussed in the GOP Report document as requiring new Republican policies,
are actually the least of Republicans problems. They just seem unpopular because
many anti-Republican voters have not heard a rational, balanced, measured,
and non-hyperbolic defense of Republican positions in these areas.
There is an
actual case that can be made to immigrant minorities in how border security
and control of the illegal flow of people across the borders is actually economically
and politically beneficial to them.
And no one really thinks that not wanting to pay for your neighbor’s
use of condoms, no matter how poor that neighbor is, constitutes a “war” (read
hatred, violence, anger, bigotry) against women. No one, that is, that would ever even
consider voting Republican. The
Republicans paraded women and minorities at their national convention, and
it did not help.
Lastly, a craven
flip flop on fundamental values that is motivated only by the desire for
more votes will lack a coherent foundation for public policy and public
debates, and will readily be used by the opposition of proof of two things:
1) The Republicans admit they were bigots; and 2) The Republicans have no
There is no single
focus group, no media star ideological purist, no reactionary circling of
wagons, and certainly no Democratic leftist, that will point the way out
Hard Slog Ahead
Least It’s There)
The only real answer
for Republicans (not discussed in the report) is a serious reflection on
what they believe (or should) – and why; and without defensiveness when
looking at where their ideological purity has fallen short in benefiting the
lives of most human beings living in this country. They will have to make a sober assessment
- without agitation and provocation by people who live by ratings or who
want Republicans gone - about what is truly fundamental belief and what is
merely ideological opinion or emotional backlash. Then, they will have to go door to door,
to neighborhoods many have never visited, and make their case forcefully,
respectfully, and unapologetically - come hell or high water.
Will they do it?
Not yet. But this GOP report is the
first tiny sign of the possibility for a Republican resurgence in the years
ahead. More certainly, though, it is
the first sign of huge battles to come within the GOP (the party). And, even if the wisest win, as our Life
Rule #2 says, that is no guarantee of anything.
Yes, it would be
a comfortable and easy existence if everything we thought was good and true was
actually good and true, and was always readily accepted by everyone else
without argument or defense. But, it
might also be an existence in which, never being tested, we believed in nothing
deeply, and never really and fully understood why anything is true.
Obama Words in Israel Aspire
President Employs His
Talents to Great Effect – and None
On March 21, the
President of the United States delivered a speech at
the Jerusalem Convention center before an audience of 2,000 Israeli citizens
in the hall, and the millions watching on television. It was elegant, thoughtful, measured, kind,
and brave in its honesty. It was a
familiar Barack Obama, but one we had not seen since before the presidential
campaign began. The speech offered
words that should be said, and were true to the spirit of the Hebrew phrase
‘tikkun olam,’ among the last he spoke, which mean “repairing (or healing)
Yes, great and
good words that we are glad he said.
They will lead nowhere.
Dad Talk on Sons and Pornography
Modern Advice Always
on Being ‘Safe’ Ignores All Else
A public letter
(why public?) from a dad to his son, written after the dad discovered
massive amounts of pornography in his son’s computer that likely had
something to do with a computer virus, got lots of play in the Huffington
Post last September. The letter focused on how it was okay
to look for porn, and offered help directing the boy to safe websites that
would not harm the son’s computer.
condemn anything sexual' view that has been heavily and quite successfully
promoted since the 1960's,
column 3 >
From column 2
television shows, movies, and just about any other medium available to kids,
was obviously going to be further expounded on by the Huffington Post. Fact
is, though, just because something is 'natural' does not make it 'good'
within a civilized and moral society.
In a natural
state, many things are normal for animals or humans without cultural
education. We learn to restrain our natural urges in order to attain,
hopefully, a higher level of existence.
It is not an accident that most porno ‘actors’ (as if they are not merely
doing what they are supposedly acting) are people from very humble and
broken homes lacking in a strong, educated parental presence. As humans, we have to be taught to be
monogamous and judicious in our sexuality.
And, there is something unsavory about helping feed a market that
preys on the lost and the clueless.
Having said that,
a wise father does recognize that there are normal urges, and just having
them is not cause for condemnation; but neither is it cause for
indulgence. We would say "My
dear son, it is natural to have animal urges - we all have them to one
degree or another, and none of us are perfect at keeping them in check. But,
you don’t have to be just a collection of animal urges. You
can be a civilized man, doing his best to subsume his sexual self to the road
that with dignity maintains his honor as a gentleman, and with love leads
to the one that will be with him for life."
Lean In’s Feminist Totalitarian Fantasy
Come Total Fact
by Law if Necessary
By Mark Eastman
media regularly flood the airwaves and transmission cables with all manner
of feminist messages and initiatives.
Although usually originating from a far Left that claims to base its
truth on science, that is one thing that is routinely ignored in favor of worthless
anecdotes that aim to pass for proof of something. Sheryl Sandberg’s new book – and
initiative - has recently ratcheted up the volume on hyper-feminist speech to
the point of becoming an ever-present hum in our daily lives. Like the air, it’s just there all the
time. And, like Houston’s air, you
just get used to it after awhile, or deal with it with medication as best
I’m sure Ms.
Sandberg is a nice woman. But many
nice people can do harmful things to freedom when they are so sure of the
sanctity of their truth. In an
interview on the Diane
Rehm show on National Public Radio, as on other occasions, Ms. Sandberg
made clear that only a representation of 51% of women among top executives can
be considered acceptable and not requiring further laws to ensure that
outcome. This, after she admitted in
that same interview that in Europe, where they have already implemented
most of what she would like done in the U.S. in terms of laws and education,
the proportion of women in top executive positions is only 1%, versus 15%
for the U.S.
For this reason,
many of Sandberg’s advocates have made clear their sympathy for quotas in
employment at all levels, in every profession, and even in reserving elected
positions for women (women are just not volunteering to run for office
enough to suit Ms. Sandberg and her allies).
Did you know that
when you factor for professions and time in service, the gender wage gap
that you hear talked about constantly by the mainstream media almost
disappears? In other words, men and
women working in the same professions and the same length of time, make about
the same. But, more women freely choose
professions that don’t pay as much.
Did you also know
that when you factor unemployed people, men are actually worse of, due to higher
unemployment among men? If you did,
you certainly did not learn that from any fawning interview with Ms.
Sandberg. No hard questions are
asked at all.
vision can only be achieved by forcing the result through measures that heavily
intrude into people’s individual decision-making: by pushing women and men
to make different choices than they would otherwise make if left to their
own considerations, and by requiring ‘woman-friendly’ policies that are in
actuality ‘Sandberg women-friendly’ policies. In time, they will get them,
even if it means forcing companies to re-write every job description, and
creating different standards for men and women (as they already have in the
military, law-enforcement, and firehouses).
Woman once made equal to man, becomes his superior.
As a young man I used
to wonder what that meant. Seems
Our forecast record cannot be beat. One can follow the herd chasing the
latest hyperbolic, melodramatic, and soon-forgotten micro-trend on Facebook
and Twitter, or one can be wisely and judiciously in front of it with
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