Reference the "virtual" endorsement of Gov. Romney, in part as "opportunity," in our June, 2012 Feature (Romney & American Conservatism), as well as the Chapter on Perspective & Focus in the Conservative Debate Handbook. The latter, unfortunately perhaps the least read Chapter in the Handbook, discusses the most essential tool to further our purpose. Our perspective should be on what will be most conducive to the preservation of traditional American families, culture & Liberty; our focus, the current political reality. Within the analytic ambit of such perspective & focus, we will discuss why we believe that Conservatives should now rally to the Romney/Ryan ticket, and how they should behave with respect to the candidates, both during the campaign & after a desperately needed victory.
Our "virtual" endorsement was primarily premised upon two concepts:
1. The critical need to arrest the loss of Liberty, heritage & the remaining fruits of eight generations' labor.
2. The reality of Gov. Romney's demonstrated ability as a "problem solver"--the implied ability to look at all aspects of a situation. The suggestion was that we could move Romney to the right by working on his strengths; by polite, patient & persistent appeal for him to use that perceptual ability, employed to succeed in business & in saving the Winter Olympics, a decade ago, with respect to issues where he has clearly not been on our side in the past. The premise was that our side was based on truth; truth that would become increasingly clear to anyone taking the time to fully analyze the factors, both apparent & not so apparent, in the full context of causation with respect to any situation requiring attention.
The selection of Congressman Paul Ryan for "running-mate," in an election where the fiscal management of Government was to be the prime issue, confirmed our point. It demonstrated that capacity as a "problem solver." Thus, remaining focused on such primary concepts, we now fully endorse Gov. Romney & Congressman Ryan. We will actively support their candidacy. Yet consistent with the same premises--recognizing that there remain issues, every bit as important as the economy, on which we are not on the same course--we will also work to move the candidates further in a traditional Conservative direction. Yet how to do so?
Perspective & focus govern both the factors that determine what any individual considers important, as well as those that can best serve to influence him in another direction. In this we speak of those able to be influenced. One must distinguish the fanatic with an agenda; the fanatic pursuing a wish list, not to better apply, but to alter, reality by a misuse of power. With such, it is usually a waste of time trying to argue with a hate or compulsion driven focus. But that is not the situation with most voters; nor, certainly, with Gov. Romney or Congressman Ryan. We believe that where they have failed to support basic Conservative premises, the problem is with the perspective & focus--not with the hatred of truth that characterizes the driven Leftist.
Romney & Ryan draw correct conclusions & speak with enthusiasm on subjects on which they have focused. They do not display the same enthusiasm, nor the predictable ranting insult, with which dedicated reformers address the issues where Romney & Ryan have gone astray. Often, where they have accepted ideas that other Conservatives reject, they appear to be only giving 'lip service' to what has become 'politically correct.' This is certainly not admirable; but neither is it evidence of evil intent; only of an uncritical acceptance of what is being prattled on every side. This will not be changed by insult; not by snarling. It may be changed by polite, patient & persistent, appeals to consider--to focus on--underlying factors that the Left usually ignores, but which remain apparent if one will but consider the relevant phenomena.
At this venue, you will find numerous articles to challenge the notion that what has become 'politically correct,' is of any benefit to anyone but scoundrels & demagogues. (For example, see Cloud Dancing.)
Reality (truth) is not divisible. It does not depend upon the wishes or attitudes of a particular audience, or a particular faction of any society. While it is perfectly legitimate for a candidate, in a given situation, to focus his remarks & appeal on a particular approach to the needs of that situation; he must not lose sight of the fact that the same dynamic factors that influence human action with respect to one situation, may reflect deeper realities of the human experience & natural laws that govern all things, not just those merely relevant in an immediate context. The obvious example, one illustrated in many articles, is that the same factors that work to promote economic success, work equally well in other forms of interactive human behavior.
The dynamic factor, which makes the free market perform better than any planned economy, is the involvement of every individual in his own interest; applying his experience & understanding of his needs, attributes, strengths & weaknesses, in a continuous pursuit of the best result. The same attribute (individual responsibility) that brings out the best economic result, applies in any other situation, where people must deal with a problem or opportunity. Thus Switzerland, with a responsible youth, armed in the home, has a very low crime rate. Thus "home schooled" children, with modest educational resources, often out-perform those educated at great public expense. Thus America, Grounded On Experience & Reason, was once the envy of the world & only drifted into the present malaise, when her people drifted away from that enabling factor.
Everyone, who ever sat in a classroom, knows, at least sub-consciously, that there is no equality of human talent. Everyone, who has ever known the satisfaction of a job well done with the abilities with which he is endowed, knows, at least sub-consciously, that it is wrong for Government to redistribute the fruits of anyone's labor. Charity is something else. What a productive man or woman gives to help those, to whom he or she feels inclined, from personal resources, is fully consistent with the free society that allows individual pursuits. But "robbing selected Peter" to endow a favored "Paul" for political advantage, is the absolute antithesis to the premises of a free society that allows individuals to achieve to maximum benefit for themselves, their families, communities & nations.
It is consistent with the analytic abilities that enabled Gov. Romney to succeed greatly in business; to save the Winter Olympics in Utah, and win the nomination, even though his record in Massachusetts involved 'politically correct' fallacies, very unpopular with most Republicans; that, with the right approach, he can be brought to accept our argument. The determinant may ultimately be whether we can find a way to get him to more closely examine a conservative premise that what the Left has delineated as "Social Justice" is, in truth, Not Social & Not Just.
How, then, to effectively support the Romney/Ryan ticket? Start with issues on which you can agree with the candidates; but be careful to employ only arguments, premised upon unassailable truths from human experience. Rather than simply assert that something is true, cite observable phenomena that support the assertion. Thus, support a conservative economic argument by discussing the normal motivations that operate in a free market. Attack Obama's increasingly expensive--corrupting--Welfare State expansion, from the 'flip-side' of the same dynamic--discussing the disincentives to human achievement. In this, note Jefferson's historic explanation of how Welfare--controlled on a Parish by Parish basis--worked in Virginia at the time of Independence. (See Section 4 of Socialist Policy Effects On Specific Groups.)
With such discussion, anyone--not a compulsive enemy of traditional values--can grasp why a social safety net is far better, far more effectively & economically, administered & controlled at a local level, by those able to exercise moral judgments to see that aid goes to people who need & deserve it, rather than those who will inevitably try to game the system. What Jefferson describes with clarity, actually benefits a community. What Federal involvement in Welfare has accomplished, has been to corrupt a significant segment of the population. The lesson is obvious!
What approach, then, is most likely to influence the candidates, if elected? Basically, the same. In learning how to better persuade those we must persuade to win an election; we will be better prepared to influence those elected, in holding office. Let us illustrate:
Many Conservatives are unhappy that Gov. Romney did not embrace a wide-spread & righteous indignation over the vicious targeting of Chic-fil-A outlets by fanatics advocating an oxymoron, described as "same sex marriage." In contrast to Obama's earlier endorsement of that oxymoron, Gov. Romney's staff has stated that the targeting of Chic-fil-A was not a campaign issue. Some Conservatives are also upset that Romney did not fight the idea of "same sex marriage" while Governor of Massachusetts. Can we persuade a President Romney to address that subject from a more traditional perspective?
Yes! But again the technique must be discussion from unassailable premises derived from human experience. We believe that Gov. Romney is an educated, God Fearing man. But he has listened to varied voices on relevant subjects, and is not simply going to change his attitude because Conservatives can quote Leviticus. We do not disparage Leviticus--far from it. But Gov. Romney, like a great many other non-radical Western leaders, today, is not going to focus on the underlying questions, either moral or pragmatic, unless we gently--politely & persuasively--induce that focus by the right sort of discussion. Here, we suggest the final section in Cloud Dancing Revisited, which puts the contemporary issue in a perspective that should induce the right sort of reflection.
Ultimately, it all comes down to this. America & the West are lost, if we do not find a working approach to reverse the acceptance of disastrous policy, premised upon demonstrably false assumptions--both social & economic--with which the Left has managed to indoctrinate a majority of Western youth. Yet there are still many cross-currents, both here & in Europe. There are opportunities as well as perils. In endorsing the Romney/Ryan ticket, we are not suggesting that the necessary course will be easy--that success may be expected. Only time & the determination & method of those, who understand how late the hour actually is, will tell. By all means, pray for guidance! But remember that God gave man Reason. Don't reject it.