Back to the Old School

December 9, 2008

I want one of these shirts!

“All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”
-Ronald Reagan

It’s time for a return to true Conservatism!

It’s time that the vision that Ronald Reagan was so successful in presenting to America is championed again!

It’s not time to “re-invent” the party…it’s time to get back to what the party is really all about!

My Disappointment

I have to admit it…I was pretty down November 5th.

Sure, it is historic that a black man has been elected president. For me and much of my generation, a candidate’s race isn’t an issue. Granted for older generations it probably is a bigger deal. Barack Obama is a great idea: a black man, representing change, is elected president. In fact, that is basically how he got elected, as an idea! Since election day, he’s tried lower his messianic expectations and the media is now starting to realize they don’t know this man.

I’d been as vocal as one can be in Utah, bringing up issues I had with Barack Obama and his policies. I even started a blog specifically dedicated to political discussion.

One outlet that I had beyond “the reddest state in the nation” was Twitter. I carried on several debates. I linked to relevant articles. And apparently, I was annoying enough to lose some followers.

Two things that I think the GOP needs to learn from this last election are:

  • A compelling vision of hope is more powerful than a negative campaign.
  • When @barackobama has +144k followers, it’s clear Twitter can be a powerful tool for political purposes.

Conservatives on Twitter

During the campaign, it was frustrating to see the obvious slant of much of the Twitter population. Every time I caught a conservative comment, I’d follow the author because it was so rare to find someone with common viewpoints. The good news is that won’t be a problem any more! Michael Leahy, a Conservative author and Republican strategist, put together a list of The Top Conservatives on Twitter.

This list was first placed on the web on November 28, 2008. In the short time since then, it has become a bit of a rallying point for conservatives on Twitter. I think all of us who are on the list can conceive of many additional ways to improve the list to strengthen and grow the conservative community on Twitter.

When I first saw the hashtag for Top Conservatives on Twitter (#TCOT), I followed it to the site and shortly added my name to the list. Seeing names added like Michelle Malkin & Bobby Jindal has been exciting. Many of the TCOT’ers are campaigning to get Rush on there too!

My hope with all of this is that Conservatives take control of of their party, that they return to the principles of the Constitution, Lincoln, & Reagan, that they contest every election, and present the real “compelling vision” of liberty, of capitalism, of the American Dream!

Follow me here @ryansmiller!

Don’t Judge Me…Racists!

October 29, 2008

An Unbridled Fingerpoint

October 9, 2008

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Where Do I Need to Be Set Straight?

September 25, 2008

Photo by Wetsun

Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition, there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes.
– George Soros

I’ll be the first to admit that I am right most of the time. However, in the rare instance I am wrrrr…wrrrr…wrrrooooonn… [excuse me] not right, I want to know it, so I can fix it.

Really that’s what this site is all about: exploring the other side of issues by arguing what I disagree with. There are some pretty obvious topics that jumped out at me where Conservatives have been cast as heartless. A few that I already plan on tackling are:

  • Addressing Poverty
  • Minorities Concerns
  • Taxes

I would like your suggestions.
For my Liberal friends, what do Conservatives just not get?
For my Conservative friends, what do you “not get” about the Liberal mindset?

How I Got My Heart of Stone

September 24, 2008

How did I get my heart of stone?
Photo by ch1mp

No one quite knows the reason.
It could be perhaps that his shoes were too tight.
It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.
– Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

I have been indoctrinated.

I admit it. From the time that I was born, I have been raised with a specific worldview. Primarily, I believe what I believe because I was raised that way and I vote the way I vote because I was raised to vote that way.

Have my ideals been challenged? Definitely. Have I defended my views? Absolutely. But being challenged and defending a worldview when it has been so thoroughly ingrained doesn’t necessarily indicate that you have evaluated and internalized those values. After all, “talking points” are called “talking points” for a reason.

Why do I believe what I believe? Maybe it is because my shoes are too tight! Or worse! Maybe, because I have been raised in such a callous, greed-driven, privileged environment, I am actually heartless? Let’s look at the factors that contributed to my values. Which elements give credence to the criticism that I have been brainwashed, or at least, have a very limited perspective on the world?

In fact, for fun, lets give some ratings to see how I score. Negative points for factors that, according to my Liberal friends, typically promote close-mindedness, indoctrination, and a limited worldview. Positive points for factors that, again, according to my Liberal friends, typically promote open-mindedness, critical thinking, and an expanded worldview. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Keys to Understanding Your Political Opposition

September 17, 2008

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.
– Albert Einstein

What a crazy few months! It has been a while since I have been this involved and seen so much participation in politics!

Politically, I’ve always considered myself informed and able to articulate why I support a certain viewpoint. I give much of that credit to my very politically active father. As it always is, this election year it is important to understand these issues, the candidates and take part in the democratic process. However, as my sister-in-law pointed out:

There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin
– Linus in It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Particularly with family! Politics can be a sensitive subject! Most of the time, our views extend into a very emotional space. While we should attempt to approach the issues logically, it is not realistic to say rational discussion is going to happen in every dialogue when parties both feel that the other represents the exact opposite of everything they believe.

I do not intend to set forth my views and argue why the other side is wrong (at least in this post). Instead, I want to discuss the decision-making process.

  • How do we reach the our position on the issues?
  • What are we using to decide our vote?

I have thought about this a lot this year, because I want to know for myself why I will be voting the way I am voting. This is not exhaustive, but here are some of the rationales I see people using to make their decision: Read the rest of this entry »