Five Elections That Mattered For Conservatism

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In 1970, a young conservative who once played professional football and served as an aid to California governor Ronald Reagan was elected in an upstate New York congressional district. He was a different kind of Republican from New York. Neither the heir to inherited wealth nor a seat on Wall Street, Jack Kemp, a football great for the Buffalo Bills, represented the hopes and aspirations of blue-collar, middle-class, hard-working Buffalo area constituents. He was also an idea man with cheerful energy and a winning personality. In today’s Washington of government shutdowns and funding disputes, a lot could be learned from Jack Kemp.

Kemp pushed ideas to the limit. He made these ideas understandable not only to average Americans but to opinion leaders as well. His advocacy for marginal tax rate reduction, urban enterprise zones, and empowering Main Street were to become the Republican agenda. His election in 1970 was consequential as the ideas he advocated became the cornerstone of Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign.

But, Reagan may never had led such a campaign had it not been for the 1976 North Carolina Republican primary. In 1976, Ronald Reagan challenged President Gerald Ford. The early primaries and caucuses did not go well for Reagan. There were calls for him to withdraw from the race, and money was drying up. However, Reagan stunned the establishment by winning the North Carolina Republican primary. His decisive victory in North Carolina saved his campaign, and he came within a few delegates of defeating an incumbent president for the nomination. Reagan’s victory in North Carolina ensured his place on the podium at the 1976 Republican Convention, and assured his place as the conservative leader in the Republican Party after Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter. Reagan’s victory in the North Carolina primary fortified his leadership of the conservative movement and allowed him to lead conservative causes during Carter’s presidency, including opposition to the Panama Canal treaties.

In 1989, a congressman from the back benches decided to challenge Edward Madigan for Minority Whip of the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives. The improbable campaign of Newt Gingrich stunned Washington and excited conservatives across the country. Gingrich was an idea man, and was very interested in directly challenging the Democrats and liberals who controlled Capitol Hill. Unlike the more genteel Republican leadership, Gingrich sought to advocate conservative ideas through the use of the levers of the House and emerging media alternatives such as C-Span. His slim victory in the Republican caucus was consequential. He became the face and the strategist for the wave that eventually led to the Republican takeover of the House in 1994 and assured his election as the first Republican Speaker of the House since the 1950s. His leadership helped in part to reverse George H.W. Bush’s loss in 1992.

In 2010, a medical doctor from Bowling Green, Kentucky, began a campaign for the Republican nomination for the Senate. He was not the favored candidate of either the state Republican establishment or the national Republican establishment. However, Rand Paul won the Republican primary and was elected to the Senate in the Republican wave of 2010. Though the full consequences of his election are yet to be seen, his election to the Senate marked an important victory for the libertarian wing of the Republican Party where ideas of privacy, criminal justice reform, a restrained foreign policy, and personal liberty appeal to constituents not normally part of the Republican electorate. His ideas may play a major role in the 2016 presidential election.

In 2012, despite a very bad year for Republicans and conservatives, a young governor of Wisconsin beat back a recall election. Scott Walker became the first governor to survive a recall election in the nation’s history; and by 2014, he had won three statewide elections in Wisconsin. His efforts to curb the power of public employee unions, and the resolute stand he took in advocating his conservative positions, makes him a consequential leader of the Republican Party and the conservative movement.

Each of these elections have contributed to the conservative movement. Jack Kemp’s joyful advocacy of marginal tax rate reduction and economic liberty helped frame the 1980 election, Ronald Reagan’s unsuccessful race for president in 1976 assured his leadership of the conservative movement and set the stage for his victory in 1980, Newt Gingrich’s challenge to a genteel House Republican leadership set the stage for 1994, and today the emergence of Rand Paul and Scott Walker may very well define conservatism for a generation to come.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

This Young Conservative Felt Isolated With His Beliefs – Until He Posted This Question On Social Media

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A 23-year-old Reddit user identified as Craigslistexorcist posted a question to the social media site last year in an effort to find like-minded young adults.

“I’m a twenty-three year old male and have difficulty finding anyone in my age group who shares my conservative views,” he wrote. “Any like-minded young people out there?”

The post quickly amassed hundreds of responses, many of which came from empathetic young adults who felt similarly alienated. In addition to proving to the original poster that twentysomething conservatives do exist, the answers offered some degree of insight into how the next generation views the current political landscape.

For one user, the Democrat Party is no longer an option because it “comes off … as the religion party” because of its insistence on adhering to leftist doctrine.

“They, liberals, are always the loudest people in the room about what they believe and how they feel and they try to shove their beliefs on you like a Jehovah’s witness [sic],” MysterManager wrote. “’Have you heard about our Lord and Savior Federal Government?’ Oh, yes, if only we would send the almighty Fod more money we would all live in paradise.”

Some urged Craigslistexorcist to align with local Young Republicans or Young Conservative groups, if any exist, though one 19-year-old woman acknowledged that while “young conservatives do exist,” they are “a bit hard to find in my experience.”

Upon his admission that he recently relocated to Portland, Ore., a few users posited that the left-leaning city could be at the root of his problem finding ideological counterparts.

“Hey bro,” one user wrote, “I feel your pain, I’m from Portland too. There are actually quite a few conservatives here, but you won’t meet them on the streets, in the coffee shops or in the clubs. Once you start a job though and you’ll find the percentage increases exponentially.”

Another conservative Portlander invited Craigslistexorcist to visit links to two online communities of local young conservatives.

“Thank you!” the original poster responded. “I will do just that.”

When one user shared the belief that conservatives were banned in Oregon, he responded that he is currently undercover and that “between you and me, craigslistexorcist isn’t my given name.”

Some suggested fraternities and college clubs as good places to meet fellow conservatives.

“26 year old Muslim conservative here,” one user wrote. “I found a great young conservative community in my previous college. We’re the school’s official ‘gun club,’ and also the largest club.”

Many of the other comments offered encouragement.

“17 here,” one user wrote, “I’m a blend of libertarian and conservative views. Don’t worry your [sic] not crazy.”

Some, however, recognized the uphill battle young conservatives face in convincing their peers that such views are valid.

“25 year old female here,” one comment stated. “In response to new restrictions in privacy laws, I tell older individuals that people need to take responsibility and trust less in the government; they call me an ‘old soul.’ If I say the same comment to my peers I hear ‘trust your government.’”

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Black, Conservative Woman Rips Starbucks A New One!

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This week on #LouderWithCrowder, we’re joined by two STRONG, Conservative women. First up, Dana Loesch tells us about her upbringing as a liberal, her transition into Conservatism, and just why becoming a mom has caused her to loathe feminists!

Then we have Kira Davis, a strong, black woman who absolutely tears Starbucks a new one, in an epic interview that must be heard to be believed. Watch the video interview above, then subscribe to hear the whole show for free!

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Embattled Judge Teams Up With Conservative Law Firm To Fight Suit Over Gay Marriage

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As Western Journalism has previously reported, Alabama Supreme Court Judge Roy Moore has served as a lightning rod for leftist vitriol based on his opinions in some high-profiled cases. For example, he not only indicated his state should do more to ensure presidential candidates meet citizenship requirements; he asserted Barack Obama’s background deserved such additional scrutiny.

Going back even further, he faced professional backlash for his strong defense of traditional principles – including the display of the Ten Commandments – and was forced out of his position only to be reinstated as chief justice on the strength of his popularity among voters.

Most recently, Moore has weighed in on the gay marriage debate by issuing an administrative order earlier this year protecting Alabama’s constitutional defense of traditional marriage by negating a subsequent decision by a federal district court in the state. All but one of his fellow state Supreme Court justices sided with his position that a gay marriage prohibition is not unconstitutional.

In response, however, gay activist groups rose up in opposition to Moore, going so far as to file a suit against him alleging a violation of their constitutional rights. Moore continues to fight the rising pressure to, on a federal level, saddle every state with gay marriage provisions in apparent violation of the Tenth Amendment. The judge has partnered with the U.S. Justice Foundation to defend himself against allegations included in the suit.

This week, Moore’s attorneys presented a motion to dismiss the suit and, in accompanying court documents, detailed the reasons his order should stand. Claims in the suit itself are inaccurate, the brief asserts, specifically those alleging Moore instructed probate judges in Alabama to disobey a federal order. More accurately, USJF attorneys explain, he emphasized their duty to uphold existing state marriage laws.

Beyond the complaints levied by the plaintiffs, Moore’s lawyers assert any such suit is constitutionally inappropriate. By citing the provisions of the Eleventh Amendment, lawyers maintain Moore is immune from federal lawsuits in response to his actions as a state official.

Share this article on Facebook if you oppose the federal government’s attempt to redefine marriage.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Hilarious: Laura Ingraham Unveils Her Pitch For Jeb Bush’s Campaign Slogan

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According to radio host Laura Ingraham, potential 2016 presidential contenders Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton have so much in common they might as well throw party affiliation out and campaign as a team.

The syndicated host spoke at CPAC last week and expressed her frustration with many GOP elites rallying behind Bush despite his positions on a number of hot button issues.

“We can dispense of this whole nomination process altogether,” she sarcastically asserted. “Why don’t we just call it quits and Jeb and Hillary can run on the same ticket?”

She said the two agree on issues like “Common Core, amnesty, giving Obama fast track trade authority, [and] the surveillance culture.”

Ingraham went so far as to develop some campaign material for the facetious team.

“So I’m designing the bumper sticker,” she said. “It could be ‘Clush 2016: What Difference Does It Make?’”

She then expanded her focus to include the frustrations she identifies in the nomination process as a whole.

Citing the “closed-door meetings” many potential candidates prefer instead of open discussions of the issues voters care about, Ingraham urged the conservatives in attendance to engage in reform of the system.

“You go into battle with the political system you have,” she said, acknowledging that “the media and most of the donor class is hostile to conservatism.”

Nevertheless, those on the right can bring about change by uniting behind the common goal of giving the people power to select a nominee of their choice.

“It’s not enough to rage at the darkness,” she asserted. “Instead, we have to light a candle.”

Organizations like Citizens for the Republic, which was founded by Ronald Reagan in 1977 and resurrected recently by Ingraham, exist to encourage such activism. She shared the traits she believes conservatives should demand in their nominee.

“Merely having the right ideas is not enough,” she said. “A strong conservative has to be able to debate anyone, anywhere on matters of policy — and win.”

Ingraham concluded that “we also need a candidate who is proud to be called a conservative.”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom