Friday, April 30, 2010


In this period of great upheaval and when (according to a new Pew Poll, dated April 22, 2010) just 22% of Americans say that they trust the federal government to do what is right most of the time, many of our fellow citizens are asking what they can do to relieve their frustrations and help their country rebound during this difficult period. I believe that this would be good time for my fellow Mississippians and my fellow Americans to read and become familiar with “The Patriot’s Guide – What YOU Can Do for Your Country.” This Guide can be found in more detail at, a website of The Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank that does so much to create and promote innovative conservative ideas and solutions to America’s problems. I recommend The Patriot’s Guide to you, and I present it, in part, to you below in abbreviated form:


1. Practice The Virtues of Self Governance: a) be a responsible citizen; b) Care for your family; c) Practice your faith and defend your religious liberty; d) Join organizations and volunteer in your local community; e) Start a business and invest in America.
2. Voice Your Opinion: a) Vote; b) Write letters and comment online; c) Contact your elected officials; d) Call radio shows; e) Participate in local town-hall meetings, tea party activism and local assemblies.
3. Encourage Discussion: a) Start a blog or Web site; b) challenge liberals with fact-based arguments; c) Encourage the media to represent conservative principles; d) Encourage candidates and elected representatives to learn more about conservative ideas; e) Get conservative editorials and letters in your local newspaper; f) Support teachers, educational programs, and schools that teach the truth about America and its principles.
4. Spread the Word: a) Talk to your family and friends; b) Join social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter; c) Bring issues you care about to your civic, social, church, or business groups; d) Celebrate America's heritage and distribute pocket Constitutions.
5. Join the Conservative Movement: a) Support think tanks and institutions fighting for conservative principles and policies; b) If you are a student, apply for an internship, such as the year-round program at the Heritage Foundation. These programs are designed to foster young leaders and help them grow as part of the larger conservative movement.


1. We Still Hold These Truths: The future of liberty depends on reclaiming America's first principles. Read "We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future", a powerful overview of those principles - how they developed, what they mean, and the debate over their status today. Get a copy of the study guide that accompanies the book, appropriate for self-study, as a teaching manual or as the basis for a discussion group.
2. The Heritage Guide to the Constitution: Free citizens must understand the extent of their rights and the constitutional limits on the powers of government. Get "The Heritage Guide to the Constitution", an easy to understand line-by-line examination of the Framers' Constitution and its contemporary meaning.
3. Reading the Right Books: Keep reading and learning! "Reading the Right Books" is an annotated bibliography of thoughtful books (on history, politics, literature, economics, statesmanship, religion, public policy, and modern conservative thought) recommended as a guide for intelligent, conservative-minded readers who want to prepare themselves for a public life of thought and action.


1. Stay Informed: a) Go to and review pending legislation; b) Track local issues with organizations such as the American Legislative Exchange Council or the State Policy Network; c) Follow several organizations on Facebook and Twitter so you can get all sides to every story.
2. Find the Organization That is Right for you: There are many conservative organizations out there. Decide what issues matter most to you, and then support the appropriate institution. Check out to help narrow your search.
3. Go to a) Sign up for the Morning Bell at; b) The Foundry blog at Heritage promotes conservative policies and principles by marrying the best in public policy research with every day's current events; c) Read and share Heritage Fact Sheets, which give overviews of the complex issues of our day; and d) maintains a searchable database of policy research, publications, and legal actions throughout the nation.

Time is short, but there is still plenty of time to make a difference before the November congressional elections. I think the Patriot’s Guide is an excellent roadmap as to what Americans can do to help their country leading up to election day.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


While I was in Italy a few days ago, Republicans held a highly successful Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, which was attended by many enthusiastic Tea Partiers; and GOP Governor Robert McDonnell of Virginia issued a state proclamation celebrating April as Confederate History Month, which drew immediate criticism for his failure to mention slavery in his proclamation honoring “the sacrifices of Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens.” During that same period, Haley Barbour, Mississippi’s Republican Governor and Chairman of the National Republican Governors’ Conference, appeared on CNN and defended Governor McDonnell’s remarks, stating that the basis for the criticism of the Governor of Virginia was “not significant” and did not “amount to diddly”.

All of this activity among Southern Republicans was apparently too much for NEW YORK TIMES op-ed columnist Frank Rich, who on April 18, 2010, took dead aim and published a withering broadside attack on Tea Party conservatives in general and Republicans in particular. First, Frank mocked those who defended against the avalanche of charges that Tea Party activists and Sarah Palin are racist; and who, by using veiled racist language and inciting words like “reload”, are “animating anti-Obama hotheads like those who packed assault weapons at presidential town meetings on health care last summer.” Frank went on to imply that “conservative leaders” who remain silent, egg-on such extremism and “pander to the Tea Party-Glen Beck base.”

Then, in an attempt to justify his claims of Tea Party or Republican racism, Frank offered indisputable proof of his claim by reporting that (gasp) Virginia Governor McDonnell “had issued a state proclamation celebrating April as Confederate History Month”. Frank referred to it as a “Dixiecrat proclamation”, which he said (in all fairness) “MIGHT have been a staff-driven gaffe rather than a deliberate act of racial provocation.” (Emphasis added).

Finally, Rich paid his respects to the recent Southern Republican Leadership Conference (which he stated was “in full cry”) by stating that there were no African American, Hispanic, or Asian Americans in attendance other than “the usual GOP tokens – J. C. Watts, Bobby Jindal, and Michael Steele, only one of them (Jindal) holding public office.” To top it off, Frank criticized the opening night speakers at the conference (and implied that they were racist) for their failure to even mention Hurricane Katrina; and he excoriated Governor Barbour for later praising President Bush’s recovery efforts in Mississippi and criticizing the bumbling local hurricane recovery efforts in Louisiana, led by then-Governor Blanco and other Democratic officials.

In recent days, it has become apparent that the increasingly vocal left-wing media pundits like Frank Rich, supported by former President Clinton and the Congressional Democrats, have a national strategy leading directly to the November Congressional Elections. Their goal is to maintain Democratic control of the Congress by convincing the broad independent base of the American electorate that Republican candidates for Congress are either racist or extremists themselves, or that their base of support is racist or extremist. This is a clever strategy that has been used many times by Democrats in different ways to frighten American voters or make them feel guilty for supporting Republicans (and in this case, the Tea Parties). There is no doubt that the vast majority of Americans, north, south, east or west, do not wish to see themselves as racist.

In my recent post, (“The Gathering Storm” – April 4, 2010) I wrote that in order for Republicans to win in November, there must exist a strong and unified coalition of “economic” Republicans (primarily interested in economic issues) and “social” Republicans (primarily – but not exclusively – interested in maintaining traditional family values in America). Independent voters and many Republicans north of the Mason-Dixon Line have indisputably been susceptible to Democratic charges of Republican extremism. Therefore, as we move forward toward November in an attempt to wrest control of the Congress away from President Obama and Nancy Pelosi and their followers, Republicans should be sensitive to the strategy of the Democrats to look for and trumpet to the media any possible utterance by a Republican or Tea Party leader that might be construed by someone to be racist or extremist, no matter how tenuous, as a part of the overall Democrat strategy to divide Republicans and put Independents on a guilt trip.

On the other hand, Republicans, and particularly Southern Republicans, should not be afraid to stand up for their beliefs and values, including the fact that Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were storied American heroes, who, within the context of the times in which they lived, chose to defend their home state of Virginia during the great and tragic American Civil War. In the context of the times in which they lived, Lee and Jackson were no different from their fellow Virginians, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (as well as Ulysses S. Grant from Illinois for that matter) – they were all slaveholders who desired for the abhorrent and inhuman system of slavery to end. As any rational historian and American knows, the issues surrounding the American Civil War and American History are complicated, and in our words, we should always stress those things that we agree on, rather than those things that divide us when it comes to matters of race.

In a broader context, Republicans should continue to make diligent efforts to nurture, encourage, and recognize the growing number of Republican African Americans (like Kim Waide, a radio talk-show host and Tea Party leader in Jackson, Mississippi) who subscribe to conservative principles. With their help, maybe we can hold on to the principles that made our country great and a beacon of hope for the rest of the world.

Monday, April 5, 2010


As I head to Italy for two weeks, the Democrats in Congress are celebrating their victory and the passage of the historic new health care legislation. However, they seem (at least on the surface) to be missing the adverse deep and heartfelt reaction that is settling in among the American people as they begin to face the social and economic upheaval that is being forced upon them and their children.

My old friend, John Eames, who moved to the United States from England over twenty-five years ago to get away from British socialism and has been a recent contributor to this blog, is deeply frustrated with the economic consequences of Obamacare. I recently visited with my good friend and a great American, Jim Burnett, who is the Republican National Committeeman from Arkansas and is gravely ill in a hospital in Little Rock. Jim told me that Republicans now have an excellent chance to take back the Senate seat in November which is held by the Democrats. My sources also tell me that the “Monday Meetings” in Manhattan (a meeting held each week composed of fiscally conservative Republicans in New York City) are now attended by record numbers easily reaching into the hundreds; and the New York Republican Party is experiencing a rebirth of sorts under strong new leadership. Republicans in Illinois and California sense that they have a real chance to capture the Senate seat once held by Senator Obama and (gasp) even the seat held by the ultraliberal Senator Barbara Boxer. And while Democrats refer to those who attend Tea Party events as “narrow minded…nut jobs” or “wing nuts”, the Tea Parties are organizing. I was recently sent a copy of the recently adopted by-laws of a tea party organization in North Mississippi which affiliates with a national tea party organization. It was very detailed and the passion was evident.

Even more telling to me as an indication of the political unrest in our country is an email that I recently received from a very responsible and successful businessman who, to my knowledge, has never been involved in any organized political activity. He informed me that in order to quell the very deep anger he was experiencing, he wanted not only to contribute financially to defeat the Democrats, but he also wanted to take a leave of absence from his business and become involved, day to day, in one of the congressional races around the country where a Republican had a chance to replace a Democrat. He was willing to do whatever was needed – including licking postage stamps.

This type of far-reaching reaction to the President’s health care legislation is significant to me. I have stated in the past that the Republican Party is basically composed of two groups. The “fiscal Republicans” are primarily concerned with economic issues, and want low taxes, minimal government control, and a free market economy. Then there are the “social Republicans”, who are primarily concerned with social issues; are generally pro-life and want to maintain traditional family values. It has been my experience that when these two basic Republican groups are divided or are not easily working together in a given election contest, Republicans usually lose the election. On the other hand, when fiscal and social Republicans are energized and working together, they are hard to beat.

I believe that as we speak, we are witnessing a gathering storm. There is no doubt that Republicans of all types are angry and frustrated as they watch the U. S. Congress, top-heavy with Democrats, attempt to ram though to passage social and economic measures that are abhorrent to them. Social and fiscal Republicans are suddenly of common purpose, while Democrats in Congress are on the defensive and know that they have passed a flawed health care bill that was opposed by a majority of Americans.

Karl Rove tells us that the Democrats will be disappointed if they believe that passage of the health care reform bill will help them politically, because Obamacare only helps a small number of people in the short run and everyone’s insurance premiums will rise due to new mandates and changes in insurance regulations in 2011 and 2014. I agree. Look for big Republican gains in the Congress after the November, 2010, elections if the fiscal and social Republicans stay together. I will look forward to visiting with you again when I return from Italy in two weeks. Arrivederci!

Search This Blog