Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Who is My Neighbor?

As all of us know, a volcanic eruption in Iceland recently brought all air traffic in Europe to a screeching, grinding halt. As I have a trip to London scheduled in July, I followed this news item with marked--and slightly frantic--interest.

The other day I read a story about the travelers stranded in European airports for nearly a week now. One traveler complained that they have only been getting one meal a day on the airline and are out of money for anything else. They have no beds, showers, or changes of clothes. Basically, they feel like nobody cares about them.

Then I began to imagine a similar disaster happening in the United States. What if something like this happened in New York? That city wouldn't know what to do with all the relief workers who would converge upon the airports. Churches, charities, and private citizens would do whatever they had to to get through airport security and help the passengers. Instead of news stories where passengers bemoan feeling forgotten, we'd have stories of passengers thanking God for the people who came to their aid.

Conservatives and Christians have plenty of cause to be unhappy with America today. But we ought not forget the good in our nation. And it is good that Americans rush to meet a desperate need. It is good that we help our neighbors. This is an integral part of the American character, and one in which we should all take great pride.

Monday, February 22, 2010

College Republicans will defend the great republic

College Republicans will defend the great republic

By: T. Elliot Gaiser

Posted: 2/11/10

Feb. 6, the College Republicans held a convention to adopt amendments to the club's constitution and elect new officers. The amendments were adopted with a super-majority. All of our new officers were elected with solid majorities, and we're completely ready to start impacting contemporary politics.

Abe Lincoln, the GOP's first president, once said, "If we can first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we can then better judge what to do, and how to do it." After the broad defeat of Republicans in the 2008 elections, philosophical differences that had once only been cracks in the coalition built by Ronald Reagen rapidly grew to fissures. The cracks were evident in the 2008 primaries. Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and John McCain each represented a different wing of that coalition.

No one candidate represented all the elements of the coalition, and when McCain won, he failed to reunite the party. Because it presented no coherent ideal, the message of the campaign was roughly "we are experienced mavericks" and "we are against what they are for." Conservatives and independents deserted the GOP in droves.

The last time a party was so fractured, it ceased to be. The Whig party imploded, and with the aid of Hillsdale College professors, the Republican party rose to replace it. The new party rose on the reassertion of a forgotten philosophy: liberty and equality under law. It aimed these twin cannons at the spread of slavery. The party argued from the definition of mankind. And the party won.

It was a question of the definition of humanity. Once again, we are debating human nature. What can "change" our lives? What is it we "believe" in? What gives us "hope"?
One party claimed it had the answer: Barack Obama, and his change - "spreading the wealth" by nationalizing our banks, auto-industry, financial system and health care; increasing the budget by trillions as unemployment hovers near 10 percent. All this, to create a more compassionate, more scientific state. The nature of man, they claim, is best served by government that coddles every need. Man, guiding and guided by the supreme state, is to be trusted, loved, worshiped - because it is men who will give mankind faith, hope and public charity. Because the American people were never given a viable alternative to this message, our republic drifts further toward despotism.

But what can a club of students at a small liberal arts college do about this?
First, we can concentrate on rebuilding our club's active membership. We need a cohesive body that incorporates as many individual talents as possible to truly impact the world for our ideas. And we need to prove to our members that investing time in the College Republicans has a high return, real-world impact.

Second, we can dedicate our efforts to electing Republican candidates all across the country, but especially right here in Michigan in 2010. The congressional district that encompasses Hillsdale is currently held by vulnerable democrat Mark Schauer - a prime opportunity on the way to restoring GOP control of the House. The open race for the Michigan governorship is tilting toward a Republican victory, which could help ensure redistricting in 2011 doesn't gerrymander liberals into another decade of control. Never doubt that a dedicated effort by even a few student volunteers could help make the difference in these crucial elections.

Third, we can devote our actions to the broader context of leading our party, starting with this club, in reasserting the forgotten self-evident truth that man is first a created being, endowed with both reason and passion, and that our political laws ought to be based on the objective, enduring "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God."

I know I will work so that starting on this campus, being a Republican actually means defending this great republic's ideals, upholding limited representative constitutionalism, and leading the charge for self-government under law. I hope you will join us in this effort.

Monday, December 14, 2009

This Week in Copenhagen

I’m an only child. And just so ya know, I’m not a spoiled brat and I’m fully aware that the sun does not rise on my left shoulder and set on my right. I’m also an only child who wants a lot of kids. I’ll be the mom in the 15-passenger van barreling down the street in about 20 years.

At least, that’s what I want. But if the people at Copenhagen have their way, I won’t be able to do it. Some leaders at the climate change have discussed adopting China’s one-child policy to reverse the impending doom of overpopulation.

First of all, the idea that the world is overpopulated is a crock. Ever been to Idaho? Montana? Wyoming? Plenty of room there.

In all seriousness: In Western Europe the population rate barely meets replacement. Russia, Spain, and Italy bottom out at less than 1.54 children per couple, and Iceland, Norway, Ireland, and Spain top the list at 2 or over. The overall fertility trend in Europe has steadily declined since 1980. American fertility just meets the 2.1 children required for population replacement, down from nearly 3.75 in 1960. With so many countries hardly even replacing themselves, how can we have an overpopulation crisis?

Finally, Glenn Beck made an excellent point on his show today. Where’s the women’s rights crowd? They’re always telling the government to stay out of their uteruses and give them total reproductive freedom. Isn’t restricting the number of children you can have a pretty significant violation of reproductive freedom? Why haven’t we heard from them yet?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Healthcare Townhall

Now that the House has passed the Healthcare bill, we're reliant on the Senate to block the bill to stop socialized health care. To help spread information, College Republicans are hosting a Healthcare Townhall, tomorrow, November 10th, at 6:30 in Lane 125. The meeting will feature Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks.

After leaving home at the age of 16, Dr. Miller-Meeks enrolled in nursing school at San Antonio Junior College. After completing two years of courses, she transferred to Texas Christian University where she earned her bachelor's degree, graduating summa cum laude. Dr. Miller-Meeks then joined the officer corps of the United States Army as a nurse at the age of 20.

Mariannette met her future husband, Curt, while stationed at Walter Reed Army Hospital. Dr. Miller-Meeks completed her Masters of Science in Education at the University of Southern California, soon before her transfer to Seoul, South Korea. After 6 years of active duty, Mariannette entered medical school at the University of Texas and graduated in the top of her class.

After completing her residency in ophthalmology at the University of Iowa, Dr. Miller-Meeks joined the faculty at the University of Michigan and was then recruited back to the University of Iowa as the first female faculty member in the department of ophthalmology. Mariannette has authored numerous articles, presented national lectures and research, was awarded the Charles Phelps Award in 1995, and has been named one of America’s best doctors several times.

Mariannette retired from the US Army Reserve in 1998 after 24 years at the rank of Lt. Colonel, after which she moved to Ottumwa, Iowa to open a private practice.
Dr. Miller-Meeks is currently the councilor for Iowa to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), serves as an associate examiner for the American Board of Ophthalmology, and was inaugurated as the first female president of the Iowa Medical Society in 2006.

Join us in fighting for our freedom this freedom week!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Great job!

A big thanks to everyone who's helped out Mike Nofs this fall. He won yesterday, moving us a step closer to turning MI red. It was a great day across the nation, with some big victories in VA and NJ, and the overhaul of the gay marriage amendment in ME. Just because the elections are over doesn't mean we get a break, however. With yesterday's results, we've seen how much can happen in a year. With mid-term elections only a year a way, it's as important as ever that we spend this year hitting the pavement, so we can bring about a shift in the thinking of government.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Election Day

While not as flashy as last year, today is Election Day, and a critical part of our role as citizens is to make sure we are represented through our votes. So if you haven't already voted on an early or absentee ballot, make sure you get to your polling place today and make your voice heard. Let's let the Democrats in Washington that we're not happy with the 'change' their offering, and we're ready to show with our local leadership.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Who are we? The Future of the G.O.P. from New York

That's the question many Republicans started asking in 2007 as dozens of G.O.P. contenders for the presidential nomination, ranging from the more liberal Rudy Guilianni to the right-libertarian Ron Paul, struggled to define the legacy of Republicanism. After the defeat of moderate-maverick John McCain, that debate continues.

There is nothing new in the history of the moderate-conservative war to own the G.O.P. identity. After the death of the party's leader in Lincoln, the more hardline Republicans impeached the former democratic-moderate President Andrew Johnson in order to prosecute their reconstruction agenda.

Many see the current struggle in New York's 23rd congressional district - a struggle which saw dueling between G.O.P. titans such as Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich and ended in the more moderate candidate suspending her campaign Saturday - as a similar conflict between the hardliners and the pragmatists. In that case, they see this as suicide for a minority party crucified on a cross of a "take-no-prisoners" ideology, sacrificing any chance of regaining power for the pleasure of platform purity.

I agree that this purification strategy is what my friend Julie Robinson termed "playing tennis without a net." A "litmus test" conservatism, which hauls to the guillitine any candidate without total adherence to a list of true-believer stances on everything from immigration to the campaign finance reform, is unwise and doomed to fail. It is indeed better, as Reagan noted, to support someone you agree with 70% of the time over someone you disagree with all the time. Realism is important. But I do not think that is what is happening in New York's 23rd.

Republican Dede Scozzafava's specific positions that caused the likes of Michelle Malkin and Glenn Beck to endorse the Third Party conservative Doug Hoffman are significant. She was pro-choice, pro-homosexual marriage, and pro-Obama stimulas package. I would argue that these issues are uniquely important. The government "stimulas" that borrowed billions and bailed out mortgages is a fundemental question of the individual's responsibility in society. The social questions are fundementally about the definition of family and personhood, or the basic nature of humanity. In fact, I submit that these issues frame the ultimate question which is at the root of all political debates in every generation of Americans.

That question is this: will Americans self-govern our society under the rule of laws founded in the enduring moral order - the self-evident "laws of nature and of nature's God" - or will we govern our nation on the whims of force and man, devoid of any transcendent truth? This question isn't a question that can be answered with a compromise. You can't agree with me on the answer to this question "70% of the time."

In my view, and I think in the view of those who bucked the G.O.P. establishment and endorsed the conservative third party candidate, the issues of abortion, gay marriage, and government dole-outs are the issues that most clearly frame that fundemental quesiton. If someone disagrees with us on these issues, when it really comes down to it, he or she doesn't share much common ground with us at all. Electing someone who disagrees here is anything but realistic or prudent toward Republican ends.

My hope is that between now and the 2010 congressional elections, the G.O.P. will realize that who we are, and who we have been, is the party that first embraces the freedom of self-government under enduring, transcendent law. I hope we will begin setting up a diverse "big tent" that is staked emphatically on that firm, unifying foundation.