Meritha (my wife) and I often get into political discussions, and a recent morning was no exception. How is it that the Left can undertake projects – some of them certifiably insane – and are successful, while conservatives see things that need to be done, or more often, undone, but can’t succeed?
Conclusion? Leftist culture is, by nature, collectivist, whereas conservatives are, by nature, individualists and leery of anything that could be associated with a herd mentality.
No question, herd mentality, or tribalism if you will, really dumbs things down, but that has nothing to do with conservatives working together to undertake big projects. In fact, in 2012, I began an online community based on the idea that conservatives were going to have to work together as a community if we were going to stop the Post Modern, Marxist advance. I called the community Let’s Do It Ourselves (LDIO™) taken from a line in Mark Steyn’s book, After America, Armageddon.
We produced several videos, and one of them included the fact that my very conservative Mennonite ancestors have, for centuries, and still do, come together for Big Projects. Go to this link and click on, “Going Back for our Future”)
The current Big Project for conservatives, is to reverse 80 years of Post Modern Marxist destruction of Western culture. We cannot do it as individuals.World War II wasn’t won by little platoons, it was won by the Allied Forces. This will require us to build a community of tens, and then hundreds of thousands, and then millions, of thoughtful, moderate, committed conservatives. If we don’t do it, Western civilization will end.
Projects need a catalyst, and in 2013, LDIO™ lacked one because the Conservative Party was in power in Ottawa, and the Purportedly Conservatives were in power in Alberta, and conservatives were apathetic. Then from 2015-19, Rachel Notley and the NDP gave Albertans a taste of, government of the people, by unionists, and for the unions. Justin Trudeau gave us 4 years of chaos, corruption, and embarrassment. Somnolent conservatives began stirring. Then in the fall of 2019, the rationally impossible happened when Justin Trudeau was re-elected Prime Minister. Conservatives finally awakened and said: “Enough!”
A year or so before I started LDIO™, another fellow named Bill Baerg had also recognized the need for an online conservative community, and so began a Facebook Group called: “Rex Murphy for Prime Minister”. The group didn’t grow much during the first few years, but after the 2019 re-election of Justin Trudeau, it took off. It’s now at over 7000 members and growing rapidly.
I met Bill recently, and we found that we share the vision for a community where conservatives that think carefully about issues, want serious conversations about solutions, understand strategy, and want to be involved in coordinated, pragmatic action, can find a home.
Bill is in ill health and has asked me to take over administration of Rex Murphy for Prime Minister. I’m honored to do so. If you’re not yet a member, I would encourage you to join us! Go to Facebook and click on the Groups icon, (heads), and search for the Rex Murphy for Prime Minister group.
More in subsequent blogs, on ways to perpetuate Rex’s legacy of intelligence, common sense wisdom, and wit.
I’m Dave Reesor
If you have family or friends that would enjoy or benefit from membership in a group that takes issues seriously, but with good will and good humor, encourage them to join Facebook, if only to join the Rex Murphy for Prime Minister group!
Conservative parties, and even Progressivist parties, always include people that are uncomfortable with the issue of abortion. In most developed countries – other than Canada – there are limits to abortion depending on the stage of the pregnancy. In Canada there are no laws, and no legal limits, and, we’re not even supposed to talk about the issue. We should, because with DNA we now know that a new, completely individual human life begins at conception, and Canada should join other modern nations in recognizing that fact.
A few weeks ago I received an article suggesting that social conservatives should approach the abortion issue pragmatically, rather than idealistically. The author asked me if I would be interested in publishing it on my blog, anonymously. The author’s data is correct, and since I’m in philosophical agreement on the issue, I’ve agreed.
Please read it carefully, and then let us know what you think.
I’m Dave Reesor
A smart Conservative approach to abortion in Canada
I estimate that only 10% of Canadians support the status quo: abortion is legal during all nine months of pregnancy, for any reason, every reason, or no reason. Sex-selection abortions (parent or parents unhappy with the gender of their/his/her unborn child) are perfectly legal in Canada, and this victimizes unborn girls far more frequently than unborn boys.
Most Canadians, upon hearing that abortion in Canada is legal during all nine months of pregnancy, respond by getting upset and denouncing this fact as a lie. But facts are facts. There is no Criminal Code prohibition on ending a human life until the baby is fully outside of his or her mother. Prior to that, the unborn person has no legal personhood. Nor are there other laws or policies, federal or provincial, that place any restrictions on abortion, or impose requirements of any kind. The number of late-term abortions is not large, but this does not mean that late-term abortions are illegal.
The remaining 90% of Canadians fall into various shades of belief on the spectrum, from hard-core pro-life (make all abortions illegal) to mostly pro-life (allow abortions in cases of rape, incest or serious fetal deformities/handicaps) to middle-of-the-road (undecided or no strong view) to mostly pro-choice (late-term abortions and gender selection abortions are not OK).
Why, in a democracy, do we have five political parties (Libs, NDP, Conservatives, Greens, Bloc Quebecois) chasing after 10% of the vote, and expressly rejecting and repudiating the 90% of voters who want at least some restrictions on abortion? My best guess is that a small, extremist pro-choice minority has successfully mobilized vocal support for the status quo, but without speaking honestly about what the status quo actually is: abortion legal during all nine months of pregnancy. It’s much easier to attack the hard-core pro-life position (that probably 90% of Canadians disagree with) than it is to justify late-term abortions and gender-selection abortions.
Another reason why the five parties now represented in the House of Commons are chasing after the 10% minority is that the pro-life movement, in the past 50 years, has been dominated by “absolutists” who refuse to discuss any public policy option other than a total and immediate ban on all abortions. Serious pro-lifers who would like to reach their ultimate goal step-by-step have been frozen out by groups which have not achieved any legislative or policy victory in the past 50 years. Pro-life advocacy for popular measures like banning late-term abortions and gender-selection abortions has begun to emerge in Canada only recently.
The Conservative Party of Canada has as many options on dealing with abortion as there are positions on abortion. Looking at this purely from the angle of winning votes (and putting aside moral questions about ending the lives of people before they are born), I suggest that one approach is particularly foolish, and another approach particularly smart.
The foolish approach is to join the Libs, New Democrats, Greens and Bloc Quebecois in chasing after the 10% of Canadian voters who actually support the status quo. Why wade into this crowded field? Why ignore the 90% of voters who are unhappy with the status quo?
Apart from ignoring the 90% of voters who want at least some restrictions on abortion, the Conservative Party is seen (correctly) as profoundly insincere when it pretends to be chasing after the 10% of extremist pro-choice voters. Everybody knows that many CPC candidates are pro-life, including its most recent leader, Andrew Scheer. Everybody knows that the CPC, unlike the other four parties represented in the House of Commons, is not really and truly enthusiastic about the status quo. Lack of sincerity breeds mistrust.
The 10% of voters who support gender-selection abortions and late-term abortions are never going to vote for the Conservatives. And, without advocating directly for late-term abortions and gender-selection abortions, the 10% extreme pro-choice group will successfully capitalize on the CPC’s lack of sincerity in order to generate doubt and mistrust that hurts the CPC amongst many (perhaps most) Canadian voters.
The smart approach would be for the Conservative Party to appeal to 90% of Canadians by advocating for a ban on late-trimester abortions and gender-selective abortions.
This position would generate howls of outrage from at least three sources.
First, the Liberals, NDs, Bloc and Greens would denounce this CPC position as utterly wicked, bad and wrong; a regressive assault on the fundamental rights of women; a backwards and misogynist approach; a threat to reproductive choice, etc.. And, for a few weeks or possibly a few months, these denunciations would work political wonders temporarily.
But the political positions of candidates and parties need to be repeated frequently before they sink it. It will take a lot more than one news conference for the CPC to communicate to voters its proposed ban on late-term abortions and gender-selection abortions. However, after repeating this position for 6, 12, 18 or more months, 90% of voters would realize that they agree with CPC policy on abortion. It would only be a matter of time before the other four federal parties were on the defensive, having to explain to 90% of Canadians why they support late-term abortion and gender-selection abortion.
The second source of outrage would come from the biased, left-wing media. In harmony with the four parties whose ideology they share, the so-called “mainstream” media would declare that the Conservative Party had committed political suicide simply by failing to pander to the abortion orthodoxy accepted by only 10% of Canadians. Like the other left-wing parties, the media party would try very hard not to inform Canadians of the fact that abortion is legal during all nine months of pregnancy, or of the fact that gender-selection abortion is legal in Canada.
The third source of outrage would come from a small number of established but ineffective pro-life activists who would denounce the Conservative Party as a pro-choice enemy. Of note: a small number of pro-lifers were already doing this when Andrew Scheer was leading the CPC. After the October 2019 election, some pro-lifers very publicly called on Andrew Scheer to resign as CPC leader for not being pro-life. But most pro-lifers in Canada realize that the goal of full protection for all unborn children will never – never – be fully realized in one move. Rather, when it comes to any political issue (taxes; immigration; deficits-and-debt; health care; education; aboriginal rights; LGBTQ issues; etc.) change is almost always incremental. In short, the pro-life “absolutists” have little influence over other pro-lifers, or over the Canadian public at large.
In summary, if the CPC adopts a policy of banning late-term abortions and gender-selection abortions, it will align itself with 90% of Canadians, and will not lose votes from amongst the 10% pro-choice extremists who would never vote for the CPC in any case.
The CPC position against late-term abortions and against gender-selection abortions will engender loud but useless outrage from other federal parties, from the media party, and from a very small number of pro-life activists who lack political influence and clout.
If the CPC is committed to withstanding the initial waves of vocal-but-shallow opposition to its new policies, it will put the other four parties on the defensive; they will be obligated to defend an extreme position that only 10% of Canadian voters agree with.
A smart approach or a foolish approach … it’s up to the Conservative Party to decide.
Meritha and I like Dr. Jordan Peterson, who is, shall we say, an uneasy member of the faculty of the University of Toronto. We also like American radio host, Dennis Prager, who on Prager University produces five-minute videos by extremely well informed and thoughtful people.
This conversation between the two of them displays the best of Jordan Peterson, and is something I would encourage every intelligent and informed person to take the time to watch. It’s informative, and while it reflects on what Western civilization has lost, and why, it’s inspiring and tells us that there may be a way back.
Having said that, Peterson makes a statement that I profoundly disagree with.
Peterson’s position has always been that he doesn’t know for certain that God exists, but that he lives as though He does. He suggests that if we truly believed that God existed we would live far better lives. Okay, possibly so, although no ordinary human has ever lived perfectly.
But then Peterson states that: “Jesus Christ was the only Christian.” That’s categorically untrue and makes it evident that Peterson still has some work to do on the subject, and I’m sure he will.
But Jesus was not a Christian. Christianity is for sinners, like me. In fact, everyone who has ever truly been a Christian, is a sinner, and more importantly, knows it.
And that’s the whole point. The difference between Christianity and religion, is that religions are about highly uncertain human efforts to find and appease God. Christianity is entirely about God finding and definitively rescuing imperfect people, and then, from an attitude of gratitude and responsibility, those imperfect Christians try to live the way that Jesus called for in the sermon on the Mount and his other homilies.
Peterson’s imperfect understanding of Christianity aside, if you don’t watch anything else this summer, or read any of my blogs, (but please do!), watch this 30 minute video, with your family. It’s excellent!