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Republicans in the secular city: condemned by history?

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (December 15, 2018)

The 2016 update of the 2010 U.S. Census shows the current distribution of the U.S. population at 80.3% urban and 19.7% rural. (Michael Ratcliff, Geography Division, U.S. 2010 Census Report, issued  December 2016)  This simple fact is perhaps the most significant reality in the current political polarization of the United States’ electorate. On its face, it signifies that the current Republican Party is doomed to disappear unless it can make some fundamental changes.

To detail some of the differences between urban and rural realities, let’s look at a few.

  1. Living Environment
  • In contrast, rural folks generally have a lot of room to live in. This allows them a high level of privacy and keeps their connections to government minimal, mostly for emergencies.
  • City folks live in densely populated areas. While this factor has many advantages in terms of employment, schooling, shopping, transportation, etc., it also presents many threats. Privacy, crime, traffic, and a general proximity of government – in schools, police, regulations, zoning, etc. which make some level of government an ever-present factor in almost everything a person may want to do.

   2. Personal Freedom vs Government Presence

  • Any changes a city person may want to advocate, whether traffic, child’s school, voting places, building a house, or many other possibilities requires convincing other people to join in. Thus organization, publicity, money and time are key components of change.
  • Rural folks can make many changes in their lives without anyone’s permission. Their privacy begets a high degree of personal freedom.
  1. Amenities
  • Some of the advantages of urban life are proximity to medical and social services, whether hospitals, shopping options (including economically indexed stores and entertainment), cultural events, ball parks, and a myriad of other opportunities.
  • Rural locations offer few of these amenities as a rule, and some of these deficiencies are critical, particularly shortages of medical facilities.

   4. Religion

  • There are many other differences, including a sense of faith and religion. The farmer lives close to nature and witnesses every day the power and wonder of life, growth, weather, birth and death. For the farmer, faith in God becomes an apparent explanation of all these mysteries. Religion provides an expression of these insights as well as fellowship in the quest.
  • The city dweller is surrounded by the works of humans, from physical buildings, highways and artifacts to the power of change which resides in humans, whether political, judicial, or financial. People in the city are removed from the wonders and mysteries of nature by layers of human power, which must be appeased in order for life to proceed. Since religion does not directly provide answers to the most pressing problems of daily life, its importance is often compartmentalized and downgraded, frequently to oblivion.

 5.   A Practical Example: Guns

  • So, how does this difference in world views affect the Republican Party? The differences have a profound effect on political views. To take one obvious example: guns. City people tend to see guns as a threat, since the only times they would usually be exposed to guns would be in the commission of a crime. It seems obvious that outlawing guns would reduce the criminals’ opportunities to procure and use guns for nefarious purposes. The observation can be made that criminals can always find a way to get a gun whereas an ordinary citizen could not. But, since few ordinary citizens have guns anyway, outlawing guns would not change that factor and it might limit casual crimes with guns. So, why not do at least one thing to limit crime?

The farmer and hunter find this idea ludicrous. To them, guns are tools of protection of livestock from predators, hunting meat for enjoyment or necessity, and just part of life. They react to calls for outlawing guns as an attack on their personal freedom.

6.Republican versus Democrat – Political positions

  • The Republican Party stands for personal freedom,
  • The Democrat response increasingly is: majority rules (including the elimination of the electoral college and the two-senator system),
  • Republicans favor a strong defense
  • Democrats favor a nominal military for “imaginary” defense (leading to  isolationism),
  • Republicans are committed to free market capitalism
  • Democrats want a socialist economic system which is tightly controlled by the central government.

Conclusion: Today, the Democrats are the party of the secular city and the Republicans are the party of rural America. But there is plenty of room in the center.

How can Republicans compete?  The challenge, of course, is to pay attention to the secular city while not abandoning rural America. Some ideas:

  1. Open Republican eyes to the challenge and stop acting as though this is 1950’s America. The 2001 and 2016 elections should have been enough of a wake-up call, i.e. depending on the electoral college to win the presidency.
  1. Take a leaf from the Obama playbook, and formulate a platform containing solutions for each of the urban constituencies – blue collar workers, unions, suburbanites, women, Blacks, Hispanics, evangelicals, even the gay contingent.
  1. Much of this work was begun by Ronald Reagan with workers, and George W. Bush with Hispanics, and revived by Donald Trump with Evangelicals. The current alienation of the Black community from Donald Trump must be overcome. They are ready to be converted – after having been abandoned by the Democrats for a generation. But they must be invited! Trump has the right idea – what do they have to lose? So, where are the leaders of Black Republicans? Herman Cain, Robert L. Johnson, Charles Payne, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Denzel Washington? Somebody has to talk to them. They must be made to feel welcome.
  1. The communication capabilities of the Republican Party seem in need of overhaul. The first step is to come up with the right message. This requires the city skill of organization. Somebody has to reach out to all the different constituencies, identify their needs and hopes, find spokespeople, get them together and develop meaningful messages. Secondly, outreach to these communities has to be developed and executed, Republican clubs started, etc. There are thousands of people in the Party who know how to do all these things. They have to be energized.
  1. So, get focused and get going. Don’t wait for an Abraham Lincoln to come along after the dissolution of the Whig Party. That may be too late.

 

 

© 2018 Richfield Press. All rights reserved

 

China: What’s Next?

Will the Democrats help China defeat the USA?        

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (November 24, 2018

Former Virginia Governor James Gilmore wrote in these pages. “America today is in a world-wide conflict to determine how mankind will live in the years ahead.  This conflict engages all aspects of national power: military, economic, diplomatic, and the competition of values.” (October 12, 2018) As Chairman of the Gilmore Commission (1999-2003) which presented a comprehensive study of America’s national security status and options, as well as his current position as head of a Washington think tank, Governor Gilmore is widely respected as an analyst of American foreign policy. On my radio show, he added that America is already in a non-shooting war with China. His opinion is shared by many other keen observers.

Governor Gilmore cites a little-known document published by the Trump Administration called the National  Security Strategy (2017), which enunciates clearly the goals of a successful outcome for the United States in the contest with China for maintaining our position as the world’s primary superpower.

Why do we care? Because America’s status as the most powerful nation in the world has been essential to avoiding World War III, since America took over world leadership following World War II. Prior to 1948, under British leadership, there had been two world wars in the prior two generations, both originating in Europe and spreading to the much of the world because of European colonialism and the industrialization of Asian powers.  Keep Reading

Dr. Larry Show (November 14, 2018)

https://drlarryonline.com/dr-larry-show-november-14-2018/

Discussion with Talk Show Host Larry Friis about the meaning of the 2018 Midterm elections for the future of the Trump administration and the nation’s economy heading for the 2020 election cycle.

Larry B. Friis, MBA, LNHA,  Principal – High-touch Leadership |Author| Keynote – Leadership, Workforce & Motivational Speaker | Advisory Services

Evaluating the Results of the 2018 Midterm Elections

Will the Democrats legislate or investigate?

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (November 10, 2018)

While some contests remain somewhat questionable at this time after the midterm election of 2018, there are some conclusions that seem reasonably certain, even now.

  1. The Democrat Party has been re-established as a legitimate representative of its nominal constituency.
  1. The Republican party has been united under the leadership of the current President.

Up until now, there have really been four partisan cliques in Congress: pro-Trump and anti-Trump Republicans, and “traditional” and far-left Democrats. This election seems to have united the Republicans, partially by the dominant role played by Mr. Trump in the campaign and partially by the retirement of so many of his Republican dissidents.

On the Democrat side, there have been several voices, ranging from the familiar Democrat positions to the socialist positions of the Bernie Sanders clique to the very “far left” of Maxine Waters and her advocates, especially among the newer members of Democratic caucuses. This election weeded out most of the aspiring extremists and re-asserted the Democrat electorate’s preference for the more traditional Democrats. Thus, the influence of “crazy Democrats” has been likewise diminished to some extent by the will of the people. The “crazy Democrats” appear to be disproportionately represented in both houses of Congress compared to the centrist wing of the party. Keep Reading

November 7, 2018 – 2-Hour Special – The Donelson File/The Dr. Larry Show

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qICrPO2VuxEFEeoqgZ32KrvUpf-EpWND/view?usp=drive_web

Podcast of post-Mid-Term Election results — Co-Hosted by Tom Donelson, CoCo Konski and Dr. Larry Fedewa on meaning of the elections with many guests, including Kevin Corke (Fox News), Larry Friis (host, Freedom’s Voice), L.A Batchelor (The Batchelor Pad Radio Network), as well as other friends who dropped in.

Why Vote on Tuesday?

The U.S. Congress must have operational majorities to function

by Dr. Larry Fedewa (November 3, 2018)                 

The USA is facing again a mid-term election on Tuesday. This is being called the most important mid-term election in our lifetime. Why is it important?

This mid-term is important because it may be our last effort to save our Congress’ role in our government. The Congress is the second of our three branches of government. With the Executive Branch and the Judiciary, the Congress was designed to be a vital player in the checks and balances by which our republic is governed. The most important role of the Congress is to limit the ability of either of the other branches to institute laws or regulations which unduly limit the freedoms of the people. Every single Congressman and Senator is elected personally by the people. Keep Reading

Dr. Larry Show with Bob Livingston (10/31/2018)

Former Congressman, author, lobbyist

https://drlarryonline.com/?p=851&preview=true

Robert L. Livingston was elected to the United States House of Representatives in a special election in 1977 – the first Republican to represent Louisiana’s First Congressional District in 102 years. He was re-elected to eleven successive two-year terms.  In 1998, he was chosen by his peers to serve as Speaker-designate for the 106th Congress, but resigned for personal reasons, calling on President Bill Clinton to do the same.

 

Following his departure from Congress in February 1999, Mr. Livingston established a successful lobbying firm known as The Livingston Group in both Washington, DC and in New Orleans, LA.    His recently published memoir, The Windmill Chaser, is receiving enthusiastic acclaim.

 

The Khashoggi Matter — Was he really a “bad guy’?

President Donald Trump holds a sword and sways with traditional dancers during a welcome ceremony at Murabba Palace, Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Riyadh. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (October 21,2018)

British Journalist Melanie Phillips provides a different narrative of the final hours of Jamal Khashoggi in her Jewish News Service column (October 18, 2018).Far from being the liberal Washington Post opponent of revisionist Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (called MBS for short) because MBS’ reforms are too little too late, Phillips asserts that he was in reality a double agent with ties to both the radical Muslim Brotherhood and the Saudi intelligence service.

Of late, he had been straying off the beaten path by connecting with the Turkey/Qatar faction which opposes the Saudi/US/ Israel triad for leadership of Sunni Islam. In fact, he visited the Saudi embassy on that fateful day to secure Saudi government permission to marry his Turkish fiancé, who is a Turkish diplomat and daughter of a former advisor to Turkish President Erdogan.  Keep Reading

The Origins of the American New Left

Where did they come from?                         

2016 Rally – Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Hillary Clinton

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (September 23, 2018)  America’s academic institutions today are dominated by the heirs of people who grew up in the 1960’s and 1970’s. A look at the anti-establishment movements of those days helps us to understand the themes that have survived and evolved into today’s New Left.

The overarching issues of those days were opposition to the Vietnam War, which started in the universities of the time, and the civil rights movement whose champion was

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Almost unnoticed in the confusion was President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs, which introduced the most radically socialistic legislation in American history, extending the role of the federal government to responsibility for care of the poor.

Civil rights and the anti-war causes were directly anti-establishment, and both were based on a sense of moral superiority. It did not take long for the believers in the two causes to join forces. They filled mutual needs: the anti-Vietnam movement was based initially on the objections of college students (mostly white) to being required to fight in a war which was neither understood nor supported by most Americans.

The issue quickly became whether the federal government even had the right to draft youngsters at all. Middle America stood firmly with the government on that issue, thus spawning widespread opposition to the anti-war movement and solidifying support for the War beyond what is had been in the beginning.  The champion of the Middle American view was Alabama Governor George Wallace, who also had come to prominence as a segregationist (a position he later repudiated).

What the anti-war movement needed was a cause larger than the discomfort of some white college boys. They needed a transcendent cause and they found it in the civil rights movement. That cause was social justice. Specifically, social justice as interpreted to mean equality of all Americans — legally, socially, economically and morally. The civil rights movement needed white support; the leaders were aware that without it, they would never achieve their goals.

It was a marriage made in heaven.      Keep Reading

US Politics: Alternative Realities

by Lawrence J. Fedewa (June 23,2018) 

The most striking feature of American politics today may well be the completely different perceptions held by various groups of what “facts” each considers to be truth. It’s like they are living in different worlds. While there are some cynical “realists” who knowingly fashion “fake news”,  many partisans sincerely believe their views to be correct. So much so that they feel moral indignation and outrage at the other side.

At the root of these reactions is fear. All are afraid, in varying degrees, that their way of life is threatened by the other actors on the political stage. It is fear which drives people to irrational conclusions and closes their ears and minds to dialog with those who disagree with them. When logic is thrown out the window, all that remains is instinct. Imagination can be formed  by logic, but fear obscures all but the  most dangerous fantasies.                                  Keep Reading