Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Christian Democracy

I have thought, for a long time, that we need an organized Christian Democratic movement in the United States (see links on Christian Democracy and the Rerum Novarum on the right-hand column of this page). While I do believe that fiscal conservatism, in general, "works" better than the various left-wing economic ideologies, some tend to forget that the dollar is a servant, not a master. Oftentimes, when the currents of the market take us off course, the state must act as the helmsman who steers us back on course. Pope Leo XIII and, to an extent, G.K. Chesterton ( struck the perfect balance, whereas Adam Smith and Karl Marx went too far off the edge on the Right and the Left respectively.

Various attempts have been made to promote a CD movement in the U.S. - one of the most recent being here: (the site is now down, so it now resides in Web Archive for posterity). While I do not agree 100% with everything the CDUSA had on their website, I believe they were much closer to the mark than the GOP. It's a pity they didn't make it far off the ground. One of their organizers set up a "meetup group" down in Texas:, but I am unsure how successful it has been. Even another blogger whom I sometimes follow,, has given up CD to join the Constitution Party, which he confirmed in his response to comment I left on his blog. See Is the possibility of even a non-partisan CD movement dead in the water? It may seem so, but it doesn't have to be.

Christian Democrats need to take a page from the Ron Paul playbook, and focus on grassroots organization in both parties: CD social policies can be emphasized in the GOP, whereas CD economic policies can be emphasized in the Democrat Party, under the guise of the heritage of William Jennings Bryan, Al Smith, and Sargent Shriver. A focus should be made on electing CD precinct committeemen, State Central Committee members, and convention delegates, and, as the Ron Paul movement has shown, Meetup Groups and internet organization can be very successful in this venture. If we are serious about making this happen, then it can happen. However, if we simply resign ourselves to the Culture of Death and Socialism on the one side, and marketeer libertarianism and vestiges of Social Darwinism on the other, then it cannot happen. If the libertarians can exercise influence within the GOP with these methods (at the State and local level, at least), then we can do it as well. A CD movement would be particularly successful in conservative, working class, "union" areas like Shoshone County (or Appalachia).

Something to think about, in any event...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Comments Enabled

As an aside, I have decided to enable comments, on a trial basis. However, I have elected to moderate all comments, and any offensive comments, personal attacks, or "spam" will be deleted without further notice.

Arlen Specter

For my first "substantive" post, I will comment on the Arlen Specter issue. Of course, by now, those who follow political news will be aware of Arlen Specter's decision to cross over to the Democrats: While the pundits will, no doubt, beat this issue to death over the next few days, one of his reasons for crossing is that the Republicans have shifted too far to the right.

This raises the curious question - was the Republican party really closer to the centre in the days of Joseph McCarthy, Robert Taft, William McKinley, and (early) Barry Goldwater (even "progressive" Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt and William Borah would be pretty conservative by today's standards)? Or was the period in the 1970's where moderates like Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller led the Party more of an abberation? I have never read anything from a reputable historian which described Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, or Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr. as "moderates" or "centrists," which leads me to think that the Ford/Rockefeller era was an attempt to broaden the GOP's electoral appeal in otherwise liberal States, which faded during the Reagan era and fizzled out with the Newt Gingrich "contract with America."

The fact is, the Republican Party has more or less always been the conservative party in the United States, which can be traced back to its Whig and Federalist predecessors (even opposition to slavery can be fairly classified as a socially conservative position, as the early Republicans rejected the "right" of the plantation owners to "choose" to own other human beings whom the Democrats denied were "persons." Compare Dred Scott v. Sandford with Roe v. Wade). Were many Republicans beginning to become fed-up with Specter? Sure. Would Specter have faced a tough primary challenge from Toomey? Quite possibly. Given Pennsylvania's support of Democrat candidates for President in the last few elections, would a Democrat have an easier chance of getting elected in that State? Very plausible. But, at least, be honest - don't tell us that the GOP has made an unprecedented shift to the Right, when, in fact, it has always been the party of the Right.

In sum, Specter's change will not matter much vote-wise, nor will it shift the balance of power in the Senate. Specter has simply realized that, being a liberal, in a conservative party, in a left-leaning State, is a tough row to hoe. From a political standpoint, it was a pragmatic decision, though, as a Republican, I cannot help but feel somewhat betrayed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Welcome to my new Blog, The Shoshone Conservative, where I will treat you to my commentary on politics, religion, and all things controversial (you will note that I have disabled comments), all from the perspective of a North Idaho, Catholic conservative in one of the last Democrat Counties in Idaho. Occasionally, I will comment on politics from other countries as well, mainly Canada (where I am originally from), Ireland, and the United Kingdom (where many of our country's roots lie).

I will update this blog as my schedule allows - which means, some months, it could be a while between posts, while, other times, there may be several new posts in a day. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!