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Can Conservatives Take Back the USA ?

Updated on September 6, 2015

Is It Too Late for Conservatives to Take Back the United States Government?

Like many other conservatives in the United States, I've been discouraged about the condition of my country. It has seemed almost each day I've heard about some new assault on our liberty as citizens. There are threats to private property rights. Our president seems to want to destroy rather than uphold our Constitution, and the congressmen we elect don't do as they promised they would do.

Our president undermined the welfare reform act passed in the administration of President Clinton by using an executive order to remove the work requirement, overstepping his authority, and no one could seem to stop him. The healthcare legislation shoved down our throats by Congress costs way more than was budgeted for it, robs Medicare to help meet the added expenses, and threatens religious liberty by forcing churches to support things they believe are immoral.

Our president has added trillions to the national debt, making serfs of future generations, and he blames his predecessor. Unemployment is at an all-time high. To make us feel better, we're told this is the new normal. Is there anything non-socialists can do to stem the tide that's pushing us toward socialism and loss of personal liberty? Can we do anything to avoid falling off a financial cliff? How is it that a minority of voters can thwart the will of the majority so easily?

Until this week, I was very discouraged, trying to fight each battle as I became aware of it, and feeling there was not enough of me to go around. Before the Republican Convention in Florida, my expectations were low. I was not a Romney supporter, but was planning to vote for him anyway because of the alternative being completely unacceptable. The speakers at the convention gave me new hope. I began to believe I could honestly vote for someone instead of just against someone.

Second, I received a review copy of a book, Confrontational Politics, by Senator H. L. Richardson, from an old friend who works for its publisher, Nordskog. This book explains why conservatives have not been able to affect the change they'd like to see, and it explains what we have to do to take our country back. As I revised this after the 2012 election and Obama's narrow victory, like many I was discouraged. Our victory party was not the celebration we had hoped for. Like many others, I had worked hard during the campaign, but we didn't win. We were tired. It was tempting to throw in the towel.

The next night, those who had worked hard to win met again for our regular monthly Tea Party meeting. The leadership did not expect many people would come, but many new faces joined the reliable core group. I know more of the core group would have been there, but they were already off fighting another battle with a local government agency. As we regrouped, we formulated a new stategy for the next round in 2014 midterm elections. You win some, and you lose some. But in spite of that, you can't just give up and resign oneself to the "new normal." We're not giving up. We will learn to be more effective.

I took the picture above at a political discussion sponsored by a Hispanic group in Atascadero, California, between two candidates for a local supervisor race. The man in front of the flag is the liberal candidate we wanted to replace with his conservative opponent . Working together, we were able to win. The victory changed the balance of the Board of Supervisors in favor of the conservatives, and we are hoping that will help prevent more regulations that are choking our local businesses and maybe roll back some of the worst that have been imposed.


Help From H.L.Richardson in California

Confrontational Politics
Confrontational Politics

Bill Richardson, a veteran of California politics, knows how things get done in legislatures and Congress. He understands why the congressman you elected because of his promises seems to forget those promises when he gets to Washington. He explains how to get your representatives in your state and local governments to listen to you. He explains how the conditioning you may be totally unaware of affects your ability as a conservative to effectively influence those you would like to win over to your cause.

Maybe of us as conservatives think that if we are right, presenting facts should convince our friends. We are wrong about that. Often it's better to ask questions, instead. We are also very good at letting liberals get us off topic and onto a topic they have talking points to handle.

He explains the fundamental differences between the way progressives and conservatives think and talk. He shows what compromise and even losing some battles means to progressives, and how that's different from the way a conservative might see the same events.

He explains how and why ideological minorities are able to make policy and how conservatives can gain more leverage. He explains the importance of being active in local politics as a way to influence national politics.

This book is not heavy to read. It is only 111 pages and has comfortable type and lots of white space. The closer you get to the end, the more humorous it becomes, as Richardson explains how to actually begin to enjoy politics. One of the funniest anecdotes is spread between pages 104 and 105. I'm not going to quote it here, but both my husband and I got a good laugh out of it. We need to keep a sense of humor as we do political battle.

I highly recommend this book to all discouraged conservatives. It will help you understand what seems to make no sense, and it will prepare you for the battles you want to win.

 
Back of Constitutional Touring Bus
Back of Constitutional Touring Bus

Are You Politically Conservative? - What makes it hardest for you to talk to liberal friends about politics?

I took the photo on this module on April 25, 2012, when the NorCal Tea Party Bus Tour came to a rally in the City Park in Paso Robles, California.

Which of these makes it hardest for you to talk politics with liberal friends?

See results

Is Political Activism Important for Ordinary Citizens?

I'm assuming that good citizens vote, but they might not vote in every election -- especially the local ones. Hardly anyone runs for office, but a few give money to help candidates and causes they believe in. Some go a bit further and attend city council, county board meetings, and meetings of unelected commissions (planning commission, air or water pollution boards, etc) to see what's going on or to speak out on important issues.

Some people leave going to those meetings to others because they have no interest or they have to work when such meetings are being held. They believe that voting alone is enough.Some just feel overwhelmed by all the assaults on their liberty and believe nothing they can do would help anyway and just accept whatever will happen, even as they complain about it.

Others believe it's important to monitor what elected officials do and hold their feet to the fire, knowing that many politicians say what they need to in order to be elected or reelected, and then ignore their constituents once they get into office. Some people see burdensome regulations about to hit them, and they try to fight them at the local level before they take effect. Some citizens join others of like mind in grassroots movements such as a tea party group so they can have a greater impact by being active together for more leverage on election officials. These people may walk precincts for candidates, contribute financially to campaigns, put up signs on their property, make phone calls to get out the vote, and personally help chosen candidates and causes in other ways. They may also circulate and sign petitions, blog, and promote their causes and candidates in conversations with friends in person or with social media.In the picture below, my husband is signing a petition at a political rally.

Are you politically active?

See results

Get to Know Your Local Candidates

Chris Mitchum, our local candidate for Congress, has spoken at several tea party meetings, as have many more local candidates.
Chris Mitchum, our local candidate for Congress, has spoken at several tea party meetings, as have many more local candidates. | Source

Should You Be Politically Active?

Does it do any good for the average citizen to be politically active in ways other than voting?

See results
Kevin Rice Speaks at Rally, April 25, 2012, Paso Robles
Kevin Rice Speaks at Rally, April 25, 2012, Paso Robles

Do you consider yourself a political activist? - Here's what I mean by that.

A political activist can be a professional or a volunteer. A volunteer can be working with a political grassroots organization or party or even as an individual, blogging for a cause or political candidate. He or she just might be a concerned citizen who occasionally goes to a government meeting (town hall, city council, county board, etc) or grassroots protest or rally to bring an official's attention to a position on a certain issue. An activist does something a bit more than vote and put on a bumper stick or wear a campaign button, though she might also do those things. All candidates for public office or members of government commissions count as activists.A non activist may vote, but otherwise is not eager to get into political conversations with friends or acquaintances and does not contribute time or money to political causes or candidates. He or she is willing to stay out of controversies and meetings and accept whatever happens. Politics are simply not in this person's list of priorities though he or she may do his or her civic "duty" and vote in major elections.i took the picture in this module at a tea party rally on April 25, 2012. The man with the microphone is Kevin Rice, a conservative political activist who is making a run for a local city council seat in San Luis Obispo, California. The woman looking on also spoke at this rally, but i don't have her name.

Former and Future Candidates at a Tea Party Rally

Talking While Waiting for Tea Party Rally to Begin
Talking While Waiting for Tea Party Rally to Begin

I took this photo in Paso Robles, April 25, 2012. The North San Luis Obispo County Tea Party sponsored a visit by the Norcal California Tea Party's Constitutional Bus Tour, bring speakers and special music at a rally. Some of our local people also participated in making this happen. Some of our leaders are having a discussion in this photo, or just waiting for the event to begin. All some people see of the tea party movement are its various rallies. They may wonder if the tea party groups do anything else.

Ordinary People Can Make a Difference

Two ordinary people who became activists because they care deeply what happens to their city. Taken at a fundraiser for a city council candidate.
Two ordinary people who became activists because they care deeply what happens to their city. Taken at a fundraiser for a city council candidate. | Source

Al Fonzi Explains One Grassroots Movement

Al Fonzi Explains How He Activated Citizens in Atascadero

Ordinary citizens can make a big difference in fighting city hall. Al Fonzi of Atascadero is one who did. He is more politically active than the average citizen in his city. His wife currently sits on the city council. And he organized a group of ordinary citizens, many of whom had never been politically active before, into an effective weapon against excessive regulations that threatened the use of their property. He explains what they did in this video I made when he spoke to our local tea party group.

Alex Alexiev On Tyranny

Who Is Alex Alexiev?

I met Alex Alexiev and his wife through our local tea party group. Alex was born in Bulgaria, and has personally experienced tyranny. He is a recognized authority in national security matters who worked as a senior analyst and project director for the Rand Corporation's National Security Division. He has also written several books. He is a frequent guest on our local radio station to speak on matters of national security. In the video below, you will have a chance to hear the speech he gave at a local Freedom Rally on February 23, 2013.

Links for More Information on Making a Difference in Politics - Some of these provide information on conservative issues

Those who are just getting their feet wet as political conservative activists have a lot to learn before they will be effective. Besides the books I have recommended, some important information is available in these links.

Please share your experiences, especially what you may have learned in political discussions with friends or in getting politically more active. Do you have questions which haven't been addressed here?

I'd love to hear from you on the topics covered here.

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    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Some great points here. Don't get discouraged. The political climate changes from one end to the other. I actually see a renew of Conservatism in the US. When Greece and Baltimore and Chicago and San Francisco make the news in a negative light, the common folks pay attention.

    • BarbRad profile image
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      Barbara Radisavljevic 3 years ago from Templeton, CA

      A consensus reached by a majority is not always right. It's like two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.

    • BarbRad profile image
      Author

      Barbara Radisavljevic 3 years ago from Templeton, CA

      Thank you for your comment, Paul. Immigration has challenged a lot of American culture. WE used to be a melting pot because people came here to become Americans -- not to start colonies in America. There is nothing wrong with loving one's own culture, but immigrants should not expect that American culture should yield to theirs when there is a conflict. If one doesn't like the American way of life, one should not come to America. We are becoming a disintegrating stew. A country must have some common cultural values to survive.

    • Spongy0llama profile image

      Jake Brannen 3 years ago from Canada

      I would like some more details on specific issues you address. For example, exactly what type of immoral things are you concerned that churches are forced to support?

    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 3 years ago from Auburn, WA

      In terms of economic and foreign policy, I would say yes. But the social issues are done. Republicans and Conservatives need to acknowledge that and move on. Equal marriage and abortion are now legal. We saw how GOP women reacted to Conservatives latest abortion bill. They rebelled. Concentrating on the economy and national defense are always winning issues for the party. Great topic. Voted up.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Throughout most of my life I have been conservative and I can certainly identify with the concerns of conservatives. The problem is that the United States is not the same place it was when I was growing up there in the 50s and 60s. Immigration has certainly challenged a lot of traditional conservative dogmas. In the 90s I used too listen to Rush Limbaugh a lot and thought that his programs were quite interesting and entertaining. I am sharing this with followers. Voted up as interesting.

    • BarbRad profile image
      Author

      Barbara Radisavljevic 3 years ago from Templeton, CA

      @favored I wish I were better at it. I also wished I liked politics more than I do.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      Proves my point. You're good at this. In general my husband is better at this sort of thing. I always tell him he's the smartest person I know. It's worked for years. Good think tank Barb.

    • BarbRad profile image
      Author

      Barbara Radisavljevic 3 years ago from Templeton, CA

      @favored I do better in writing where I have lots of time to think about what to say than I do in person off-the-cuff. I think the biggest part is just being respectful of others, even when you disagree with them, and agreeing to disagree. You don't have to prove that you're right or that the other person is wrong. Be satisfied at providing food for thought when you're not around to argue with.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      Interesting topic that can certainly turn into a heated debate. Most of the time I try not to get into political topics even though I do have my opinions, because it's too easy to ruin a testimony. There are others that handle it quite well, you being one of them.

    • BarbRad profile image
      Author

      Barbara Radisavljevic 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

      @CottageHomestead: Cottage Homestead, so do I. Thanks for stopping by.

    • BarbRad profile image
      Author

      Barbara Radisavljevic 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

      @ratetea: I used these labels because so many people identity with them or put them on others. I would hope those of differing political opinions would look beyond the labels they put on themselves and others to examine the ideas they hold and the principles they believe are important and argue their pros and cons instead of attacking people on the basis of labels.

    • profile image

      ratetea 5 years ago

      I think you have a lot of good advice here. I'm skeptical though of people who identify (or promote) one specific political ideology, like Liberal or Conservative, and I also think it can be dangerous to label people as one or the other. I do think that most people, even people with very different views, can find a lot to agree on, and I think labels like "liberal" and "conservative" can be very divisive and cause unnecessary hostility. Look at what has been going on in congress in recent years--both during Obama and Bush's administrations. Instead of listening, hashing out tough issues, and building consensus, our politicians are focused on fighting. I think this is bad for America. I encourage people to think for themselves and build their own political platforms -- but most importantly, to respect people whose beliefs differ from their own.

    • CottageHomestead profile image

      CottageHomestead 5 years ago

      Very well put together lens!!! I agree that we are losing freedoms everyday. Hope we can see a turn around this November.

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