The groundswell continues

The massive groundswell of grass-roots support for my idea for an anti-party party continues to grow at an unstoppable pace, as indisputably evidenced by this single, one-line comment placed on a recent post by GS Gantt:

What happened to the "UNparty"?

The Unparty has given its vast staff and assorted, irregular hangers-on time off for the holidays — specifically, for Advent and, starting Dec. 25, Christmas. (No, Virginia, the Christmas season has not yet begun. If you doubt me, check a liturgical calendar.)

We will leave it to other parties to disturb the atmosphere of contemplative anticipation that should characterize this season with their charges, countercharges, offensive comments and abject apologies. We will resume our frantic schedule of not issuing statements, not holding conventions and not raising money sometime after Jan. 6.

19 thoughts on “The groundswell continues

  1. Paul DeMarco

    Brad,
    Seems like the party is you, me and GS so far. Maybe we ought to meet for lunch (Hooters?). I don’t like the UnParty name. We should stand for something: names like the Common Sense Party, the Common Ground Party, the Unity Party or the Vital Center Party (echoing Arthur Schlesinger’s book of the same name) seem more appealing.
    Or if we go with the Owl as our mascot we can play the Hooters angle and call ourselves the Cleavage Party-what could be more centrist than that!
    Brad, at some point you’ll have to fish or cut bait on this idea. Are you ready to call for a party convention? Without that,the party will go nowhere.
    Merry Christmas.

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  2. Dave

    Brad, It appears Phil Bailey pulled a Mary Rosh type post on that blog. I think for now I will stick with my GOP leanings, what with the economy roaring, gas prices plummeting, housing strong, interest rates still low, Iraq moving to freedom, Syria considering peace accords with Israel, another conservative about to join the USSC, and so much more I don’t have time to list it all. Life is good unless one is a far left Democrat. Oops, there goes that partisan stuff again.

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  3. Mike C

    Here’s a plank for the Unparty’s platform that has the following merits:

    -decreases the need for and influence of campaign contributions.
    – imposes a form of term limits on the officeholder.
    – provides some insulation between the officeholder and national-level lobbyists and other special interests.
    – re-introduces an element of chance, surprise, local (at the state level) chicanery.
    I have been on record since at least 3/21/2002 as favoring the repeal of the 17th amendment. Let us revert to having the legislators choose who will represent the state in the US Senate.

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  4. Mark Whittington

    Did something happen to this blog? Herb posted an outstanding piece addressed to Mike C. where he compares Christianity and conservative values. Also, some of the Wal-Mart commentary seems to be missing. Perhaps there is something wrong with my browser, or perhaps I am not looking closely enough.

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  5. Dave

    Mark, The host server, Typepad, was offline yesterday most of the day. It appears that when they repaired the server some of the later postings were lost in the restore. Just a computer geek guess.

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  6. Dave

    Brad et. al., Here is a plank for the new Party that would get you some national attention and give an unimaginable shot in the arm to South Carolina, economically, educationally, etc.

    Given that the Islamic regimes want Israel to be removed from their map, I propose we “import” every single Israeli who will come. They will be given all the State and Federal lands starting at the coast in Georgetown county and on into Williamsburg, Lee, Clarendon, etc. Within 5 years this section of our state would be the highest achievers academically and this would create an economic boom like the gold rush era. Will the centrist unparty take a stand on an idea like that? We could double the state population with one fell swoop.

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  7. Herb

    Mike,
    Thanks for the input. I learned from it. And I think I am a lot more conservative than I let on. I’m also aware of the problems in Europe and the economic stagnation. A German friend of mine said years ago of the socialist government under Helmut Schmidt, “they are killing us.” But he was also not impressed with the “dog eat dog” American system. Let me elaborate some of my concerns about “conservative” values.
    1) The place of God. As you said, (or was it on a link?), conservatives like to include God. Only problem is, God doesn’t take sides. He asks for the right to take over. What ultimately happens when people transgress His boundaries too far is that they find situations that are impossible to change. Theologically, we call it “hardening.” And we end up thinking that things will be right if we let people choose. They will, however, if left to themselves, generally choose wrong, and be increasingly incapable of choosing right. The whole thing snowballs. We end up pretty much getting the government we deserve. Anyway, it’s the reason I became a minister, and am now in the business that I’m in. Just reading through Jeremiah, I’ve got the intense feeling that literature like that comes up very short nowadays. Nobody wants to hear that stuff. Many Jews don’t want to read Deuteronomy, either. They want to hear wonderful things about how Israel came out of Egypt (if they have any connection to the Bible at all), but not stuff that sounds like it is predicting a (the?) Holocaust.
    Brad was only partly right with that piece some months ago that Jesus doesn’t care what kind of government we have. True, Jesus refused to become involved in disputes about family inheritance, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t care how people are treated. Economically, both the Old and New Testaments declare that God’s will is for there to be an equality among people. The Law of ancient Israel provided for a return of property to the original owner, or her/his family, every 50 years. The New Testament is not any different, but the application is primarily to the church. Sure, we cannot legislate morality. We cannot make the United States into the Kingdom of God. But my point is, the further we move away from what we are supposed to be, the harder our hearts get, and the harder the consequences. Unless somebody is calling us back to something approximately close to what God designed for mankind (community, mutual helping, etc.), the results for society are eventually disastrous. Wealth in the hands of a privileged few, whether viewed globally (North vs. South), or nationally (privileged vs. underprivileged) destabilizes. A Christian must also add the fact that this sort of behavior stands under God’s judgment, and sooner or later he will rock our boat. “Let them eat cake” won’t cut it.
    Anyway, when we evangelicals sound off warnings, it is (hopefully) because there is stuff going on that will, we are convinced, ultimately be the ruin of this country. That includes economic injustice, as stated above. On this, see also Jim Wallis in an interview in Mother Jones – I’m not really a friend of the magazine, but I was in seminary with Wallis; he has always echoed biblical principles in his position. It also includes publishing and producing porn, and it includes some of the liberal excesses you mentioned. It goes without saying that we evangelicals are some of the worst listeners to what we profess to believe, but that only proves the indictment of human nature that we have to endorse, if we have any chance of improving at all.
    2) The place for justice. I agree, the individual is paramount in Western society and democracy, and individual responsibility is rooted in biblical revelation. The flip side of that is unbridled egoism that many conservatives advocate. I saw it in the ’64 campaign when I worked with Young Republicans for Goldwater. I realized, “hey, these guys are in this for nothing else than total freedom to do as they please – God bless America, and damn the rest of the world. Make it like we are, and if we can’t, we can always nuke it – or let it rot (isolationism). And if we need the oil in the Middle East, let’s go and take it. Use it up. It’s ours by divine right. Truth is, the community orientation of many other cultures is much closer to the biblical norm in some ways than our own, and probably more just. Sure, there are excesses, such as the old African problem that prevents the accumulation of wealth, because when I save up something, I’m already obligated to help the family with it. But our individualism is none the less a problem, too.
    While I’m on this hobby horse: contrary to the opinion of some of my fellow evangelicals, the Declaration of Independence is not a Christian document, and America was never at any time a Christian country. But it was profoundly influenced by the disciplines of Christianity and the effects of evangelical revival, which very much counterbalanced the “pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration. The problem is that Christians are giving in to the latter and leaving the former. It is typical of affluent societies, though.
    So I guess my words belong in another blog than this one, but at least I’ve said why evangelicals cannot, in my opinion, acquiesce to the spirit of William Buckley, Jr.,or Rush Limbaugh. Their optimism with regard to human nature, even the American variety, is tragically misplaced. If we continue down the road of unbridled egoism, we will not just remain the way we are. Our society will deteriorate.
    Funny thing, though, the more we mistrust human nature, the more confidence we have to affirm those struggling to do good and build others up. Among those, to my mind are the editors of The State, whom I will still contend in my naivety are doing a pretty decent job, despite all the cynics. I especially applaud Brad’s and others’ attempts at improving public education. I wish evangelicals were more involved in the same, but I’m afraid we tend to retreat into our subculture. Have we perhaps taken on too much of the individualism of the right-wing that many here advocate?

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  8. Dave

    Herb, The Republican, conservative, right-leaning administration of George Bush is spending a half a trillion dollars of American money to secure the middle east while bringing freedom to the 25 million Iraquis and 25 million Afghans. The mantra of the left is conservatives are egoists and selfish. Bush may be the most generous President in American history. Not to mention the 15 billion in aids dollars to Africa. You make a lot of good points that I agree with but let’s give credit where credit is due.

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  9. Herb

    Dave, my contribution was deliberately one-sided, and due to time-constraints, not necessarily well thought out. I agree with you to a large extent, though I am fairly certain that the decision to invade Iraq (in contrast to Afghanistan) was not wise, but rather part of an American “easy fix-it” mentality, than fails to take in the complexities of situations. However, I may be wrong, and in any case, we have to see it through now.
    What I was trying to basically say was that the “get government off the backs of the American people and they will do the right thing” is fundamentally flawed. Like it or not, we need government regulation — and taxes — to a certain extent. Probably most will agree, but debate the “extent.” I’m saying it needs a pretty good balance. — and the very stability of our society depends upon some redistribution of income, without stifling individual initiative. It’s a complex thing, and as Brad, and others, have pointed out, there are no easy answers.
    Obviously I am also frustrated by the tendency of my fellow evangelicals to identify so strongly with the conservative right, and I would prefer at present to join the “Unparty” — hoping that somebody can find a balance between the striving for individual freedoms on the one hand, and the need for common responsibility and community on the other. Whether a new party can achieve a balance remains to be seen.

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  10. Herb

    Bill, have you read Brad’s statement about it in “Keeping the ‘Un’ in Unparty”, and if so, where’s your beef with that?

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  11. Dave

    Herb, my posting time is limited here also but your fellow evangelicals are truly acting in their follower’s best interest and self survival interest. If you see what has happened in much of Europe, where the leftist socialist mentality rules most of the nations, the secularists have marginalized church and faith. People have been conditioned to rely on the nanny state for all their needs. You don’t find many evangelicals in Europe I would think. Poland is a contrast due to their strong and deep Catholic heritage. The Democrat’s are not shy about their intention to import the Euro type customs and beliefs into this nation. You don’t have to listen to Monsieur John Francois Kerry or other Dem leaders for long before realizing that they identify with the secular Euro elitists. In their world, their is no place for passionate Christian believers, in fact, they view those who believe in Jesus Christ our Savior as un-educated, old fashioned, out of it types who are actually dangerous in our simplistic beliefs about right and wrong. To the secular far left, everything can be tolerated, queer marriage, adult-child sex, you name it, what’s the harm? Remember I said FAR left but that far left is leading the Democrat national party and pulling the not so far left right along with them.

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  12. bill

    Herb-
    Yes,I’ve read Brad’s piece,but that doesn’t change the fact that “Unparty” is a one-word oxymoron.
    Dave-
    To deny homosexuals the right to marry is to deny them a basic civil right.

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  13. Cackalacky Candidate

    From the office of the Cackalacky Candidate – The Voter’s Choice for No Office
    Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
    On this day, I, the Cackalacky Candidate, proclaim my NonCandidacy for any office and my candidacy for No Office, in the great state of South Carolina.
    The Cackalacky Candidate, as a NonCandidate, has formed a political NonParty. It is called the Tender Party: Because politics runs on U.S. Legal Tender.
    The Motto of the Tender Party, the official political NonParty of the
    Cackalacky Candidate: Finding answers. Solving problems. Effective government
    The Cackalacky Candidate offers proposals to address some of our most problematic, contemporary social issues and promises to cause mild discomfort to Politicians across the land in the 2006 election campaign. These proposals may be viewed on the Official NonCampaign Website of the Cackalacky Candidate: http://www.cackalackycandidate.com.
    The Cackalacky Candidate also offers the Voters a Scorecard for judging and comparing the many Bright & Not-So-Bright ideas that your favorite Politicians will be spouting during the election campaign.
    With a Politician you get Hot Air and Empty Promises. With the Cackalacky Candidate you get Hot Air, No Promises and a lot more Entertainment Value for your Dollar.

    Reply
  14. Dave

    I’d like to see an “UnState” newspaper with an “un” editorial board. The mullet wrapper we have now, headed by arrogant, pro-big government, pro-education bureaucracy, pro-tax/anti-property rights “editors” we have now are doing a huge disservice to us peasants. Maybe the UnState could refrain from taking anti-citizen positions and just give us the fluff and fooey the present “paper” gives us so well. You gotta play to your strengths Brad.

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  15. Lee

    I wonder if “bill” can tell us any time in history that marriage was “a fundamental right” accorded to homosexual relationships.
    There are those who also claim they “are being denied a fundamental right” to have any relationship they want with children and animals.
    Easy to claim, impossible to defend.

    Reply

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