Tag Archives: conservative

This is Who I am

This Father’s Day I thought about my father more than usual.  Maybe, it was the day, or maybe, it was all that is going on in the world, but he was on my mind throughout the day.   My father would have been uneasy with the protests even though he would have agreed in the principles of equality and justice for which the protestors marched.  However, he would not have understood or agreed with those who rely on vandalism and violence as their voice – to him property represented the sweat and sacrifice of men who like him came from nothing to make something of themselves, but he would have kept to himself and said little.  He preferred to keep to himself, but if pushed, he would let it be known where he stood and follow it up with a “I don’t give a rat’s ass” if someone disagreed with him.  He figured if he had to agree with a person just to get them to like him, to be cool, to be a part of the group, or to be sociable, he was barking up the wrong tree – a tree full of rattlesnakes he called them.  His children, a boy and three girls, were taught with no apologies to do the same.  His rules for living were simple:  treat people like you want to be treated; stand for what you believe is right; do right; tell the truth; and be honest.

My father was a simple man who often worked double shifts to make ends meet.  We were not poor, but there were times we held desperately to the bottom rung of middle class with mama in tears wondering where she might scrape together the monthly sixty-dollar house payment.  Mama and daddy worked hard with little extra to spare, but never a year passed without birthday presents and gifts under the Christmas tree – the only two times during the year my sisters and I received a toy unless daddy made a slingshot from a tree branch or a wood doll cradle.  Unlike many children today, we did not dare turn up our noses at any birthday or Christmas present even if we might be disappointed.  We dared not be appreciative for fear there would not be a gift the next time around.  We were lucky tough, Santa Claus always brought us that one special doll or Red Rider BB gun we had prayed for all year.  Santa never failed us kids.  At the same time, we never understood why daddy was gone so often during Christmas season.  We had no idea he was working double shifts to make Christmas happen.

By the time I was in high school, things were a little better.  Even though Daddy worked fewer double shifts, we began to have a little extra money in the house.  The first thing he bought was a window air conditioner for the den area.  Mama and daddy sat staring at that air conditioner and taking in the cold air for at least two hours.  The next summer, he bought our first color television after unsuccessfully trying for weeks to use red and green cellophane to colorize the picture, and then my senior year, 1971, he bought the first new vehicle he had ever owned – a red Ford pickup.  We were in high cotton, but Mama cautioned my sisters and I not to talk of the new things Daddy had bought for fear the neighbors might think we were foolish with our money and uppity.  Daddy frowned and curled his top lip when one of my sisters told him what Mama said.  If he could have had his way, I am confident he would have told everybody in town.  I think he felt he had earned the right to be a bit uppity.  I would have to agree – he had every right.

All he wanted in life was for his family to be happy and to be left alone and to occasionally get to go hunting or on a family vacation to the Ozarks or the Smoky Mountains – the extent of his travels in his lifetime.  A high school diploma for his children was also important to him, and not going to school was not a choice in his house.  To him, a high school education, and a reasonable paying job – he believed good paying jobs were reserved for those who knew the right people – were the most important contributions his children could give to the family; however, he did not stand in the way of his children if a college education was their goal, which for me it was.

He was always careful not to get wrapped up in politics or controversies.  Basically, he refused to argue at all unless maybe he was haggling over money.  He said bluntly, “It is a waste of time to argue or reason with an evangelist, a politician, or someone who thinks his shit doesn’t stink,” and if you wanted to argue that, he would simply smile and walk away.  We did not always agree, but through the years, I have learned he had more wisdom than I gave him credit.  Like any man, he had his faults, but he was a good father, and he taught his children to stand for what they believe regardless the direction the wind was blowing.

I guess in many ways I am my father.  He would not agree with some stands I have taken, but I can hear him ask, “Do you think it is right?”  If I answered, “I do not know, or I am not sure,” he would say, “Then don’t do it until you are.”  If I answered, “Yes,” he would have nodded and changed the subject feeling there was nothing left to say.   I tell this story because I should have told it long ago.  My father was a conservative; I am somewhere slightly to the left of him.  He was not a Democrat or a Republican; in that, he and I are on the same page.  Although he did his best to be as good a man as possible, like his father he was raised in a racist society; I was raised his son with some of those same influences, but he taught me to be better.  He did his best to ensure his children grew up better and more understanding; I pray my children are better than I am, and because of their mother, I am confident of it.

My father apologized to no man for who he was or how he was raised.  He spent his life trying to raise his children to be his better and reached out to any man who needed a helping hand.  Likewise, I do not apologize to any man for who I am or how I was raised, and I have tried to raise my children to be better than I am as well as stand for the humanity and rights of all people.  That is all my father could have done.  That is all I can do.  That is all any of us can do.

We can pass laws that promote the humanity and equality of all people, and we should, but laws by themselves will not erase racism.  We will not erase racism in a lifetime of protesting, vandalism, and destruction.  Every offensive monument and statue can be toppled, and it will not erase where we have been nor will it build a bridge to where we should be going.  To change racism will take one father and one mother at a time doing their best to raise their children with more understanding and love in their hearts than they were raised.  Racism is not a color thing; it is a people thing.  None of us were born racist.  Racism is a learned trait bred and nurtured in the home, and that is where we can make the most significant advances against it.

I am who I am with the desire to be better than who I am.  That is all we can ask of each other.

That is what my father asked of me.

©Jack Linton, June 21, 2020

Why We Shouldn’t Worry about Clinton or Trump

Why in the world would the Republican Party back Donald Trump, maybe, the most divisive presidential candidate in history? Why would anyone, especially Christians, support a candidate they would lynch if he said about them the things he has said about Hispanics and women? Supporters of Trump laugh and say it doesn’t matter that he is offensive and abrasive because he is not a politician. Holy Hogwash! The truth is he became a politician the moment he announced his intention to run for the Presidency, but politician or not, as the potential President of the United States, it matters what he says, how he says it, how he acts, and what he does! Politically, it matters because he is running for the supreme public office in the nation – an office that represents the integrity of the nation! There is no integrity in demeaning people, and I doubt seriously if the rest of the world will be as forgiving as his supporters of a President with a demeaning mouth and disposition.

On the other side of the fence sits the first serious woman candidate for the Presidency, Hillary Clinton. However, why in the world would the Democrat Party hitch their wagon behind maybe the most untrustworthy presidential candidate in history? From her numerous shifts on political positions and subsequent patented denials to her blatant lies regarding her misuse and destruction of classified emails, she has proven over and over again she cannot be trusted. Supporters can argue she has apologized all they want, but how far will apologies take a President with poor judgement? It matters that a President is trustworthy – at least above the table.

The dilemma we find ourselves in did not happen overnight. It is the result of years of voter apathy that has allowed the politicians, Democrats and Republicans, to do as they please without accountability. The only accountability is the vote, but due to lack of long term memory, by the next election, voters have forgotten the issues and 90% of what was said the first go around. Voters rarely hold politicians accountable for their promises, so why shouldn’t politicians promise the world when all they need deliver is peanuts such as Clinton and Trump? Why shouldn’t they lie as long as they keep straight who they lie to and keep a smile on their faces (i.e. Clinton and Trump)? Bottom line, the people – the voters – are as much responsible for the mess we are in as the politicians and the political parties we blindly follow.

So, how do we get out of this? We don’t, and there is little need to waste time worrying about it. Prayer may help, but I am afraid the good Lord is going to let us wallow in the bed we have made for ourselves for a while. The conservatives can blame the liberals and the liberals can blame the conservatives, but name calling and bellyaching will do nothing but hurt our ears. Regardless of how much we moan and groan, one of the two misfits will be elected in November. The only bright spot is that America has made it through tough times before, and we will most likely make it through this as well. After four years, we will be invited to the dance once again, and hopefully, the next dance card will be a little more balanced in favor of sanity.

Until we dance that dance, “We are stuck with the ugly duckling,” as Trump might say. The Presidency will not change Clinton or Trump for the better; they are who they are, and those two old dogs are not about to change for anybody or anything. So, we might as well suck it up and have a hardy laugh. The rest of the world is certainly laughing, so why not join in and save our concerns and worries for a later day when it might matter. Unfortunately for America, the train has left the station, and all tickets have been punched for the next four years.

JL

©Jack Linton, October 8, 2016

Conservative Tribune: Real or Propaganda?

Over the past few months, I have seen several articles posted on Facebook from www.ConservativeTribune.com.  That is not surprising since the majority of the people I know are devout, card carrying conservatives.  However, it is surprising that a website that claims to be a legitimate news source often fails to report the whole story – facts are sometimes glossed over in favor of the conservative views of the writer.  The website is an online conservative magazine, so a certain amount of bias is expected, but when an article serves no purpose but to agitate and prey on threadbare emotions, the reporting turns from legitimate journalism to yellow journalism (journalism based upon sensationalism, exaggeration, and eye-catching headlines).  I realize bias free news is almost unheard of these days; reporters, especially on the national level, tend to be opinionated celebrities rather than non-biased journalists.  They have forgotten that the purpose of reporting the news is to provide information not to agitate and entertain.  News should be about the facts and only the facts, and when it is not, it becomes a tool for deception and lies.  Presenting news – conservative or liberal – based on missing or misleading information and sensationalism is not news but propaganda.

Is Conservative Tribune propaganda?  Maybe, maybe not, but to be fair and get a clearer picture, I spent several days researching the website to find out.  I traced it back to its beginning in 2009, read articles, and looked at the people writing those articles.   What I found was very interesting.

Origins and History:

Based on web domain records, in January 2009, the website was founded as Conservative and Republican Party Blog:  America’s Newspaper.  The website changed names in May 2009 to Conservative news, views and commentary. By September 2009, the name changed to Conservative Tribune, but the website became inactive and was suspended in February 2010.  In October 2013, under the ownership and leadership of Shaun Connell, an Arkansas web product designer and businessman, the website resurfaced as Conservative Tribune: Defending Our Conservative Values.  In January 2014, the website changed names once again to Conservative Tribune: Small Government, Free Markets, and Traditional Values.  Another partial name change occurred in August 2014, this time the website became known as Conservative Tribune:  In Defense of Western Civilization.  The website became known simply as Conservative Tribune in 2015 when Connell sold it to Liftable Media, a company owned by Floyd Brown, co-founder of the advocacy group Citizens United.

Writing for Conservative Tribune:

By the website’s own admission, individuals do not need experience as a writer or a degree of any kind.  If a person can write a coherent sentence and is willing to write what the management tells them to write, they qualify to write for the Tribune.  Here are the credentials needed to write for Conservative Tribune as outlined by the website:

“Details for our writers:

  1. We pick the topics for you.
  2. We write the headlines for you.
  3. We pick the sources you’ll link to.
  4. You just have to write articles with 250 – 400 words of original content to explain the news story from an ultra-conservative viewpoint.”

News printed in Conservative Tribune is “ultra-conservative” biased, and they are very open about it.  In other words, nothing that contradicts the website’s “ultra conservative” view will be allowed on the website regardless of the facts.  Therefore, readers can expect to receive only the information that supports and promotes a conservative viewpoint.

Writers for the Conservative Tribune:

Over the years Conservative Tribune has published writers from Brutus, of Shakespeare fame, to staff writers using pseudonyms, and to freelance writers with legitimate writing credits.  A few writers who have contributed to the Tribune include:

Beasley
Shaun Connell
Publius
Brutus
Centinel
Valerius
Publicola
Ben Marquis
Ben Franklin
Katrina
Wilmot Proviso
V Saxena

Some of these names have historical significance such as Wilmot Proviso, which was an 1846 proposal to ban slavery in land acquired from Mexico in the Mexican War. However, regardless of historical significance, news journalists using any name but their own should raise a red flag for readers.  If a journalist is telling the truth or presenting all the facts, why is there a need for an alias?  It is fairly common for a fiction writer to use a pseudonym or alias, but a news journalists should not need an alias unless, maybe, he/she is writing fiction rather than truth.  For an online magazine that claims to tell the truth, this practice raises questions of credibility.

Articles Published by Conservative Tribune:

Articles written for Conservative Tribune are, as the guidelines state, “ultra-conservative.”  The site, by its own admission, may contain copyrighted material but not necessarily with the copyright owner’s permission.  The management for the site claims the use of such unauthorized copyrighted material constitutes “fair use” as provided under the Copyright Law of the United States.  This claim of “fair use” may be a contributing factor as to why so many authors writing for the website utilize a pseudonym/alias, or it may simply be a sign of lazy journalism.  Either way it is a questionable and possibly illegal use of other journalists’ work.

As for being a real news magazine, the site is indeed real, but that doesn’t mean the reader will get all the facts in the news reported on the website.  In other words, the website reports newsworthy and marginally newsworthy stories, but if the reader is a discerning individual who likes to make up his/her own mind, it would be wise to consult other sources to validate the stories first.  Using misleading, emotionally charged, headlines that fall short of alignment to the content of an article is also common (Remember the guidelines for writers: “We write the headlines for you).  Readers of Conservative Tribune need to understand they are not going to read anything on the website that may be damaging to the conservative cause.  Articles are “ultra-conservative” biased!

Conservative Tribune Bottom Line:

There is nothing new or shocking about conservative or liberal media pushing their own agendas even if it means ignoring certain parts of a story.  Both will tell their readers they exist to set the record straight or to tell the whole truth.  Both prey on reader emotions and fears; they tell readers only want they want them to know and nothing more.  In that respect, both are propaganda tools that are not above using bias and misleading information to publicize and promote their political cause or views.

George Upper, managing editor of Conservative Tribune, says it best, “We’ll tell you the truth as we see it.”  Like children, they never lie – they simply tell only the part of the story they want readers to hear and know.  Their job is to influence readers to think as they do, and keep readers emotionally engaged in their ideology.  Their biggest enemy is a reader who thinks for himself!  Conservatives and liberals alike are looking for followers, not leaders; they will tell you who should lead.  Therefore, a word to the wise – always question any and everything you read online, especially if it screams conservative or liberal – both are in the propaganda business.

JL

©Jack Linton, August 21, 2016

Are You in Bed with a Conservative or a Liberal?

No matter the venue – television, radio, newspaper, or social media – you will likely hear “conservative” and “liberal” sloshed around like muddy drinking water.  “Conservatives to the right, liberals to the left,” Jimmy Buffet might sing to illustrate the depth of understanding for these overused and abused words.  If you are on the right, you are right, but if you are on the left, you are wrong, or should it be vice versa?  Who knows!  In today’s society, that question is too deep for the majority of people to comprehend.

Most people wouldn’t know a conservative from a liberal if one sat on their face and whistled Dixie.  When it comes to beliefs and values, they simply pick up where grandpa and grandma left off and mama and daddy still reside and dance along blissfully naïve in their footsteps.  They have no idea why they believe a certain way other than, somewhere along the way, they were told how they should think and believe.  Original thought is not well in America.

William Shakespeare said, “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.”  It doesn’t get more miserable than the conservative and liberal relationship, nor do bedfellows come any stranger.  Maturity wise, both groups are not too far removed from the backseat “he touched me” whine heard on long risible family vacations.  They are reminders a mature understanding and acceptance of diversity and tolerance is not one of America’s strong points.  However, a major part of the problem, overlooked by so many, is few people are purely conservative or liberal; people tend to fall somewhere in between, which adds confusion to the issue.  To make matters worse, people are often tossed from the ranks of the conservative to the ranks of the liberal and back again with a word, statement, or action.  Membership in either group depends as much on the moment as it does on embedded values.  Like two people caught in a rocky marriage; it is hard to tell who you are in bed with sometimes, and that can indeed produce strange bedfellows.

You Know You Are in bed with. . . .

  1. You know you are in bed with a conservative if there is no foreplay;
  2. You know you are in bed with a liberal if you make love with the lights on;
  3. You know you are in bed with a conservative if your partner considers love making a duty;
  4. You know you are in bed with a liberal if your partner comes back for seconds;
  5. You know you are in bed with a conservative if your partner insists on paying because he/she doesn’t believe in a free ride;
  6. You know you are in bed with a liberal if sex is considered recreational;
  7. You know you are in bed with a conservative if there is a gun under the pillow;
  8. You know you are in bed with a liberal if there is a whip and a jar of honey under the pillow;
  9. You know you are in bed with a conservative if your partner believes the missionary position is the only one way to make love;
  10. You know you are in bed with a liberal if love making is a team sport;
  11. You know you are in bed with a conservative if your partner misses the point and is offended by this blog; and
  12. You know you are in bed with a liberal if your partner misses the point, and thinks the blog is a funny/satirical look at sex education.

So, are you and/or your partner a conservative or a liberal?  More important, who cares!  The truth is conservative and liberal tags are little more than excuses to enable people to express their ignorance about one another.

JL

©Jack Linton, August 7, 2016

A Political Shipwreck: The Scoop on the Presidential Candidates

I cannot remember a time when our choices for President of the United States have been more interesting or sadder.  What makes these candidates so sad is that none of them have the aptitude, desire, courage, or ability to unite America.  It is sad when the good of a political party outweighs the good of the people.  It is sad when a candidate runs for the Presidency without the experience or credentials to lead any nation much less the the most powerful nation on earth.  It is sad when a candidate runs for the Presidency out of a sense of entitlement and historical first.  It is sad when a candidate runs for the Presidency to impose his vision of conservatism and the agenda of one party on the people rather than representing all people equally.  It is sad when a candidate for the Presidency has nothing to offer the people other than a temporary outlet for their frustrations with a bankrupt political system.  It is sad when high school student council elections have more substance and dignity than a Presidential  campaign.  It is sad when the deck of Presidential candidates is filled with nothing but jokers.  It is sad when candidates are reduced to school boy name calling because they have nothing better to say.  It is sad The United States of America has come to this!

I don’t mean to offend, but this is how I see the campaigns for the Presidency:

Observation #1:          So far, the Presidential campaigns have been little more than a study of egomaniacs with more interest in being The President of the United States of American than being The President of the people of the United States of America.

Observation #2:         If the Presidential debates are an indicator of what is to come, we are in for either four more years of unwavering disconnect, or at best a self-promoting president running the country by the seat of his pants.

Observation #3:          A short synopsis of presidential campaigns:

  1. Hillary Clinton runs a campaign based on entitlement;
  2. Bernie Sanders’ runs a campaign based on eliminating the 1% greedy and creating the 99% greedy;
  3. Donald Trump runs a campaign based on how marvelous and rich he is as well as how tall he will build a wall between the United States and Mexico;
  4. Ted Cruz runs a campaign based on a vision of conservatism built in his image; he has yet to understand that America is comprised of both conservatives and liberals with the vast majority falling somewhere in between;
  5. Marco Rubio runs a campaign based on inexperience and school boy good looks;
  6. Ben Carson runs a campaign based on the legend of “these hands,” which is more suited for a USA feel good movie than practical application to running a nation; and
  7. John Kasich runs a campaign based on some solid ideas that no one will give the time of day.

Observation #4:          Democrats seem confident they cannot lose the election as long as they look and act more civilized and presidential than the Republicans, which is not hard to do.

Observation #5:          It is time someone told Hillary Clinton to unsaddle Barack Obama and leave that dead horse in the ditch, or face the possibility of an elephant squatting on her face come January 2017.

Observation #6:          People continue to fall in love with Donald Trump as their choice for the Republican nomination because he has brought new energy to an otherwise bland and broken political machine. If the Democrats don’t find a way to counter that enthusiasm with some gusto of their own, the Republican, Common Joe, love-in for Trump could very well sweep into the White House in 2017.

Observation #7:          The media frenzy and public enthusiasm generated by Republican showboating, excursions into self-love, and the ridiculous seem to play perfectly into the mindset of today’s society.

Observation #8:          The Democrats have two viable candidates for the Presidency – one that might win and one that most likely can’t win.

Observation #9:          The Republicans have five candidates for the Presidency – all card carrying members of the circus sideshow.

Observation #10:          At some point, the Democratic Party may have to decide if the writing is on the wall for Hillary or for the Democratic Party;

Observation #11:        So far, in the Presidential campaigns the more a candidate confirms his love for himself, the higher his ratings soar, which simply proves that Americans struggle to tell the difference between arrogance and substance

Observation #12:        People dismiss Bernie Sanders as  Socialist, but at least he stands for something.  What do any of the others truly stand for?  The only other candidate who is even close to being steadfast in what he believes is Ted Cruz, and he speaks almost solely for conservatism molded in his image.  Hillary Clinton is riding on the coat tails of her husband and Brack Obama; she has probably never had an original thought in her life.  Donald Trump talks out both sides of his mouth and reverses himself more often than the wind.  Marco Rubio can’t get out of a rut whether it is repetitive talking points or name calling; how far will either get him when he is sitting across the table from Putin or North Korea.  There is no doubt Ben Carson is a smart man, but how much respect can a man who struggles to keep his eyes open,  constantly wrings his hands, and speaks with little authority command in the nation and around world.  Finally, John Kasich may make the best sense of all the candidates, but unfortunately, he doesn’t have the Presudential look and swagger to carry him to the White House.

Of course, these are simply my observations, but I honestly believe most people will agree that the current political climate in the United States reeks of mental disorder and a bad television sitcom.  The dribble the Democrat and Republican candidates are presently feeding the American people is a disgrace to all Americans.  To date, the candidates for the Presidency of the United States have run campaigns that are self-serving at best.  They have effectively turned their parties and the Presidential election into a world wide spectacle of what is wrong with America.  I am sad to think the Presidency has become a joke for late night television and the world.  If that offends anyone, please encourage your favorite candidate to prove me and more likely millions of other Americans who feel the same way, wrong.  Forgive me, if I do not hold my breath while waiting.  I don’t mean to offend, but . . . .

JL

©Jack Linton, PhD     February 24, 2017