||I feel a certain amount of sympathy for Barack Obama. I choose to start with that line because I consider myself to be one of the people most opposed to Barack Obama within the spectrum of legitimate politics. However, I don’t think that there is any doubt that we have reached the point where Conservatism can be looked at as something which has merited the term “crisis”. America is in a crisis and I believe that it will prove to be a very grave crisis. However, conservatism is in a far greater crisis. For argument’s sake let us say that the terms right and left, Democrat and Republican describe a real political dynamic which matters in this country. I would argue that on the right in this country we have lots of politicians who use the label “conservative” but actually we have a collection of Libertarians, Tax Avoiders, Moderate Neo-Fascists , Ultra-Reformed Protestant Theocrats, and Anglophile Antiquarians who collectively squeeze a weak and demoralized conservative group of Americans who hardly matter at all. Some of these five never discussed groups would be Conservatives if there really was a Conservative Movement for them to be part of , on the other hand many fundamentally despise Conservatism.I voted for George Bush the first time and almost certainly would have voted for him the second time if I could have made it to Beijing’s American Embassy in time to vote. However, I missed that election. I voted for Mcain-Palin in the most recent election. I also voted for Mary Landrieu a Democrat this year. Through my life I have voted for a collection of Democrats, Republicans and Independents. My sympathy for Barack Obama comes into play in this regard. Like Obama (and a lot of other people) I have had to make the best choices I could at any given time. By the time I was old enough to vote I had forged a lot of bonds and relationships which included fundamentalists, communists in other countries, resentful Moslems, white supremacists, black radicals and lots of other people who don’t fall into the neat safe categories that President mills like mid century Yale Law normally produce in quantity. If I were to have made a run at the US Presidency there would be people some folks would like as little as I like Rev. Wright and David Ayres. Despite all that colorful background I have lots of self-respect and more oddly yet, I think of myself as an authentic American Conservative. Arguably, I am one of the only American conservatives who could be optimistic abpout the Obama example. Beacuse if such an oddly positioned person of such a background as Barack Obama can be President of the United States then maybe I could at least get elected parish assessor, city dog-catcher, county councilman, water-district representative or something else somewhere in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Somehow I don’t think Obama’s election signifies anything nearly that hopeful for someone like me. I am able to accept that there is not likely to be a government paycheck in my future. That is unless you include the kinds of fellowships and part-time job checks form school boards and universities which I have gotten in the past. I don’t hate liberalism but I know that Liberals are more likely to take a political interest in those with odd and quirky backgrounds than conservatives are. I am able to say that I have won a few elections. I won a seat on Dorm Council in College, I was elected as Outstanding Graduate in my department , college and university for that particular commencement exercise at a different school. Then In China a few years ago I organized elections among my student for various class and subgroup offices. Then there are a couple of elections where I was elected to post that I can’t discuss here by groups that like their privacy. None of those races seem very much related to the Presidency or even a governorship however. In most of these races my political philosophy was not a central aspect of what people were electing me for or voting against. Many people hold office for other reasons than political philosophy. People vote for friends, members of their race or class, to keep seniority in a legislature or because they are personally opposed to the candidates opposition. But in the big leagues there are always some questions of political philosophy that become important. I would argue that Conservatism is usually not on the menu.I think that a coherent expression of American Conservative political philosophy would require at leason very long book. If someone hasn’t read any of the books which have helped to from my opinions then an article or two would not make the great sweep of ideas stand clear. Here I am going to do someting very different. I am going to propose ten unthinkable planks in a platform in an agressive conservative movement. I don’t think that conservative means passive. Some of these would even require constitutional ammendments. I believe that these planks would probably unpopular and are largely undemanded but that is because Conservatism is largely dead. I think that passing something along these lines would be essential to setting our country on a good conservative path. I believe struggling for something like this would be essential for rebuilding a conservative movement.
So here are my unthinkable Ten:
1.The Aboriginal Americans Ammendment: The Eskimos, Indians, Hawaiians, Chamorros and Samoans should be given a single grant in treaty of one or two percent of all Federal Governmnent lands (not state or private lands) . These lands should be under a perpetual and largely green treaty which would allow some activities and not others in perpetuity. The American Indians should have several federal territories with representation in the House of Representatives and not in the Senate. The other four groups should have one relatively contiguous teritory with representation in the House of Represnetatives but not in the Senate. Each of these Territories should award one transitional elector for each member of the House of Representatives an also one long-term elector who would serve in at least three Presidential elections and who would have standing to join together and have several specific perogatives in the Senate. Those elgible to vote as Aboriginal Americans could choose tov ote either as Aboriginal or generic American Citizens. At the time of this creation a final trust fund should be st up and there should be included some bonds and securities maturing over time. Then there would be a final treaty settlement of all grievances between the United States and aboriginal peoples.
2.The First Lady Ammendment: The First Lady should be recognized as a junior but joint Head of State. She should receive a perpetual constitutional earmark of revenues for use in grants and programs for women and mothers. She should be specifically authorized to undertake purely ceremonila diplomacy any where in the scope of American diplomacy. Whenever a woman is President of the United States then the majority of the ear-marked funds should go to a trust and earn interest. A skeleton amount and skeleton tasks only be reserved for the Presidential consort husband.
3. The Defense Department should be required to allot a greater percentage than ever before to its Junior ROTC program. These programs should be able to be chartered by public and private schools. Students would take a class a day, would go to camp two weeks a year with their State or Aboriginal Territory National Guard Unit and would spend a month with the Americorps each summer. In return for this volunteers would recieve healthcare, have a varied scholarship account and eat at a training table at school.
4. Puerto Rico Should be made our fifty-first state and the last admitted without a constitutional ammendment. A part of Puerto Rico anda part of the US Virgin Islans should be set aside for a Fedral Carribean territory similar to but separate and less represented than the Aboriginal Territories. Those elible to vote as Old Carribean Americans would have to choose not to vote as generic Americans.
5.The State of Utah should receive a Charter rescinding the requirement that it abolish Polygamy. It should be given ten years to set up a domestic regime of polygamy that will answer for all serious concerns such as underage marriage and would recognize plural marriage responsibly in Utah without exagerated full-faith and credit elsewhere.
6. States with highly regulated casinos and a history of vigorous related law enforcement should be allowed to develop a regime for licensing the use of recreational drugs with physicians present and federally license detox-release requirements. Casinos would collect both a high state and federal tax for this drug use.
7.The Federal Racial Classification scheme should be abolished. Especially the not very popular and mostly made up Hispanic race based mostly on one’s father’s last name. There should be a recoginized Permanent Committe on Race, Ethnicity and Kinship. The US Census Bureau should be put under the direction of this body which should also have the authority draw up congressional districts. All retired Presidents generally and Vice Presidents over 70 years old would be lifetime members of this committee. Americans would all have the right to transfer one percent of their income tax witholding and four percent of all their property taxes to family associations which would be chartered by this commitee. These family associations would all share in a seireis of federal programs providing surpluses, grants and loans for them to use especially in stting up daycare, healthcare and eldercare programs. These family’s would self identify their race and ethnicity.
8.The Navy should develop a Navy One Program . This would be a sailing longship on which the frist family would entertain and a permanent destroyer escort. This ship would also offer high honor Junior ROTC, regular ROTC and Naval Academy work study positions on this ship.
9. A working Federal Death penalty program should be developed and it should be applied regularly when required or clearly indicated. Piracy and Terrorism should be principal causes for its use.
10.The federal government should create a full scale set of Mother’s Incentives working with but not entirely dependent upon the First Lady’s bureaucracy. Companies, cities, towns, and States would receive generous incentives for providing small gardens, job-sharing programs, cottage industries and very flexible positions for mothers with young children. These programs would provide a further annual bonus to married mothers with young children.
Yes I am aware most of you think that thses things have nothing to do with conservatism. Unfortunately that is because most Americans no longer have any idea what Conservatism. I don’t mind so much if these things make you want o hurl ridicule or even vomit. However, if they do then maybe you should consider not calling yourself a conservative.