Skip to comments.What I Said To The Republican Members Of Congress (Dennis Prager On Conservative Philosophy Alert)
Posted on 02/01/2010 9:23:54 PM PST by goldstategop
This past weekend, after President Obama addressed the annual retreat of Republican Members of the House, I, along with my Salem Radio colleague Hugh Hewitt, and John Fund of the Wall Street Journal, were also invited to address them.
This is an abridged and edited version of my remarks.
Thank you for this honor.
I have never been as proud to be a Republican as I have this past year with your unanimity in opposing Obamacare and the other bills that would transform America. Please know -- you need this feedback -- that your having been able to stand together and do this has been a luminous moment in Republican Party history.
Going Rogue by Sarah Palin FREE
I would like show you some of the large themes involved in your present work.
First theme: It is harder to sell truths than to sell falsehoods.
It is very easy to say, "Vote for us and we will give you, we will give you, we will give you." It is much harder to advocate what is right and to say, "Vote for us, but no, we won't give you" -- even though that is the more moral and the more American position. So you have the far more difficult task.
John Rosemond, who writes books on child rearing, says that the most important vitamin you can give to a child is Vitamin N, his term for the word "No." You have given America Vitamin N.
America needs it terribly because of another way in which God has stacked the deck against the fight for goodness in human history: Every change for good must be constantly renewed, but changes for the worse are often permanent. Goodness must be fought for every day, over and over. That is why every American generation has to be inculcated with American values. But once the change for bad is made, it is close to irreversible. The Democratic attempt to vastly expand the state's power would likely be a permanent change for the worse in American life. When they're candid, they admit that the health care bill is their way to get to single-payer medicine and, more importantly, to a government takeover of another sixth of the American economy.
You have to know how important your work is, and how many of us know this.
Second theme: You are not fighting liberals. You are fighting the Left. Democrats were once liberals. But you are not fighting liberals any longer. You are fighting the Left. And as leftists, they do not like to confront reality, even if it means rewriting it.
I'll give you two examples.
This Jew battled to keep the cross in the Los Angeles County seal. Liberals and leftists in California fought to remove the smallest image -- a cross -- from the county seal. Through my radio show, on a day's notice, we gathered about a thousand people to demonstrate at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors when the board voted. The vote went along ideological lines: three liberals to two conservatives, to remove the cross.
I remember testifying before the supervisors and telling them, "You are rewriting our county's history. This county was founded by Christians. That's why there's a cross. Had it been founded by Wiccans, I would fight to keep a broom on the seal. But it wasn't founded by Wiccans. It was founded by Christians. That's why it's named "Los Angeles." It is not "Los Secularistos." If it were "Los Secularistos," I would expect an empty seal. But it is not empty. It was founded by Christians. It's not even a religious issue. You're rewriting my history. And it's frightening to see you do that."
The other example is what is now happening with Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts. Everybody knows why he was voted in. It was, after all, Scott "41" Brown. We all knew why he was elected. But if you read left-wing commentators, this history is being rewritten. They say it had nothing to do with opposing Obamacare. Nothing to do with it! In the Soviet Union, it took 10 years to write Trotsky out of the Russian Revolution. But this is a rewrite of history in one week! Scott "41" Brown's victory was not about opposing Obamacare.
In fact, the Left argues that the Massachusetts voters were for the health care bill, but simply "wanted to send a message" to Washington. I must say the voters of Massachusetts are not only not bright, they must be truly stupid if they are for Obamacare and send the man who will undo Obamacare as a protest on behalf of Obamacare. This is what we are told by the Left.
Third theme: Most people on the Left are True Believers. This is critical to understand. They are willing to lose Congress; Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are prepared to lose both houses to get this through. Why? Because losing an election cycle means nothing compared to taking over more of the American economy.
I can give you an example from our side. There are many folks on our side who, if they could pass an amendment against abortion, would happily sacrifice both houses for a period of time. Understand that just as strongly as some are pro-life or religiously Christian or Jewish, that is how strongly many leftists believe in leftism. Leftism is a substitute religion. For the Left, the "health care" bill transcends politics. You are fighting people who will go down with the ship in order to transform this country to a leftist one. And an ever-expanding state is the Left's central credo.
And finally, theme four: I have a motto that I offer to you because this is the ultimate moral case for us: "The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen."
We have to learn to make our complex beliefs simple -- though never simplistic. And this is our powerful response to government doing more and more for people: "The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen."
And here's how we explain it: The bigger the government, the less I do for myself, for my family and for my community. That is why we Americans give more charity and devote more time to volunteering than Europeans do. The European knows: The government, the state, will take care of me, my children, my parents, my neighbors and my community. I don't have to do anything. The bigger question in many Europeans' lives is, "How much vacation time will I have and where will I spend that vacation?"
That is what happens when the state gets bigger -- you become smaller. The dream of America was that the individual was to be a giant. The state stays small so as to enable each of us to be as big as we can be. We are each created in God's image. The state is not in God's image, but it is vying to be that. This is the battle you're fighting. You are fighting a cosmic battle because this is the most important society ever devised, the United States of America.
You can easily forget the big picture -- how could you not? You're there every day, battling. You are in dense jungle -- excuse me, rainforest -- you are in a rainforest/jungle, fighting, and I am, because of the nature of my work, in a little helicopter above the jungle telling you what it is you are fighting. America really is the last, best hope of mankind.
That is how important I consider the fights that are going on now, especially with regard to the takeover of health care. How can they, with a serious face, tell us that Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security are going bankrupt, and therefore the solution is to take over more of health care? How does one say that with a straight face? How does one look a fellow American in the eye and say, "Yes, we have failed in almost every way that government has significantly intruded, and that's why we need more government intrusion"?
It is mind-boggling. But that is what has happened. People get smaller and pettier, as the government and state get bigger. That's what you are fighting. And that's why I came to tell you this is the proudest moment in my life as a Republican. Thank you for doing what you are doing.
"John Rosemond, who writes books on child rearing, says that the most important vitamin you can give to a child is Vitamin N, his term for the word "No." You have given America Vitamin N."
Conservatives can and must say NO to the Left's drive to end America as we know it. What the Republican Party has done to date is to give America Vitamin N. The Democrats and the State-Controlled media will attempt to divide us, wear us down and break our unflinching resolve to preserve America. We're obstructing the Democrats because we believe quite candidly, that socialism is the wrong course for America to embrace. Seen in that light, "NO" is actually a positive answer to preserve the greatest country in all of human history. We must stop the Left's Obama agenda here and now and stop it cold.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find only things evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelogus
Dennis Prager and Alan Keys articulate conservative values in the utmost lucid manner. I have been unable to find anything that I have heard them say, that I disagree with. For me that’s a rare thing indeed!
That is a great piece. Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when he delivered it. I imagine you could hear a pin drop.
Thanks a ton for posting it.
“The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.”
Having lived in Europe for almost 30 years, I know that the last sentence is not as hyperbolic as it sounds. I loved living in Europe, but the longer I was there the more American I felt. Aslong as government does not invade their playrooms, they are content. Of course, things are getting harder and harder. The walls of that playroom might just collapse on them..
Did you post your reply to the wrong person?
How about, "Vote for us and we will give you back a future for your children and grand-children. Vote for us and we will give you an America that is strong and secure. Vote for us and we will return integrity to your government."
Just a start, but they damn well better mean it.
Yes, I should have posted to #4.
God Bless Dennis Prager!
That's both accurate and catchy...it should be used more frequently.
It is good to be The Party of No when you’re opposing the Party of “No Limits”.
Almost put it in my tag. There is one glaring exception to the rule, and that is government by a flawless entity, i.e. literal heaven. That cannot go wrong. But let sinful man pretend to this and oy vey! the trouble.
Perhaps this is the most profound point to take away from Prager's statement, for it highlights the great chasm between America's founding ideas and those of the Left.
From "Our Ageless Constitution," p. 78, "Throughout history, there have existed two primary ways of viewing a people/government relationship." The Founders' idea is illustrated as follows:
Sadly, throughout history people have suffered under various forms of a people/government relationship which ignores the CREATOR, and places GOVERNMENT in the top position, with "People" being relegated to a subservient and subordinate position beneath it.
"In this (the first) view, unalienable individual rights of people are seen as being granted by their Creator, and the people then, by consent, grant to government only the limited power they want it to have," according to "Our Ageless Constitution's" summary.
The Far Left in America has worked and is working systematically to denigrate, minimize and destroy the unique idea by which America's form of self-government enabled a people to enjoy liberty and to become a "beacon" of hope for the world.
It is time to restore to the "American mind" (Jefferson) the concept upon which our nation was founded, as affirmed in our Declaration of Independence, structured into the provisions of our Constitution's limits on the powers of government, and understood until Far Left forces effectively "erased" it from textbooks and public discourse.
"The world is very different now...and yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe--the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God." - John F. Kennedy
God, I love Dennis Prager.
Pregar, Hewitt, Medved are far and above Alan Keyes in almost every subject and they give good solid common sense to Pubs to nationalize the Nov. elections and to put forward a solid CenterRight Contract which calls for fiscal sanity. The budget that BHO put forward today is insane. Period. It is so horrible that our nation could have a national stroke over it!
Alan Keys has NEVER said anything that I disagree with, while the first three above have done so. I did not mention anything about national platform, or national audience, or even national politics for that matter.
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