Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Conservative’s Viewpoint
Keep The Electoral College

Article by Bob Steinburg - July 25th, 2007
Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

Recently North Carolina State Senators took a giant step backward (in my view and that of most North Carolinians) when they passed SB 954, a Bill which would allow our state to join a “compact with unnamed states” to pool their votes for President. The Electoral College in North Carolina would be dead! This bill is driven by the Democrats and needs only to pass the House to become law, a House with a significant Democrat majority.

The Electoral College has been with us since the 19th century and has served our “Republic” well over all those years. The Electoral College is wisely intended to dilute the votes of population centers, whose concerns may be different than those from the majority of the country. Candidates therefore must appeal to different types of interests rather than those of any particular state or region, and, as a result, must pay attention to key “swing- states”.

With a strictly popular vote system, a candidate could be elected by a “large margin” in a “few states” over a person who appeals to a broader base and wins by “small margins” in “most states”. The possibility of a “demagogue” or “extremist” being elected, increases significantly with the dissolving of the Electoral College, where as a candidate who has a broad based appeal to much of the country, survives with the Electoral College.

The adoption of the SB 954, as passed by our Democrat controlled State Senate, will shift the focus to large cities at the expense of our rural areas. Keeping the Electoral College will continue to insure that a “distribution” of popular support wins the presidency, maintains the “Federal” character of the nation [Federalist Papers], enhances the status of minority groups, mitigates factors that can affect voter turnout [snow storm etc.], isolates election problems such as fraud, helps maintain the separation of powers and insures recourse upon the death or unsuitability of a candidate before he or she takes office.

This is, in my view, bad for North Carolina and most North Carolinians are outraged that such a thing could happen in our State. Call or write your elected officials TODAY before the Democrat controlled House, joins the Democrat controlled Senate and puts this “bad idea” into law.

The only question is not whether this law will become the law of North Carolina. It is whether the continuing slide towards pure democracy, mobocracy, can be stopped. When our nation was formed the geniuses that wrote our Constitution and framed our government listened to people such as John Locke, who invented the concept of balance of powers. Historians and government theorists that were concerned with freedom were petrified then of democracy, since it has a horrible history. The abuses of pure democracy are well known. The history of Greece during its period of pure democracy is a history of sliding towards tryants and dictators whenever democracy had been around for a while.

The famous summation of democracy is that it always ends badly as soon as the people think they can vote themselves a "free ride". Things like free medicine and free health care and free housing and free food and free clothing and a "living wage". When even the Republican party has gotten on this band wagon, you have to wonder if the natural optimism of America has become obsolete?

The real fear of abandoning the electoral college system is that it creates a nationwide motivation to steal every single vote that can be stolen. Currently, what value is there in the Democrat Party stealing votes in New York? They win New York and get all of its electoral votes easily, so the partisan and corrupt officials of the Democrat Party in New York have no excuse to steal votes. Turn the election of a President into a popular vote contest and every single corrupt official in every precinct in America now has motivation to steal every vote they can steal.

Jim Black stole the state of North Carolina for $100,000. Who is there that does not think there are public officials who will assure the stealing of the Presidency if this law becomes the law of the land?

Friday, July 13, 2007

2007 People's Choice
July 13th - August 20th

The Chowan Arts Council is, starting today, holding a celebration of local Chowan Art Council Member Artists and their unique work.

The three artists featured are Marge Sopar of Edenton, Margaret Attkisson of Windsor and Pat Burkett of Elizabeth City.

The opening reception will be held today at 5:30 PM.

If you have any questions, please call the Chowan Arts Council at (252) 482-8005

A Conservative’s Viewpoint
Are You Really A Conservative?

Article by Bob Steinburg - July 13th, 2007
Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

Do you ever get the feeling that you are going crazy; that everything you were taught to believe by your parents, your teachers and your pastor, have gone the way of the horse and buggy? One only has to look around to see that much of what once was considered good, decent, honorable and “normal”, is now in danger of vanishing. If you are anything like me, there is a pain deep within you that just won’t go away. Well folks, I’ve had enough! I decided I could either continue to sit back and enjoy retirement, rocking away on my front porch with my dog at my feet and say “nothing I can do about it”, or I can use my computer as my sword, to fight back. I have obviously opted for the latter and will once a week in this newspaper share with you, the reader, “a conservative’s viewpoint” on the critical issues facing each and every one of us.

What is a conservative? Almost any politician in North Carolina, Republican or Democrat, is going to tell you they’re a conservative. Now why is that? Could it be that they understand that is how most of their constituents define themselves? But are these lawmakers really conservative, or just when they need your vote?

This conservative favors traditional views and values. I believe, as Thoreau said “government is best that governs least”. Conservative’s believe in fiscal restraint in government spending, a strong national defense and protecting our state and federal borders from uncontrolled immigration. A conservative has respect for traditional institutions like the church and supports the United States Constitution with its Bill of Rights. A conservative believes in individual responsibility, while at the same time providing a safety net to help those of us who may be struggling. I oppose liberal and radical notions that test, hinder or attempt to eliminate our Judeo-Christian beliefs. This conservative believes in individual rights and freedoms that give citizens the opportunity to become “all they can be”. Conservatives are capable of thinking for themselves and for not allowing the government the right to determine who will be given the opportunity to succeed, and who will remain buried in poverty and despair; a ward of the state.
I believe “in God we trust”!

If my description of a conservative reflects your beliefs, or in any way relates to your concerns or fears with the direction this great state and nation are heading, than please join me here every week and invite others to do the same. With your help we can begin to identify, nominate and then elect individuals who truly reflect the values we grew up with; who will take those values to Raleigh and Washington and fight for them each and every day; those values our parents, our teachers and our Pastors taught us; those values that made America and the people who built it, the envy of mankind. We can be again, and for the sake of our state, nation and the world, we must!

Bob Steinburg is starting a column in our area and is challenging the liberal dominance of newspaper editors and publishers to shape our opinions. I encourage him to do so. Especially since I have long been advocating that we have a more public dialog in this area about some of the political differences that exist in the world. I am delighted Bob is willing to do so.

I agree with almost everything that Bob advocates but there are areas where I find disagreement on certain issues with those who call themselves conservatives. I hope that we can have a civil dialog about these disagreements and that resolving them in favor of our more important concern, personal freedom, will draw moderate and liberals to our side of the political alignment. I also hope that this dialog can be more civil than a dialog with liberals usually becomes. Liberals have this idea that disagreeing with them makes you evil and it certainly makes civil dialog difficult.

One issue that most concerns me is the willingness of some in the conservative movement to favor using government to force their values on others. It is a serious fear of liberals and moderates that sabotages much of our public dialog with them. There is a difference between advocating government not support immorality versus advocating laws that impose government mandated behavior on others. An example would be the difference between opposing gay sex in the privacy of the bedroom and the flaunting of sexual preferences in a public parade.

If a heterosexual group advocated oral sex, I would oppose a parade celebrating this lifestyle choice. If a heterosexual group advocated nudity to promote more open acceptance of sexuality, I would oppose a parade celebrating this lifestyle choice. I also oppose parades advocating acceptance of gay sex. Publicly advocating certain private acts crosses a line that justifies the limited restrictions that banning such parades permits. I remain opposed to laws that interfere with the privacy of gay sex; or any other regulation that affects private and secret behavior that can only be enforced by knowingly sending our police into people's bedrooms. Or things like the California "Briggs Amendment", which attempted to ban gays and lesbians from being teachers.

Ronald Reagan was incensed at the attempt to pass this legislation by the conservative movement. He spoke out publicly about the loss of freedom that would occur if we permitted such laws to be passed. It is about freedom, including the freedom to take actions privately that others oppose and not have that used as an excuse to restrict the rights of others. If you are not free to do that our nation is the loser. Public actions may deserve some restriction if they impact others, especially children, but there is a line we must not cross. The conservative movement's acceptance and advocacy of the "Briggs Amendment" is a permanent black mark that all must be aware of and similarly crossing the line in restricting freedom must be avoided when we talk about values and the laws we would support. The difference is important to make sure we do not become as evil as those who advocate socialism and its horrible consequences.

That is why like Ronald Reagan I prefer to call myself a Libertarian-Conservative. Freedom FROM government is the underlying theme of the Bill of Rights. I welcome an opportunity to have a dialog with a conservative about the important issues of today. I believe it is when we interfere in private behavior under the guise of values that we cross the line. We must remain forever vigilant against the freedom that we all lose when the state has that power.

On the other hand the differences between libertarians and conservatives versus liberals and progressives can easily be documented with the current school prayer controversy in San Diego. There, public schools have mandated that Christians cannot pray at all while Muslim children are given a special 15 minute period for the purpose of praying to their god. They even demand that Christians must remain silent so they do not disrespect the Muslims during this period. The incredible hypocrisy of this double standard is obvious to all but liberals and progressives.

I think a dialog between a conservative and a libertarian-conservative can be fun . . . and entertaining. Especially since we agree on so much.