Thursday, February 07, 2008

John McCain: the Natural Choice

Neumayr nails it.

Having accepted the concept of the "Big Tent" a long time ago, the GOP can't excommunicate anyone from the party. It was a dumb idea and the GOP has paid the price for it in endless philosophical drift and inept presidential nominees.

John McCain differs in degree, not kind, from the last three GOP presidential candidates.Bush Sr., Dole, Bush Jr., McCain: Where's the substantive difference? They are all intellectually lame Republicans, with little to no interest in conservative political and moral philosophy.

....It should be noted that Neumayr is a Huckabee/ster enthusiast and what I eliminated has to do with that candidate's treatment by the East Coast 'establishment' Pubbies.

But Huckabee/ster or no, Neumayr's underlying point is germane and applicable.

McCain is exactly what a GOP that treats the natural moral law as negotiable deserves. The natural law is the philosophical core of conservatism. Any party that abandons or downplays it becomes just another species of liberalism. Most "conservative" positions today are little more than the liberal positions of yesteryear, from Bill Clinton's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy to No Child Left Behind -- a PC conservatism that Mitt Romney and McCain perfectly embody.

...A conservatism without the natural law is simply willful liberalism in a more respectable guise, moving more glacially than the left's transparent one, but essentially agreeing that man is the measure of all things and political disputes, no matter how obviously they bear upon the God-given nature of man, are to be resolved by power and man's desires.

I recently engaged in a lengthy and civil (!!) email exchange with a Lefty blogger from Milwaukee. In essence, he was a portrait of the above paragraph, arguing that "homosexual marriage" is a right, and that it should be legal. My argument from "nature" was politely but firmly dismissed as irrelevant.

Both reason and bitter history should tell conservatives that sawing off the natural law leg of its stool makes the whole thing collapse. Without principles rooted in reality upon which to deliberate about the size of government proper to human beings, economic conservatism evaporates and foreign-policy conservatism turns hubristic. If McCain isn't sitting on a three-legged stool, that's because GOP activists threw it away a long time ago. They set up in its place a Big Tent and McCain crawled into it. Their whining is a generation too late.

More Neumayr would be a good thing--but it will take another 4, 8, or 12 years to find that Conservatism in another (R) candidate.


Jeff Miller said...

That is what made Ronald Reagan so great is that for years he worked to develop his conservative philosophy and thought long and hard on the underpinnings of conservatism. This is why he had so many great one liners or government and bureaucracy. since his understanding led him to see government as it truly is.

Lefy blogger from Milwaukee said...


You knew I wasn't going to let this slide. Your argument wasn't dismissed. I do believe it was you who dismissed that there might be more to "natural law" than the Church would acknowledge.

Dad29 said...

Actually, it would have been more accurate to state that you simply avoided the specific question of the phsiology (nature) of sexual relations.

THAT allowed you to argue for a State-created 'marriage' of homosexuals.

The point is the same: both (R) and (D) candidates would be happy to ignore natural law and substitute 'man as the measure of all things.'

One current example: ignoring the natural law of inflation, the Party in Gummint is now preparing to spend $157Bn they don't have to secure re-election.

Lefty liberal from Milwaukee said...


You're pretty spry for an older gentleman, the way you dance so prettily around the issue and even touching upon it like a summer's evening breeze.

The physiology is what creates the orientation, thus making it natural. That's the nub of it, whether you're ready to accept it or not.

Dad29 said...

Lefty, you're damn right I'm spry. That's how I've managed to live this long.

Nice dance to you, too: the physiology below the belt-line is not so accomodating to your wishes, is it?

And I still maintain that you are confusing psychology with physiology, by the way.

More important, Lefty: either way you choose to play it, you are repeating the claim (mutatis mutandis) that "Blacks are better athletes" (see:

You don't want to go there, do you, Lefty?

capper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lefty blogger from Milwaukee said...

No, Dad, I don't dance, just ask my wife.

What I am referring to is the fact that the physical structure of the hypothalamus does have an affect on one's orientation. That is nature.

Your example has been refuted by showing that it is a cultural emphasis on athletic activities, and not genetics. This is nurture.

While nature and nurture can both have effects on one's behaviors and attitudes, nurture doesn't start from birth and doesn't affect dispositions to the same degree.

Dad29 said...

"Nurture doesn't start from birth"?

Curious. When does 'nurture' actually start?

Regardless, if you choose either, you are accepting the thesis that 'as the twig is bent, so grows the tree.'

In other words, you postulate that the will has no place in behavior.

Hell, with that as a postulate, we could save a lotta tax dollars: just dump all LEO and courts!

As to dancing: your wife's missing something here. You still haven't addressed the physiology beneath the beltline.

Maybe you ought to tell her that you can really dance. I sure don't want to break the news to her.

Lefty said...

Oh bother, I have never met someone so concerned about semantics.

Let us go with "the effects of nurture".

The will can control behavior, but not orientation. You can't will yourself to like Brussels Spouts. You either do or you don't.

As for the lower physiological issue, they seem to have done things for a few thousand years. So something must be working, eh?
If you're referring to the procreation isssue, not everyone or even every animal feels the need to procreate. Just the need for sexual gratification.

Lefty said...

Oh, and for the record, I don't sing either.