Sitting on Blisters, Living under Carter – Tom McClintock and 3 Pillars

“Elections belong to the people. It is their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters”– Abraham Lincoln.

As I said yesterday, one of my favorite GOPers is Tom McClintock. He gave this speech here to the Council for National Policy last week – one of the best that I have seen championing liberty and the fight for conservatism. This is a moving, must-read for anyone interested in advancing freedom and the limited government roots of our nation.

Does this sound like a RINO? – “Voters have swept our party from office after a failed Republican administration that abandoned conservative principles. The most left-wing president in our nation’s history has taken office……his agenda includes radical intervention into energy markets highly inflationary monetary policy…..dramatically increasing overall domestic spending with deficits as far as the eye can see….”

McClintock believes we are living directly in parallel to the era of Jimmy Carter – “You remember those years. Jimmy Carter’s policies brought us double digit unemployment AND double digit inflation; interest rates at 21%….just a few years later, it was morning again in America. Four years of Jimmy Carter produced eight years of Ronald Reagan, and looking back on it, that wasn’t such a bad trade, was it?”

On the tide turning in America – ” What we are seeing in the polls is a gradual awakening of the American people….we saw that two summers ago with the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill….we saw that just a month ago when Rick Santelli told a routine cable broadcast that he was sick and tired of being forced to pay for his neighbor’s mortgage…”

On RINOs, Colin Powell, the ‘Listening Tour’, Megan McCain and ‘Moderates’,, Statists in the Republican Party – “a new chorus of hand-wringing that said we had to get over our nostalgia for Reagan…it’s the same kind of hand wringing that Ulysses Grant confronted at the Battle of Wilderness….to those that say we should put the Reagan Era behind us – I have a better idea. Let’s put the Bush era behind us.”

On what the party stands for, of what it used to and what it should – this is my favorite part – “We stand for freedom. We stand for abundance. We stand for individual responsibility. Freedom. Abundance and Responsibility. That is our platform.”

I’m coming away from this speech this Saturday morning, thoughts racing after reading this man’s words again. Brilliant in it’s simplicity, the platform and message that would eradicate the march of socialism, liberalism, statism and fascism today. If I were to run for office,(albeit not standing a chance), these would be my 3 pillars in the words of the Left Coast Rebel –

  1. Freedom – What does this mean to me? To America? The freedom to rise each day, each morning knowing that one will retain the vast sum of one’s earnings. That the central planners of either party won’t confiscate earnings and property for schemes of a ‘greater good’, ‘volunteerism’, ‘fairness’, ‘social equality’, ‘carbon guilt’, ‘redress’, ‘social justice’. To know that the Constitution, which clearly enumerates the many things that our government cannot do to us, won’t be shredded daily and that is not ‘flexible’ or a ‘living-breathing’ document.

  2. Abundance – Flowing from the concept of freedom. The basic notion that an individual is sacred and once set free enables himself and the society at large by pursuing happiness Through this pursuit he creates abundancy through unshackled entrepreneurial pursuits. Individual creativity, shackle-free dreams, liberty-induced limitless potential.

  3. Responsibility – I am not my neighbor’s keeper. And neither is he mine. There is no lease, levy or mortgage on my future, present or past. I am free to do as I choose under the constraints of the rule of law and the Constitution. I know full well that when I fail, I won’t look to the nanny-state do-gooders for a ‘bail out’ or a check. Subsidization of failure creates more failure – on the corporate side, local and national government, and the individual.

Could I win on this simple platform? Or have we lost America so badly that we deserve the Obamanation?


  1. This is just one of many great speeches we can expect hear in the coming months.

    When McClintock said: “The Left would condemn our children to the failure of government schools run by teacher unions. We would liberate parents to select the school and the teacher that best meets their child’s needs and hold the school and the teacher accountable for the results.

    The Left would condemn our families to sky-high energy prices; we would free America’s vast energy reserves and limitless supplies of clean, cheap electricity through nuclear power, hydro-electricity and clean coal.

    The Left would condemn our health care to bureaucrats who’ll decide what treatments we may have and when we may have them. We would provide the tax credits to bring a basic health plan within the financial reach of every family – a health plan they could chose, they could own, and they could change if it failed to serve them.

    The Left would deny union members the right to a secret ballot; we would free employers to pay bonuses to union members above and beyond their union contract.” This reminded me of Deroy Murdock’s speech at CPAC 2009. Check it out:

    A better version can be found here:

    Remember, the left is burning their own butts by telling Americans we have NO freedom of choice. Why this hasn’t been thought out before is beyond me, but it is absolutely brilliant, and simple. It leaves “progressives” with no where to go, and makes them look like the totalitarians they truly are.

  2. Thank you. I printed that one out to keep. I agree… simple and sane are these three pillars.

    I know I’ve given myself a few blisters… but you know, it’s that middle pillar up there… I at least accept my responsibility for causing them. I guess that’s why I left.

  3. I love it. I’m putting the freedom, abundance and responsibility quote on the top of my blog. I liked McClintock before, and I’m liking him more now. Thanks for the heads up.

  4. William – thank you for reading and sharing that extra part of the speech. It is astounding to me to contrast this man’s words with the socialist/democrats today. Will America choose this?

    Ananda – thank you for the support….

    Opus – tell your readers about this piece, link me if you would!

  5. Yes, sorry I forgot that. I put your link on my header. Gotta attribute the source, lol. AND I featured you in this afternoon’s blog post, he he.

  6. And now for the dissenting opinion =)

    I really respect your view on America. However, I respectfully disagree with the stance on the type of small government discussed here.

    I have spent 10 years in education – 9 years as a tutor/private teacher, and 1 year in public school. As a certified teacher I can tell you the platform you propose for education would not work. Free market education (ie. charter schools) is expensive, and not all students would have an equal chance at a good education. I’m from Long Island where my town has a median income of $97,000. The town in my undergraduate university had a median income of $32,000. How can these kids compete with kids in my town in a private school system? Simple answer is they cannot. It would be like the Major League Baseball; teams in big market areas inherently have a better chance at teh playoffs because they can afford the best talent. Problem two, is there is no way a government can make sure all kids go to school. You cannot force anyone to use a business, which education becomes under a free market system. I will agree that teachers unions are too powerful for their own good, and I have argued that they need SERIOUS reform, but a purely free market educational system will fail.

    “I am not my brother’s keeper”
    Therein lies the problem. I do not suggest you knock on your neighbors door and ask “hey buddy, are all your bills paid on time? No? Want $75 bucks to cover you cable bill this month?” People are not businesses. When people fail under your system how do they get a fresh start. If there is no welfare or unemployment programs, are they doomed to the streets and cardboard box forever? How about people in the cities where there is no frontier upon which to build a house… are they condemed to subway stations? A culture of shared responsibility creates a feeling of community, and a chance to learn from mistakes. I admire your pride in the individual – if everyone does their part, then life is good. What if someone does EVERYTHING right… works a 9-5, cooks healthy dinners, read the kids a bedtiem story every night, and then the dad gets a heart attack, costing $85,000 in hosptial fees? the family is destoryed! They wind up living in their cars because the mdeical bills destoryed their perfect life. And in your system, there is no one to help them. There is room for the government. It is important to exercise checks and balances, but there is such a thing as going too far.

  7. By the way, political discourse is much fun, please feel free to stop by my blog The L Comment and join in the debate from the other side of the aisle =)

    The L Comment

  8. hmmm link doesnt work…typed the wrong code lol, heres the site

  9. I remember carter and you fogot one more nightmare of that stupid excuse of a president, the long gas lines. Only thing BO’s policies will make that look like the Reagan years in comparison. From what I understand of economics, and I’ve studied econ when I was getting my math degree, we’ll be looking at inflation and interest rates that will make Carter years be a MONTHLY event, perhaps, semi-monthly. Add the nationalization of the banks, insurance companies and the auto industries, and Carter is starting to look good to me (and I never thought I would say that in my lifetime).

    The Law, I worked as a teaher for a year and subbed and did private work for 6 years before and you’re telling me that the way things are now are better than what the free market would bring? That our kids are getting an equal education? Yea, equally bad and ignorant. The model that you’re playing devil’s avocate for is going to collapse from it’s own weight because it can’t educate, lets the inmates run the asylum, and it sucks money like a black hole sucks matter and energy.

  10. madmath, short answer, yes. A 100% free market educational system existed before public school was invented. There was no government mandate for learning, there were private institutions for people who could afford it, homeschooling, and if a town was lucky a local school house to learn the 3 Rs. What that system created was a wide disparity in education amongst students of different socio-economic status. Thus the rich kids in New England, New York, and coastal Virginia received a far better education that students
    in Alabama, Mississippi, and other rural areas. The public school system was created for the very purpose of ensuring all kids went to school and that they would more or less receive the same education. There was no constitutional provision for the governance of schools, so public school fell under the purview of the 10th amendment.

    Public school is not the problem. Poor teacher training, inconsistent standards, lack of modern resources, lack of parental involvment, our fast paced culture, amongst other factors contributes to poor education. If we switched to a free market system tomorrow, I guarantee you that would wouldn’t see any significant difference. The problem with education, like most everything else, stems from not understanding the root cause of a problem, and instead spending money chasing solutions.

    I should state, I am NOT against free market education. There is most definitely a big part it could play in education today. It should compete with other private instituations AS WELL AS public schools.

  11. TL – Thanks for the debate. It seems that you love discourse, as you say. I had to print out your reply to respond! First off on education, I’ll put out a few of my points.
    1) – I do believe in a pure, free market solution to right the education system. However I know that such a solution will take decades to transition to, and I believe in it more as a sphere of thought and a launching pad from where to start to get our system back in standing that it should be. We probably think more similiarly than it seems. I understand as you point out that the charter school model has problems in lower economic areas. In this scenario, possibly a combination of a voucher style sytem along with a charter school alternative would be the key. The charter idea is a tough one-size-fits-all solution. Howvever, in areas of lower economic strata I believe that there could be great effect by combining some mixture of reform. Just as I believe that I should have ‘say’ in and be able to gradually opt out of Social Security, market reforms in the public school system cannot be done all at once. Getting the Union largess out of the picture is also priority #1.

    2) – TL, I do truly believe that I am not my brother’s keeper. I believe that I do owe hard-earned tax dollars to the state, local and fed branches, however these tax dollars should not be used for anything but the necessary, limited functions of the government. The commerce system, judicial system, law enforcement, military and others. I believe that a ‘culture of shared responsibility’ as you say needs to come from voluntary action and not by tax edict forced upon me by gunpoint. Our society is the perfect example of a burgeoining welfare state that takes the ‘charity’ out of helping the truly helpless. I believe that our government run charity type programs are wrought with fraud and actually cause or excasberate the exact problem that they are set up to stop. I believe that people that fail learn from their mistakes… nets distort this and subsidize failure with tax dollars. To your last point as well, I think that there is room for government, I just thinkg that it needs to be greatly scaled back as we have entered a new era of coercion through tax law and have hurt the individual’s ability to pursue happiness through the growth of the state in every area of life. There is room for government, I just think that the government that governs least governs the best.
    Thanks for reading.

  12. Goddangit LCR, if you run for office I’ll give you money! I really liked the speech and I LOVED the 3 pillars that you wrote! Well done sir.

  13. Your blog is great . Thank you for stopping by mine.. I don’t know when any of this insanity is going to end.I know some RINOs are responsible for this mess too, but not like the Dems and the Libs. I am with you and that is why I also started my blog. Trying to get word out and wake people up. Though some will never wake up from there is a Utopia delusions.

  14. Jingoist – Thank you for the kind words, I am just busting at the seams with frustration with politics….

    Cris – Yes, you are right but there are enough people that we can wake up to turn the tide….keep up your voice

  15. The more money we throw at the education system, the more messed up it gets….that’s so clear. The unions are busting our kids’ chops.$$$

    LCR, thanks….McClintock is SO good. I Googled his State Measures list and voted down the line … I really agree with him on most everything.

  16. A failed administration? Just what the hell is that supposed to mean? Compared with what?

  17. Z – Yes and this it would seem would be patently obvious….but it isn’t

    ccoffer – I’m not sure what you are referring to?

  18. Reb,

    Thanks for the visit to birdy.

    In item #2 you mention the keeping of earnings rather than to have them taken and shared with those who …. didn’t earn. That is the suicide of human civilization.

    In the jungle, those who earn (their food and shelter) survive, prosper and procreate giving us more of the am thereby strengthening the species or culture. That is how the world got the levels of prosperity and technology giving us the high standard of living we have enjoyed. (past tense).

    What we have now is the most capable tossing in the towel, giving up. They have been robbed to support the weak and inept. That has been the trend. It is the weak and stupid who are doing all the procreating since they have little else to do with all that free time and other people’s free money courtesy of the monsters who govern us nowadays.

    We ignore the rules of the jungle at our peril. In the end we will have a world of peasants and a handful of Elites ruling us with an iron fist. You can see that in many countries now. Those are not countries you would consider living in.

    My question is: if no one would want to live in say … Cuba … what are we turning the USA and Canada into … Cuba?

    What more is there to say?

  19. Birdy – Great analogy and thank you for writing this, I will use this theme in the future…….

  20. “I have a better idea. Let’s put the Bush era behind us.”

    Bush wasn’t the worst president ever, but i take your point when compared to Reagan.

    Personally i’d settle for let’s leave hussein and his socialism behind.

  21. mksviews – I agree, Bush wasn’t the worst president ever but he certainly was not a fiscal conservative. Of course even Bill Clinton looks like a free marketeer compared to the Obamanation…….

  22. Freedom, abundance and responsiblity are great contrasts to the leftist agenda. I think as more people rally around tea party principles, these three points will become even more attractive.

    Thanks for the link to McClintock’s speech. He is just the type of Rep we need in Washington these day.

  23. Kudos to your 'You Might Like This' features for bringing me to this speech. I'm now a fan of Tom McClintock where I had not known of him before (though he does look familiar). I read the entire passage and I'm just floored, inspired, completely taken in by his message of hope and truth. We've got to keep this idea alive!


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