Speech controls on political speech about a Republican primary race – more examples of what fuels the Trump phenomenon – i.e. totalitarians.
The Elbert County Citizens message instructing the Citizens not to comment, under the heading encouraging them to share ideas, probably captures the point of this post the best.
“By now, you should have received your mail-in ballot for the Republican primary for Elbert County. We hope you will take the time to fill it out and vote for the candidate of your choice.
We are a group of Elbert County citizens who care deeply that our election process is fair and transparent. While we are not advocating for any candidate in this handout, we do want you to be aware of some things that are important to know as you consider your vote.
All the candidates have some area of vulnerability their opponents would like to expose, sadly we consider that part of our present day political process. Like you, we usually ignore these things.
However. when we see an area where we feel a candidate has not been transparent in their own promotional material, we feel it is important to communicate that with you. In this year’s election, we are happy to report that there is only one area of real concern out of all the candidates.
Grant Thayer, running in the primary for County Commissioner in District 3, has invested a lot of money to win this campaign. He has secured a campaign manager that is negative towards others while being vague about Thayer’s record. This concerns us as you decide how to vote.
Thayer has billed himself as an outsider trying to ride the popular wave against politicians. He is far from an outsider – he runs in circles of people in the county who have tried repeatedly to control county politics and policy. Many of them appear to be his supporters and financiers.
On January 23 of this year, the Elbert County News reported that Thayer had been on the county planning commission for 14 years and was chairman for most of those years.(1) And yet, nowhere is it mentioned in the 14 pages of his website that he was chairman of the planning commission for the majority of the 14 years. He did not even divulge his membership on his “Planning Commission” page nor on his “More About Grant” page.
He sates on his website that: “The Planning Commission is the BOCC and citizens best friend.”(2) If this is true, then it seems strange that he tries to hide his deep involvement in it for 14 years and completely omits that he was chairman. If he is vying for public service, wouldn’t this be an important part of his resume? The transparency may be missing because of the problems we discovered in his record.
A large part of Thayer’s platform is getting a new master plan done. While on his website he acknowledges that the county Master Plan is decades old, he then states: “The Planning Commission is responsible for the preparation and maintenance of the Master Plan.”(3) So why is it decades old if he was chairman for the better part of 14 years?
As part of the planning commission, he approved a water plan for Spring Valley Vista that led to a lawsuit against the county in 2006. The Master plan that was in effect at the time was bypassed by the planning commission and the commissioners.(4) A 2006 article listed Thayer, as a “developer”, planning commission member and sitting on a non-profit corporation with the commissioner who was voting in favor of the failed proposal for Spring Valley Vista. Questions about conflict of interest were raised.(5)
He also advocates cooperation with the county commissioners. Perhaps that is why his work on the planning commission is neglected in his promo material. As chairman of the planning commission, it took Thayer two and a half years to come up with oil and gas regulations that were voted down by the commissioners 2-1 . His response to this obstacle was to promptly resign.(6) If he did not work with those who questioned what he wanted to do just a little over two years ago, what has changed?
But that leads to another deep concern we have about Thayer. While he doesn’t seem to be transparent about his years of deep participation in county politics, he also is elusive about his business connections using political spin to skirt the issue. He flaunts his CEO experience, but is coy about for who and the results.
His site states: “His most recent industry responsibility was as Co-Chief Executive Officer of a firm that purchased a large portfolio of non performing financial assets. The assets included loans to several oil and gas companies that were in default. Within three years, Grant and his associates converted these assets into those that met the investment goals of the firm.”(7)
What firm? Doesn’t say. Assets in default? A takeover? Doesn’t say. Met the investment firms goals? Liquidation? Downsizing? Doesn’t say. Whatever it is, it seems if it is not flattering to Thayer then transparency is missing. That may be how a CEO does it, but not a public servant who represents the people. We are electing someone to represent us, not manage us.
Thank you for voting in the primary and we are proud this year that there are many other great candidates to choose from.”
(1) & (6) http://elbertcountynews.net/stories/Second-Repubican-joins-race-for-commissioner,205742
(2) & (3) http://www.grantthayer4u.com/assembly-position-statements/
Thayer is a planner. I’ve written and blogged dozens of times on this site about the malfeasance of planning and zoning. (http://elbertcounty.net/blog/category/planning/ => index says 140 times!)
My views have not changed.
You have to be a registered Republican to get elected to public office in Elbert County. You don’t have to uphold any ideals normally associated with the party, and an activist minority here loudly prefers that you don’t. Party affiliation in Elbert County tells you about as much as hair color. It’s a non-dispositive attribute.
This greatly complicates matters around election time because the signals that people normally use to read the political landscape aren’t reliable. Candidates have constituencies, but the constituencies don’t know each other and aren’t identified unless they out themselves.
Politics used to be a social affair where people could air their views and engage each other with some expectation of understanding. Political parties aren’t really necessary for that to happen. But if they exist it would be nice if they meant something because the two political parties in America now speak different languages, and they don’t generally understand each other very well.
In Elbert County, however, politics are bifurcated. They are de facto non-party, under a de jure party system. On the one hand, a common party affiliation leads to an expectation of not-wildly-divergent political views, while on the other hand, wildly-divergent political views pop up under the Elbert County Republican rubric all the time.
Moreover, the minority use this confounded landscape as a tactic to ratchet the majority into the minority’s way of doing things. Under the flags of transparency, regulation, and accountability, they use subterfuge, coercion, and harassment. Like rust, the militancy never rests.
Every now and then an activist will carelessly or proudly name-drop a dash of Marx, an Alynsky rule, or a big government maxim. But they rarely get called on it because, after all, who would expect to meet a communist principle in a Republican framework?
When someone has the temerity to challenge their leftism, the shock and dismay that anyone could even think something so dastardly about the little angels comes pouring out in teachable moments of politically correct speech proscriptions. The collectivist problem (in the Republican framework) isn’t relevant, but talking about it is a high crime.
A reasonable person would think communism to be a dead philosophy. Didn’t the Berlin wall come down? Wasn’t the Russian parliament attacked by tanks? But as the Sanders campaign and the Left’s current violence on American streets are showing, communism is alive here. It’s only dead or dying in countries that have actually been governed by it.
Elbert County’s Left never got the memo. And many of them became Republicans.
Will the coming generations cure this political mess in Elbert County? With so much institutionalized denial in local politics, with an activist minority who prefer to operate without criticism under artifice and pretense, and with the young conditioned in school to look first to government for solutions, I expect not.
A return to a functioning two-party system in Elbert County wouldn’t, by itself, fix the negative consequences of subterfuge. We have an ethical deficiency, and that’s a little more difficult to remedy.
The commissioners race has sorted out in Elbert County. Limited-government people support the Richardson/Wills pair. Pro-government-action people support the Whistler/Thayer pair.
I haven’t seen any exceptions to this sort.
The ballots are out, and the county, at-large, gets to vote on all commissioner districts, notwithstanding in which commissioner district a voter resides.
This is all on the Republican primary ticket, which effectively constitutes a general election in Elbert County.
The limited-government cohort seem quite willing to discuss issues and philosophies. The pro-government-action cohort, not so much. They express discomfort with rebuttals to their belief system in a variety of collateral ways that shut down further discussion – crybullying, shunning, mau mauing, innuendo, and various character assassinations.
The pro-government-action people seem conflicted and upset at having to defend their chosen positions. I expect that they learned their positions when they were young, and instead of moving on in adulthood, they found a political home that liked them just the way they were.
I know that the above analysis will infuriate the pro-government-action people, and I take no pleasure in having to deliver the message. But tantrums are no way to run a county. It’s past time mature voters stood up to the crybullies.
The primary election looms large in the window, also known as the general election in one-party Elbert County. Along with the wild flowers, commissioner candidate sales pitches are in full throated bloom.
Some of the selling centers on constitutional fundamentals, statesmanship, limited government – the conservative basket of principles. This language sounds so tautologically wonderful, airtight, and it really appeals to students of history and traditional idealists.
Other selling focusses more on modern management methods and the myth that the most desirable future is already known today, so plans must be written into law to force Elbert County citizens to comply with the Vision.
Still other selling advises we shuck all that highbrow theoretical buncombe and take a flyer on someone unconventional because, well, just because it might be better that way.
None of it will pan out, because none of it has ever panned out, and it’s all been done many times before. Politics is an art of make-believe practiced one step ahead of the voting rubes. Some parties practice politics one step ahead of the law too, but since politicians can change laws, this usually doesn’t present much of a problem.
History’s rule book tells us that laws, statutes, codifications, master plans, and judicial opinions, rarely get repealed or overturned, despite how poorly they anticipate future human behavior, or how much they end up costing. Politicians and judges rarely get impeached, despite poor decisions made. Ministerial immunity rarely gets penetrated, despite negligent and reckless actions. And statesmanship founded in principles enumerated in the Declaration of Independence rarely compels behavior in the face of exigent pragmatic considerations.
Candidate “puffing” – sales pitches – make bubbles that will burst. More puffing means bigger bubbles, but they all burst in time.
Those who voted for the plan will discover that the plan didn’t work. Those who voted for the principles will look long and hard to find any evidence of them in practice. Those who voted for change will discover the same old thing. Those who voted for the entitlements will discover that it wasn’t nearly enough to alleviate their needs. Those who voted for limiting government will discover that the corrupting influence of power proved too much for any man to resist.
The systemic problems we add to the complexity of life by propagating this pointless political overhead suck the life out of our society, to no good end. The only rational response to it all is to not further enable it.
Please, commissioner candidates, don’t do us any favors. Don’t promise to make plans for us, be they masterful or otherwise. Your predecessors have made too much mess with plans for us already. Don’t promise to make Elbert County more effective so it can collect more taxes and haul in more revenue from the citizens. We citizens already think government hauls in too much from us. Don’t promise to get along with each other so that the commission can agree on doing more to the citizens of Elbert County. We don’t want you to do more. We want you to do less to us. Don’t promise us more government. We want less government – the exact opposite of what most of you were promising.
As true today as in 1849 when first penned, “That government is best which governs least…”, Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience.
After viewing the Youtube vids from the multi-party commissioner candidate forum the other night, with all of the promises, plans, accusations, and elucidations, you’re all courting power, evidently imagining yourselves qualified to dictate to other people indistinguishable from yourselves.
I can imagine who told you this is what Elbert County needs and wants – the usual pro-planning, pro-government, country-in-county, NIMBY, something-for-nothing, folks who publish our local fishwraps, who think grant money is the route to profitability, who work daily to keep Elbert County stuck in the last century.
Elbert County is beautiful. But it’s also a wasteland with no viable economy and no affordable means for people to make a contribution to the modern world. That’s the legacy I heard most of you promise to uphold the other night.
Surely Elbert County could do more for the modern world than be a bedroom community for public employees, retired and punching coupons, or still employed by a public agency of some sort. In most other parts of the world, people actually have to make a contribution to society to survive.
I’m waiting for one of you commissioner candidates to promise to not sustain the Potemkin Village of Elbert County.
“Often contradictory in his views on atheism and religion, Rousseau nevertheless was certain of one thing: that the State should be the final arbiter of the human condition, in the name of something he called the General Will. Only the State, he thought, could make postlapsarian man well again. One can practically smell the fascism coming off his pages, all in the name of compassion, of course. No wonder his more perceptive contemporaries, including Voltaire, considered him a monster.
Many others, however, were greatly influenced by him, including most of the great monsters of the twentieth century. Without Rousseau, Marx is unthinkable; without Marx, Lenin is unthinkable; without Lenin, Stalin is unthinkable, without Stalin, Mao is unthinkable; without Mao, Ho Chi Minh and Pol Pot are unthinkable.”
Michael Walsh, “The Devil’s Pleasure Palace,” 2015, p. 137-8.
I don’t see the malice in Trump that so many on both the Right and Left keep spinning up. Can Trump undo some of the damage to America that Obama committed? That’s the hope, though it’s probably too much to expect from one man. But meanwhile, the Left continue to promote malice to some under the excuse of favoritism to others. Sure, higher standards exist for choosing a President, but if frogs could fly they wouldn’t bump their asses hopping on the ground.
“Its pretensions to “comprehensitivity” destroyed, we can now see this “system” as a form of intellectual charlatanism, a studied fascination with process and minutiae that bespeaks the true soul of the born bureaucrat–the man who does nothing in particular, and to no societal good, but who by his own lights does it very well.”
The context of the above writing is not county politics, political appointments, school boards, citizen committees, or similar local governing bodies that folks–so eerily described above–zealously seek out and set aside for themselves each year in Elbert County.
How many times have you heard one of them hold forth on how hard they, or one in their cohort, works in the power role they’ve secured?
Do they expect us to believe that obsessive protection of their local offices somehow disproves the corrupting influence of power?
“The context and subtext contain the real message. This is true on both sides of today’s political battles. On the one side, we have the remnants–scratched and bleeding, but still partially cohesive–of the old American Christian cultures, largely Protestant but with a strong admixture of Catholics; on the other is the far less numerous but culturally potent Unholy Left, adhering to its own secular religion, although it professes atheism. As with the battle between radical Islam and the West, one side has explicitly avowed war on the other, while the other, more powerful, refuses to acknowledge it or even conceive of it. Which side, under these circumstances, is more likely to be successful?”
Michael Walsh, “The Devil’s Pleasure Palace,” 2015, p. 115.
Cool tool: http://electioninsights.mybluemix.net/#/
Graph adjustable from 1 to 250 subjects (bottom slider), and 1 minute to 1 week (top slider). Note how much better Trump is doing this past week than Hillary.
Memo to #nevertrumpsters: If conservative principles are so precious that they provide justification to subject the country to openly Leftist government, I should think those principles need more context and perspective.
“What evidence is there that there is an arc of history and that it bends in any particular direction? One would think that the Unholy Left would be the last to assert such a grand pattern, given their disbelief in the Deity. Whence comes this “arc”? Who created it? Where did its moral impulse toward “justice” come from? What is “justice” anyway, and who decides? And if the word “justice” bears a bien-pensant modifier (as in “environmental justice”), the only “justice” is likely to be the “justice” of revenge. The word “justice,” in the hands of the Left, has come to mean pretty much any policy goal they desire.
None of this matters, however, when the purpose of the assertion is not to offer an argument but to shut down the opposition via the timely employment of unimpeachable buzzwords and to advance a political agenda that has little or nothing to do with the terms employed for its advancement. Indeed, martial metaphors, not moralistic catchphrases, are the key to understanding the modern Left and its “scientific” dogma of Critical Theory: Theirs is a Hobbesian war of all against all (bellum omnum contra omnes), of every man’s hand against every other man’s. As Orwell, who knew a thing or two about the intellectual fascism of the Left, wrote in 1984: “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.” These three aphorisms are the official slogans of the Ministry of Truth in 1984, and the truth is whatever the Ministry says it is. Truth is malleable and fungible, a function of day and date. The Devil will say what he has to say and will quote such scripture as he requires in order to achieve the sole objective remaining to him: the ruination of Man and his consignment to Hell.”
Michael Walsh, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace, 2015, pp. 52-53.
It was passing strange when Ken Buck represented the 1% of Colorado citizens who attend Republican caucuses as 40% of all voters yesterday (4/11/16) on the Mark Levin show. Stranger still that Levin went right along with the charade that unelected caucus attendees represent the voters. I lost count of the number of times he echoed the 40% of all voters myth.
I have to separate my respect for Levin’s constitutional analysis from my disgust over his knee jerk support for the non-representative caucus system.
When will the Colorado GOP figure out that they cannot claim legitimacy because a minuscule minority of them show up at a meeting once every two years? Legitimacy comes from the consent of all the voters, not a self-selected few.
The hypocrisy of upholding the values of accountability and personal responsibility when talking about the failings of other people, but practicing an unrepresentative form of politics by local-loud-mouth, completely undermines their cause.
- I’m waiting for the politician who doesn’t promise me, or anyone else, anything.
- I’m waiting for the politician who doesn’t use my idealism to advance them self.
- I’m waiting for the politician who doesn’t try to pull an emotional response from me.
- I’m waiting for the politician who is known for the laws they repealed.
- I’m waiting for the politician who has no pitch, and who is not a salesman.
- I’m waiting for the politician who does not seek political office.
- I’m waiting for the politician who takes no satisfaction from governance.
- I’m waiting for the politician who admits the evil nature of power in them self.
Same old stuff, different day – and you thought I was going to use the more accurate word.
Click on ’em, resize ’em to your browser, read ’em ‘n weep.
To summarize, in the name of the inalienable rights of liberty and property, the laudable purposes of safety and general welfare, and the myth of mother Gaia, the Left would lard up the Colorado constitution with collectivist abrogations of the inalienable rights of liberty and property, would decrease safety and general welfare, and would empower local Leftist apparatchiks to dominate their subjects – us – with impunity.
I don’t like being a subject. I suggest that Colorado citizens vote against becoming subjects by rejecting these Leftist initiatives. Don’t we have too much totalitarianism already?
One more thing…
The best thing for the citizens of Elbert County that you could do with the referenced grant money would be to dismantle and destroy the regulatory planning law and its appurtenant bodies that have caused so much harm to Elbert County in the form of foregone economic activity and the elimination of economic potential.
Faced with overwhelming evidence that markets “work,” Obama’s advice is to go on searching for “what works.” => Denial on stilts.
On the one hand we have an ongoing food-fight egged on by the media who only ask questions about the food-fight, and never follow any thread about substantive solutions to the worlds problems.
On the other hand, a serene and respectful candidate discussion about fantasy subjects that have never worked is encouraged, with a reality reduced to simplistic emotions for the least common denominator of voter, and a fawning media who never follow up on any problem in the world remotely connected to their simplisticism.
The real adversary in this election is television media; CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS & FOX.