The Commons: The baby face of Canadian conservatism

Pierre Poilievre and his three principles of politics

The Commons: The baby face of Canadian conservatismPierre Poilievre climbed on stage, extended a hand and greeted Bernard Lord as “premier.” Noticing a couple dignitaries in the first row of seats in front of him, he smiled and struck up a conversation.

Organizers walked around handing out a workbook for “personal reflection.” Poilievre—baby-faced and not yet 30, short hair parted to the left and slick with product, wearing rimless glasses, a dark blue suit, light blue shirt and maroon-and-blue-striped tie—sat and studied his audience, a group of maybe 25, many of them his age or younger.

To his left sat Patrick Brazeau, a 34-year-old Aboriginal man, recently appointed to the Senate and the subject of various controversies. To his right, sat Fraser Macdonald, a 20-something who had already managed a campaign for federal office. At the microphone, stood Bernard Lord, emcee for this forum. In 1999, at the age of 33, Lord was elected premier of New Brunswick and was quickly hailed as a potential saviour for the federal Progressive Conservative party. Seven years later, the PC party now in the past tense, Lord was voted out of office in New Brunswick. Still charming and boyish, though with as much grey hair as black hair, he’s now a lobbyist for the telecommunications industry.

The panel, part of a weekend conservative conference in Ottawa, was entitled “Next Generation: For those new to politics, particulary students and young people—Imagine what could be, imagine what you could do.”

Though 14 years older, Lord introduced Poilievre in tones approaching reverence. “I’m very pleased to introduce Pierre Poilievre. He is an energetic and outspoken member of parliament, who gets results and is not afraid to take principled stands on difficult issues … a great example of youth, energy, results and success in Canadian politics.”

“Thank you very much premier, what a pleasure it is to be on the stage with Canada’s youngest elder statesman,” Poilievre joked after arriving at the microphone.

Poilievre’s political life is not uncontroversial. Actually, to be fair, that’s an understatement. More specifically, Poilievre is probably one of the more generally infuriating individuals on Parliament Hill.

Of course, he is also one of the most successful.

In June 2006, two years after he was first elected and months after the Conservatives formed government, he was accused of both mocking the Speaker and gesturing rudely in the House of Commons. “Mr. Speaker, yesterday some members raised a concern about some gestures that they alleged I had made in the House of Commons at that time,” he said the next day. “I wish to say, as I am a gentleman of this House, that if any of my gestures have offended them or any member in this House, I wish to apologize and withdraw.”

Days earlier he was caught on camera swearing at other MPs during a committee meeting. (Video of that incident is preserved on YouTube.)

In February 2007, he suggested to an Ottawa radio station that an “extremist element” in the Liberal party was to explain for the opposition’s reluctance to renew several anti-terror laws. A year later, speaking to the same radio station, he wondered whether money directed to Aboriginal victims of residential schools was a wise investment. Those comments came just hours before Parliament commemorated the National Day of Apology.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to offer a full apology to aboriginal people, to the House and to all Canadians,” he said in the House the next day. “Yesterday, on a day when the House and all Canadians were celebrating a new beginning, I made remarks that were hurtful and wrong. I accept responsibility for them, and I apologize.”

Opposition MPs demanded he be removed from his parliamentary secretary position. Ottawa Citizen columnist Randall Denley called on Poilievre’s constituents to vote him out of office at the next opportunity. “I used to think that Nepean-Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre was a pretty smart kid who, despite a tendency to be a hyper-partisan self-promoter, would eventually grow into his responsibilities,” Denley wrote. “His recent actions have caused me to rethink that assessment. Poilievre’s statements about native residential schools this week were appalling in their content and horrendous in their timing. His party, and voters in Nepean-Carleton, should be asking if he’s fit to hold public office. As a constituent, I would say no.”

When Poilievre and the Conservative government were reelected last fall, Stephen Harper made Poilievre his personal parliamentary secretary.

In between apologies, he has acted as one of the Prime Minister’s lead partisans, perfecting a patronizing smugness that infuriates his opponents. At the peak of controversy over the Conservative party’s election spending practices, it was Poilievre who handled the matter in Question Period, reducing the allegations to a mocking call-and-response chant with his fellow government MPs. He has, at various points, mocked or criticized Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, general Romeo Dallaire and actress Sarah Polley. John Baird, one of his political mentors, often yells “Way to go, Skippy” at the conclusion of Poilievre’s performances.

This past week he twice rose in the House to protest the Speaker’s decision to limit personal attacks in the Commons.

“When I was contemplating a run for public office, I called John Baird, who was elected in Nepean-Carleton, my riding, at the age of 25, at the provincial level,” Poilievre recounted Saturday morning. “And I talked to him on the phone for a short time and I asked him, ‘If I run, do you think that I would have a chance of winning?’ And we hummed and hawed  … and John finally cut through all the noise and he said to me, ‘At the end of the day, the guy who wins is the guy who has the guts to run.’”

Never minding the strange bit of wisdom from Baird—don’t all candidates, by virtue of their running, possess such guts?—Poilievre has been unquestionably successful in this regard. In his first election, in 2004, he defeated David Pratt, a Liberal cabinet minister, by nearly 4,000 votes. Two years later he nearly doubled the total of his closest rival in the suburban and rural riding south of Ottawa. Last fall he won with 39,915 votes. The Liberal candidate finished second with just under 17,000.

In a 2006 survey of Parliament Hill staffers he was named the “hardest working MP” and finished second in the “best constituency MP” category. Last year, the same survey named him “biggest gossip.” He finished second to Michael Ignatieff in the category of “most ambitious” and tied for first as “biggest self-promoter” with his friend Mr. Baird.

In his opening remarks on Saturday, he outlined three principles, the second of which was communication. “This is a skill that is most demanded and least possessed on Parliament Hill,” he said. “Since I have been a member of parliament I have found it to be a real struggle to hire people who know how to write in a language that real people understand.”

His explanation for this was novel.

“The problem likely is that a lot of our young political activists were very good in university,” he said. “And if they could get an A on their university paper it means that they were destined to be political communicators. Why is this? Not because critical thought and learning is bad, but because in university we are taught to take five pages of content and stretch it into 20 pages of writing. When, in fact, the real skill is to do exactly the opposite, to compress that five pages into one. I think it was Rousseau who said, in a ten-page letter to a friend of his, ‘I would’ve written you this letter in one page, but I didn’t have time.’”

As an example of the right way to do things, he might’ve pointed to his own personal website—resultsforyou.ca

“Write and constantly fixate your energy on writing language that people sitting around Tim Horton’s will understand,” he continued, encouraging aspiring politicians to write for their community or student newspaper. “The voter does not have any responsibility to spend their time deciphering your Latin. They have a busy life. They are raising families. They are paying taxes. They are working their jobs. It is not their responsibility to decipher excessively verbose language. It is their job to read it and get it quick. It’s your job to help them do that.”

Wooing those who disregard or dislike politics was a bit of a theme.

He proceeded to explain the virtues of campaigning. “On the spoken side, the best way you can learn to communicate is in a way that often politicos denigrate, which is to do the hard, blue collar work of campaigning, going door-to-door … Often times, we in the political class, we develop our own language and we start to speak that language. We use acronyms that nobody understands, we use long, pointless sentences, we become vague. What you learn when you knock on doors is how to communicate with people who have busy lives and who don’t have time to decipher your Latin. And the great thing about knocking on doors is you have an instant and free focus group. You can tell by whether or not the voter’s eyes are glazing over if you are actually communicating. You can tell whether or not your language is persuasive to them, or just to you … You can test yourself over and over and over again.”

Moving to his third principle—”stand for something”—he pointed to the cautionary tales of Joe Clark, Kim Campbell, Ernie Eves and John Tory. “What we have learned is that when we abandon conservative voters, conservative voters will find a way to abandon us,” he said. “So if you want to be successful in conservative politics, you have to stand for something. You have to stand for ideas that excite large numbers of people—electricians, mechanics, carpenters, everyday working people that might not be totally fascinated by politics and, if they don’t like what they see, they might not vote at all. But if you do as Mike Harris and Preston Manning and Stephen Harper have done over the years, which is to inspire them with common sense ideas that they can understand and that make sense in their own minds, then they will come out, and they will come out massively, to support you and your party and they will give you the victory that you deserve. Not only will those principles give you victory, they will give your victory a purpose.”

His opening remarks were done there and he was met with applause.

Lord said the schedule allowed now for a coffee break, but, noting his own willingness to keep going, he put it to vote. A show of hands showed overwhelming support to continue, the discussion ultimately stretching for two-and-a-half hours.

A girl with blue streaks in her blonde hair had a question for Brazeau. A young social conservative wanted to know what young people could do about senate reform. A young man asked what people his age should do if they find their efforts impeded or rebuffed by older campaign workers.

“I would suggest just go around that person and don’t let them get in your way. You can go try to go through them but that’s usually not worth the effort,” Poilievre advised. “Show that you are useful. There’s one position on the campaign that is always over-filled and that is campaign strategist. Every campaign has thousands of strategists, there are no shortage of them, they’ll work for free. Strategist for them means sitting around in the campaign office, leaning back in their chairs, telling the world what everyone else is doing wrong. We don’t need any of those people. So when you’re a young person and you want to prove your usefulness, go out and knock on doors, make phone calls, do the real work and show that you can get things done. And before you know it, everyone around the room will start to appreciate you because they see that you can get results and you deliver.”

Poilievre sat up straight with eyes wide. He looked like a church acolyte. He laughed and smiled at other people’s jokes. For awhile he folded his hands under his chin and propped himself up on his elbows. He spoke only when asked to and avoided matters of potential controversy. (Poilievre, for instance, went nowhere near a question on euthanasia, abortion and traditional marriage.) He was relentlessly practical. At times he sounded like the smartest man in the room. Or at least the most self-aware.

A woman with dark red hair that hung past her waist, and who had apparently volunteered in the past for Poilievre, asked what issues young conservatives might help promote.

“I would think that the Conservative policy agenda that is most in full advance is the justice file,” Poilievre responded. “The great advantage of the justice issues is, one, they are right. Two, they are not just popular, they are extremely popular. The public is overwhelmingly behind us on this. And I don’t just mean Conservative voters, I mean the vast majority of New Democratic voters are strongly behind the Conservative justice agenda. It is by far the most potent political issue and it is also the right thing to do.”

A young man in a suit asked how receptive voters are to young people running for office. “I think of Bernard Lord’s campaign. He was running on change, but not only was he running on change, he was change. And you could tell by looking at his picture that he was change,” explained Poilievre. “I was running in 2004 and the sponsorship scandal was just exploding into existence and Dalton McGuinty had just broken his promise not to raise taxes. So everybody was very angry at politicians generally. So when I said change, it helped me to look like change. I was 24 years old and people would say, ‘My god, you’re young.’ And I would say, ‘Thank you, I appreciate the compliment. That’s exactly what we need. We need some new blood in there, people who can shake things up and change the things that you hate reading about on the front page of the newspaper.’ I found that very effective. Converting retreat into advance.”

His moments of hackneyed partisanship—”We are not the party of the elite,” he reminded everyone at one point—were rare. Lord talked of his past and his vision. Brazeau talked of his experiences and his ideals. Poilievre explained and instructed, rarely straying from the practicalities. Politics as means. A profession of transactions.

“When you’re running for office, there is this irrepressible desire … to campaign on your resume,” he said after offering a prospective candidate a detailed guide to the nomination process. “And there are two problems with campaigning exclusively on one’s resume. Ninety percent of candidates do it and the reason that they lose is because they do it. One, because the resume is about the past and your candidacy is about the future. So it’s important to show people that you have a credible background but only as it relates to what you can do for them tomorrow. Secondly, your resume is about you and the campaign is not about you, it’s about the people. So the two things that you have to talk about constantly in a campaign are the people that you want to represent—their values and their interests and how you want to advance them—and the future. Everything is about the future.”

This last bit was delivered less like an airy ideal than an instructional mantra. Poilievre sounded entirely unapologetic.

The Commons: The baby face of Canadian conservatism

  1. I can get on with most people – and I count a number of traditional Conservatives (of the old variety) as my friends…but the likes of Poilievre and Baird (and a few others that come to mind – Van Loan, Hudak and Jim Wilson in the Queens Park Assembly) make my teeth grate…
    How anyone can believe they are sincere or have anything but personal ambition and self-promotion driving them is beyond me!

  2. Weren’t Jason Kenney, Rob Anders, James Moore, etc also considered to be the future at one point or another? You forgot to mention something, Aaron — Polievre has never actually finished anything, except high school.

    This inherent emptiness is probably why Harper likes him so much — he knows PP will never be a threat, and a few years from now, another brash young gun will take his place at yet another Young Conservatives conference hosted by Bernard Lord.

    • The question of his education was specifically checked.

      Mr. Poilievre’s response: “I have completed a BA in International Relations from the University of Calgary.”

      • Neither did Gerard Kennedy.

        We should care about whether our politicians are intelligent and competent. Having completed a degree is but one small indicator that somebody is (and it is far from a “sufficient cause” in establishing somebody as intelligent and competent). Of course part of why he didn’t finish university was because he founded a polling and consulting firm, which shows more initiative and skill than finishing a degree.

        I think Poilievre’s problem is a lack of wisdom, not intelligence.

      • oh geez.

        • sigh; the quality of graduates (vanity degrees) from Calgary is looking a little bit dubious these days.

          • My understanding is that he doesn’t have a degree because he dropped out to start a political consulting firm, and then later became an MP. I would say that is a pretty good track record. Indeed, Poilievre doesn’t suffer from a lack of knowledge, but rather from a lack of wisdom. We certainly don’t hear these kinds of aspersions bandied around about Gerard Kennedy.

      • he should update his website’s bio then… by saying “he studied” as opposed to saying he holds a BA it suggests he did not finish… I had heard this rumor about him as well, and if it’s not true it’s unfair to PP.

      • From his bio at http://www.resultsforyou.ca/bio.htm:

        “Poilievre was named one of Ottawa Life Magazine’s Top 50 People of 2005. Prior to entering politics, he studied International Relations at the University of Calgary. ”

        Studied, not finished. Perhaps, he did finish it via correspondence courses? Of course, if Gary Goodyear can run our Science policy, why can’t Pierre assist the PM in running the country? Jason Kenney runs immigration — he didn’t finish college either, so Pierre is in good company. Chuck Strahl too, but he and the other non-college graduates seem to have done something else in their lives besides reading from or writing talking points.

        My understanding is that Pierre then won some sort of a Magna/Stronach scholarship/fellowship, although his bio is scrubbed clean of that now-unfortunate past association. If Belinda runs for the Ontario PC leadership though, I’m sure we’ll see that back in.

  3. “baby-faced and not yet 30, short hair parted to the left and slick with product, ”

    Oh Aaron… How mean of you. LoL!

  4. The Ugly Face of Canadian Conservatism……and I am not speaking about his physical appearance.

  5. I am guessing from the tone of this post that we are supposed to think poorly of Poilievre but I disagree because Cons could use more happy warriors. Keep it up, Skippy.

    “More specifically, Poilievre is probably one of the more generally disliked individuals on Parliament Hill.”

    Disliked by who? If his colleagues dislike him, than that’s a problem obviously, but if it’s his opponents than he is doing something right. And if he is ‘smug’, Libs should think imitation is the sincerest form of flattery because no one can compete for smugness when it comes to Libs/libs and how ‘smart’ they think they are.

    • I would say the article is not to think poorly of Poilievre. The only thing highly critical of him in it is the stuff we all know about him: he is blindly partisan, a devout Harper-ite and the most disliked individual MP on Parliament Hill along with Harper. (As for the latter, just add up the numbers of people on Parliament Hill and which party they work for to see the truth in the statement.)

      Actually, I think the article makes him appear much more thoughtful and sharp-minded then would first appear. There is clearly method to his madness in Parliament. More than that, I think the article makes him look good.

      Which, taking JWL’s logic, could only mean that Aaron has been coopted by the Conservatives and is just passing along something written by the PMO. Right? Isn’t that how it works? Praise, however mild, for one side is a sign of hostile antagonism for the other?

      • Agreed, based on the article he not only appears competent but driven and insightful, at least politically. I suppose that’s never been in doubt, even among his detractors, as he certainly wins elections. I don’t think anyone questions at length his political skills, even in light of things such as the residential schools gaffe, because I’m quite sure he knows what he’s doing.

        The underlying point, though subtle, I take to be that he is entirely a political animal. You may take this as you will. For my part, I find such an impression frightening.

      • a devout Harper-ite and the most disliked individual MP on Parliament Hill along with Harper. (As for the latter, just add up the numbers of people on Parliament Hill and which party they work for to see the truth in the statement.)

        Yes, please. Someone count up everyone who works for Stephen Harper, then count up everyone who works on Parliament Hill, divide the former by the latter, and quantify personal popularity thereby. I smell an award winning doctoral dissertation.

        I can’t begin to express how stupid this is, even for a rabid partisan. Ok, I can begin: by this logic, if Harper is disliked, then Ignatieff is hated, Duceppe loathed, Layton abhorred, and May considered the scum of the Earth. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have underestimated my own ability to begin.

    • anyone who would be glad to see more “happy warriors” in the CPC is already voting CPC.

      • I vote Libertarian, would consider voting Con if they had more happy warriors and fewer Lib-Lites.

        • You’re right, they could also be throwing away their vote.

    • Disliked by other people who work on the Hill!

  6. Most of the Poilievre comments cited make me conclude that he is keen and sensible — too bad he abandons that in the House of Commons.

    • archanger, I actually believe that Poilievre’s more strident behavior is strongly encouraged by people like Harper and Baird.

  7. Poilievre epitomizes everything distasteful about the Harper party.

  8. From this i would conclude that PP is a demagogue, but definitely a smart one. I say demagogue because there’s no indication he even cares whether is views are right or not, merely about expressing them and smugly assuming he’s right in every instance.

    • And of course being convinced that his worldview is shared by all right thinking people. I can admire the hard work and focus, but very little else.

  9. Is there really anything behind the comment that he is probably one of the more generally disliked individuals on Parliament Hill? I mean, he’s hyper-partisan but most people on the Hill like the whole partisanship thing to a certain extent or they wouldn’t have become politicians. And every party has their own hyper-partisans but we never hear comments about how people generally dislike them.

    • Thomas Mulcair = Generally disliked.
      Denis Coderre = Generally disliked.

      I’m sure we will see similar dislikeographies on them by Mr. Wherry in the near future.

    • That’s a fair question.

      The sentence was run by a couple colleagues beforehand and considered further after this was posted. There is probably a line to be drawn between partisanship and theatrics, or between Poilievre and other partisans. For instance, Poilievre seems to generate a different response than Baird does. It might have something to do with his age. Or his tone of voice. Or the way he carries himself. Or the nature of his comments. But there’s something not-quite-identifiable that seems to separate him from the likes of Coderre and Van Loan.

      That said, the wording of the sentence has been changed. Disliked probably wasn’t the right word. It implies something personal, which wasn’t the intent.

      • If you look at the people who work on the hill whose jobs do not depend upon a certain party in power (the staff of the Clerks Office, Library of Parliament, custodial staff, security, administration, etc.) you will find that the general consensus is that Poilievre is not well-liked. It is one thing for the opposition to dislike you, but quite another to invoke a smarmy, arrogant demeanour in your interactions with the very people who keep Parliament functioning, day in and day out. This man will throw any civil servant under the bus in a heartbeat, ironic given that some of them are the very constituents he purports to pander to. You were bang-on with your assessment, Aaron, around the Hill, he IS STRONGLY disliked.

        • hell, members of his own party throw him under the bus… at best it’ s all they can do not to roll their eyes at the mere mention of his name.

  10. Lefties will find in Aaron’s descriptions here all the reasons in the world to for Canadians to burn this PP witch at the stake. Lefties will wish there would be more like PP to turn Canadians off the Tories.
    Righties will see that there is method & strategy behind PP’s actions. Righties wish there would be more like PP to work so hard for the cause, and to rub all the right people all the wrong way.
    I was surprised to see a much more sympathetic portrayal of this young man than (I confess) I would have expected from this corner. I enjoyed the descriptions and accounts. Sort-of (but not quite) a tape-delayed form of an ITQ live-blog.
    Thanks, Aaron.

  11. He didn’t finish university? What’s wrong with him?

  12. Living in the riding of this MP makes me embarrassed to mention to people where I am really from. This man would go to the opening on an envelope if he knew there would be a camera there. It is partisans like this MP that prevent any form of cooperation from happening in the House. Not only is he smug but arrogant. After speaking at my high school and laying down pure conservative rhetoric instead of the supposed basics of parliamentary decorum he was supposed to I was not impressed. After spilling lie after to lie to the group (because of course no 18 year old could possibly no what he is talking about) I challenged him on many of his comments and he responded with an arrogance that was quite baffling. I have no respect for this MP and feel that he is a poison in our political system. The comments he has made in the past shows his true colours, colours that in no way represent the red and white and I look forward to running against him once I have completed my degree.

  13. More importantly, what is right with him?

  14. another fine Aaron Weary article!

  15. mutual admiration society; ewww. slimey

    there is something harsh, forced, and artificial about all the “young” ones in the conserv/repub movement in North America; as if they’ve been corrupted before they’ve even had a chance to mature and “grow up”. i get a robotic “Stepford Wives”, parasitic “invasion of the body snatchers”, ruthless “alien” vibe from most of them; and they all seem to have dead little beady eyes.

    PP’s uncensored and cruel comments on the Day of Apology were very revealing about his shallow little soul and the ppl he hangs with; as Chief Phil Fontaine said on CPAC (paraphrasing) “he looked in the mirror and saw his own world view.” PPs subsequent apology are not sincere since he continues to behave inappropriately. if he does have merit, one day he will wish he had behaved more independently and not sold himself so short for the sake of expedience.

    • LeenieJ> I find the common complaints among the left that the conservative party appeals overly much to young men amusing. Nobody seems to wonder what it is about their policies and positions that might be alienating young men, and why that might be a problem.

  16. since i can’t use the reply to madeyoulook @Mar 16, 2009 at 5:09 pm…

    i don’t care what ideological party he belongs to; PP sets a bad character (bullying/hater) example to the younger ppl in my family/in my care

  17. There’s far too much buzz words these days – leftie, rightie, tools in the tool box, – it doesn’t matter. A rude, smug partisan is a bad example for any kid no matter what side of the political stripe you’re on. If he’s the face of young conservatism – it sure looks bad.

    When Harper’s gone, then what? He’s being an jerk for Harper. Be a man, be yourself.

  18. as one of his constituents, I have a few other adjectives to describe Poilievre: Callow, vain, puffed-up, knavish, rogue, ideologue, and mendacious twit.

    but they love him in Nepean-Carleton, just like they loved John Baird provincially. something in the water I guess.

    • I’m no PP fan, but as one of his constitutents, I’d echo your observation that he is well liked in Nepean-Carleton. To be fair, he is extremely active within the constituency, whereas our MPP didn’t seem to realize that my neighbourhood was in her riding until recently.

      The Liberals ran an empty suit against him last time, but I was still surprised he got a plurality of the vote. Kind of embarrasing, so I try not to think about it too much.

      • I agree with you that he is extremely active within the community. it doesn’t seem to matter what the event or how big it is, PP shows up espec ially if there is a camera around. But this is exactly why he wins, people know him.

        I was disgusted by the Liberal candidate in the last election and I certainly hope they run a better candidate next time. but the days of someone of David Pratt’s or Bill Tupper’s calibre are over in N-P. The angries and ragers have taken over.

  19. Being one of those righties madeyoulook mentions I would concur with his statement. I for one am very impressed with this young whippersnapper and have no doubt he will an interesting future. There is an interview with him on CPAC that is rerun on occasions and I found it quite informative. I would propose that the lefties mentioned above prove the point by the negative posts as else why take the time to rant unless they are worried about something.

  20. How can such a baby face belong to a fascist. Of course he’s a star in the reformers world, he’s full of hate, he’s also full of bull. He’s “controversial” in other words he’s a racist. He’s perfect for reformers in quebec, hes a racist, so he fits the reformers bill to a tee. If this is the future face of the tories it’s a baby faced devil. His hatred will come back to bite him in the @$$.

  21. I guess with brazeau in the room this little ankle biter had to watch his anti native views. But this wouldn’t stop him, being a rabid racist, with no conscience or muzzle. I suspect he gets into the wine a little early. He’s not even from alberta, but he speaks like a born reformer, speak before you think.

  22. Forget, please, “conservatism.” It has been, operationally, de facto, Godless and therefore irrelevant. Secular conservatism will not defeat secular liberalism because to God both are two atheistic peas-in-a-pod and thus predestined to failure. As Stonewall Jackson’s Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:

    “[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today .one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt bath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth.”

    Our country is collapsing because we have turned our back on God (Psalm 9:17) and refused to kiss His Son (Psalm 2).

    John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com
    Recovering Republican
    JLof@aol.com

    PS – And “Mr. Worldly Wiseman” Rush Limbaugh never made a bigger ass of himself than at CPAC where he told that blasphemous “joke” about himself and God.

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