Notes: On Pete Seeger, Jack Kemp, Football, Federal Buying Power, and Specter and the Two-Party System

By Ronald Glenn
America’s Right

Just a few passing comments about the goings-on of the recent week. Take them as you will.

Who do you love?

The recent party switch of Arlen Specter from Republican to Democrat raises the issue of how elections are won in a nation that has never abandoned the two-party system and does not intend to do so any time soon. Specter made it abundantly clear he could not win as a Republican, yet he is running in the same state, Pennsylvania, and is not a different person than he was last week — why would switching parties matter?

Unfortunately, there is a particular group of voters in America that treats the two political parties in the same fashion as a man who has two girlfriends. When he gets mad at one, he goes out with the other. The truth is, however, that he never intends to marry either one. Each girlfriend gives him what he wants at a particular moment, so he keeps courting them both, and the girlfriend who does not have his attention at the moment will do what she can to get him back.

Right now, much of the public is in love with the Democratic Party, an affection likely no deeper than most, as that party is telling the public everything it wants to hear — the future looks bright because it will be a more equal future, a more peaceful future, and one that does not include evil, self-serving conservatives who use the common man like toilet paper.

Arlen, see, can actually sell himself as a man who has seen the future, who has had a vision, like Saint Paul on the road to Damascus, except this time it is Obama speaking to him on the way to Washington, D.C. Specter is a not-so-sprightly 79 years of age and, if re-elected in 2010 would be passing 85 years old at the end of that next term; consequently, he may not have to care about his future beyond one term. Unfortunately, the American public will have to live with the future he will help create.

Of course, if it appears Specter lacks true conviction and only wants to be re-elected, the public should look to itself before throwing stones. If enough of the public behaves like the aforementioned two-timing boyfriend, then the public has nobody else to blame but itself for the kind of leadership it votes into office. As long as the two-party system predominates, there will perpetually be a section of voters who move back and forth at will, turning a deaf ear to those wise words once spoken by an admirable Democrat, former President John F. Kennedy, and only caring about what the government can do for them.

Ninety and counting.

Folk singing legend Pete Seeger celebrated his 90th birthday this week with a concert full of every great leftist folk singing icon he could muster. It was, in fact, a celebration of President Obama’s election, because it made Pete Seeger’s ninety years of folk singing worthwhile to know he had lived long enough to see a leftist Messiah in office.

Interestingly, even though Seeger has always been a central figure in the leftist movement, he is from a different school of leftism than President Obama. Obama comes from the power wing of the Democratic Party, which has no problems raising vast amounts of cash and wooing followers. Many would assume that much of Seeger’s attraction is based on the protest song, beginning with the works of Woody Guthrie and culminating in the protest songs of the Vietnam era in the 1960′s.

There is, however, another tradition close to Seeger’s heart, one that uses the concept of “non-involvement.” It means that a human being should refuse to participate in a governmental system that is corrupt or evil. An example of this would be the refusal of Quakers in the 18th Century to buy products that were made by slave labor. In modern times, this might include the refusal to wear clothes that were made by child labor in a foreign country (kiss your Nikes goodbye). This is a “softer” leftism, a leftism that wants people to care about each other, far removed from gulags and communist mass arrests.

In any case, these two leftist branches need each other. The folk singers want to believe all their vocal efforts have not been in vain, and the power left needs the artists of the world to rally around them. Pete and his like have no reason to protest anymore, do they? As for Obama, all gods, whether Roman or American, want the muses to sing their praises. Leaders always feel threatened by an antagonistic artistic community since the public will take the time to listen to them.

In the meantime, conservatives need to find a good protest singer of their own. (If there is one out there, let me know!)

The Passing of a Quarterback

Jack Kemp, professsional football quarterback and vice-presidential candidate for the Republican Party in 1996, died this past week at the age of 73. He was considered a “marginal” politcian by many, and too “bleeding heart” by some, but that avoids the fact that he was a member of conservative generation that is being lost. Few people want to think of George W. Bush as the greatest conservative representative this century will produce.

(I just threw up in my mouth a little –Jeff.)

We should reflect on the life of Jack Kemp, but it is also worthwhile to reflect on who is going to replace the conservative figures of the past. I look at the Internet daily, but cannot ascertain just who out there is presenting the alternative voice to the Democratic machine in power. What happened in 2008, after all, looks somewhat like 1996 — Bob Dole ran as an elder statesman and lost, John McCain ran as elder statesman and lost. What now? We cannot run George W. Bush again. Until the Republican party seriously begins to define its future, too many conservatives will look to the past instead of the future. Perhaps that is what Jeb Bush was talking about before the mainstream press took his Reagan-related comments completely out of context.

Money, money, money.

USA Today reported, on May 5, 2009, that the amount of money the federal fovernment is giving the states is larger than the state tax revenues. In other words, the federal government is paying to keep the state governments of America from drowning in debt. If this goes on for too long, this could be a disaster. The amount of red ink the federal government will create will be outrageous, and the states will not be self-reliant.

This can only increase the power of the federal government over our lives if communites are not self-supporting. It is unlikely at this point that most governments will turn the money down, but citizens may rebel if the federal government control is too obnoxious. The only cure in the long run is a resurgent private sector economy, and that may still be a couple years away, more if this current administration keeps along its regulatory path.

Do not let the federal government buy you and your family. You are worth more than they are bound to offer.

Ronald Glenn has worked in real estate and law for more than twenty years. He now works in Philadelphia, and lives outside the city with his wife. Ron has been writing for America’s Right since January 2009.



  1. Ian Thorpe says:

    Good to see an American Conservative acknowledging the softer left (Soviet style communism was never anything to do with the “left.” Now all I have to do is persuade you guys to stop tarring all liberals with the same brush. There are the free trade liberals (aka neo-cons) classical Liberals like myself and the Politically Correct liberals who are as far from being Liberals as the Soviets were from being socialist.

  2. Gail B says:

    Ian, I just call them “liberal Democrats” because I feel the ground is safe there.

    Received some interesting news yesterday, Ronald, which will eventually turn up the volume on grassroots movements. Someone realized that all these many organizations needed to unite under one helmet to fight the oppression by the governmental officials in lock step with this regime. is the website that all the grassroots folks are being directed to. The DontGo Movement, with a chapter in every state, was about the energy bill. The TEA Parties sprang from that. There are many others. It (American Liberty Alliance) will begin on June 1, but you can sign up now, to start the database.

    Also, I have heard that there could be some good news on the horizon. When I find out what that’s about, I’ll give you a hyperlink to it.

    Thank all of you contributors in Jeff’s corner. We appreciate you! (You too, Jeff.)

  3. Still a Patriot says:

    Hi Ron -
    “Do not let the federal government buy you and your family. You are worth more than they are bound to offer.”
    Thanks for those encouraging words. It’s good to hear from another voice of reason.

  4. Andy Bretz says:

    In reading this post along with the post “The Importance of the Message” I was struck by the similarity of challenges faced by both the Republican and Democratic parties. Both parties have factions, Democrats have the power-hungry agenda driven politicians, and the pacifist love-everyone demonstrators. In years past those two groups have not been able to reach agreement on who they wanted in office and consequently, the party was weakened. In 2008 somehow they managed to come together and support Obama, and look at the impact – they now control 2/3 of the Federal Gov’t. The Republicans have the religious right consumed with a moral agenda, and a politically conservative small-government faction. For years they were able to agree and elect officials that represented both interests alike. We have now reached a point, however, where that is no longer feasible, and as was well put in the article “The Importance of the Message,” Republicans need to pick their battles, knowing that by focusing on those that will garner the broadest support base they can regain control of the Federal and local governments. The Religious Right is a very important part of the Republican party constituency, but they need to be willing to make some concessions for the greater good!


    See, I don’t see it as being about “concessions.” I see it as being about unifying under an all-encompassing umbrella of scope of government.

    Just as Ron said to me a few minutes ago when we ran into each other here downtown, the factions of the right fighting against each other about agendas they cannot enact is a bit like two bald guys arguing over a comb.

    Let’s get in power first. The concept of limited federal government should appeal to everyone on the right, fiscal, social and otherwise.

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