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Monday, June 28, 2010

Speaking out at America Speaks

Like many people across the country I attended the America Speaks meeting in Portland, Oregon.
I knew I was in for a bumpy ride from the beginning when one of the liberals chimed in that it was sexist to only offer two choices of gender when identifying our demographic make-up. I suggested that those confounded by this most basic of questions simply side with the genitalia that the good Lord gave them at birth.
The objective was ostensibly to bring people of diverse opinions together to get a sense of what we the people consider needs to be done to lower our national debt. We were brought to the table via email invitations from both conservative and liberal organizations. There was a facilitator at each table who was there to make certain no one member dominated the conversation. Then we were given electronic voting pads which were used to vote on multiple choice questions.
In reality what happened was anything but an accurate pulse of the nation. At the beginning, they showed us the political breakdown of the crowds across the country participating in the discussion. As I remember there were more liberals than conservative taking part yet almost twice as many people are conservative compared to liberal (40% to 21%) in the United States, so the final opinion numbers will not be reflective of our country's population.

This turned out to be more of a propaganda tool for the left. First the topics were geared towards a leftist ideology. Second the multiple choice questions were crafted to lead us to the conclusion they hoped we would accept. Finally while we were contemplating our responses to the questions, agenda themed music was being played to encourage a specific answer.

Whenever I tried to rebut the two most outspoken liberals at the table I was shut down before I could complete my thought. In true "screaming liberal" form, they dominated the conversation yet did not prevail as conservatives made up the majority of our table. I came away from the event with a better understanding of how liberals think. The guy next to me was a 61 year old current day hippie with shoulder length hair and a beard, who bragged that he had been one of the lucky few to be encarserated during his most recent demenstration in downtown Portland.

The liberals were all for raising more taxes to pay for non-defense spending yet wanted to cut the maximum amount for defense. Despite the fact that our Constitution clearly states that one of the few responsibilities the Federal government must provide is the protectection of our citizenry and not to pay for lion's share of the "non-defense" expenditures, the bulk of which are payoffs to liberal groups helping them to stay in power.

When pressed on issues like the minimum wage and single payer healthcare they were hard pressed to respond to the facts. These liberals like many that I have encountered were more about pasion for their causes than thoughtful examination of the facts.
We finally did all agree on the need to abolish the IRS in exchange for a flat income tax where all people above the poverty line pay the same percentage on their income. While simultaneously eliminating all other forms of taxation.

All in all it was a very good experience, if they could allow more conservatives to participate in this event along with a more bipartisan organizations I think I could join in to the discussion the next time America Speaks.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for writing this worthy critique of _America Speaks_. I was also at the Portland con-clave (pun intended and, IMO, deserved), and likewise found the experience manipulative. Additional observations follow...

    ==> The "values clarification" exercise preceding the budget deliberations seemed contrived to induce emotional responses making us more likely to accept government spending as a means of relieving distress, rather than as its cause.

    ==> We were subjected to periodic video feeds from other _America Speaks_ gatherings across the country. The persons featured in these interviews usually related information and experiences helpful for manufacturing a concensus that every-expanding government was a given, and more taxes to pay for it was therefore inevitable.

    ==> The budget options were formulated using the assumption that tax increases wouldn't discourage economic activity. This creates the dubious presumption that higher taxes are without economic consequence for anyone except the wealthy individuals and corporations who might have to pay them.

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