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WHY OUR CAUSE HAS BEEN LOSING
H
OW WE SHALL WIN
By Howard Phillips

The Conservative Caucus
450 Maple Avenue East * Vienna, Va. 22180 * 703-938-9626

Remarks by Howard Phillips to the 1998 National Convention of Concerned Women for America

THE 20-YEAR MYTH OF CONSERVATIVE VICTORY

"My friends, our movement, our cause, has been living a lie. We have been guilty of self-delusion, complacency, and unwarranted self-congratulation. During these past 20 years, ever since we saw the first modern electoral setbacks of the Democratic Party in the 1978 Senate elections, followed by the victory of Ronald Reagan and George Bush in 1980, we have convinced ourselves that our side is winning.

"This ‘we have won’ perspective was reinforced by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reorganization of the Communist world.

ELECTORAL VICTORIES HAVE NOT ALTERED THE NEGATIVE COURSE OF U.S. PUBLIC POLICY

"Our sense of political ‘progress’ was buttressed by historic Republican victories in the 1994 and 1996 Congressional elections. Now, many of our leaders have come to believe that, if we can only get more Republican seats in Congress and a Republican President in the Year 2000, that result will, in and of itself, translate into the needed changes which inform and motivate our political participation, changes which all too few of us have defined and spelled out.

30 MILLION ABORTIONS IS NOT "PROGRESS"

"My friends, it is false and misleading to conclude that our cause is now on the right track. Indeed, measured by any objective standard, America's situation in 1998 is far worse than it was two decades ago.

"During that period of 20 years, since the late 1970's, more than 30 million babies have been slaughtered – with the official endorsement of the government of the United States.

HOMOSEXUAL CONQUEST OF THE CULTURE HAS BEEN FACILITATED BY FAILURE OF CONGRESS TO CONTROL FCC POLICIES

"Homosexuality and perversion have come out of the closet, and, instead of such corrupt conduct being officially condemned, it is instead being celebrated morning, noon, and night – on television screens and in living rooms all over America – pursuant to broadcast licenses granted by the FCC – with the approval and under the authority of the U.S. Congress.

CLINTON'S CONDUCT IS MATCHED NIGHTLY BY TV "COMEDY"

"Is it any wonder that so many Americans manifest no deep outrage against the contemptible conduct of William Clinton when they tune in and turn on to similar conduct – in the form of entertainment – every evening.

WHY HAVEN'T WE INSISTED THAT CONGRESS DO ITS CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY RE FCC?

"Let me underscore once again that this garbage is broadcast on channels licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, under authority delegated to the FCC by a Congress of the United States for which we are responsible. Congress has the power to change it and they have the responsibility to change it, but they don't have the inclination to change it, because they fear the networks and their owners more than they fear you.

"Congress will only change it if they are given to understand that they will lose your support if they fail to terminate the present license-holders and transfer broadcasting authority to others who will strive to use TV to upgrade, not to degrade.

DEFENSE HAS BEEN DECIMATED

"In terms of our national defense, America is far weaker, both in absolute and relative terms, compared to our position 20 years ago, even under President Jimmy Carter. Then, expenditures in the defense of our nation amounted to some 22% or 23% of annual Federal outlays.

"This, of course, was a significant drop from the 50% devoted to defense when John F. Kennedy took office in 1961, but it is significantly higher than the 14.5% of Federal outlays to which Congress and the President have now reduced our level of support for a defense budget, the adequacy of which is further undermined by shifting resources away from the defense of our nation into support of the U.N.'s international intervention operations.

BILLIONS OF OUR TAX DOLLARS HAVE BEEN USED TO UNDERMINE U.S. LIBERTY AND INDEPENDENCE

"In the past two decades, we have turned over additional billions of dollars to the U.N. and other international organizations fundamentally at odds with the precepts of Christian liberty which undergird the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

PANAMA WILL SOON BE LOST

"Twenty years ago, the isthmus of Panama was under the control of the United States, giving us the ability to project power from the Arctic Circle to Antarctica and to dominate naval activity in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

"Today, we are just months away from the complete abandonment of our military position in Panama, having already moved the U.S. Southern Command to Florida and having permitted the turnover of port facilities at both ends of the Panama Canal to a company closely linked to the People's Liberation Army of Red China.

"CONSERVATIVE" POLITICIANS HAVE VOTED TO AUTHORIZE A TWO-TRILLION DOLLAR ANNUAL WEALTH TRANSFER FROM FAMILIES TO BUREAUCRATS

"During the mid-1960's, Nobel prize winning economist Milton Friedman said that he would rather live with a Federal government budget of two hundred billion dollars which was in deficit than a two trillion dollar budget in balance.

"Now, thanks to the bipartisan budget scheme adopted in 1997 by the Republican Congress and the Democratic President, taking into account the nearly 800 billion in tax dollars which will have been stolen from the Social Security Trust Fund, we can look forward, shortly after the turn of the century, to a $2 trillion budget which – protestations to the contrary notwithstanding – will be in deficit, not in balance.

"Every dollar taken in taxes by the Federal government is one less dollar available to you and your family. It is one more dollar which politicians, judges, and bureaucrats are able to use to conform our civilization to their values and one less dollar which you have to defend your family's values.

LOOK AT ROLL CALLS AND BUDGETS ––– NOT PLATFORMS AND PERSONALITIES

"In nearly five years of service in the Executive Branch, during which I headed two Federal agencies, I learned that the real measure of political performance is to be found neither in party platforms nor in campaign speeches, but rather in the roll call votes on Capitol Hill and the budgets enacted into law by Congress and the President.

"Those budgets and roll calls make our failures evident and reveal that our problems are compounding at an accelerating pace.

"In 1961, the Federal government was spending less than $100 billion per year. When Jimmy Carter turned over the White House to Ronald Reagan, there were $590 billion in annual Federal outlays – an amount which had doubled to nearly $1.2 trillion by the close of the Reagan presidency.

"Now, Congress has voted about $1.6 trillion in annual spending, with the total, as indicated, soon to reach $2 trillion per year.

$80 BILLION "TAX CUT" DOES NOT COMPENSATE FOR $700 BILLION TAX HIKE

"Of course, taxes have risen dramatically during that period of time, for purposes totally extraneous to those permitted by the U.S. Constitution, which states in Article I, Section 8: ‘The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States’.

"The [individual] income tax collected $41.3 billion in 1961, $543 billion in 1994, the year the Republicans took Congress, $768 billion in the current Fiscal Year, and, in accord with the bipartisan budget agreement of 1997, is intended to gather $877 billion, beginning in calendar year 2001.

"The total tax take per year is scheduled to increase from $1.258 trillion in 1994 to $1.949 trillion in FY 2002. That's a boost of nearly $700 billion.

"When Speaker Gingrich talks about an $80 billion tax cut, it means reducing by less than one-eighth the $700 billion annual tax hike for which Congress has already voted.

1994 REPUBLICAN VICTORY HAS REINFORCED BAD POLICIES, NOT REVERSED THEM

"The Brady Bill, infringing on our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms was enacted in November, 1993 under an unanimous consent agreement facilitated by a Republican leadership more interested in avoiding political controversy than in safeguarding our Constitutional rights.

"Right after the 1994 elections, U.S. membership in the World Trade Organization was voted, with strong bipartisan support, by a lame duck Congress, even as, just a year earlier, NAFTA had been approved with bipartisan support – in each case turning over control of trade policy to international bureaucracies, in violation of the explicit Constitutional stipulation that Congress shall regulate commerce with foreign nations.

"Since 1980, the year when the GOP platform promised the appointment of pro-life judges, especially to the U.S. Supreme Court, Republican administrations have instead put forward such pro-abortion justices as Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and David Souter. Thank God for the exception of Clarence Thomas.

"Even the vehemently pro-abortion, pro-homosexual Supreme Court nominee Ruth Bader Ginsburg gained the confirmation votes of all but three of the Republican members of the U.S. Senate.

"Similarly, when it comes time to oppose the continued provision of AIDS education subsidies to the secular priests of the homosexual faith, only three U.S. Senators voted ‘NO’.

GOP HAS VOTED NEARLY SIX BILLION DOLLARS TO ADVOCATES AND PRACTITIONERS OF ABORTION

"In 1980, the Republican Party enacted a platform promising to oppose funding of organizations such as Planned Parenthood which promote and perform abortions. But the sad reality is that, since 1980, Republican Presidents and Republicans in Congress have voted to expend $5.8 billions in support of such organizations, both domestic and foreign. That's nearly $6 billion to ‘Murder, Incorporated’, so they can promote sex training, sodomy, and the slaughter of innocent babies.

"And this does not include the additional billions of tax dollars which have gone to such entities as the Legal Services Corporation, many of whose operatives actively support the non-existent ‘right’ to murder unborn children.

MFN FOR CHINA AND VIETNAM, BILLIONS FOR BOSNIA AND BIG BANK BAILOUTS

"Since 1994, we have seen Bill Clinton and Al Gore at the White House and Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott on Capitol Hill support the repeated enactment of Most-Favored-Nation status for Communist China, despite the increasing military threat which Beijing poses to the United States, a threat buttressed by this $60 billion annual MFN gift to the People's Liberation Army. Now, Congress has also voted to extend MFN to the Communist government of Vietnam.

"We have seen a Republican House vote for a process which could result in statehood for Puerto Rico, and a GOP Senate ratify Bill Clinton's Chemical Weapons Treaty and his plan to expand NATO – assuring more multi-billion dollar Bosnias and Somalias where our children and grandchildren will be placed at risk. "We have seen bipartisan leadership support for an additional $18 billion bailout of the International Monetary Fund, and billions of our tax dollars placed at risk through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the World Bank, and many other similar entities through which financial power-brokers use their political influence to unconstitutionally require the American people to bear their risk and sustain the cost of their losses without giving us any possibility of sharing in their profits.

HILLARY'S SOCIALIZED MEDICINE PRINCIPLES HAVE WON BIPARTISAN SUPPORT

"We have seen all but one of the members of the U.S. House and every one of the members of the United States Senate vote for the Dole-Kassebaum-Kennedy socialized medicine scheme, which criminalizes the practice of private medicine and establishes a national ID card for American citizens.

GOP HAS HELPED MAKE BILL CLINTON AND NEA AMERICA'S SCHOOLMASTER

"In the area of education, despite pious professions of concern regarding the loss of parental influence and control, this Congress has voted even more Federal education dollars than Bill Clinton requested – a total which now amounts to more than $100 billion per year and which explicitly includes funding for Goals 2000, School-to-Work, and Outcome-Based-Education.

"My friends, I hope these facts are evidence sufficient to convince you that, despite the political victories of 1978, 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1994, our side has not yet won much of anything, other than the pomp and prestige of association with political celebrities and a new name for D.C. National Airport.

TEN KEY STRATEGIC SHORTCOMINGS

"I have laboriously recounted these unpleasant facts for a purpose. Our cause cannot recover from the political maladies which afflict it until we first agree that we do have a problem.

"Moreover, until we have diagnosed the disease, we cannot properly prescribe the remedy. Our current political malaise is consistent with a long-standing pattern of strategic and tactical errors and misconceptions:

SUPERVISE YOUR CONGRESSMAN

"1) As individuals, too many of us have failed to keep ourselves informed of that which is being done, undone, and not done by those whom we have sent to serve us in the White House and on Capitol Hill. In a phrase, we have not conscientiously ‘supervised our employees’ in public office.

DEMAND A QUID FOR YOUR QUO

"2) We have yielded to the tactic of preemptive concession, believing that somehow, if we give ground before the battle is joined, failing to fully fight for all that we know to be right and believe to be necessary, that this pulling of punches will somehow cause our adversaries to give us the half-a-loaf with which they say we should be satisfied.

WITHDRAW FROM THE GOP'S "RAINBOW COALITION"

"3) We have acquiesced in a ‘big tent’ political strategy, the inevitable consequence of which is ‘lowest-common-denominator’ policies, calculated not to secure any significant change in the direction of public policy, but intended rather to avoid alienating any element of an internally incoherent coalition.

INCREMENTALISM KEEPS YOU FROM WINNING WHEN YOU HAVE THE VOTES

"4) We have bought into the notion that our objectives can be achieved only incrementally – failing to acknowledge that, absent a fundamental challenge to the direction and underlying premises of current policy, incrementalism merely perpetuates the very outcomes we profess to oppose. Legislative incrementalism does not overturn liberal victories; in fact, it reinforces them.

GRADUALISM IS DEFEAT ON THE INSTALLMENT PLAN

"5) The same can be said of a ‘gradualist’ strategy such as that which the Republican Congressional leadership has applied to the programs and policies of the ‘Great Society’, which forces us to subsidize millions of full-time enemy warriors in a culture war we have been losing since the 1960's. Instead of acting to close these programs down completely, they have vowed to eliminate them gradually. Unfortunately, in plain English, ‘gradual elimination’ has translated into permanent continuation.

"The strategy of gradualism is no less absurd than it would be for a cancer surgeon to agree to slice away only a fraction of the cancer in a single operation, preserving the balance of the malignancy for subsequent carving sessions, by which time the cancer will be far larger, far more threatening, and far more difficult to remove, thus assuring the continued survival of the cancer, while hastening the death of the patient.

"And quite predictably, the cancer of radical Legal Services lawyers and education bureaucrats has grown and grown as Congress has added back and increased such funding, following the meager slices which they cut away in 1995.

BLIND PARTISAN LOYALTY IS A SURRENDER OF RESPONSIBILITY

"6) Just as we have not been good watchmen on the wall, nor conscientious supervisors of our subordinates, we also have disregarded the Biblical admonition not to be respecters of persons. We have unwisely assigned our loyalty to personalities and to parties, rather than to principles and policy objectives, thus incapacitating our ability to hold our politicians accountable and to fire them when they have set aside the promises which they have made to us.

COMMIT YOURSELF TO SEEK ALL THAT IS NECESSARY

"7) In similar fashion, the political goals we have set for ourselves have, quite candidly, been inadequate and unacceptably modest. Even if achieved, these limited objectives and reforms would be insufficient to bring about the fundamental changes which are required if we are to secure for ourselves and our posterity the liberties which so many generations of Americans have enjoyed and for which so many millions of Americans have died.

"We must turn away from the prevailing strategy of ‘losing as slowly as possible’ and we must accept the fact that it is our task not merely to change drivers, but to change directions.

"We have not achieved victory, in large measure because we have not even defined it, let alone pursued it.

DECLARE THE STANDARD BY WHICH OUR POLICIES SHALL BE ESTABLISHED

"8) That is why, most important, we must establish a standard by which to measure the performance of those to whom we entrust responsibility, and our own progress toward the goals which we seek.

"We must not settle for what is practical, but insist on what is necessary.

"We need to put forward a Biblical, Constitutional standard – by which to measure policies, as well as politicians.

POPULAR ESTEEM MUST BE PLACED AT RISK

"9) Even as we recognize the need to reject the flawed strategy of ‘consensus, compromise, conciliation, and cooperation’, we must have the courage to act on the knowledge that it is only through principled confrontation that we can achieve real political change.

"We should gain courage from the fact that the counsels of despair, hopelessness, and futility, which we so often hear, are completely unwarranted.

"The big lie is that we cannot win, just as it is a lie that we can only win by broadening our base and by yoking ourselves with those who have contempt for our beliefs and hostility to our purposes.

WE MUST BUILD A "UNITED PLURALITY" OR ACCEPT PERMANENT MINORITY STATUS IN "THE BIG TENT"

"10) The notion that to prevail we must submit to minority participation in a ‘divided majority’ must be replaced with the understanding that we can succeed only if we join together to build a ‘united plurality’, with explicit policy objectives and an agreed political strategy.

POLITICAL LIVES, FORTUNES, AND SACRED HONOR MUST BE COMMITTED

"May we never forget that, with God, all things are possible, and that to achieve victory, first we must seek it.

"In war, to take a hill we must be ready to die. Similarly, in politics, to take a hill we must be ready to place our own political careers and parochial interests on the line.

"We can take our government back, and we can do so quickly, as soon as we are prepared to embrace a ‘vision of victory’ and to truly invest our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor in pursuit of that vision.

"With the right standard and the right strategy we can, in the space of a single Presidential term, buy back many decades of liberties lost.

WRITE THE CONTRACT BEFORE PICKING THE CANDIDATE

"But we must build the cart before we select the horse on which to ride.

"One of the greatest mistakes made by Christian, conservative, and Constitutionalist grass-roots activists has been to saddle up and ride into the sunset before we've packed our trunks with the right cargo and bred a horse ready to pull our wagon – instead of settling for a nice-sounding nag who simply wishes to take us for a ride on his road to glory.

"Before we choose the thoroughbred on whom we will rely to carry our cause to political victory, let's determine to bridle our steed with the reins of the Constitution and saddle him with the knowledge that if he trots off in the wrong direction, he'll get whipped.

"Let's establish our goals and plot the route for our journey before we pick our candidate, because, after all, if we don't know where we are going, any horse can take us there.

THE GOALS HAVE BEEN DEFINED

"Our objectives should be simple, yet clear. In the words of the Preamble to our Constitution, we ought, above all, strive ‘to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity’.

USE VETO TO STOP UNCONSTITUTIONAL SPENDING

"To succeed in harnessing the Federal government to our purposes, we don't need to pass new legislation, but we must determine to bring a halt to old spending.

"Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution says ‘No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law’.

"No President can veto a zero, so it would be wonderful to have leaders in Congress who would send zeroes only to the White House, when it comes to authorizing appropriations for any program or expenditure which is beyond the delegated, enumerated powers of the Federal government, as specified in our Constitution.

CONGRESS WON'T DO IT. WE NEED A PRESIDENT WHO WILL.

"But, lacking a Congress which is prepared to end Federal funding of education, withdraw from the United Nations, close down the National Endowment for the Arts, stop ‘safe sodomy’ subsidies, abolish racial, ethnic, and gender quotas, end the funding of Planned Parenthood, defund the Legal Services Corporation and all of the thousands of other Federally supported entities which provide employment to full-time left-wing activists who lobby, litigate, propagandize, and proselytize for their preferred political opinions; – lacking leaders with the courage to cut Federal spending down to Constitutional size, abolish the IRS, and replace the income tax with a revenue tariff; – not having public servants who will end our participation in NAFTA and the World Trade Organization; – not likely to soon have a Congress willing to take these and other necessary steps, – what we must focus on is to recruit and elect a President who will morally commit himself and resolve, publicly, to veto any and all authorizations and expenditures which support such unconstitutional programs, policies, agencies, and activities.

"If a President has the courage to say ‘NO’, and can rally sufficient support among the American people, all that will be needed to sustain his vetoes is the votes of either 145 out of 435 Representatives in Congress or 34 U.S. Senators.

"Without our money, given them by Congress, the engine of our adversaries runs out of gas – whether we speak of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the Federal Election Commission, the Agency for International Development, Gay Men's Health Crisis, or any other entity dependent on funds lawfully appropriated from the Federal Treasury. Without a signed appropriation or an overriding veto, they are out of business.

DEFUNDING THE LEFT IS CONDITION PRECEDENT TO VICTORY

"Once we level the political playing field, we will suffer fewer defeats and enjoy more victories.

EXECUTIVE ORDERS CAN BE REPEALED

"The President of the United States can also act, with the stroke of a pen, to repeal the unconstitutional Executive Orders promulgated by his predecessors.

RECESS APPOINTMENTS CAN REORIENT FEDERAL JUDICIARY

"And, the President can use his Constitutionally prescribed ‘recess appointment’ authority to name judges and U.S. Attorneys committed to upholding the Constitutional stipulation that ‘no person may be deprived of life without due process of law’.

"LEGAL" ABORTION CAN BE ENDED

"And he may go on to declare that each of us is a ‘legal person’, from the moment of conception until natural death.

TREATIES CAN BE TERMINATED

"Our chief executive may declare treaties null and void if they violate the Constitution. He can uphold the Constitution, by withdrawing our country from all the institutions of the New World Order.

GOD AND CONSTITUTION ARE ABOVE THE JUDICIARY, THE CONGRESS, AND THE PRESIDENT

"America was founded by men who acknowledged that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights – that God is sovereign – and that law is always the will of the Sovereign.

"God is our great law-giver, His laws are eternal, and His judgement is supreme.

FEDERAL POLICY MUST NOT OVERRIDE OR UNDERMINE COMMON LAW

"That's why we must never allow any very human Supreme Court to strip away the privileges and immunities guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, and that's why we must demand that the Federal government get out of the way and let the states and the people have a full measure of religious liberty – so that the states may once again rely on our heritage of Biblical common law jurisprudence to prohibit homosexual conduct, to enforce capital punishment for pre-meditated murder, and to prevent the shedding of the innocent blood of the elderly and the chronically ill, as well as of the unborn – and do so without the unconstitutional interference of any Federal prosecutor – or any Federal judge – or any Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court – because, after all, those justices serve under the Constitution, not over it, and while they do have the right to resolve controversies, with rulings binding on the parties to the cases which they decide – they have no right whatsoever to legislate on their lunch hour or overrule the Constitution during their coffee break – or at any other time.

TERM LIMITS FOR BROADCASTERS NEEDED

"The President whom we select should also publicly promise us that he will name members of the Federal Communications Commission who will give us the most important kind of term limits we could desire: term limits for broadcast licenses, so that, at last, we can end the corrupt power of the left-wing media, and turn the airwaves over to men and women like Paul Weyrich, Reed Irvine, Don Wildmon, James Dobson, Brent Bozell, and Bev LaHaye.

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

"My friends, this is not a time to wallow in despair over our defeats and disappointments, or to presume that success is politically impractical, but rather to rejoice in the prospect of victories which have, for too many years, been beyond our imagining and purpose.

"It is our task to discern that which must be done, and then resolve to do it – fearlessly and unrelentingly – so that, if it is His will, God may choose to give us the victory.

"Civil government is never an instrument of moral regeneration or salvation – that comes by faith in Christ alone – but we can stop our government from being an instrument of moral degradation, as we plan for a new birth of freedom, to restore a true standard of justice and righteousness across the length and breadth of our nation.

"But to achieve victory, first we must seek it.

PREPARE FOR VICTORY

"We do indeed face an arduous, lengthy struggle which requires optimism and perseverance – but if we are faithful, God can grant victory in the twinkling of an eye...."


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