It’s episode 200!

It’s here; episode 200! And what an extravaganza it is.

I have an interview with D. J. McGuire. He’s a co-host of The More Perfect Union podcast, one of my favorites. I wanted to speak with D. J. because he has moved from being a conservative Republican to a conservative Democrat. Contradiction in terms, you say? It didn’t used to be. When I moved to Georgia, Sam Nunn was one such animal. In today’s political climate, however, it’s certainly an endangered specie. I talked with him about his conservative bona fides, why he switched, whether his views have changed, and what would cause him to switch back. It’s a fascinating discussion.

And I have feedback from 5 listeners, including a voice mail. (See, it really does work!) I’ll be answering their questions as part of this episode.

So thanks for joining me for the longest episode ever (over 56 minutes!) of one of the shortest political podcasts out there. I hope it gets you to consider this.

Mentioned links:

The Conservative Zone

Black Lives Matter: 28% of Abortions Done on Black Babies But Blacks Just 12% of Population

Birthright citizenship in the United States [Wikipedia]

Podcasts mentioned:

The More Perfect Union Podcast

The Ben Shapiro Show

Challenging Opinions

GetReligion

Observations

The Ricochet Podcast

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (including “Let My People Think”)

BreakPoint

Radio Free Acton

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Show transcript

[Part 1 of McGuire interview]

We’ll get back to the interview a little later. Now that we understand DJ’s views, we’ll talk more about his party switch after we get to listener feedback.

I got this message from listener Jim Zile

I wanted to congratulate you on episode 200 and wanted to get your insights on a world that looks at many things that are gray as black and white and also the opposite, seeing things that are black and white as gray. One example is abortion. That is taking the life of a person. It is black and white, not gray. I believe an example going the other way is the phrase “black lives matter”. In this case the question should not be “Do black lives matter?” It should be “How much do black lives matter?” If a person is pro-choice and does not condemn gang violence then black lives do not matter very much to that person. You could have two people. A white cop who loves, protects and serves everyone in his inner city community and a black man who is in a gang and makes his girlfriend get an abortion. To whom do black lives matter more?

There may be examples that illustrate this better but when an issue comes up I ask myself if this is something that society is generally looking and as black and white that is really gray or is the opposite true.

Thanks for producing one of my favorite podcasts!

Thanks, Jim, I’m glad to be right up there.

This is an interesting way to look at…well, a couple of issues these days.

First let me note that, as I’ve heard it, the phrase “black lives matter” is the short version of “black lives matter as much as everyone else’s”. One of the main purposes of the movement is to highlight blacks killed by whites, especially white cops. So in a sense, your question “How much do black lives matter?” is actually a central point of the movement, with the answer being “just as much as anyone else’s”. And if you’re going to ask that question – if you’re going to go out in the streets and protest about it – then you have to consider all black lives lost. As you say, it comes down to the individual rather than the groups involved.

Second, yes, I believe that there are more issues where that question needs to be asked, and abortion possibly most of all. As I stated in episode 154, if you add the 200 blacks killed by cops in a year to the 2,000 killed by other blacks in a year, you get … a slow week at Planned Parenthood. If you want to ask how much black lives matter, that has to be part of the answer.

Next up is a message from Brandon Klenzendorf.

Congratulations on the 200th episode! That is quite a milestone and a testament to your hard work and promotion of conservative ideals. Yours is my favorite podcast and I’m grateful for all the effort you put into developing each episode. You do an excellent job conveying ideas on complicated subjects in a concise and informative way… in 10 minutes or less! (Which is precisely the length of my morning commute; now if we could just get daily episodes….)

Your commentary has helped me better communicate conservative ideas to others in a respectful and reasonable way, which is sometimes very lacking in today’s discussions. I’m sure you have helped changed minds and shifted the narrative by simply asking us to Consider This.

Thank you again for your dedication to this podcast. I look forward to the next 200 episodes! But I do have one request: promote yourself more! Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get into this? What shapes your views? What recommendations do you have in terms of books or media that do a good job of communicating these ideas like you do? We need more people and podcasts like yours and I’m sure they’re out there. (For example, I did start listening to Congressional Dish after you had a discussion on your show about one of her episodes. And while I can’t say that I always agree with her viewpoint and sometimes (i.e. frequently) cringe at some of the things she says, I do find her podcast informative.)

In closing, you are doing a wonderful service and it doesn’t go unnoticed. Keep it up and one day all of us will Consider This!

Thanks, Brandon. That’s basically the purpose of this show; to give you a different way to look at the issues of the day, or even to alert you to some that you might not have heard of, so you can convey them to those you come in contact with. And I’m honored to hear this is your favorite podcast, especially with the many that are out there. But to do this daily? Heh, well hold not thy breath because of things like, y’know, a day job.

As to some of my background, I grew up in The Salvation Army. Yes, primarily it’s a church, and my parents were pastors, or as the Army calls them, officers. My folks weren’t all that overtly political but, for example, when Rush Limbaugh came on the radio scene, if my dad was listening to the radio at that time, he was often listening to Rush. But he was no blind “Ditto Head”. I recall specifically, when I was in high school or college, Rush calling out Democrats for proposing meaningless bills just to get Republicans on record as voting against them, rather than trying to get something actually done. I said I agreed, but my Dad said he didn’t because he wanted Republicans to be able to do the same thing. You might say that he got me to, instead of just follow the crowd, to really consider this.

Regarding recommendations, I must say that I don’t do much reading; I do more listening, and to podcasts specifically. Recently I started listening to Ben Shapiro’s podcast at the recommendation of my older son. Shapiro is very fair and very intelligent. That is my favorite podcast. As you note, I like Congressional Dish for the information and not necessarily for the political commentary that she occasionally drifts into. Other political podcasts I enjoy are The More Perfect Union (which I’ve already mentioned), Challenging Opinions (again, for the different points of view, and because I appeared on it early on defending the Electoral College), Get Religion (a podcast about how the press covers religion and conservatives), Observations (hosted by 3 libertarians), and the Ricochet podcast (one of those from the conservative website).

For Christian podcast, I’m subscribed to Let My People Think (by Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias), Breakpoint (put out by the late Chuck Colson’s group), and Radio Free Acton (by the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty).  Links to the websites for all of these shows will be in the show notes.

Michael Boll wrote to ask a few questions.

Here are a couple topics:

  1. Why not a flat national sales tax? Those who can afford steak and Mercedes will pay more, while those who can afford ramen noodles and a 1987 Chevy Chevette will pay less. Get rid of estate tax, corporate tax, federal excise tax, and the IRS. Just have an across the board flat tax on everything.
  2. Can we change the “natural born citizen” law to include only children born here by a mother who is here legally?
  3. Require those applying for welfare to get a birth control implant like Nexplanon or Implanon. I’m tired of paying to feed, clothe and house a family of 8 when it could have been a family of two.

I know they will shout about the government controlling a woman’s body, but this would be a choice made by the woman herself.  If she chooses not to, she can find another way to support her child.  A stipulation of getting a student loan is a promise to pay it back.  Likewise, a stipulation of getting welfare is that you take this reversible measure to ensure that taxpayers aren’t paying to raise any amount of children you choose to have over the next 40 years.

At any time you want to go off welfare, you can have the implant removed… with the added stipulation that removal of the implant automatically disqualifies you from any government assistance for additional children later on.

Let me tackle these in order.

On the flat tax thing, I’ve been sold on it for a long time. Everybody has, as they say, “skin in the game”; we all share responsibility, not just the rich. Right now, almost half the country is more than happy to vote for more federal income taxes because they don’t pay any themselves. And you get to choose how much tax you pay by choosing what you buy. Great idea.

On the “natural born citizen” thing, being considered a citizen by being born here has a long judicial and legislative history. In the show notes, I’ve linked to the relevant article on Wikipedia, the source of all true knowledge. I understand what you’re trying to get at, but I think the issue is more complex than either you or I know.

On the birth control for welfare thing, I’m not entirely sure that’s a good idea. Yes, welfare tends to encourage mothers to have more babies in order to get a larger check. Yes, government money often comes with various strings attached. But forcing birth control as a condition of getting welfare seems a bridge too far. It really goes against the notion of freedom, even if some people abuse that freedom, and it punishes the many for the sins of the few. I understand your frustration, but I don’t think this is the answer. Thanks for writing though.

From Bradly Manning, who got his message in just under the wire.

I don’t know if you are still accepting thoughts and opinions for your 200th episode (congrats by the way), but here are some thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head for a while now

When it comes to someone calling themselves a conservative or a liberal, I have to wonder what exactly it is that that person is trying to conserve or liberate. What ideals, exactly, are we looking for here. The reason I wonder this is because of the fact that I see so many people who claim to be conservatives not acting as such. (Obamacare is still in effect so, maybe they are trying to conserve that??) And then there are the liberals who I wonder what exactly they are trying to liberate when beating people up who don’t agree with them.

The only thing I have really seen on display over the course of the last 20+ years that I have been paying attention to politics is just how little people really care or even know about their government. Perhaps an illustration would work best here. For those of us who have dogs, when we play fetch with them, do you sometimes pretend to throw the ball and hide it behind your back?? That is exactly how I see a very large majority of politicians and an overwhelming percentage of the American people….the politicians are playing fetch with us, but they never throw the dang ball…and we, the American people, fall for it time and time again…

And what is worst of all, is I am beginning to believe that a large percentage of the American people actually LIKE that…they WANT the politicians to pretend to throw the ball…

One of the things I seem to hear from both sides is that we need to all get along, or we should all have compassion for each other…Mother Teresa once said “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” If people want us to have compassion for them or for others, perhaps they should go home and start there…start by having compassion for their own families, friends, and even themselves…

I have found that if you don’t have compassion for yourself, if you don’t love yourself, you really can’t have compassion or love for others….

Those are just a few thoughts I had…Good Luck and God Bless…

Y’know, Bradly, I’ve heard otherwise smart people define conservatives as people who want everything to remain the same; they want everything conserved. But really, it’s all about the pace of change, for both sides. Conservatives believe we shouldn’t take down a fence – typically a social or cultural taboo – before we understand why that fence was put up in the first place. We don’t want to keep all fences up just to keep them; if they should come down, take ‘em down. This is exemplified in the big Republican support for racial civil rights in the 60s.

Liberals, on the other hand, want us to bow to the ideas of our “betters” and their theories of what should change, and just bust down any fence they happen to find in the way. You see that with the relatively quick acceptance of ideas like separating sex and gender so the transgendered can be mainstreamed.

You even see it with religion. The Christian Left has had to tie themselves in knots to make the Bible support same-sex marriage, when something like that – the tearing down of 2,000 years of Christian thought – should require a Martin-Luther-type Reformationist upheaval, with the accompanying defense of such change. Instead, they rip up the fences with little more than claiming that it’s “loving” to celebrate what has been considered sin for millennia.

But I agree that if we’re going to change the world, we need to start small. If you can’t change the small things, how can you expect to change the big things? Considering that those politicians who pretend to throw the ball come from the community of “we the people”, and that “we the people” vote them in year after year, perhaps starting small would help.

And finally, just to prove that the Consider This feedback hotline really works, here’s Ken Soley.

[Ken Soley audio]

Thanks so much Ken. I don’t often give credence to those kinds of polls because of the old “correlation doesn’t mean causation” idea, but I really found the “cheating on taxes” question fascinating. For a political wing that says we should be taxed so the government can do more, they seem to want to make everyone else pay those taxes. Whether it’s the rich, or their neighbors, they don’t seem to care as long as it’s not them personally. As usual, it’s more about good intentions rather than actually doing them. They want the government to do stuff, just don’t send them any bill. Wow, that’s an eye opener.

OK, so let’s not leave DJ McGuire hanging. Let’s get to the reasons he left the Republicans, and what it would take to bring him back.

[Part 2 of McGuire interview]

I want to thank DJ for taking the time to talk with me about his very considered move. I think we always need to be willing to do some reflection about our own thoughts, ideas, and the political party that we have chosen to put those ideas into practice. We all must know that neither party is a perfect fit for each of us, and that each party will inevitably fall short of its own ideals, as we all do. The main question I take from this is, are we more married to the party we’ve joined, or to the principals that we stand for? We might answer it differently than DJ, and we might take a different course of action, but he’s certainly worth listening to. As I’ve said, I try to bring you a different perspective on the events of the day, and this is no exception, even if that perspective isn’t from me.

Filed under: AbortionD. J. McGuireEconomics & TaxesEntitlementsGovernmentInterviewsPartisanshipRace IssuesReligion