The “Occupy Philadelphia” crowd losses an opportunity to shout and disrupt a speech and they’re feeling put upon by that loss. Free speech is not the right of speakers to speak, or protesters to shout and disrupt, but rather it is the right is other people to hear that speech, or the protestations against it. So, it’s the students who would have been in Cantor’s audience who have a grievance, not the mobsters of the Occupy Philadelphia movement.
That said, Eric Cantor doesn’t seem to have much worthwhile to say anyway. Here is an excerpt of what he was going to say, which is exactly what he said on the Sunday talk shows last Sunday:
We must ensure that those who abuse the rules are punished. We must ensure that the solution to wealth disparity is wealth mobility. We must give everyone the chance to move up. Stability plus mobility equals agility. In an agile economy and an agile society, people are climbing and succeeding.
This is not the principled conservatism that Republicans need to practice and learn if they ever going to avoid becoming a permanent minority party. This sort of language is not what you’d expect from a man of conviction and principle, this is the way a man who thinks he has to pander to his enemies will talk. The left relies on mindless slogans to convey a message that appeals to the emotional side of our brain but is devoid of intelligent content. Conservatives should not try to emulate the sloganeering of the left with pithy new phrases such as “wealth mobility.” What does that mean? Cantor may mean it to signify the sort of economic opportunity for all that has always existed in America and forms the basis of what we call American Exceptionalism. But it could just as well be the words used to support Obama’s dreams of wealth redistribution. As a conservative Cantor should be using his time at the podium to teach the principles and rewards for all of conservatism, not trying to show his audience that he’s just as liberal as the Democrats.
The trouble with Republicans is that they have lost the ability to use the English language to their benefit. They might take a lesson from another politician who, destined to become a Republican after it later arose as a party, made a public statement against slavery in 1837.
As a Whig that man believed in American Exceptionalism, that America uniquely in the world offered opportunity for all men. He praised the American system of economic opportunity in which the “man who labored for another last year, this year labors for himself, and next year he will hire others to labor for him.” Slavery was the opposite of opportunity, and that man was dead set against it’s spread to the new territories. The Republican party later became a natural home for that former Whig because it was founded on that great principle of American Exceptionalism.
Eric Cantor and his cohorts in the present-day Republican establishment should first convince themselves of the goodness and political effectiveness of the ideals upon which their party was founded. They will otherwise have no success convincing others, especially young college students who have been indoctrinated with liberal slogans all their lives.
The complete works of Abraham Lincoln, just about everything he wrote and every speech he gave, are available on Kindle for almost nothing, less than ten bucks I think. What a bargain. Since it’s on Kindle it’s all searchable. It can all be transferred to one’s computer from the Kindle. Heck, it all been available on the internet for years. Republicans such a Eric Cantor should put it on Kindle and carry it with them every where they go. They should read Lincoln as studiously as Lincoln read Shakespeare. Then maybe they’ll learn how to talk. Maybe they’ll learn how to convey the message to today’s young people that Republicans are not just Democrat light, that Republicans are conservatives who will lead the way to a new birth of economic freedom if given the chance, and that the Democrats’ demonic ideas about wealth redistribution are the opposite of opportunity for all, as slavery was.