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Thoughts on the Lincoln Club Annual Dinner, Conservative Principles, and Tim Donnelly

Posted by Walter Myers III on May 11, 2014

Kudlow-cOkay, that’s a lot to mashup in one post, but they’re all tied together so bear with me. First, I am a now a board member for the Orange County Lincoln Club and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to take a more active role in political activism that advances conservative principles. This is a great group of increasingly diverse people, and for those who think the Lincoln Club is some type of exclusive, monochromatic club for people of means, then you haven’t taken a serious look at the Lincoln Club of today. At heart, we are a group of activists and the Lincoln Club is taking a leading role in bringing a group of diverse experiences and backgrounds so that we can expand the principles established by our Founding Fathers that were continued, of course, by our sixteenth President Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Club is actively reaching out to the diverse communities of Orange County not only fully supported by leadership but a leadership that is active on the ground as well. The Lincoln Club will be a vanguard to keep Orange County a red county, bringing time-honored, transcendent, and tested principles that will appeal to people of all races, backgrounds, and creeds.

Larry Kudlow of CNBC was the headliner at the 53rd Annual Dinner last night, and he didn’t disappoint. Having been on Ronald Reagan’s executive staff, Kudlow was on hand for one of the greatest periods of economic growth our country has seen. The particular point he wanted to make was that if the United States is an economic powerhouse, then everyone in the world respects us. Being an economic power allowed us to defeat the former Soviet Union without firing a single shot. We were able to negotiate from a position of strength. Now, under the current president, we negotiate from a position of weakness with anemic 2% GDP growth, a shrinking military, and crushing regulations as well as taxes on successful American businesses that are the engines of economic growth. In short, Obama doesn’t get it and as long as he continues down his current path, we will never achieve robust economic growth, will never be strong in foreign policy negotiations, and the people who are hurting the most who can’t find jobs or have dropped out of the workforce entirely are being hurt by a president who is stuck on “income equality.” As Kudlow said beautifully, the best welfare is a job, and a rising tide lifts all boats. When America is strong, then people are working and prospering. Very simple.

Pivoting to Tim Donnelly, I am a supporter and love his libertarian leanings as a conservative who prides himself on being a “patriot, not politician.” That is Donnelly’s brand and one I hope he will stay true to in a world where people who become politicians seem to lose the very values they profess over a period of time. I have a couple of people in mind, but I won’t mention them here. What has bothered some quarters in the Republican Party are some of the polarizing (or rather perceived as polarizing) statements Donnelly has made, or votes he has taken as an Assemblyman. Most recently it has come out that he has tied his opponent Neel Kashkari to Islamic sharia law. That was not a good idea and certainly not the best of Donnelly. As well, there was also the recent legislation banning the sale of Confederate flags on state property, where the vote was 72-1 with Donnelly being the only vote against. I see Donnelly’s heart on this matter, but the ban was on state property and did not affect the sale on private property. So this was not a hill I think Donnelly should die on because it did not affect anyone’s liberty to sell away from public property, and the Confederate flag is a deeply offensive flag anyway. But on private property, I absolutely would defend the right for someone to display or sell it if that’s what they want.

The other larger issue with Donnelly is his stance on illegal immigration, and I think this is what has rankled many a Republican, as Donnelly has been noted as saying we have a war at our border with Mexico, and is seen as an “immigration hardliner” due to his comments about criminal activity by illegal immigrants as well as them not integrating into the community by bringing a Hispanic first mentality to America. The truth is more nuanced than this when you talk with Donnelly one on one, but the fact is perception is reality and the party will not attract Hispanics that way. If Donnelly wants to be successful in California, he needs to be, as Rand Paul has argued generally about the Republican Party, about addition instead of subtraction. Yes, Donnelly has the grassroots conservatives and Tea Party folks, but he also needs the establishment Republicans, independents, and Reagan Democrats as well. Being polarizing, or being perceived as polarizing, will not help him or the Republican Party to advance. Clearly, as Reagan has done, there is a way in which one can communicate staying true to conservative principles, but doing so in a winsome, attractive manner that grows the party and improves the perception of a party badly in need of good communicators. This is not an easy task and the vast majority of people don’t possess the necessary attributes, so we look for these attributes in principled elected (or would be elected) leaders. The media, the entertainment industry, and the academy are against every principle we hold dear, so we’re not getting any help from them as they actively work against us. My hope is that Donnelly, who is a very good man that I respect highly because I know his heart, will take this message to heart.

12 Responses to “Thoughts on the Lincoln Club Annual Dinner, Conservative Principles, and Tim Donnelly”

  1. Robert Reza said

    First, you really appear confused about the First Amendment. Whether or not the sale of the Confederate flag is “offensive” is not the issue. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of political speech against restrictions imposed by the government, not by private persons. So the banning of the sale of the Confederate flag on state property directly violates the US Constitution’s First Amendment. It is GOVERNMENT restriction that is prohibited Mr. Allen III. That sales would be allowed at private venues has no Constitutional moment whatsoever.

    Second, the Lincoln Club has morphed towards becoming a racist organization, because it’s stance on immigration has gone beyond “inclusivity to support diversity.” The Lincoln Club has chosen to follow a form of “affirmative action,” supporting candidates and views only because they are Latino, without clear regard for merit. Affirmative action calls for the advancement of individuals exclusively because of their ethnicity… and that is racist under any definition. The Lincoln Club now follows that path. Many Republicans shun the Lincoln Club because of this tunnel vision bias.

    Bob Reza

    • Walter Myers III said

      Robert, at first I wasn’t going to even dignify your post with a response. Note that you said freedom of speech, but what does that have to do with the sale of merchandise on state property. If you want to sell Confederate flags, then by all means feel free to sell out of your own home on your own front lawn.

      Secondly, I don’t recall you being in the room with the Lincoln Club immigration reform committee, and I honestly don’t believe you even know or understand the policy. So I’m not going to spend much time responding to baseless and uninformed attacks. There is nothing in the Lincoln Club immigration policy that allows any form of “affirmation action,” and we support conservative views from wherever they come from, regardless of the race, color, or creed of the person proposing those views. We do not advance anyone because of their ethnicity, but because of merit, so I have NO idea what you’re talking about. Again, your ignorant, uninformed views thatdemonstrate you don’t even have the courage to come out and talk directly to Lincoln Club members, but choose to spew your vitriol in a comment. I would invite you to come and meet with us so we can hear your concerns, but only if you can promise to be adult, civil, and willing to engage in honest dialogue. Please send a note to my email at walter.myers.iii@gmail.com and we will arrange a time to talk, if you honestly want to have constructive dialogue. Right now, I highly doubt you will due to the accusatory and baseless charges in your post.

      • Robert Reza said

        Thank you for your personal attacks on me. You doubt my courage, you say I have no idea what I’m, talking about, you call me ignorant and uninformed. Such personal attacks don’t lend themselves to useful dialogue either, do they? Your invitation to talk directly would have been much more genuine without the personal attacks,

        You think the prohibition of the sale of an “offensive symbol” on state property is not a restriction of freedom of speech? Okay, I’ll give you that for the sale, What about just displaying an offensive symbol on state land? Would that prohibition be violative of Freedom of Speech? I personally don’t revere the Confederate flag myself. That isn’t the point. If someone wants to have a booth on state property that displays annoying or offensive political viewpoints…. that is what this country is all about. Tolerance of even the intolerant.

        But I WILL email you to discuss the Lincoln Club’s de facto affirmative action policies, as evident in their candidate choices.

        Bob

        • Walter Myers III said

          Personal attacks? Who called the Lincoln Club “racist”? Wasn’t that a personal attack on all of us? Indeed, you are ignorant of what the Lincoln Club membership believes and before you go around calling people racists, then please have specific facts to back up. Making that charge in a response to a blog post is certainly not an act of courage unless you’ve got the proof in hand. And brother, I am black so I know what racism is close, upfront, and personal. I only wonder if you could have walked a while in my choices as a child growing up in the south. So it is deeply offensive to me that you would bring up the specter of racism in the Lincoln Club when I doubt you have anything more than head knowledge of it.

  2. KenCoop said

    Did Kudlow talk about the other aspect of Reagan’s fiscal policy? Tripling the national debt? That might have been a factor in the robust growth in GDP during his administration.

    If conservatives were to agree to such policies with the current president, I’m sure the US economy would thrive just as well as it did back in those years.

    FWIW, yes Reagan did lower taxes. Then he raised them when he realized the revenues weren’t even coming close to the expenditures he was submitting as part of his budget plans.

    • Walter Myers III said

      Ken, I have the same problem with both Bush and Obama. The debt now is crushing and without 4%+ GDP growth, we are going to be in a world of hurt, especially with the weight of social programs upon us.

  3. Mather said

    The question is why the republicans don’t take this guy under their wings and offer political counsel. Their entire treatment of him has created the environment for polarization. He is only being supported by extreme right. Maybe if he were supported by the middle, boring Christless Conservatives he would be able to help their boring, out of date, and very little voted for mantra. Maybe they should realize he has momentum and ride it instead of mercilessly ganging up on their one of their own. Sick.

    • Walter Myers III said

      Mather, I agree that instead of eating its own, that the Republican Party try to work with him so that he can broaden his appeal. In soon enough time we would all see if he has the goods or not. For so long we’ve been waiting for the second incarnation of Reagan foolishly, when we could have been grooming the next leader all along who would not be Reagan but be his own man or her own woman. Reagan is gone. It is the principles that he held that are important.

  4. […] exclude “the base.” What Hubbard doesn’t understand is this works both ways. As I wrote in my last post here, any candidate such as Donnelly needs the conservative base, the establishment, and Reagan […]

    • Mather said

      Yes, what Tim Donnelly, a fierce leader needs, is intelligent followers who will allow for mistakes, while recognizing a visionary who cannot be manufactured by right answers on the GOP worksheet. He is off the worksheet.

      He is a genius who has in little time and on a show string budget, without a dignified friend to his name, put himself on the stinking map. This in and of itself is an accomplishment. Revolutionarys are never easy to work with, but historic and monumental movements happen when wise followers support and encourage revolutionaries.
      The GOP acts as if Tim Donnelly could damage their reputation, when in fact, he is their fighting chance to redefine themselves.

      The race issue is such a non-issue. This generation is so post race. We don’t care! He assumes law relates to all people for the very fact that he is not racist. Bowing to the PR of the day instead of challenging and embodying hope never did anyone any good. What does the GOP think? That they need someone just like themselves? God forbid! They need an emboldened opposite so that by some fighting chance they just might have a message bearer to the next generation!

      It might be interesting to see what Tim Donnelly has to say, when not forced by sheer press deprivation and common friend deprivation, to be controversial in order to get, just that, a little free press.

      If you were to embrace him, if nothing else you would be guilty of fighting for your own tainted, brother. If you work against him, when he actually becomes a viable candidate in the popular election, which he will because of his talent, and new generation, ” I don’t care what you do to me stance” you will look beyond foolish.

      Instead of worrying how Tim will affect the party’s history and national standing, think instead, how will your own cowardice in not supporting him affect yourselves and the party.
      Nothing like a little ganging up, GOP, passive aggressive -Style, as every nattional “somebody” flies their “ANYONE BUT TIM DONNELLY” endorsements.

      Bullying the guy who is giving everything for the very things you know you all believe!

  5. Pat Shuff said

    I do not know how the establishment GOP can back Neel Kashkari when he voted for Obama in 2008. He was asked, during Q & A after a short speech at a conference I attended in late April, “is it true that you voted for Obama in 2008?” He replied that he voted for Obama in 2008 because he didn’t like McCain. I give him an “A” for honesty, but an “F” for judgment. His endorsers have lost credibility. Donnelly’s stand on illegal immigration will gain him votes of Democrats and Independents. If Pete Wilson hadn’t endorsed Prop. 187 (denied benefits to illegal immigrants) in 1994 when he ran for Governor, he would have lost. He was trailing Kathleen Brown in the polls until that time. Democrats and Republicans are against illegal immigration. Americans of African-American heritage and Hispanics are the most affected by illegal immigration because they are the most at risk of being replaced by people who will work for less pay. Not every Hispanic sympathizes with the plight of illegal aliens.

    • Walter Myers III said

      I don’t understand it either, Pat. I am floored that prominent Republicans are supporting him such as Condoleezza Rice and Jeb Bush. It is clear these people do not hold traditional conservative values. I don’t agree that Tim’s view as people currently understand it will garner votes from Democrats and Independents. He has to provide a clear picture of his position on this, which as I said is more nuanced than most think, and what he needs to do is explain clearly to Hispanics and those of African heritage/descent (not African-American unless you mean Charlize Theron or Ernie Els) that illegal immigration is bad for them in particular. This is why I am calling on Tim to tackle this topic and I hope to see him do that after the primary election.

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