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Interview with Marie Stroughter, Co-Founder of African-American Conservatives (AACONS)

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Marie Stroughter is co-founder of African-American Conservatives (AACONS), which started just after the 2008 presidential election of Barack Obama –– a place for black conservatives to "vent, "share," and "build consensus." Later AACONS added BlogTalkRadio to their repertoire with host Marie Stroughter, opening the show in a sleek, cool and confident tone, "…African-American conservatives; the soul of the conservative movement."

In less than a year, Marie is quickly becoming a conservative talk-radio star. With a line-up consisting of high-profile guests like Steve Forbes, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Malkin, Andrew Breitbart, Lloyd Marcus of the Tea Party Express [photo right: Stroughter and Marcus], Peter Schiff, Chuck DeVore, John Dennis, Star Parker, and many more, you can see why the Los Angeles Times recently took notice of AACONS, with the headline, "Aspiring Rush Limbaughs take to Web radio."

AACON's Internet show, which airs live every Tuesday at 7:00 (PDT) –– occasionally more, has been featured on BlogTalkRadio numerous times including Blog Talk's blog. Last week, Marie had an entertaining interview with Michael Graham, talk show host and author of his latest bestseller, That's No Angry Mob, That's My Mom: Team Obama's Assault on Tea-Party, Talk-Radio Americans, and snagged an interview with former Ambassador John Bolton as well as returning guest, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

I learned about AACONS' "web talk-radio show" back in early March when I was snooping around BlogTalkRadio and happened to listen in on their interview with Steve Forbes. Later, Jamison Braly, Blogcritics writer, who also hosts a BlogTalkRadio show along with Braden Pace –– Stubborn Facts Radio from the Conservamedia Network –– introduced me to Marie.

[AACONS interview with Steve Forbes, March 9, 2010]

Over the past couple of months, I've followed Marie via AACONS' radio show as well as the usual social networking culprits, Facebook and Twitter. In fact, Marie calls me one of AACONS's "biggest fans," and she's right; I admire her mission and the passion she exhibits behind it.

Last week, I had the privilege of interviewing the "interviewee," for Blogcrtics, realizing that Marie and I have more in common than Conservatism: our Christian faith, raising children, and our pet calico cats. Marie, along with my teenager daughter, helped navigate me through my first time using Skype and we chatted for a while, discussing a variety of topics including biblical, but mostly political, our president, and the inside story on how AACONS was born and their successful "web talk-radio" show.

Marie, have you always been political?

I can't say that I was apolitical, but I would say that I had been apathetic for a long time, and just voted on measures and never voted for people. I was really disillusioned because I would see candidates that supported something that I believed in, but then they espoused another position that I equally didn't. It was really hard for me to reconcile that.

The two things that politicized me –– "the lightening rods" –– were President Obama's election and watching my mother dying in a county hospital. If you want to know what free-health care is about, just die in "free" health care! But that is another topic entirely, however, at the height of the ObamaCare debate, I addressed it quite passionately in a podcast, with a very personal account about my experience with socialized medicine and why I am against it.

During the campaign I got tons of e-mails from Sebastian's family (my husband) saying, "We have to support Obama." I sent them back this wonderful piece that I found online written by an African-American man named Huntley Brown –– a Christian concert pianist I believe –– "Why I cannot support Barack Obama." He said, "I do not process my life through my blackness, I process my life through my Christianity."


I think most in the African-American community process our politics through our "blackness." Because, economically, we tend to be pretty disenfranchised. And there are so many issues that our community faces  –– as all communities do –– so, I think that we tend to process our political views based on what is going on for us culturally. We shouldn't do that.  I remember growing up, I had a youth minister that used to say, "You cannot be a thermometer; a thermometer reacts to external situations. You have to be a thermostat; a thermostat sets the temperature, and it does not deviate." Part of the problem is that we as Christians  –– as the bible puts it, "My people perish for lack of knowledge." And some are what I call, "cafeteria Christians," while others tend to do "Situation Ethics" rather than allow the Word to be their thermostat.

Did I ever think about voting for Barack Obama? Never once did it enter my mind. Never once did I think,"Oh should I?" Never!

Have you always been a Conservative?

Interestingly, I grew up in a very solidly "blue" household. I mean, it was a sin to like the Dodgers [laugh] –– sorry no offense –– and it was equally a sin to vote for anything other than the Democratic ticket.

However, even in high school, when I was president of our debate team, I gave a speech on "life" and I talked about abortion and its gory practice, in detail. I've always been pro-life and the "sanctity of life" is still a big issue for me today. As I became a Christian, lived life, and starting raising and teaching my children, it solidified what I had always felt about a lot of things.

Let's fast forward. Since you are co-founder of African-American Conservatives (AACONS), I was wondering if you would tell me how it all got started?  [The ACCONS website, talk-radio show, blog, Amazon bookstore, and the Cafe Press Store]

What really kicked it off for me was having this particular president [Obama]. My family tends to deconstruct the day around the dinner table. My husband and I would talk about a lot of things and my kids were sitting there. I thought, "It's not enough for me to just kvetch about what I like and dislike about this administration. I've got to do more. As long as I have the right to free speech, I need to exercise it and teach my kids to do the same –– to have respect for the office, yet, they can dissent through the laws that are given to us.

So, do you oppose Obama because you think he is too far left?

Absolutely! Not only is Obama pro-choice, but partial birth abortion? That is just absolutely barbaric! 

Remember when I called into your show a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to know how you get so many high-profile guests. As one of your "biggest fans," can you divulge your secret now?

What happened was, as I mentioned, right before the election I got all these e-mails saying, "We need to support this man." Then right after the election, well meaning people would come up to me and say, "We're so happy for YOU" and "YOUR president." And it was like, "Uhhhh . . . okay he doesn't really speak for me." Yeah, of course I appreciate the historicity of the moment. Sure I understand…the guy is our first president of African decent. He is equally as white as he is black, which nobody really talks about. As someone who is multiracial myself, I am sensitive to that particular issue. But, be that as it may, he presents as black and that is how people perceive him. And of course, I am happy for our country; that we have gotten to that point. Am I happy for him? Am I happy that he is the one that broke that barrier? NO! Absolutely, a thousand times, no!

I had been following "DarkKnight3565" on Twitter and I was watching all the things he tweeted. Then I noticed his avatar and I thought, "This is a black guy saying this!" So, I wrote asked him, "Are you tired of people coming up to you, congratulating you on your president." And he expressed some of the similar feelings that I had.

As we talked more, I thought, "I bet there are other people feeling this way," and of course hearing the whole "Tea Party is racists" thing, –– blah, blah, blah. Then I suggested maybe we should throw up a little website where we could talk about some of these things behind closed doors –– not to exclude anybody, but it's just that there are issues specific to the African-American community that may feel a little different to some then they do to the mainstream. Like gun violence and race issues; that we are supposed to be Democrats, that we betrayed our race; that we are "Uncle Toms," and we're "sell-outs." Let's talk about that behind closed doors and then come out and present a unified front on a variety positions. Maybe we can develop some sort of a platform; knowing that there would be a breath of diversity and opinion.

So, were you building a platform to have your voice –– the black conservative community –– be heard?

I think it was really just a place to talk about stuff, vent, and process what was going on because this was a momentous occasion in history and yet we weren't processing it the way that most of our community was –– with this kind of joyous enthusiasm.

Didn't Obama get 95 percent of the black vote?

I think it was around 96 percent. It was huge.

So you are part of the 4 percent that didn't vote for Obama?

Yes. Can you imagine what that was like? I forwarded Huntley's article to my family and they responded, "Oh, you [sic] drinking that Bush kool-aid." I felt like I needed a place to lick my wounds because I was getting it from both sides. I was getting it from the black community because, "I'm the sellout." And people, who were not of the same ethnicity, were celebrating how we're "post racial" and "racism is dead." And I'm sitting there thinking, "I don't fall in either camp; I am totally disenfranchised." As I began to get more involved on Twitter and talk to more people, I found that I wasn't alone. So, we thought that we've got to have a place where we can talk about some of this stuff because we don't fit into any peg.

Right after Sebastian, "DarkKnight," and I started the AACONS website, one of the people that I follow on Twitter mentioned that a friend of his was running for office here in California –– Craig DeLuz, a young conservative black guy, who was doing a lot of great things. He's working with youth and the African-American community, who tend to be blinded in their allegiance to the Democratic Party that has done nothing for them. I wanted to interview him and know how to he was able to translate our conservative values into something that people can internalize –– to make them think and realize that our "core spiritual values" are closer to the conservative end of the spectrum than they are to the liberal [Democratic] end. When you take the word Republican out — the perception that it is all white, old men, and blah, blah, blah –– and you talk about traditional family values and the sanctity of life.

So, I spoke to Craig DeLuz on the phone for about an hour and it was amazing! When I asked him if he would do an interview, he said, "My twin brother is a Democrat and we have a radio show on BlogTalkRadio (The DeLuz Brothers) –– have you heard of it?" Since I hadn't, he gave me the information and we did our interview on BlogTalkRadio, our first, which aired on April 16, 2009. Craig Deluz has been our show several times and he started a new show that debuted today, Conversations with Craig.

Well, since your first interview; your show has become a hit and quite popular, attracting high-profile guests like Steve Forbes, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, many politicians and political candidates, authors, and an array of interesting guests. How the heck did that happen?

How that happened was, like I said, I had this political awakening and I found out –– I think on Twitter –– that Chuck DeVore was running for office here in California. And I wanted to do something locally; get involved and make a difference. So, I researched Chuck and later became administrator of the Bay Area Group for Chuck's campaign on Ning (not the official campaign website). Due to the fact that I was in on conference calls and intimately knew the people involved with his campaign –– now with a fledgling radio show –– I thought, "Maybe I'll tap into some of these contacts and see if I could get Chuck on the show." So, Chuck was on the show. I am still a staunch Chuck DeVore supporter –– a man that carries a copy of the Constitution in his breast pocket at all times!

Chuck DeVore was a guest on your show recently, was he on a few times?

Yes, he was our guest in July or last year too. Our second guest was Navy veteran and aspiring politician, Coby Dillard, founder of the blog, The Dillard Doctrine, who has been on the show a few times.

Then I started meeting people of color that were fiercely conservative and I just started asking if they would be on the show. And people would know people that would know people…and so on.

Another draw came from those promoting books and going on press junkets. Also, I think part of the attraction is our name, AACON. It was meant to be a play on ACORN; it was never meant to be this divisive hyphenated thing, but having "African-American" in our name helped with people who wanted to reach out to the black community.

In the beginning, we got the third degree from publicists and press secretaries of potential guests, asking, "How many listeners do you have?" Originally the attitude was sort of like "you're small potatoes."  As we got more and more of the bigger names through relationships that we developed, then people started to take notice a little bit. Then we were featured on Blog Talk and later Radio for Conservatives (From the Right Radio) approached us to be a show on their channel. Now we can usually get interviews because of our track record: over 10,000 "listens;" a featured show; and we've been number one on BlogTalkRadio a few times.

You did this all in less than a year and you are becoming quite the conservative talk-radio star. Wow, I'm impressed!

I would say that it is totally a God thing! I truly believe that. I can also attribute it to the First Amendment and my strong belief in modeling to my kids that you can exercise free speech. I can also talk about God on the airwaves as much as I want –– for now [we both smirk]. It is not only an opportunity for me to be a political Mama –– Sarah Palin calls us, "Mama Grizzlies," but I can be a political activist as well as impart my faith.

"African-American Conservatives…Your source for conservative political news and commentary, from an African-American perspective… African-American Conservatives; the soul of the conservative movement." –– Marie Stroughter, BlogTalkRadio

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About Christine Lakatos

  • Marie is terrific in many many ways.

  • Thanks Braden!

  • Great interview, Christine!

  • Clavos

    As if an atheist can’t be a conservative…

    C’est moi…

  • As if an atheist can’t be a conservative, or a religious person a leftist. Plenty of examples of both.

  • Zedd

    You and she lost me when you somehow attached her becoming a Christian to her being a Republican. That made absolutely no sense and explained absolutely nothing.

    As usual, no comprende. Go deeper please.

  • Yes, Baronius, that is *exactly* what I meant…thank you πŸ™‚

  • Baronius

    Handy, I’ve been talking about social conservatism with you and Zing. Or have we been on different pages?

    John, I’m sure that what Marie meant was that the quality of health care drops when it becomes government-sponsored (i.e. “free”).

  • John Wilson

    Marie says: “…watching my mother dying in a county hospital. If you want to know what free-health care is about, just die in “free” health care!”

    But this is EXACTLY what conservatives advocate in the absence of UHC. Go to the emergency room! There is NO UHC in the USA, so, lacking high-paid health INSURANCE in our privatized system this is what one is doomed to.

  • Neither “conservatism” nor “liberalism” is one single thing or one monolithic group of people. So making that kind of vast generalization is questionable.

  • Baronius

    “conservatism is always relative to liberalism, not the other way around. we’re too quick.”

    By your own words, liberalism is always changing. That leaves conservatism with two options: either always changing, running after you and defining ourselves with respect to you; or staying fixed on our principles. We run after you in the sense that, when the debate changes we take up the new topic, often in the new language. We stay fixed in the sense that, whatever the new topic may be, we find our answer by referring back to the same principles.

    You see liberalism as fixed and conservatism as changing. But it is in the nature of liberalism to change, to keep pursuing the goal of progress. Likewise, conservatism is by its nature fixed in terms of its ultimate goal. So you can’t really say that conservatism is relative to liberalism, although from your standpoint it may appear to be reactionary (that is, a reaction to liberalism).

  • How does Atkinson maintain a straight face throughout a routine like that? Amazing.

  • zingzing

    roger, that was classic. word games are better when there’s sex all up inside them. i don’t know if baronius will appreciate, but he did give evidence of a sense of humor earlier today, so maybe. seriously, though, that had me laughing pretty fucking hard.

  • You’re right, zing. I apologize, the same critter.

    Now, here’s a gem.

    Now, do me a favor and send it to Baronius special delivery, private and confidential.

  • zingzing

    yeah, that’s the same guy, roger… just 10+ years later.

  • No it ain’t, unless we’re looking at an embryo. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Sorry, Dreadful, I thought you meant this one, as you make reference to him in your last comment. BTW, there’s more where it came from.

    Not to denigrate your video. It’s a stand alone.

  • zingzing

    good god, “not the nine o’clock news” is perhaps the bestest thing ever. i can’t get enough. it’s like discovering kids in the hall. (i thank you, dr. dreadful.)

    and yes, that’s the same bean, roger. he actually is quite funny. not that that shit mr bean movie would be any clue.

  • Was? Rowan Atkinson is still going strong, last I heard…

  • If that’s the same Bean I think it is, then it’s a definite treat.

    He was one of a kind.

  • zingzing

    handy, i’m (and this may shock some people) of the opinion that economic conservatism isn’t nearly as offensive as social conservatism. i’ll spit on social conservatism. it’s awful and backwards and evil. but economic conservatism… it’s not the worst thing. it may actually have some ideas worth following. when it crosses back into social policy, however, i can’t abide it.

    doc–that was awesome. mr. bean SPEAKS! (yes, yes, i know his name.) he’s so good. the english language is such a wonderful thing. i’m so happy that people can get away with that kind of language somewhere in the world.

  • Clavos

    Everyone, EB?

  • What other way is there?

  • everyone who comments on the Internet is doing a “hey, look at me” thing.

  • Of course it is, zing. You shouldn’t have to give it up. It’s too much to give up.

  • Interesting take, Handy.

  • Lost in this interesting philosophical discussion is the difference between social conservatism, centered on religious taboos about sexuality, and economic conservatism.

    There’s no reason they have to be so closely coupled, and in fact BC’ers like Nalle [where is he anyhow?] and Clavos generally reject the demonization of gays and abortion and evolution.

    Social conservatism tends to be anti-libertarian, one reason it’s so offensive to many civil-liberties-minded lefties. [The “war on terror” and “no amnesty for illegals” wings of conservatism are nastily anti-libertarian too.]

    Libertarianism and economic conservatism can have their unsavory sides, too [vide the Rand Paul ruckus recently]. Convincing yourself that both the Constitution and the Bible are holy texts that have to be followed rigidly can take your mind into some very crazy places.

  • Baronius

    Roger, you’re doing that weird third-person “hey look at me” thing again.

  • zingzing

    roger: “And why should you live NYC?”

    no, but living here is expensive. i think i’ll have to move elsewhere in order to be able to afford re-entering student life. if i’m going to do it right.

  • Baronius identifies commitment with playing in the sand box – the same game over and over again.

    If not anal-retentive, at the very least it suggests ossification of categories.

    Here’s a conservative for you par excellence. Afraid of his own shadow. Lest he steps on it, the figure casting it may disappear as well.

  • Zing, when there’s a will, there’s a way.

    Besides, we’re not supposed to live by bread alone . . .

    And why should you leave NYC? Have I suggested anything of the kind?

  • zingzing

    baronius: “fear of commitment.”

    oh my. you’re a woman. no wonder you’re nuts.


  • zingzing

    heh. 80 was for your earlier comment. as to 79… you do have a sense of humor. thank the devil for that. really, kristen stewart’s appeal is a bit of a mystery to me. not that i would turn it down. but she’s kinda plain. not that plain is horrible. but those movies are. not that i’ve seen them. never, ever that. (really, i haven’t.) (nor do i have any interest in.) (not that i won’t mock them.)

  • “Liberals suffer from fear of commitment.”

    BS. They’re committed to the idea of justice.

  • zingzing

    that’s a nice way of putting it, baronius…

  • Baronius

    As for Twilight, if you can’t appreciate the love between a beautiful, fragile young woman and a tormented soulful vampire, as portrayed by Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, the most precious young actors of our time, well then there’s something wrong inside your heart. It’s a cold, cold place, your heart, and I want nothing to do with it!

    (sniffs and runs away)

  • And in the boudoir Conservatives are more passionate and long lasting while Liberals tend to be quick and off to the races. But, that’s just my experience.

  • zingzing

    tell it to my bank account, roger. if it understands, i’ll do whatever it says. some things just aren’t possible, no matter how much i want them to be. i’ll look at the new school, however. they have a lot of interesting programs, but i’m not sure that musicology is one of them. but i’ll look. city seems to be the place for me. cheap.

  • Baronius

    I did read that report a long time ago. Conservatives prefer order; liberals prefer ambiguity. Conservatives don’t like things unresolved (which always makes the headlines). Liberals suffer from fear of commitment (which never makes the headlines).

  • Screw that, zing. Got to do something about your future. You could become a force.

    Try the New School, Washington Square. What more could you want? If not music, do other things, formally, and music on the side.

    Ten years from now you’ll be less motivated and liable to say, fuck it.

    You’re not against learning. In fact, you’re a vocal exponent of learning.

    Well, it’s time to apply the adage to your own person. Even literary studies are not to be shunned, and I know you’re a lover of literature.

    And yes, I can be scatological, just as Baritone. I just want to savor it for special occasions.

  • zingzing

    baronius: “what conservatives love about this county is very American, that there isn’t likely to be a place that could offer more of what we’re looking for. I mean, if there were, I’d go.”

    it is very american. i can’t fault you there. america is the only place that, ahem, tolerates that kind of stuff. generally, i think it’s a good thing. even if i disagree with you, i’m not sure i’d like to live anywhere else at this point.

    “But we all have a tendency, on both sides of the aisle, to overdramatize the differences between America and Europe. We probably wouldn’t even notice if we were plunked down in England (except for what they do to the vowels).”

    exactly. i’ve lived in england, and while it is different, the similarities are far more striking. their versions of conservatism and liberalism may be different, and a bit foreign, but they are recognizable to any of us living here.

    “That being said, I think that you’ve got the wrong approach, interpreting conservatism as having been dominant around the world (at least that seems to be the implication of your statement “there’s almost nowhere left for you to go”).”

    actually, i said it much more clearly. almost word for word. the world was, to our modern eyes, once much more conservative. the shit we pull wouldn’t fly back in the day. if i were transported back to the 1950s, i’d end up dead, i guarantee you.

    “The world’s progress hasn’t been linear; it hasn’t been unequivocal; it’s not necessarily regional.”

    of course it’s been linear. time is a line. things don’t come from nothing. shit bounces back and forth, of course, but it’s all a line. and you must admit that the political opinion of the world has certainly crowded in on you over the last 50 years. you are a dying breed. conservatism will change, and it will be unrecognizable to you. conservatism is always relative to liberalism, not the other way around. we’re too quick.

  • zingzing

    roger: “a rash of shit”

    very nice. i’m going to use that.

    “You really ought to enter some graduate program – if not music then psychology or social sciences.”

    i want to do music. but i want to remain in new york city. somehow, the two don’t match up, monetarily. it’s unfortunate, but i hope that that changes. either i grow sick of new york or i find a way to afford it. right now, neither of those things are happening.

    (btw-right now, i’m listening to this album called “disintegration loops” by william basinski. he was a rather unsuccessful classical composer who, in late 2001, decided to digitize some old early-80s recordings of orchestral loops that he had, when he noticed that the more he played them, the more the magnetic tape disintegrated and the sound changed, so he played them until they completely fell apart, digitally recording them the entire time. the album has 9 pieces and is 5 hours long. as the last one was recording/disintegrating, he went up to his rooftop in manhattan and spent a few hours looking at the sun come up and taking photos. that morning happened to be sept. 11th.)

    several of my friends are in academia. of the kids i grew up with (and remain in contact with), one is a psychology professor out in portland, one designs war games in dc, one is a biological scientist studying infectious disease for notre dame, one edits a newsletter for a national education society/policy group in dc. two of my college (era) friends are in graduate programs for physics. i work for a trade school editing their textbooks.

    yet here in new york, all i know is waiters (ahem, artists). it’s nice, except on weekends, when all my friends are working and i wanna go out.

  • Baronius

    Zing, I remember that question. If I recall correctly, someone else beat me to the punch and said “the western states”. My comment, and it must not have been a very memorable one, was that what conservatives love about this county is very American, that there isn’t likely to be a place that could offer more of what we’re looking for. I mean, if there were, I’d go.

    Upon reflection, I think there are places that a conservative American could feel at home. I’ve heard some nice things about Panama. But we all have a tendency, on both sides of the aisle, to overdramatize the differences between America and Europe. We probably wouldn’t even notice if we were plunked down in England (except for what they do to the vowels).

    That being said, I think that you’ve got the wrong approach, interpreting conservatism as having been dominant around the world (at least that seems to be the implication of your statement “there’s almost nowhere left for you to go”). The world’s progress hasn’t been linear; it hasn’t been unequivocal; it’s not necessarily regional.

  • Anyways, I’m glad you have some contact with the academia.

    You really ought to enter some graduate program – if not music then psychology or social sciences.

    I hate to resort to a cliche, but mind is a terrible thing to waste.

  • Now you’re gonna get a rash of shit for using curse words.

  • zingzing

    and baronius won’t read it. just like he shies away from mirrors. (you hear that, baronius? i called you a vampire, you twilight-reading motherfucker.) (just trying to egg you on. i don’t think you read twilight.)

  • zingzing

    heh. conservatives were, somewhat understandably, rather pissed that over a million u.s. taxpayer dollars were spent to discover that they are just crazy, frightened people. i’ve got rather ambivalent feelings about the study. seems more like a prank than anything else on the surface. i just sent it to a psychology professor i know. i’ll get him to read it and tell me if it’s all bullshit. still, from the abstract, it looks pretty spot on. and hilarious.

    conservatives ARE crazy, that’s for certain, but is it diagnosable? can they make drugs for it? i know they make drugs that make you more liberal. mmmm, lsd…

  • Wow, zing, I was just shooting from the hip, going by my ordinary understanding of things and intuition. But I’m sure glad I wasn’t entirely in the left field.

    Thanks for the link.

    Now, the mission before you, if you decide to accept it, is to make Baronius read it.

  • zingzing

    wasn’t there a scientific study that declared conservatism to be a mental disorder?

    aha. here it is.

    and the us gov’t paid for the study. fucking right.

  • I’ve told you, zing, they’re anal-retentive at bottom. So indeed, they do display a retarded state of psychological development.

    Freud should be happy!

  • El’s in the house!

  • “I should of highlighted some of Marie’s comments…”

    I don’t think that would have helped some readers’ reaction to her. She just sounds like an average FOX viewer from all those points you just listed off. I am not sure why she acts proud for not thinking the same as the vast majority of her race when she think the same as the vast majority of Hannity viewers.

  • zingzing

    it’s fucking retarded, but conservatives fear the alternative, even if that’s, you know, affordable or something…

  • Well, consider me a native, Stan the Man.

    The Americans do indeed strike me more and more as foreigners – aliens from outer space, more likely – though I’ve lived here for nearly fifty years.

  • STM

    I keep thinking the cost of healthcare over there in the US and the way it’s administered is “a foreign concept”, but then I keep remembering: “Oh, they ARE foreigners”.

  • STM

    Baron: “Conservatives stick to their beliefs, while liberals continually destroy theirs in pursuit of something further to the left”.

    And if an American liberal were to move to Australia, they would think the conservatives here – strangely known as The Liberals – would ACTUALLY be American-style liberals.

    This is why those of us not from the US find some of these discussions so bizarre sometimes. What we consider normal you’d consider monster raving loony socialist, especially when it comes to healthcare.

    We had a story in the paper recently about an Aussie woman hospitalised in the US with a deadly stomach bug thought to have been picked up in a New York cafe.

    Her hospital bill, which would have cost her nothing here unless she was insured like many Aussies and went to a private hospital (and then might have had just a small excess of a few hundred bucks to pay with the government and the insurer picking up most of the tab), was … wait for it … $326,000.

    The quality of care she would have got here at a major hospital would have been near identical to what she got over there.

    You’ve all gone completely mad (perhaps that’s not a recent thing πŸ™‚ over that side of the ditch. I honestly can’t believe that the provision of decent health care is still regarded there in some circles as purely a money-making proposition.

    Given the way costs appear to have escalated, no wonder there are panels of people employed by the health-insurance companies there to decide on what they’ll pay for and what they won’t.

  • Keep fighting the good fight, Christine. The Conservative side needs more open minded folks like you who don’t impose but reason.

  • 1.5 hours of tape and a lot to turn into a decent, cohesive and not too long interview.

    This is why I don’t work for the Wall Street Journal and am no Tim Russet; I’m just your average girl next door, who over the last year is just making an attempt be a “blogger.” Still not sure why though.

  • Probably Adam & Steve.

  • In full disclosure I should say that the “Obama is too far left” conversation did go on as I stated in the interview, yet, I should of highlighted some of Marie’s comments (that came at the end of the interview) other than abortion, like Obama’s radical ties, some of which have high positions in his administration; the environment and Obama (and his cronies) plan for cap-and-trade –– more government control; Obama’s socialism (AKA; redistribution of wealth) plan; socialized health care (Obama is in favor of a “single-payer system;” blah, blah, blah….

    Sorry Marie.

  • STM

    Silas: “Oh lord I want to be in that number.”

    Hmmm. The Big Red V.

    The song of the mighty St.George Dragons in the Australian National Rugby League … odds on-favourites (well almost) this year to take out the premiership.

    Since, like Doc, I’ve also been known to fart, maybe we all share recent common ancestors πŸ™‚

  • Dr. D: that is too funny (lol). Even though we disagree; we can still care and have some fun too!

  • I fart, therefore I am.

    Clearly, Silas, we share an ancestor somewhere in the not too distant past. πŸ™‚

  • zingzing

    baronius: “Conservatives stick to their beliefs, while liberals continually destroy theirs in pursuit of something further to the left.”

    that’s not exactly true. there’s a line that’s easy to see between what liberalism (in the accepted definition) stood for 100 years ago and what it stands for now. if you were to tell a conservative 100 years ago what you believe today (again, maybe not you…), they could hardly believe the stuff coming out of your mouth. they’d declare you a liberal.

    and even if that is true, by staying the same (which you aren’t, at least not completely), you’d guarantee your eventual obsolescence. at this point, i see you as moving so slow that the world is outdistancing you and you might as well give up, or die off, as you eventually will.

    a few years ago, during the election, i asked a question which i don’t think anyone bothered to answer. this might take a bit of setup… you know how liberals are always saying “fuck this conservative gov’t, i’m moving to canada/europe/etc!”? when obama was about to be elected, i wondered where american conservatives could go in this world. where would you find your political thought would be better served by the gov’t of that unknown nation? there’s almost nowhere left for you to go. your brand of conservatism, once rather dominant in the world, is clutching at strings almost exclusively in middle america. the world has moved on, you’re stuck going in circles, and the nation is creeping in around you from all directions. you’re surrounded and cut off.

    “I think that people see “progress” because they’re expecting to, but reality is more erratic.”

    i’ll agree with that in general terms, but then again, if i do that, “progress” isn’t a good or bad thing, it just is. you can certainly say that the advent of marxism didn’t lead us to good places, but it certainly led us to new places. it was progress, if only in moving forward towards something. but to say that the world hasn’t progressed in the last 100 years is… just not true.

  • Well, Silas – talking about the same wavelenght.

  • “while liberals continually destroy theirs in pursuit of something further to the left.”

    What a caricature! To the left just because it is to the left!

  • I fart, therefore I am.

  • Silas, Handy and Zinger are in the house!

    Call the cops. They’re stuffing your silver and jewellery into a burlap sack, helping themselves to your best port, watching your plasma TV and farting all over your new leather couches.

  • Baronius

    Handy, at least I mentioned some examples.

  • Oh lord I want to be in that number.

    That’s the ring-tone on my cell phone, Roger. Been that way since New Orleans went to the Super Bowl. And I hate American football.

    In a hundred years, social conservatives will have the same idea of marriage that we do now.

    Beg to differ, Baronius. My fear is that we have embarked on a suicide mission in this world. I honestly question where humanity will be a century from now much less a decade. It took thousands of years for humans to evolve into the society of 1900. I posit that it will take less than half a decade longer to unravel all the advances we have made thus far.

  • Our comments crossed in the mail. But your own ‘argument’ does not fit your own restrictive definition either.

  • You offer no such argument in the other direction either, Baronius.

    You first complained that we offered no argument. We each offered a separate but related set of reasoning, trying to tell you why we believe social conservatism is doomed nonsense.

    Rather than respond to these arguments, you declare that they are in fact not arguments at all and you will therefore take your ball and go home.

    That’s not a discussion, that’s rhetorical fiddle-faddle.

    You could easily give your own rationale [“Jesus tells me so” or whatever] and, while I might roll my eyes I wouldn’t say it isn’t an argument.

    Why should a conversation have to fit within your narrow terms to be valid?

  • Baronius

    Zing, I’d say that the exact opposite is true. Conservatives stick to their beliefs, while liberals continually destroy theirs in pursuit of something further to the left. Which of us is throwing away their conception of marriage, for example? In a hundred years, social conservatives will have the same idea of marriage that we do now. Based on the experiences of Europe, it’s doubtful that social liberals will think of marriage anywhere near the same way they think of it today.

    Secondly, I wouldn’t say that the world necessarily drifts toward the left, or that any such drift is necessarily for the better. A hundred years ago, the dominant intellectual trend was social Darwinism. That trend went nowhere. We’ve had existentialism and consumerism since then. There’s no pattern. I think that people see “progress” because they’re expecting to, but reality is more erratic.

  • Oh lord I want to be in that number.

  • Silas, Handy and Zinger are in the house!

  • zingzing

    “Neither of you presented an argument based on evidence or objective, debatable principles.”

    baronius, would a conservative 100 years ago recognize you, or dave, or clavos as a conservative? or would they view your (kinda general on that pronoun, as you cling to some religious dogma that has stuck around for generations,) beliefs as a gross perversion of the term? the way i see it, which, of course, may differ significantly from the way you see it, conservatives have to destroy their old beliefs, while liberals have to build on theirs. in social matters, the world consistently drifts to the left. it’s called progress. conservatism seeks to retard that progress, but it consistently fails to stop it. conservatism is a dead end because you consistently turn around in the cul-de-sac, seeing a way out, but turning away from it again.

  • Fascinating interview, Christine. I like this lady’s spunk. I can’t say I agree with everything she stands for but I like the fact that she’s willing to put herself out there especially since she comes from the Black community. It’s refreshing. YOu never cease to amaze me, Christine.

  • Baronius

    Neither of you gave any reasons. Handy referred to his dander; Zing referred to his opinion of the future. Neither of you presented an argument based on evidence or objective, debatable principles.

  • It’s not what either of us said. You asked, we answered you, and you reply with a glib non sequitur.

  • zingzing

    yeah, that’s what i said baronius. that’s exactly what i said. come on.

  • Baronius

    So, you think it’s a dead end because, um, you think it’s a dead end.

  • zingzing

    i’ll put my view on the dead end as simply as possible: in 100 years, the average social conservative will be more socially liberal than i am now. (and please don’t muck shit up by talking about the definition of the word “liberal.” you know what i mean.)

  • Regarding social conservatism as a dead end:

    I can’t speak for Zing, but I consider myself a libertarian of the left [yes, we do exist]. I associate social conservatism with archaic religious superstitions about sex.

    I am a gay man living in New York City, and even a hint of homophobic intolerance gets my dander up. Social conservatism boils down to unsavory, narrow views on gays and abortion primarily.

    [Guns get added to the mix sometimes, too, and I think gun-worshiping loons are just as scary as Darwin-bashing, gay-hating loons who turn even more wild-eyed crazy on the subject of abortion.]

    I am more sympathetic to the smaller government/lower taxes side of the conservative argument [although treating that philosophy as rigidly as a religion is tiresome and useless too].

    But trying to control what other people do with their reproductive organs is a relic of the past that is inevitably going away. The sooner the better.

  • No, Baronius, I do not. Abortion became part of the healthcare debate because of a revolt involving some conservative Catholic Democrats.

    The resulting back and forth resulted in a compromise. The intention was to leave the law and the Hyde amendment more or less in their current state.

    Republicans even further to the right than the ‘rebellious’ Dems believed, or pretended to believe, that the result was instead some monstrous pro-abortion change in the law. It is not.

    In the midst of the shrieking hysteria that gets drummed up about this subject whenever it arises, facts, truth and reality are often casualties. And compromise is always seen as a dirty word.

  • Clavos and Baronius is in the house!!!!

  • Baronius

    Good comment, Clavos!

  • Baronius

    Zing and Handy, you don’t present an argument as to why you think social conservatism is a dead end.

    Handy, given that the President bailed on UHC and a single-payer plan for his health care reform, but held off until the last minute to reach a compromise on abortion (a compromise that pro-lifers can’t enforce) in order to pass his signature legislation, isn’t it fair to say that the President considers abortion to be a central issue?

  • Clavos

    I love the way some conservative posters on here cheerlead for each other, as if they were at a pep rally.

    It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it, outnumbered as we are.

  • Oh, Handy you are no fun.

  • I love the way some conservative posters on here cheerlead for each other, as if they were at a pep rally.

  • Yes, Christine, he lifted the restrictions known as the ‘gag rule’ on funding for family planning services in other countries. And thank God he did this very common-sense reversal of a bad policy.

    When the ban was in place, no U.S. government funding for family planning services could be given to clinics or groups that offer abortion services or counseling in other countries even if the funds for those activities come from non-U.S. government sources. [from the Reuters article you link to]

    But it had nothing to do with any abortions being performed or not performed inside the US.

    And do you actually think this is a central issue — much less one that defines him as “far left”?

  • “Darknight” in the house!!!!!

  • Clavos

    Nice post, darkknight!

  • zingzing

    omg. christians never have abortions. ever. EVER!

    (in fact, they do.)

    (every sperm is sacred.)

  • darkknight3565

    John Wilson – granted you don’t know Marie Stroughter as well as I do, but even so it surprises me that anyone can misunderstand her words in this interview to such a degree that they can call her a “rabid flip flopper.” Her views – particularly on the two issues you mention, socialized healthcare and race – are perfectly consistent, regardless if you agree with them.

    For example, Marie’s experience with her mother under, yes, socialized healthcare – which does indeed exist in this country for the poor and has for some time – has made her more cognizant than most of the danger of having government expand socialized healthcare (Medicare) to those of us who have been so far fortunate enough to afford our own healthcare. As I’ve said, I see nothing ‘flip-flopping’ in this position. Furthermore, I agree with her. I also do not trust that the government-run healthcare system that is being rammed down our throats will be of the same quality we currently enjoy, and I think that is evident in comparisons with the quality of medicine practiced in countries that have socialized healthcare.

    Also, I do not see anything in her position on her ethnic identity that should cause one to label her a flip-flopper. She is clearly very proud of her African American heritage. She doesn’t talk “incessantly” about it – she would much rather talk about her family or her faith or even her cat – but she can speak at length about the pride she feels when asked to speak about race, as she was in this interview.

    However, and I believe this is the point you missed, being a proud Black woman does not in her view limit her to the sort of groupthink when that groupthink runs contrary to her values. The example she gives is an apt one: she’s anti-abortion, and therefore would not vote for a pro-abortion presidential candidate, even if that candidate was to be the first African American president in our history. She does not feel obligated to see ‘everything through her blackness,’ and there is nothing “confused” or “unintelligible” about her fondness for others, like me, who do not either.

  • STM

    Oh, hello Doc, you ARE alive πŸ™‚

  • Christine, Reagan’s first act as President was to sign an executive order ending oil price controls. By your logic, I guess that made him a toady for the oil industry.

  • Handy, This is one of the first things Obama did when he was in office, January, 2009 …Obama lifts restrictions on abortion funding

  • It would be more interesting, or less disheartening, if Stroughter’s opposition to Obama seemed to be based on something other than her own strong anti-abortion stance and other, religious-centered socially conservative views. If, in other words, she were a libertarian budget hawk more than another fanatical pro-lifer.

    The president has not taken any strong pro-choice action in office [right wing heavy breathing about the health bill notwithstanding], yet “partial birth abortion” is her first [only?] example of his being “so far left.”

    Social conservatism is a dead end. I believe Clavos may even agree with me on this, hobgoblins to the contrary.

  • zingzing

    “flip-flop” changes sides with the political winds, i see.

  • Thanks Clavos, can always count on you to put the negative comments into perspective with “words of wisdom.”

  • Clavos

    ” A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”


  • John Wilson

    This woman, Marie is a rabid flip-flopper. First she laments the poor “free” healthcare her mother suffered under (which is the very default healthcare that opponents of UHC advocate) then slams it as socialized healthcare, which is non-existent in the USA.

    She talks incessantly about her blackness (and conservatism), then fondly quotes a black guy who says he refuses to see everything thru his blackness.

    They are both so confused as to be unintelligible. What nonsense.

  • I think he’s been smoking it, too, or whatever else it is that he smokes nowadays.

  • Arch must have been chewing gum when he typed #3.

  • Oh, is there a way we can change it?

  • zingzing

    yeah, i know how to use a pause button, but auto-play is always a minor pain in the ass.

  • Zing; just press the little button above the twitter logo and it will shut off.

  • zingzing

    besides, being a social conservative is a betrayal of humanity, regardless of the color of your skin.

    and for god’s sake, someone shut off the damn auto-play.

  • zingzing

    and even if you’re saying what i think you’re trying to say, unfortunately, there are many instances where racism is worse than name-calling.

  • zingzing

    archie, i don’t think that’s what you meant to say.

  • Arch Conservative

    Yeah there’s nothing less racist than a white liberal chastising a black person for not conforming to their preconvieved notion that all black people must be liberal democrats…….

  • Arch, thanks for stopping by. I think that is one of the reasons Marie started AACONS. Page #4 “…that we are supposed to be Democrats, that we betrayed our race; that we are “Uncle Toms,” and we’re “sell-outs.”

  • Arch Conservative

    I think that if I could ask Marie Stroughter just one question I’d ask her how many times she’s been called an uncle tom or some other such racial epithet by some self-righteous white liberal. She’s probably lost count though.