Thursday, November 13, 2008

PJTV--Conservative Culture and Mandatory Community Service

You can watch a segment of PJTV with me talking to Bill Whittle about conservative culture (reading your emails and comments), why Obama's mandatory community service might backfire and why the self-esteem movement failed. Take a look at PJTV--it might just be the next big thing in conservative culture.



Blogger Webutante said...

Helen, Have not watched the TV piece yet; however after reading your post on "The Optimistic Child" by Martin Seligman, I ordered a copy and am now reading it. Can't tell you what an important piece of work I think this is and plan to post a good deal on it in the weeks ahead on my blog.

After my divorce from a liberal and I began to slowly return to mental sanity and conservativism on many fronts, I left the "feel good" and "we must give our children self-esteem" mantras, but my former husband and his more liberal second wife did not. Our oldest child became depressed early on, and has stayed depressed. This one was the beneficiary of a bifurcated parenting regime. Everytime there was failure in the picture for this child, my former stepped in to attempt to make everything alright. What developed from this self esteem focus from the outside was/is a gigantic sense of entitlement by the depressed child/adult. I was often persona non grata because I left this MO behind.

Over the years, I've watched the focus continue to be how one feels, rather than what one does and the characteristics one develops to perservere. Parents are there to encourage resilience but we/they can't give it to anyone.

No question that this should be another cultural imperative of the conservative movement.

Sadly, I can't help but think Nanny government will continue to foist this chimera onto every aspect of our national lives as we become a nation of helpless, hopeless people dependent of government for everything.

Want to start a new country? It could be here in Tennessee....

7:41 AM, November 13, 2008  
Blogger David Foster said...

I have an extensive and depressing series of posts on the excesses of the "self-esteem" movement: the superheated 'steem thread.

7:58 AM, November 13, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

Conservatives typically fight a defensive battle, and seldom reclaim ground we lose. We also, though typically being more informed on the issues, tend to be less political in my observation (I realize that sounds like a contradiction). We tend to go about our lives, tend to our families, and let others be. I can't think of many examples where conservatives have forced through laws forcing others to think and live as they see fit.

The left, on the other hand (I say left instead of liberal), seem highly motivated and agressive in their front. Even when they lose elections, they are promoting their agenda through the courts, schools, journalism, hollywood. Though the far most active politically, they garner a great deal of support among the least informed--either the one issue voter, those susceptible to class envy tactics, dependents (welfare voters and seniors on social security), and the casual observer who gets most information from mainstream news.

My wife and I have been shocked at how many people we've talked to who voted for Barack Obama and had his issues all wrong. And I say that with no malice to our incoming president--it isn't his fault the media doesn't do their job and the voters don't do their homework. What I find depressing is how many people do not take their civic responsibility seriously.

(I've for years found it depressing that order on the ballot affects election outcome. A few years ago, in Illinois, AG Jim Ryan ran against Rod Blagojevich for a seat opened by the very unpopular and departing governor George Ryan, and the AG lost a lot in the polls because upwards of 5% of voters were so ill informed that they did not realize that Jim Ryan the AG was not George Ryan the governor).

Obama's community service initiative will likely, like too many schools, just be one more leftist indoctrination front. It certainly isn't in line with freedom. If a conservative proposed this, they'd be called a Nazi. Now, Obama is no Nazi, I'm not saying that. I'm simply saying that the reaction by the press is significantly different.

P.S. @ Helen: You've casually mentioned some health problems you've had from time to time. I don't know the details, but for what it's worth, you wouldn't know it on your video. You look great and healthy. I hope things have improved and are going well.

Okay, i better run. Probably won't be back today, it's my anniversary so I have a date with my wife.

Have a great day, everyone!

8:36 AM, November 13, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


So glad you found the book helpful. Let me know when you post about it on your blog--I would love to read what you think.


Happy anniversary! Have a great day.

8:40 AM, November 13, 2008  
Blogger HMT said...


I agree with your first paragraph on conservatives if by "conservative" you mean fiscal/small government conservative. Many of the people I know who are self-described conservatives are "social" conservatives. They seem focused on having the government legislate morality and don't mind invading all the parts of citizens lives. These "conservatives" exhibit all the characteristics you outline in your second paragraph about the "left" (except for maybe Hollywood).

9:30 AM, November 13, 2008  
Blogger Ideaman said...


The conservative/libertarians MUST start reaching the young voters with our own online websites with, as you mention on PJM, humor and true knowledge of our values. The left has Democracy Now, Letterman, MTV, Jon Stewart, etc. We need to launch a series of sites, experimenting with format and content, which teach, in a humorous way, how to detect media to watch for slant to news and print pieces....I can't believe there are not thousands of sharp conservative professors across all disciplines seething with frustration as our young peoples mind's are being polluted with so much socialistic nonsense! Why not tap these frontline professors for suggestions on content, techniques, arguments, etc. that WORK in reaching these young people? I can't imagine the College Republicans wouldn't be thrilled with their own "DemocracyNow"like conservative site...Funding? Ask the people funding the conservative think tanks to divert just a small amount of that money to a video online site that truly hits the kids daily with truth. Policy papers by think tanks are NOT being read by college students. We are LOSING the culture by not even being on the right battlefield.

Thanks for all your observations and efforts.


9:40 AM, November 13, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

If you want to expose young people to an opportunity where there is less emphasis on their feelings and self-esteem and much more emphasis on getting the job done and working productively with a team, the answer wouldn't lie in the school and the parents. Community service is where that happens.

9:53 AM, November 13, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Unless it's forced, cham. Then, like every other impressed servitude, you'll do as little as can be done to get by, waiting for the end.

3:21 PM, November 13, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

Not necessarily, olig. With community service the kids are often given the opportunity to choose what they want to do, and work with whomever they want. It really depends on the kid, what tasks the kids are given, whether the kid is allowed to have input and who is running the program as to whether the kid gets something from it or not.

3:36 PM, November 13, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

@hmt: "They seem focused on having the government legislate morality and don't mind invading all the parts of citizens lives."

I'd have to disagree with that. I know there are some pushy conservatives, but they tend to preach more than legislate. The primary weapon of the left is the law and the courts.

Many cite gay marriage amendments as the right being controlling, but in all honestly, that is only necessary because judges (basically, leftist high priests in black robes) keep overriding the will of the people.

8:18 AM, November 14, 2008  
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