A Voice in the Wilderness In Defense of "Mere Conservatism"


The Gang Loves Paul Ryan

This week's exciting new episode of The RJ Moeller Show finds RJ and the gang discussing everything from Paul Ryan's recent CPAC speech to the new EP from singer/songwriter Andrew Belle ("The Daylight").

new_andrew_belle___the_daylight_ep_by_rick_kills_pencils-d4qiv5dOther topics this time out include:

  • A scathing review of the almost universally-loved movie (and Best Picture winner) The Artist
  • AEI's Arthur Brooks' recent appearance on CNBC's "Squawk Box"
  • Mark Steyn's CSPAN interview on the need for conservatives to break into popular culture
  • The remarkable rise, and free enterprise implications, of NBA star Jeremy Lin

It's good stuff this week on the Values & Capitalism podcast and we urge you to either stream the episode below, or download (and subscribe) to the show on iTunes!



Newt Gingrich Is Smart and Unelectable

As the following interview proves, Newt Gingrich is a super smart dude.  The guy really knows his stuff.  But is it enough to win the GOP nomination, let alone the White House in 2012?

Watch this and let me know what you think!

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Mark Hemingway and Rob Schwarzwalder

In the opening segment of this week's episode of The RJ Moeller Show, RJ welcomes Vice President of the Family Research Council, Rob Schwarzwalder.

r_schwarzwalder_697kbRob has served as Chief of Staff for two Members of Congress, a communications aide in both the House and Senate and as director of communications and senior writer at the National Association of Manufacturers. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Rob to be senior speechwriter at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he crafted language relating to all facets of the President's health care agenda. He has also served as president of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.

RJ and Rob discuss the recent controversy over President Obama's contraception mandate, the proper role of religious Americans in the public square, and the joys of finally being on Twitter. Speaking of which, you can follow Rob at @SchwarzSpeaks!

Segment two of the show is a very special conversation with the online editor of The Weekly Standard, Mark Hemingway (@heminator).

9801_medium_profileBefore coming to The Weekly Standard, Mark had previously worked at the Washington Examiner, National Review, USA TODAY, Market News International, and Hudson Institute.  He has written for MTV.com, Reason,The New York Sun,The Johns Hopkins Journal of American Politics and numerous other publications. He has appeared on C-Span's Washington Journal, CNN, MSNBC and National Public Radio's All Things Considered, and various talk radio shows. He was recently mentioned by name on an episode of the television show 30 Rock. He was the recipient of a Gold Award journalism fellowship from the Phillips Foundation in 2003 and was a Global Prosperity Initiative fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in 2003 and 2004.  Originally from Bend, Oregon, Mark now lives in Washington, DC with his wife Mollie Ziegler Hemingway and two daughters.

Mark and RJ cover a lot of ground in this lively interview, one you're sure to enjoy!

As always, you can stream the episode below or find (and subscribe to) The RJ Moeller Show on your iTunes!



To Live And Tweet In L.A.

Tomorrow I am moving to Los Angeles and Mere Conservatism launches its first West-coast branch.

It feels strange purchasing a one-way ticket to your new home city.  I'm excited more than nervous, but I haven't even begun to wrap my mind around not living in Chicago.  Working for Dennis Prager is going to be a lot of fun, and I hear they have Portillo's Hot Dogs locations out there now, but it'll never truly be home.

I won't be posting for at least a day or two, but after that everything (other than my address) returns to normal.

See you at the pole.



Portlandia on Weddings

It's so rare to find legitimately funny content on television these days that pokes fun at progressivism and the liberal-dominated counter-culture.  Funny is funny, and comedy should always follow the "joke", not simply an ideological agenda.  As a religious conservative who likes to laugh, it is a breath of fresh air to come across any morsel of bi-partisan humor in popular culture.

I'm not asking for much: just don't bash my worldview at every turn.

Portlandia on IFC (Independent Film Channel) is a really funny show that you can basically watch for free on YouTube and actually skewers the patently absurd lifestyles of many people in cities like Portland and Seattle.  Here's a great example:

I would just about guarantee that the creators/writers/producers/stars of this show are to the Left politically, but it doesn't matter.  I will watch and support a show if it is funny, and especially if it is brave enough to poke fun at the obvious.

The Left can continue to make documentaries and spoofs of religious Americans who live in the suburbs and work hard to provide for their kids.  But if we on the Right want to see any real shift in the culture, we need to be thinking on a big-picture level when it comes to entertainment.  We need people who share our worldview working in Hollywood, and then we need to support them.

Until that day, which I pray is soon, enjoy Portlandia.


Arthur Brooks In 2012? I Wish!

It may seem biased of me to make the claim that I want Arthur Brooks to be my president when he is president of the American Enterprise Institute - one of my current employers.  I get that.  But watch these clips below from CNBC's Squawk Box and tell me you wouldn't want Arthur to - at the very least - represent your district or state in Congress.

Clip 1:

Clip 2:

Clip 3:

The man articulates the case for limited government and free enterprise better than anyone since Milton Friedman.  It's exciting to listen to, and I hope Dr. Brooks can become a house-hold name in my lifetime.

Please share this with your friends on Twitter and Facebook!


Ezra Levant

Canadian publisher, journalist, political commentator, and champion of free speech Ezra Levant is this week's featured guest on the Values & Capitalism podcast.


Ezra is the founder and former publisher of the Western Standard, hosts The Source daily on Sun News Network, and has written several books on politics.  He is probably best known for the 3-year battle with the Canadian Human Rights Commission over his magazine's publishing of the controversial "Muhammad cartoons" back in 2006.  His latest book, The Enemy Within, is out now and deals with the story of a Canadian jihadist who killed a US Army sergeant on the battlefield in Afghanistan.

bio-horstR.J. chats with Mr. Levant about the state of conservatism north of the border, a Canadian's view of the United States' current economics woes, and what makes Mark Steyn so prolific!

Find all things Levant-related at ezralevant.com, and follow our friend Ezra on Twitter at @ezralevant!

In the second segment, R.J. welcomes MereOrthodoxy.com founder Matthew Anderson to the show for a in-depth discussion (alongside AEI's Eric Teetsel) on Matt's recent column for Relevant Magazine "Why I'm a Christian Republican."  Intriguing title, no?

Listen to this new episode of The R.J. Moeller Show by either streaming it below, or subscribe to and download us on your iTunes!



Got Thessalonian Problems, But “Working Hard” Ain’t One

Over at AEI's "Values & Capitalism" blog I posted something this morning about the on-going riots/protests in Greece.  In a country that has fully-adopted all of the big-government measures we are increasingly pursuing here in the United States we see the end-results of collectivism.  It is as tragic as it was predictable.

GREECE/But this isn't the first time the people of Grecian cities like Thessaloniki have had to deal with rampant idleness, laziness and dependency.

An excerpt:

"This isn’t the first time Thessalonians have been in need of a rude wake-up call when it comes to the topic of dependency. Just nigh of 2,000 years ago a man named Paul wrote a letter—two of them, in fact—to citizens of the port city of Thessaloniki. Among a litany of eschatological matters addressed, Paul of Tarsus confronted the rampant problem of idleness, laziness, needless dependency and inappropriate intervention into the lives of one’s neighbors.

“But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one” (I Thess 4:10-12)

“For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.” (II Thess 3:10-11)

Some Christians were bringing the church into disrepute by, among other things, depending on wealthier Christians to provide for them rather than earning their own living. It was breeding resentment, jealousy and self-loathing among the community of believers. The problem was spiritual, but manifested itself easier through certain behavior patterns than others."

Read the entire piece right here.


Paul Ryan Needs To Be VP

I think Rep. Paul Ryan is my favorite politician holding office today. He is brilliant, articulate, and (thus far) controversy-free.  He is a man of substance.

Although he didn't want to run for president, I am desperately hoping that Mitt Romney (the presumptive nominee) will be able to convince the Wisconsin congressman to join his ticket in 2012.  Rep. Ryan's speech at CPAC yesterday was solid, and well worth your time.  Take a gander:

For more on Paul Ryan, here's Part 1 of an in-depth interview he gave to Peter Robinson on Uncommon Knowledge last fall. If you listen until the end of Part 5, you will get to hear a Twitter question from yours truly that makes the Representative chuckle. Enjoy!

So good!


Huckabee at CPAC 2012

Gov. Mike Huckabee decided not to run for president in 2012 but remains a potent advocate for conservative issues in the culture at-large.  Here is his fantastic speech from CPAC 2012 that was delivered earlier today.  It's worth your time.

Huckabee is a good man and makes a great speech. This issue isn't going away!

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What is “Mere Conservatism”?

The basic ideas, ideals, and values that generally define and characterize the central tenets of what today might be termed "modern conservative thought."

We believe that a proper understanding of history, economics, and theology leads to certain conclusions. Many of these are the same conclusions our Founding Fathers arrived at in constructing a "more perfect union."

All ideas and opinions are welcome; not all are correct.

Mere Conservatism Links:
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