Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Silent Pieces of the Puzzle


The Silent Pieces of the Puzzle.

by Beth Pepoy

What seems like a lifetime ago my paternal grandfather had a terrific hearing problem.  It was always kind of rough going to visit Grandpa because when Grandma left the house for any reason I would be stuck sitting on the couch in heavily paneled tiny family room, while Grandpa rocked back and forth in his rocking chair, smoking his pipe filling the room with the aroma of cherry vanilla tobacco, while watching a golf tournament on an old Magnavox. 

If anyone wonders if he turned up the volume, let me make this clear.  It was golf! It was back then as it has been explained to me many times a quiet sport of concentration where even the announcers barely spoke above a whisper.  If Grandpa only knew my friends and their version of golf he might have gotten a hearing aid sooner.

Basically, it was perfect for him.  He couldn’t hear and he didn’t need to.  Same held true with just about any sport he enjoyed viewing.  He could see the action, smile at the good stuff and frown at the bad. His eye were as blue as the sky and his sight was strong enough were he could see the score from across the room. However, sitting there with him on the old avocado green sleeper sofa on a rainy Saturday made me wish I was old enough to attend the Ladies Rosary Auxiliary, purely because he didn’t have much to say. This would make for a very long Saturday afternoon. 

Once he sensed boredom on my part he would immediately come up with a plan. Thus I would become the recipient of a 1000 piece wilderness puzzle to work on until Grandma returned.  If I wanted his attention while working on the multicolored billion pieces of landscape all I had to do was start in the middle.  Grandpa was an expert on puzzles and by not following the puzzle plan of attack would cause him to quietly come to my aid.

In a kindly gentle fashion he would reach for his reading glasses and silently stand over me and guide my petite hands, with his enormous ones to build the outer boarder of the puzzle.  In his aged voice which was soft and muffled he would say “Bethy, you start from the outside and work your way towards the center.

How ironic. 

There isn’t any question in the grand political picture where the boundaries are.  There lie on the exterior are the conservatives and the liberals.  All will vote accordingly.  Even with all the arguing that has run rampant inside the GOP over which candidate should be chosen.  By November 6, all of the GOP will vote for the chosen Republican Candidate. 

There has been a lot of talking/shouting by both sides, but what if there is a silent majority not being heard from?  Just like putting together a puzzle on a rainy day establishing the framework of the scenery leaves the middle wide open and empty, while waiting to be engaged by joining in the fusing of similar pieces.

Moderates and Independents hold the majority of votes across the country. They are hard working blue collars and entry level to middle management white collars who have never registered for a political party.   They are also inundated with campaign phone calls they hang up on, main stream media sound bites that cause them to change the channel and watch reruns on TVland and are left with contempt for all things political.

Those who rest in the middle have a pain point.  What that is may not be so clear.  It is clear the left believes they have those votes.  But do they?  What actions are being taken to debunk the stereotypes of conservatives being spread over many social media outlets by the left? 

How many conservatives are talking between themselves and or debating, arguing with the liberals?  It simply is not enough.

Once when I was living in the moderate state of mind I was only concerned with how much money it was going to cost to keep gas in my car, the lights on in my home and what school district offered my children the best hope of a strong education.  I wasn’t familiar with the debt clock, revenue and tax brackets.  The old adage of “All you ever have to do is die and pay taxes” was a mantra that was basically accepted. 

This is no longer the case.    

What I fear is the Moderates and Independents will chose to stay home on Election Day or throw their hands in the air, frustrated and vote the country towards another 4 years of the same struggles.   

I am far from suggesting that conservatives move towards the middle nothing, could be further from the point.  What I have started doing is asking my more moderate friends some simple questions: 

Do you like paying the same price for a gallon of gasoline as you do for a gallon of  milk?

So which would you choose milk for the kids or gas to get to work?                         

How are your finances i.e. retirement and savings doing?

Do you still have a savings? 

What will it look like 4 years from now? 

Do you agree with cutting military spending, will you feel that way if there is another attack on the U.S?

Basic questions but watching the expressions on their faces I could tell I hit a pain point.  The normal response is “Nothing can be done.”  Much can be done and it starts with a vote.

The unifying of Moderates and encouraging Independents could very well swing the election by simply helping them realize this country belongs to all of us and no matter what happens we are in this together.  This is to take nothing away from the T.E.A. Party and all they have done. However, there are still people out there that don’t understand what the initials even stand for, let alone what the movement represents. 

As with putting together a jigsaw puzzle, quietly with my grandfather, the strategy was straightforward; establish the framework and then address the middle to finish the landscape.  It is time to start the addressing of our Moderate and Independent friends and engage in the conversation that affects everyone.

This election is a multi-million piece jigsaw puzzle.  The boarder has been laid but about 40% of the pieces are silently scattered on the table waiting for hands to help them find their proper place in the political picture. So many pieces, so little time, and so important for us all to help lend a hand.

While there are questions to be ask.  I must ask myself which GOP candidate speaks to the hurts and pain of everyday Americans?  Which candidate can overcome and avoid the stereotype of the scary right winger that so many of them will not put up with?

I ask these questions not because I haven’t made up my mind, but like my Grandfather, you’ll need to finish figuring out the puzzle yourself.

Only then can you adequately explain the picture to those who don’t have the patience.


Special Thanks: To Generic Republican and PolitiJim for editing and for always being a tweet away


Yawn ... I get so tired of the old tried, but not true, "moderate middle" argument - which requires candidate to morph into positions adopted only to fool the voter, or in other words, lie to get elected.

There is no virtue in accepting a middle of the road position on issues. Ayn Rand explains as well as I have seen it done:

If it were true that dictatorship is inevitable and that fascism and communism are the two “extremes” at the opposite ends of our course, then what is the safest place to choose? Why, the middle of the road. The safely undefined, indeterminate, mixed-economy, “moderate” middle—with a “moderate” amount of government favors and special privileges to the rich and a “moderate” amount of government handouts to the poor—with a “moderate” respect for rights and a “moderate” degree of brute force—with a “moderate” amount of freedom and a “moderate”” amount of slavery—with a “moderate” degree of justice and a “moderate” degree of injustice—with a “moderate” amount of security and a “moderate” amount of terror—and with a moderate degree of tolerance for all, except those “extremists” who uphold principles, consistency, objectivity, morality and who refuse to compromise.

The notion of compromise as the supreme virtue superseding all else is the moral imperative, the moral precondition of a mixed economy. A mixed economy is an explosive, untenable mixture of two opposite elements, which cannot remain stable, but must ultimately go one way or the other; it is a mixture of freedom and controls, which means: not of fascism and communism, but of capitalism and statism (including all its variants). Those who wish to support the un-supportable, disintegrating status quo, are screaming in panic that it can be prolonged by eliminating the two “extremes” of its basic components; but the two extremes are: capitalism or total dictatorship.

P.S. Rereading my comment, I think it may look like I responded to your post only to leave info about NEwt.

But I really was responding to your post.

But also, for me, I can't just have a thoughtful conversation and leave it at that. Sorry.

The reason is, IMO the most important part of the election is happening RIGHT NOW.

Because I truly believe Newt will win this fall if Newt is the candidate. It will be a decisive victory. And we will reform Washington, D.C. It will be difficult, and it will be AWESOME.

But the trouble is getting through the Republican primary. Because the Republican Establishment is as much of a problem as the Left, the MSM, the Democrats. The Establishment doesn't want NEwt. Why do you think that is.....?

Plus, I think Romney or Santorum would likely to lose to Obama. (OMG!)

-- But even if either of them won, I think the Left & the Establishment in Washington would ruin things and then we'd get another Obama next time.

So for me, this is the time. Right now. This week. Today, the Alabama and Mississippi primaries. March 24th, in Louisiana. Now.

If you care about your future. If you care about prosperity, freedom, international safety and our Constitution, find out what Newt is saying. Go to the fabulous, amazing new resource, ElectAd, and you can watch a bunch of speeches. http://electad.com/topics/newt-gingrich-speeches/

If you support Newt, sign up at newtsnetwork.com

Here is a collection of 17 of NEwt's earlier speeches. Start with "2012: VICTORY OR DEATH," if you've never seen it. This speech will very possibly, all by itself, be enough to make you want to support Newt. It certainly has had that effect on others.

"2012: VICTORY OR DEATH" is a speech Newt gave in 2009. He talks about George Washington on Christmas Eve in 1776 and how the American password was “victory or death, and WHY the password was “victory or death.” Newt compares that crossroads in American History with what we are facing RIGHT NOW. Newt predicts the 2010 election results. Newt also explains how to run the 2012 campaign and how WE THE PEOPLE can win this fall and then RESTORE OUR CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT.

Hi again -- Beth Pepoy, you said : "I must ask myself which GOP candidate speaks to the hurts and pain of everyday Americans?" 

I think Newt speaks very clearly and well right at exactly that level. There's a wonderful comment in the "tips" line over at Legal Insurrection- left by "Terri"

And Beth, you also said:  "Which candidate can overcome and avoid the stereotype of the scary right winger that so many of them will not put up with?"

Now, that is a very different question. Because think for a minute -- who benefits from the "scary right wing" =stereotype? The Left. The Left, that never has to do the work of coming up with ideas that will HELP people, or WORK in a prosperous society.

The Left, that just goes on parroting the nonsense of socialism, and gets to IGNORE COMPLETELY the actual results of socialism. POVERTY. LOSS OF FREEDOM. FEAR OF THE STATE.

But you know they say that a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged by reality.

This is why Newt talked, in his speeches from a year or two ago, about POLAND and how, when the Polish people decided to throw off the chains of communism and the boot of the Soviet conquerer, one of their slogans was, "For Poland to remain Poland, 2 PLUS 2 MUST ALWAYS EQUAL 4."

YOU'VE done the work. Your friends from the Left must also do the work. No one can persuade anyone UNLESS THE PERSON IS READY.

I know. this is a terrible, painful thing. I would love for it to be different. I haven't yet discovered a way to lead a horse to water and also to get the horse to drink.

I have SO MANY friends who lean Left. I would LOVE to help them see things as I see them. I don't know how. The person has to be ready.

I guess my approach is to try to love them and respect them for who they are right now. And realize we each have our path. And if the ever ask, to try my very best to offer helpful information and lots of respect for their process.

I hope this is on point for what you were trying to get at.

Sorry for the three (!) comments. but this is such a big deal in my life, it's just such a big thing. Thank you for your post.

And thank you to PolitiJim for the forum.

HEY, btw, PolitiJim, people are citing and discussing your Santorum trilogy over at Legal Insurrection tonight, the night of the results of the Alabama and Mississippi GOP primary.

here's an interesting rebuttal to an article from the NY Times where they dub Planned Parenthood supporters as those who should be considered "moderate" http://www.mrc.org/articles/nyt-claims-centrist-women-planned-parenthood-signs-are-fleeing-gop-over-contraception-abort

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