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The Candid Conservative: Eagles don’t flock — or use blue hair dye
Wednesday, 02 August 2017 12:30
Special to the Daily Planet

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”
— John F. Kennedy


The Problem

My wife and I celebrated our anniversary at a nifty place – Chestnut – one of the many downtown eateries feeding Asheville’s much-deserved culinary rep.

Being humble souls, we skipped the elegance of the establishment’s deeper recesses for our favored seats – the platform fronting the window. We double dip there – eat well and people watch.

The evening was not a disappointment – inside or out. The steady parade of faded T-shirts, tattoos, blue hair and grunge was remarkably consistent. For every person of dressier countenance, there were five draped in a China-generated cotton-T sporting a full-tilt grunge protestation. You’ve heard the echoes – “Asheville – Cesspool of Sin,” “Trump is not my President,” “Hate is not a family value,”” Keep Asheville Weird,” and my personal favorite, “Unleash Asheville.” To the extent Asheville has got to be one of the most unimpaired cities on the planet, the only thing left for the further ‘unleashed’ to do is set the place on fire.

Watching the people parade was fun and got me thinking. You know, that thing non-conforming minds do to break the monotony.

My conclusion – Asheville has become a cesspool of conformity.


Yep – when half the shoppers at Walmart are sporting blue hair, tats and Buddha belly button rings, the progressive-liberal-socialist movement has reached its apex. 

It’s downhill from here.

What did you guys expect? Most of your material has timed out with bell-bottoms and lava lamps. Your central reference – Woodstock – has been mined of every possible slogan, clever protestation and cool looking anti-establishment look to be found.

You dudes have been fighting the establishment so long you don’t know you’ve become the establishment.


Downgrading the culture

Someone recently asked why a psychologist bothers to wear suits. I didn’t tell the truth. It’s mostly because, beyond the tie I wear, I don’t have to make any morning decisions.

My typical response is something like, “The less you’ve got in the package, the more you have to jazz up the wrapping.”

That statement is at least half true. Polish can lift you and distract others.

May one also suggest that today’s T-shirts and tats have become my generation’s version of button-downs and khakis? The not insignificant advantage of khakis is you can take them off.

Everybody is struggling so hard to look different that we’re all looking alike.  

With this very apparent cultural slide in mind, might it be helpful to suggest that a sloppy look and a sloppy kitchen share the same impact? Striving for that Keep on Truckin’ 3 days of Peace and Music and mud and overrun Port-a-Johns look isn’t going to advance you, the culture or anyone but Chinese sweatshop owners.


The shrill voice of liberal media bias

It doesn’t take a genius to recognize the signs of desperation and disintegration in the left.

For the moment let’s lay aside the reality their tax and spend ways have loaded us up with more debt than can ever be repaid. That’s a pretty sick legacy to hand the kids Mr. and Mrs. Woodstock.

There are so many other clues I don’t know where to begin, so let’s pick a standout. How about the complete betrayal of ethical journalism standards by the mainstream media?

Look up that profession’s code of conduct and you’ll be amazed. Most must have been smoking weed the day their liberal professor gave the 10-minute ethics lecture required for graduation.

A quick summation of their stated standards of conduct finds five key components – Truth and Accuracy; Independence; Fairness and Impartiality; Humanity; and Accountability. Show me a mainstream media person who isn’t routinely satisfied with two out of five, and I’ll pass on a “I support President Trump” bumper sticker.

It’s really scary that so many journalism outlets – including our local daily – have abandoned any pretense of objectivity and are now unadulterated advocates for liberalism.  Most are selling a leftist agenda like they sell cars and groceries.   

Unethical journalism is a big deal. These men and women keep the lights on and without all five fingers conscientiously on the switch, the world will get darker.




Dependency assures a liberal demise

Anyone searching for the left’s heartbeat need look no further than the promise of something for nothing. That’s how they seduce voters; project virtue; justify hostility; and sell unilateralism – they promise people things people do not believe they can earn for themselves. It’s a cheap trick with expensive consequences

Cultivating dependency is easy. If you don’t believe me, start feeding those bears that seem to have Asheville surrounded. Watch how they become less afraid and more demanding. Then witness the hostility you inherit upon deciding you don’t want to feed the bears.

It’s called ‘hostile dependency’ – something the left apparently doesn’t understand. Nature rewards personal responsibility and punishes dependency by making sure the latter always comes with a matching ounce of hostility. Cultivating neediness is similar to unleashing a virus that turns humans – and bears – into ravenous zombies with limited social graces.

Watch this cycle in the elitist left’s anger over loss of power and control.  

Though leaders and followers alike derive immense satisfaction in channeling their rage at conservatives, both are naive on the consequences. As surely as dependency is linked to hostility, anger is linked to depression. Angry people are miserable. Miserable people do not inspire allegiance and thus the left is losing its sticky grip on the hearts and minds of more Americans.




An indifference to nature

If you want to set yourself up for failure, pursue a course that runs counter to nature’s truths. You can’t successfully swim up a river or against nature.

Need an example? How about three? Nature is persistently antagonistic to the left’s core fascinations – gender swapping, abortion and casual sex.

Most mature adults – Islamists excepted – got beyond the hate thing with the LBGTQ crowd some time ago. Unfortunately, we skipped over balance and honest discussion and landed in the opposite ditch of celebrating sexual elasticity.

It’s not a festive matter. Gender swapping pits one against physical, emotional and social realities concealing a magnitude of consequences.

Hate people who’re gender confused? Not if one believes in love and the Bible’s voice. Pretend the health, mortality, natural consequences and other statistical realities don’t matter? Nope – and for the same reasons.

No matter what advocates say, abortion rights are more about convenience than choice. There are no easy answers on this one, but the right to casually chose to end the futures of 60 million wannabe children because they don’t yet have a name and voting rights seems a tad off the mark.

Allow me one additional observation – women civilize the world. To trifle with that special power is more about trampling than empowering. Ending a life that’s found traction has echoes lasting a lifetime.

Speaking of casual, no matter how much the left tries to hyper-sexualize America, sex is not a without consequence action. 

Treating women as toys for little boys mocks equality. It’s no wonder so many young women are embracing the ravenous model of men. In liberalism’s carelessness, we’ve abandoned too much of what nature tells us makes women special. When women begin to think becoming as stupid as men is a good thing, our social order is at grave risk.

Nature is clear that we live in a self-correcting world. Liberalism – per its antagonism to nature – is busy strangling itself.  


 In conclusion

Liberalism in today’s America has nothing to do with the search for truth, justice and opportunity that once characterized the movement. Deception, control and dependency have silently become their soul-poisoning mantras.  

Ironically, conservatism – with its dedication to reality, reason, responsibility and right – has become this century’s counter-culture.

Need proof? Witness the left’s shock at the election of President Trump. They’ve had control for so long, they assumed national conformity. The existence of a conservative majority got missed in the midst of liberal orthodoxy.

Need more proof? Just head up town and find a good place to people watch. You’ll see a lot of lost souls frolicking in a cesspool of progressive conventionality. 

It’s not too late to step out of the puddle and become a real non-conformist. I know of a candid conservative who’d be happy to help.…


 Carl Mumpower, a psychologist and former elected official, is chairman of the Buncombe County Republican Party. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 


Don’t let the riptide of angry politics pull you under
Wednesday, 02 August 2017 11:21
Special to the Daily Planet


CHAPEL HILL — What is the biggest challenge that we, as individuals, face in this time of angry, petty, and deceptive politics that has infected our public life and seems to be pulling each of us under, sucking out of us every ounce of our humanity?

It is as if we are in an angry and turbulent ocean.  The riptide is carrying us away from shore, and even as we fight with all our strength, it is still pulling us under.

So it is with the riptide of politics of anger and disrespect. We fight and flail with all our strength, and lose our battle in the ocean of politics by our own anger and mean-spiritedness.

So what can we do to save ourselves and not give up our strong political beliefs and principles?

I have no magic answers. I’m still caught in that riptide. But I think there are things we can do to calm our personal waters without giving up our commitment to participate in the political system and try to strengthen our country and improve the lives of its citizens.

Here are a few things I am going to try to do:

1. Cut back or cut out cable news and opinion channels. Instead, watch the informative and enriching programs like those on UNC-TV’s Explorer and North Carolina channels.

2. Be kind to those who oppose you, even when they show no kindness and reek of anger.

3. Resist mean-spiritedness. It is so easy to let provocative statements that ooze with anger jar us off balance and tempt us to respond in a similar fashion. Such responses are almost always ineffective and drag us down to the level of the person who made the original statement.

4. Think critically, check facts, and frame your conversation about issues based on your own thinking, rather than on what people on your side have asserted. In The New Yorker in 1983, Ken Auletta wrote that the most important thing he had learned was to “have an independent mind--to think for oneself, to analyze by oneself, not to follow fashions, not to think like everyone else, not to seek honor or decorations, not to become part of the establishment.”

5. Build relationships with people who have distinctly different political views. Find ways to work with them in areas in which you both can agree to be helpful to others. Habitat for Humanity, prison ministries, and food services seem to be able to gather volunteers from all political persuasions to work together. In a recent column in The Herald-Sun, retired minister Joe Harvard asked, “When someone does something to you that hurts or something happens that shakes you to the core, how do you respond?”

His answer: Build bridges.

6. Set aside a quiet time each day for reflection. In your prayers or meditations, seek wisdom rather than ask for specific help for your partisan political cause.

7. Generously support those who’ve taken on the burden of political service, and even give appropriate moral support to officials with whom you disagree.

8. Rejoice when there are unexpected acts of kindness from opponents. For instance, the next time the governor sends out cookies for you when you are demonstrating in front of the governor’s mansion against him or her, be gracious. Take a break and invite the governor to come eat the cookies with you before you go back to your protest. 

9. Be cheerful, even when it hurts.

10. Smile.

11. Don’t give up your fight for your principles, but never give in to the evil mean-spiritedness that too many others on all sides have adopted.

Don’t let that riptide of angry politics pull you under. Swim away, find calm waters, and save yourself.

D.G. Martin hosts “North Carolina Bookwatch,” which airs at 9:30 p.m. Fridays and at 5 p.m. Sundays on UNC-TV.



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