Tag Archives: mississippi

Video: Brandon Football Fans rise and sing “How Great Thou Art” during halftime.


The Rankin County School District may have kept the Brandon High School Band off the field on Friday night, but they didn’t stop the parents and fans from voicing their support for the band’s intention to play the hymn “How Great Thou Art”.

With the absence of the band on the field at halftime, fans rose to their feet and sang the hymn anyway.

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Mississippi Term Limits Ballot Initiative to launch on Thursday, July 23.


  

Sponsors of the Term Limits Ballot Initiative will officially kick off the signature gathering drive at the Mississippi State Capitol on Thursday afternoon, July 23. Following the announcement at 2:30 sponsors will meet with volunteers to organize efforts across the state.

The initiative has been given the official ballot initiative number 51. It would limit the number of consecutive terms a person can serve in the same state house, state senate or statewide elected office to no more than two terms. Following sitting out a full four years, or holding a different office during that time, a person may then run for the previously held office again.

“Many other states have passed different forms of term limits,” said initiative sponsor Keith Plunkett. “Some of these had unintended consequences of shutting good qualified candidates out of office forever. That is the exact opposite of what this initiative will do.”

Plunkett says Mississippi’s term limits initiative will encourage more participation in the governing process, not less, encouraging more to get involved in public service and provide more choices for voters.

“If a particular office holder has the will of the people in mind and is truly representing them, then that elected official will have a broad coalition of engaged citizens supporting their stance on the issues,” said Plunkett. “With term limits, any one of those citizens then get a chance to take that same vision and those same values with them to Jackson as the next citizen representative, refreshing the pool of leadership in the community and in Jackson. In this way representation at the state capitol and in statewide offices become less about who you know in politics at the state capitol and more about who you represent at home. It also makes campaigns less about personality contests, money and negative attacks and more about discussion of policy.”

Senator Chris McDaniel will also be speaking in support of the initiative at the event.

“Until the people in communities across this state have an even playing field with the lobbyists and bureaucrats then we can’t hope to have good public oversight of state government,” said McDaniel. “And until we do that we can’t begin to fight the corruption that keeps Mississippi on the bottom.”

Term Limits MS Press Release

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PLUNKETT: Redemption vs. Deception: Why ALL Mississippians should support keeping the state flag.


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BY: B. Keith Plunkett | UCF Staff   @Keithplunkett

At this point we’ve heard just about every conceivable angle on the politics of Mississippi’s state flag. We’re the last state left in the country to officially fly the image of the confederate battle flag on our state flag, unless you consider–as some are now beginning to–the six other states that have “subtle references” to the confederacy.

Yes, not only are statues and other remnants of the Civil War in play for removal, but now so are any objects that can be misconstrued as a “subtle reference” that might offend.

Throughout the past month of very public and many times uncivil debate, we’ve heard the confederate battle emblem referred to lovingly as a part of southern heritage and a symbol of southern pride. We’ve also heard it referred to as a symbol of racism, hatred and oppression.

In between these two extremes there have been a variety of commentary of defense and penitence, some very thoughtful explanations and more than a little bit of idiocy. Like the commentary by Alan Lange, for example, who compares the state flag to a “bad tattoo” comparable to the one etched on the face of Mike Tyson, as if the state of Mississippi just woke up with a hangover 121 years after we started in on a horrendous drunk, and now we are expected to suddenly look in the mirror and groan in unison our collective regret.

Lange is not really known for digging too deep into topics so long as the conclusion arrived at fits his ability to demonize the political opponents of his benefactors, a fact most readers of Mississippi politics have discovered all too well in the past couple of years.

Does anyone remember that this wasn’t even an issue that was being talked about just a month ago before some mentally unstable kid committed a horrible act 700-miles away?

This one individual act in South Carolina provided the kind of opportunity race-baiters and political provocateurs salivate over. Similarly to Lange’s “bad tattoo”, very few others who have taken the position of removing the banner have offered anything more than the thinnest veneer of reasoning based primarily on appearances.

Deception and Political Correctness

The truth of the state flag, any flag for that matter, is about way more than curb appeal. Unfortunately, beyond the display, many just don’t deal well with the complexity of serious discussion, especially a discussion that suggests a deeper problem revealed in society’s penchant for knee jerk reactions, and that maybe we’ve allowed a rottenness to eat away at something more meaningful.

Better to sweep out all of those old reminders than be forced into a deeper more consequential and potentially more productive examination, because that’s too difficult. We’d rather fool ourselves and others. Being forced into a worthwhile deliberation of why something should or shouldn’t be done may also lead to an admission that there have been and continue to be glaring problems and repeated mistakes that we all too often overlook out of political expedience and favoritism. To do that, to be real in today’s political world . . . well, that is unthinkable.

That’s where the political correctness comes in, the deception begins and where pitchmen attempt to divide and conquer for their own benefit.

The outrage industry is hard at work here to be sure. Try to discuss a serious point with any of these purveyors of political postulations and they disappear in the blink of an eye. It gets way too complicated beyond the sound bites, the exhibition and the shouting of epithets and childish names.

Redemption and Social Progress

The closest thing to good reasoning to change the state flag I’ve heard is that we’re the last of the states to incorporate the confederate emblem, which is really no good reason at all.

Beleaguered elected officials are just as likely to fall for the premise that if we just will change the flag then maybe it’ll shut everybody up. They shouldn’t give in to that temptation. History and common sense show us that is not a cause that very often leads to the desired effect.

And here’s my favorite: “Changing the flag is the Christian thing to do.”

With all apologies to Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, who is somewhere in the back of the crowd of gawkers watching the fire after he himself lit the match, his interpretation of this, a political issue, as a position all “good Christians” should take is questionable, if not insulting. He certainly doesn’t speak for all Christians. I don’t find anywhere in my good book the biblical tenet of forgetfulness nor pandering.

Forgiveness? Yes. Honesty? Absolutely. And that oh-so-important but seemingly long forgotten lesson that is the real reason for the progress of humanity over the course of millennia, Redemption.

Yes, redemption. What did you think was the reason behind the success of mankind? The Keebler Elves? Oompa-Loompas? The thousands of government workers piling out of office buildings in Jackson and Washington at 4:45 on any given weekday?

Not hardly.

We’re not here today because humans have proven we can accomplish perfection on our own. Society is not where we are today because of the intelligence of mankind. We have accomplished so much because we stand on the shoulders of all of those who made the mistakes that came before us, those who were willing to do more than promote the appearance of progress. But rather, those who were willing to screw up, reevaluate, pray and then buckle down and keep plugging away to make things better for everyone.

All Of Us

So what and who does Mississippi’s state flag represent?

Is it the risks taken by the pioneers of agricultural? Or the lives of the poor and the enslaved who worked the fields in years past?

Is it the mass of wealth evidenced by the ostentatious homes of the antebellum era that now welcome tourists from across the globe? Or the depth of disparity between the most wealthy and the most poor during the heyday?

Is it Emmitt Till’s lifeless body chained to an old exhaust fan at the bottom of the Tallahatchie River? Or the courage of Mose Wright to stand up and point out the killers in court? Is it the unwillingness of an all-white jury to convict Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam of the crime? Or is it how the entire community, when faced with the truth afterward, boycotted the killers into financial and personal ruin?

Is it James Ford Seale and Edgar Ray Killen? Or is it Vernon Dahmer and Medgar Evers?

Is it the three civil rights workers murdered and buried in a dam in Neshoba County during Freedom Summer? Or is it the work of those who finally brought the killers to justice?

Is it Jim Crow? Or is it the marches that eventually led to the adopted systems downfall?

Is it James Meredith flanked by security to attend class at Ole Miss? Or is it his courage to go through with it and the eventual acceptance of him as an ambassador from our state to the world for having done so?

Is it a young Riley King forced to work his fingers to the bone throughout the week for a chance to walk and hitch a ride several miles into downtown Memphis every weekend? Or is it his dogged determination that led to him becoming the greatest bluesman the world has ever known?

Is it the Vietnamese immigrants who sought out a better life and who settled on the gulf coast to work the shrimp boats? The generations of loggers from the Pine Belt working through hotter-than-hell summers? Elvis? Faulkner? Welty? Soul food? Dinner on the grounds? Homecoming? Magnolias? Mud? Love of the Confederacy? Treason? Heritage? Hate? Racism?

Add your own and then ask this one simple question: Which of these is it exactly that the Mississippi state flag represents?

Here’s my answer: All of the above, which is exactly why I believe the state flag should remain just as it is.

Redemption Is What Faith And Hope In The Future Is All About

Confederate Lt. General Nathan Bedford Forrest was reportedly the first grand wizard of the KKK. As might be expected, his memory and any reference to him has also been under fire lately. His portrait was recently removed from a Forrest County office building, and the Memphis, TN City Council just voted–no kidding–to have his body dug up and a statue of him removed from that city.

Think about that for a moment. They voted to dig up his body!

Yet in 1875, after leaving violence in his wake for much of his life and two years before his final breath, Forrest was invited to address a meeting of one of the earliest black civil rights organizations in Memphis.

Here is what he told the crowd of black citizens gathered there to hear him that day:

Ladies and Gentlemen, I accept the flowers as a memento of reconciliation between the white and colored races of the Southern states. I accept it more particularly as it comes from a colored lady, for if there is any one on God’s earth who loves the ladies I believe it is myself. (Immense applause and laughter.) I came here with the jeers of some white people, who think that I am doing wrong. I believe I can exert some influence, and do much to assist the people in strengthening fraternal relations, and shall do all in my power to elevate every man, to depress none.

I want to elevate you to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going. I have not said anything about politics today. I don’t propose to say anything about politics. You have a right to elect whom you please; vote for the man you think best, and I think, when that is done, you and I are freemen. Do as you consider right and honest in electing men for office. I did not come here to make you a long speech, although invited to do so by you. I am not much of a speaker, and my business prevented me from preparing myself. I came to meet you as friends, and welcome you to the white people. I want you to come nearer to us. When I can serve you I will do so. We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together. We may differ in color, but not in sentiment. Many things have been said about me which are wrong, and which white and black persons here, who stood by me through the war, can contradict. Go to work, be industrious, live honestly and act truly, and when you are oppressed I’ll come to your relief. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for this opportunity you have afforded me to be with you, and to assure you that I am with you in heart and in hand.”

Where is this tidbit of history in our current conversation? Delegated to the trash bin. It doesn’t fit the narrative. It might make someones head explode because it confuses the senses of those who want to blame, label and deceive.

I believe ALL Mississippians should support keeping the state flag as it is regardless of ethnicity or station in life, not because it stands for any one thing in particular over any other but because it represents all of these things and so many more. Moreover, it represents our capacity to forgive and be forgiven.

To look at the Mississippi state flag is to see the pain and anguish of over a century of coming to terms with past sins and simultaneously celebrating huge steps forward. It is to see a present that, for all it’s imperfections, is better for our people having gone through the pain. It is to see a future where there is nothing we can’t overcome. To see the flag is to see, not an example of what is wrong with racial discourse, but of what it is like to go through the worst of the worst, to come out the other side and to keep plugging away.

It is a lesson that we are all capable of unspeakable horrors and also heroic actions of kindness and love. Maybe it is our unpredictable nature that scares some people, people who thrive on controlling the uncontrollable. It shouldn’t scare anyone. It should inspire everyone. It shows us that individually and collectively, we are all redeemable and worthy of rebuilding and renewal.

Mississippi’s flag is a symbol of our unique and incredible story of redemption. It seems unthinkable to me that after all our state has been through we would now deny our future generations the valuable lesson it provides.

Keith Plunkett is the Policy and Communications Director for the United Conservatives Fund. He has worked on communications and policy issues with a range of public officials from aldermen to Congressmen, and a variety of businesses, government agencies and non-profits. He serves or has served as a board member of several non-profit, civic and political organizations. Contact him by email at keith@unitedconservativesfund.com or follow him on Twitter @Keithplunkett

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PLUNKETT: The state flag isn’t the problem; forgetting our humanity is.


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BY: B. Keith Plunkett | UCF Staff   @Keithplunkett

A few weekends ago I sat in a dimly lit cinder block building in Bentonia Mississippi that I knew well and reminisced with an old family friend named Jimmy “Duck” Holmes.

Duck is world renowned as the aficionado of a style of blues guitar simply known as the “Bentonia Blues”. Passed down to him from Jack Owens and others, it is a haunting hill country sound that unlike most other blues strains hasn’t been changed much by outside influences. The sounds that come from Duck’s renditions of classic blues tunes are as near to the original sounds as any type of roots music you will hear anywhere in the world. They exist in a vacuum of space and time. Listening to him play is the equivalent of arriving at the same dusty doorstep of the building in the 1950’s when the previous generations of the Holmes family ran the place, the Blue Front Cafe.

Duck is known the world over. But you would never know it by sitting down and having a conversation with him. This is a man who has toured the world, opened for big time acts such as Johnny Winter, has played with music legends and been idolized by the likes of Eric Clapton, Robert Plant and a host of musicians across the globe. This is a man who has sat at the feet of blues greats Skip James, Sonny Boy Williamson, “Son” Thomas, and of course the aforementioned Jack Owens, whose picture adorns the wall of this little concrete shack.

But Duck doesn’t care to talk about that with me. What he wants to discuss is my grandfather, Roy Plunkett, my father Al and my uncles Bill and Rickey. He wants to talk about the many times he went to work with the Plunkett’s out in the fields and how my Papaw Roy was a hard-worker and a “good man” who “didn’t see no colors”. The more I tried to coax stories of European tours and bumping elbows with rock idols from him, the further Duck delved into memory of the fields where he many times worked alongside my family.

Duck has a laid back personality. His way of dismissing the excitable is by simply going about the business of being himself. He sits on the front porch of the Blue Front and talks and entertains tourists from across the globe with the same matter-of-fact demeanor that unapologetically says “this is who I am and where I come from”. There is a certain amount of pride to it, although not in a sense of self-importance. Duck is big on carrying on tradition.

Looking back, I think he was trying to teach me a lesson as he kept steering the conversation back to family and back to our shared experiences in Bentonia and in the fields. He was showing me without really overtly preaching, what really matters is where you come from. The place and time in history which he has occupied is what created “Duck” Holmes. His lesson on this day is that it’s what created me, too. It’s what created all of us.

I was born in 1970, the same year Duck took over the Blue Front Cafe. Over the years as a young man, I began many a summers day packed in the back of a pickup truck with local workers like Duck trying to make ends meet, who wanted to take what they knew and what they had been given and do with it what they could by the sweat of their own effort.

I ended many a summers day dropping off those same folks in the same location. The cotton gin located right behind the Blue Front was a constant destination throughout cotton-picking time at the end of the season, and the Blue Front was often a hive of activity.

My Mama worked at the bank across the street, friends and family lived up the street along the railroad tracks; the feed and farm store, the grocery and the clothing store were all right there on Railroad Avenue within easy walking distance and as a kid I bounded in and out of them all without a worry. Store owners would take the time to ask me about my family, talk about what I had been up to, and then send me on my way often with a sucker or a piece of candy in hand.

These are many of the things Duck and I talked about and remembered, together.

Duck talked about how he had been helping my Uncle Bill Plunkett a few years ago in his campaign for Yazoo County Supervisor, an office my grandfather had also held, when Uncle Bill began having heart problems and soon, somewhat suddenly, passed away. Duck remembered the devastation on my family and the community when my Uncle Rickey drowned in an accident at Wolf Lake in 1975. He remembered how my Papaw had died as the result of a vehicle accident after a late night fox hunt in the mid-90’s.

Duck’s brow would furrow and he would stare at the floor as he talked about all these things as if they had just happened a few months ago. It was a conversation I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Fast forward now three weeks.

A mentally unstable young man in South Carolina, easily susceptible to a message of hatred and violence, and apparently without any parental supervision to help steer him in a different direction or get him the help he needed, walked into an African American church in Charleston and gunned down 9 people because of the color of their skin.

Within hours pictures surfaced of the young man waving a Confederate Battle Flag. President Obama’s lack of compassion for the dead in an attempt to use the tragic incident as a political means to reboot a discussion about gun control is quickly overshadowed when former presidential candidate Mitt Romney– with an equal lack of compassion for the dead–calls for the Confederate Battle Flag to be removed from flying at the state capitol in South Carolina. The outrage mob on Twitter and in the media picks up on the comments to begin focusing on Mississippi’s official state flag and the “need” to change it, too.

9 people are dead in South Carolina and their families and community are devastated. The remainder of a young mans life is ruined by the lack of a social network that could have and should have intervened. And all we can talk about now is a damn flag?

What the hell happened to our society that causes us to search for blame in an object, and ignore the real causes of social degradation?

I don’t know what Duck thinks about that flag. I’ll probably never ask. Quite frankly, I don’t think it’s all that important in light of the fact that we have more people on welfare than ever before, a government power structure that continues to gain power at the expense of the people and a group of so-called “leaders” that don’t know the meaning of the term “leadership”.

What I believe is that until people can sit down and remember together our shared experience, as Duck and I did that day, that no change of a symbol or a street name or any attempts to blank out the truth of history will make one bit of difference to correct what is wrong with society. In fact, it only perpetuates the myth that history can be rewritten and ignored. We do that to the detriment of our future–all of us.

We cannot change what happened in years past, but we can learn from it and change next year and the year after. Those who can’t take their experiences nor their time nor their place and honor it through action that puts the health of society and our people first will be easily manipulated by symbols and symbolic gestures that are meaningless when it comes to facing shared challenges.

The problem doesn’t lie in the facade we paint, the problem lies in the hearts of each of us. We can’t create new packaging and expect the underlying issues to disappear into the wind.

Fortunately, if we have the courage to take our individual little pieces of knowledge, our own places in time and history, and join it together with others experience, then that is where the solutions can be found.

That starts with losing our newfound national pastime of constantly being offended and making politically selfish points out of every human tragedy.

The state flag isn’t the problem. Forgetting our humanity is.

Keith Plunkett is the Policy and Communications Director for the United Conservatives Fund. He has worked on communications and policy issues with a range of public officials from aldermen to Congressmen, and a variety of businesses, government agencies and non-profits. He serves or has served as a board member of several non-profit, civic and political organizations. Contact him by email at keith@unitedconservativesfund.com or follow him on Twitter @Keithplunkett

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PLUNKETT: ‘State of the State’s’ report shows trust gap between conservatives and Republicans in MS.


BY: B. Keith Plunkett @Keithplunkett | UCF Staff

The latest ‘State of the States’ reports by Gallup are out this week and the findings show what most already knew about Mississippi: we identify ourselves as the most conservative state in the nation, retaking that distinction from neighboring Alabama.

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However, as in years past in the Gallup rankings, the Magnolia State is not as solidly Republican. This provides a unique opportunity for a conservative revival in our state that has the potential to spread across the South into neighboring states.

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Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler qualifies to run for auditor


The Clarion Ledger’s Geoff Pender is reporting:
After months of consideration, Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler has qualified to run for state auditor.

Hawkins in a message confirmed she has qualified Monday, and will have an official announcement later.

Hawkins, a Republican, will challenge incumbent two-term Auditor Stacey Pickering, who has said he is seeking re-election.

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PLUNKETT: Remembering Reagan’s confidence in creative community and public service.


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BY: B. Keith Plunkett @Keithplunkett | UCF Staff

On February 6, conservatives celebrated the gift of Ronald Reagan. Born on that date 104 years ago, his presidency embodies the finest moment for conservatism in the modern political era. It’s why every candidate with an ‘R’ next to their name attempts to claim the mantle of Reagan. Unfortunately, too few know much more about his political philosophy beyond a shallow obligatory understanding of the “small government” argument.

A few writers saw fit to pay tribute in the past week to Reagan. None I’ve read so far is as good as commentary by Bradley Birzer.

Birzer presents the importance of Reagan’s optimism. More importantly, he shows how that optimism was not just a public affirmation of positive thinking, but a natural outgrowth of Reagan’s belief in the fundamental conservative tenet of decentralization. Reagan understood through years of study of history how decentralization spurs the creativity of the American people to face challenges in their own community on their own terms. He was confident in the power of the creative community.

As President, he put this to work for the country in a way no leader has since, and helped give rise to a more locally engaged citizenry throughout his time in office.

Birzer writes:

While many across the political spectrum would like to discover the secret of Ronald Reagan’s success, some conservatives, believing the fortieth president a high priest of the American civil religion, have dismissed him as a barely closeted progressive who blithely saw the good in all. After all, it is always morning in America…

While one might readily prove Reagan an optimist, even a Pollyanna, optimism does not equate to progressivism. Rather, it would be fair to label Reagan a grand proponent of the ingenuity and potential of each individual person. Despite his faith in the individual, however, Reagan did not have the same faith in history itself. History is merely the culmination of billions of decisions made by billions of persons. But just as the actions of each creative person would prove unpredictable—hence, human creativity—so too would the sum of their decisions and experiences. In ignorance of what is to come, one has to possess faith in the individuals of the world to have faith in the future of the world. This is not the same thing as progressivism, which demands a confidence in the very direction of history toward some inevitable and purposeful end. Reagan had faith, but his understanding of time and history and the future also demanded a proper ignorance and humility.

It should and must be noted that Reagan read constantly. As Dick Allen noted, Reagan “read everything.”

Birzer goes on to list the comments of many of Reagan’s confidantes and former staffers who reinforce his high level of intelligence resulting from years of deep study of philosophy, history and political theory.

Birzer references Russell Kirk’s argument that “Ronald Reagan’s sharp intelligence was not enough to make him the leader he was. Honing his intellect, Reagan added a profound confidence, “audacity, and again audacity, and always audacity.”

In other words, it was Reagan’s study which led to his intelligence, and his intelligence that led to his commitment to conservative principle. In turn, his commitment led to his audacious confidence, his optimism and kindness.

Reagan’s optimism and self-deprecating humor was not strictly a disarming tactic as might be suggested by political speech coaches of today. Rather, it was a natural result of his confidence in the people to govern themselves. Reagan’s demeanor and tone exuded the foundational tenet of decentralization and his unwavering belief in the power of liberty.

Those who would resort to “screaming and name-calling,” as Sen. Chris McDaniel succinctly described it recently while speaking with Politico, are promoting the opposite of Reagan’s approach. What’s more, they are showing a lack of confidence in the conservative tenet of decentralization, and by extension conservatism itself. Tactics that seek to silence people are the polar opposite of empowering them to face challenges. What this country needs now more than anything are people empowered to face challenges.

Mimicking the left’s tactics of division and character assassination has gotten us nowhere, and it will continue to get us nowhere. It has, in fact, created a generation who has little understanding of conservatism and it’s rich philosophical tradition of self-governance through empowering what Reagan called The Creative Society.

Both the attacks and celebration of personality politics reveals a trade-off of the very essence of Reagan’s legacy. He was important to conservatism precisely because he refused to make it solely about self-importance.

Birzer writes:

In 1968, in a book all-too-easily forgotten by friend and foe alike, Reagan outlined his very Burkean and Smithian vision of spontaneous order. The book, The Creative Society, a somewhat obvious jab at and humorous take on Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, published by the relatively obscure firm of Devin-Adair, sold relatively well. With it, Reagan brought together the contemporary work of Robert Nisbet, Friedrich Hayek, and Russell Kirk, arguing not just for allowing the creative energies of the individual to flourish, but of the individual within community. While governmental laws served only to diminish the good of the whole, a government of laws allowed society to grow exponentially, as it turned over the most important functions to individuals and communities.

The Creative Society, in other words, is simply a return to the people of the privilege of self-government, as well as a pledge for more efficient representative government—citizens of proven ability in their fields, serving where their experience qualifies them, proposing common sense answers for California’s problems, reviewing governmental structure itself and bringing it into line with the most advanced, modern business practices. Those who talk of complex problems, requiring more government planning and more control, in reality are taking us back in time to the acceptance of rule of the many by the few. Time to look to the future. We’ve had enough talk—disruptive talk—in America of left and right, dividing us down the center. There is really no such choice facing us. The only choice we have is up or down—up, to the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down, to the deadly dullness of totalitarianism.

If Ronald Reagan’s vision of a Creative Society is progressive, it is no more so than Edmund Burke’s, Alexis de Tocqueville’s, or Russell Kirk’s. In other words, it is not progressive in the least. It is a vision of a decentralized society, a society of associations, a society of charity, and a society of entrepreneurship. Like the man himself, Reagan’s vision was, at once, humane as well as humble.

As we remember Reagan, let’s not forget he was more than a face and a name. He remains today an icon of what conservatism can accomplish by focusing on what brings us together, and the power of free individuals who choose to collectively support and inspire one another to greatness.

Our aim at the United Conservatives Fund is to bring the trust of the individual and the concept of decentralization back to the forefront of political conversation. We will support candidates who can articulate this message and educate the public on what it means to be conservative.

Reducing ourselves to angry factions is detrimental to our success. However, when we unite in respectful and honest dialogue and intelligent discussion of policy, success becomes inevitable.

Like Reagan, conservatives can be confident in that approach.

Keith Plunkett is the Policy and Communications Director for the United Conservatives Fund. He has worked on communications and policy issues with a range of public officials from aldermen to Congressmen, and a variety of businesses, government agencies and non-profits. He serves or has served as a board member of several non-profit, civic and political organizations. Contact him by email at keith@unitedconservativesfund.com or follow him on Twitter @Keithplunkett

Originally published at UnitedConservativesFund.com

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