As American society has come to accept the Statist’s mantra that we hold no personal responsibility for our friends, our families, our neighbors, or even ourselves, that instead it is the role of government to provide, food, medical care, charity, retirement, we have lost it seems am integral part of our culture, let alone our humanity.

If we as a people are willing to look the other way and pretend that government will step in and take care of the down trodden, when we as Patriots know the awful conditions and outcomes of what government “assistance” amounts to, are we any better?

Should we not then, as we rail against the oppressive growing nanny and police states, perhaps take a good hard look in the mirror and start being the example of just how private VOLUNTARY charity is superior to any form of so-called government welfare? Little things all add up, and if we are true in our desire to reclaim our republic so that we and our posterity may once again enjoy the blessings of liberty, then it must with a true and firm dedication begin within ourselves to set the example of just how a free people conduct themselves.

Leadership matters.

Begin Mike Church Show Transcript

Mike: “There has to be an alternative. We are the richest country on earth, with a couple of hundred million people out of our population who don’t need a penny of government support. The entire welfare state could disappear tomorrow, and they would do just fine. And yet we spend a couple of trillion dollars a year on transfer payments. For those of you who don’t think that Social Security and Medicare are transfer payments, you have not been paying attention….”

And he concludes with, well, “One of the curious things”and then he concludes with this. Now, we’ve been talking a lot about values and virtue here on this show lately because a virtuous people do not steal from their neighbors. A moral and virtuous people do not allow their neighbors to be stolen from, and they certainly don’t divvy up the loot with their other neighbors. Having said that, why aren’t people that are in positions of some kind of authority or respect, why aren’t they trying to lead us out of this instead of continuing to fan the flames? Well, Charles Murray asks that question. And I love that part of Derbyshire’s post here.

“One factor,” Derby writes, which I’ve commented on myself somewherehe’s saying this tongue-in-cheek, by the way“is the utter failure of the upper-middle class to perform what always used to be understood as one of their key functions: setting an example to the lower orders.” And then Murray says this, in reference to that: “One of the curious things about the new upper class is precisely that they are behaving in all the right ways. They’re getting married, they’re working hard…. They’re doing all the right stuff [but] they won’t dare say: ‘This is the way people ought to be.’ They will not preach what they practice. I put this down to non-judgmentalism….”

You know why they won’t? Because there is no right way. This is America. Oh, no, we’re multicultural boobs. “There is no right way, Mr. Church. There is no wrong way. It’s just the way you want to do it, isn’t it, sweetheart? Is your oatmeal nice and warm? Can I get you a nice cup of warm milk with that? Would you like me to get you a cracker? Do you need a spoon for that oatmeal?” Because everything is relative, and we have been taught that everything is relative, and everything must remain relative. Well, then, there can’t be any right or wrong.

Is it right, is it proper that men should now dress down and should dress down to the level of their peers? Let’s just walk through one quick example, then I’ll get to the telephones here. How many of you are fans of American Movie Classics? How many of you are fans of classics on TNT, or Turner Classic Movies, TCM? Many of you like watching older movies, like watching the movies of the ‘40s and the ‘50s and the early ‘60s and stuff. What do all the men in these films, and even in the early TV shows, what do they almost all have in common? AG, you want to take a stab at that? What do you think all those guys in those movies and those TV shows, what is one thing they almost all had in common?

AG: I think you’ve got me here.

Mike: Attire. Not a tire that’s on your car, attire, a-t-t-i-r-e. You haven’t noticed? Am I the only one that notices that, regardless of your station in life, your outward presentation as to what you wear seemed to be something that our forefathers and our grandfathers took very seriously? They didn’t run around in short pants all the time. They didn’t run around in flip-flops and sandals all the time. They didn’t go out in public dressed the way most of us do and just take for granted. Even during the middle of the heat of the summer you see them out there running around with their very loose-fitting trousers, their freshly ironed shirts, most of them even in a tie, many of them with a hat. Now, I see that the fedora is making a comeback. I have about a half-a-dozen or so myself that I’ve purchased here lately. Maybe this is the first sign that we’re moving away from the informality and the juvenility of the baseball cap and back towards the formality of the actual dress hat, a fedora or a derby or whatever you want to call it.

My point is, is that men that are leaders that are fathers, men that are leaders that are entrepreneurs, that are businesspeople, that may represent social organizations or community organizations and what have you, ought to take their responsibility a little bit more to heart. Maybe we, myself included, and actually my daughter asked me the other day why this spring am I not running around in Hawaiian shirts and shorts to work, and I told her, because I turned over a new leaf. I’m going to try and change what I do here. And if I can influence my little sphere, well, then, so be it. But every day now, I have actually purchased the wardrobe, and I wear the clothes. I try to dress, in other words, if someone were to come in here to interview me, they wouldn’t see me hanging out like Jimmy Buffett. I would look more like Warren Buffett.

The point is this: Leadership matters. You people always go, “Mike, what are we supposed to do?” Well, let’s start with the simple things, how about that? How about, if you’re a Southerner, and I don’t quite frankly care if you Yankees ever do this because I don’t think you will because you’ve always been rude and obnoxious for the most part, but if you’re a Southerner, let’s relearn those words, “sir” and “ma’am.” Even when you’re an elder person like I, I’m approaching 50 years old, I still call many women, most women that I deal with, “yes, ma’am,” “yes, ma’am,” “yes, sir,” “yes, sir.” Maybe just the little things, the formalities that separate us from horses and lions and all the rest of the animal, the mammal world.

It’s simple things, the formalities ofhow about this? And this also goes out to you Southerners out there. You know our traditions have been clobbered, thanks to Lincoln’s War of Northern Aggression and all the attendant revision of history, and then of course the mocking, maligning, and impugning of the Southern tradition. What exactly is wrong with standing up at the dinner table when a lady arrives? When a lady gets up to leave? We used to be taught this in class that, hey, this is what was known as “etiquette.” Some of you Yankees might even know this. Why don’t we start – let’s leave politics aside for the moment. Why don’t we just start with the simple things? Why don’t we start with the other simple things of, men, if you’re in a position of power especially, if you’re in a position of authority, and you are a parent, and you want your children to look up to you, and you want to set a good example, try dressing the part. I’ve taken my dressing the part seriously. I’m not saying that you should. But maybe people like me ought to be saying this and ought to be asking people, hey, why aren’t you dressing the part? Not saying, just saying.

One final thing here, and I’d like to share this with you, with the audience here on a Free Phone Friday. I am a Catholic. I was partially raised Catholic. My mother got me out of the Catholic faith throughout my formative years. When I became an adult, I went back to the church, went through the RCIA program and became an adult convert back to myI was baptized Catholic, but back to my religion. And now I attend mass as regularly as I can. I try to make it every week now. If you’re a Catholic right now, you’re going through a period of what is known as Lent. And today is a Friday in Lent. How many of you that are out there that are practicing take the church’s request that you actually fast on a Friday, take it seriously? I mean, this is just one of these little things here. Now, I try and take it as seriously as I can until about 4:00 o’clock this afternoon, I’m going to be counting the moments down to sundown, or when I think the sundown is happening, and then I’m going to get off the fast. Just another little thing.

One final thing here on the subject of Catholicism and of fathers. Two weeks ago, when I was in Mass, we had a guest priest. And he said something that just absolutely blew me away and may have changed my life. You know what he said? AG, you’re pretty close to your dad, aren’t you?

AG: Yup.

Mike: You and your dad are really tight. The father, the priest said to the congregation, he said, one of the most gratifying things in his life and the thing that he takes most seriously about his being a priest is that people come up to him after Mass or when they see him on the street or whatever, and they call him Father. And he takes that responsibility seriously. Because you know what he said? This is what the priest said to us two weeks ago. And dads, I’m talking to you. You know what the job of a father is? The job of a father is to get his kids to heaven. I heard, I had never heard anyone say anything remotely like that, and I was absolutely blown away by that, the job of a father is to get his children to heaven.

That is power. Man, you talk about a responsibility, guys, dudes. Think about that. Your job is to raise your kids and to teach them and to lead them so that they get to heaven. “Oh, Mike, you’re supposed to be a libertarian. There is no heaven. Haven’t you listened to your buddies?” As I say, there is a difference between libertarians, paleocons, and traditional cons. I think that is one of the most powerful things. And I’ve been wanting to bring that up, and I forgot about it last Friday, so I’m glad that I reminded myself today.

Your job as a dad is to get your kids to heaven. If you take that responsibility seriously and literallyand maybe heaven is not a real place. Maybe heaven is a state of mind. Maybe heaven is a life that was lived well. And not only did you do well for yourself, but maybe your family did well, and maybe you did some great and kind things. Maybe you founded companies that created tens of millions of jobs, who knows. Maybe your son will do that, or your daughter will do that. Your job as a dad is to get your kids to heaven. Talk about a club-you-over-the-head moment. When you hear that, wow, folks.

Books related to this topic may be found in The Imaginative Conservative BookstoreThis is a revised transcript from The Mike Church Show. The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now.

The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility.

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