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The Candid Conservative: America’s unique success equation
Tuesday, 04 July 2017 09:58

“The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.”

— Stephen King


The Problem

Buncombe County’s Republican Party recently held an essay contest for senior high students.

The winner Ms. Samantha Grady, a product of home schooling, submitted an exceptional paper. If you’d like to read it, head on over to and check her out. You’ll be impressed.

The subject of the contest represents about as pure a distillation of the Republican mission as one can find – “Why the American Success Equation Still Matters.”

If you’re among the many who’ve never heard of the American Success Equation, today’s a good day. It may be the turning-point when you decide you’ve had enough of Progressive-Liberal-Socialism silliness and are ready for something real.

The American Success Equation is a simple formula:

Liberty + Opportunity + Responsibility = Prosperity 

Therein lies the clandestine key to our country’s bright past. It’s preservation or betrayal will define our future.

As a bonus, those looking for a political sincerity filter will find America’s Success Equation helpful in separating the good guys from the imposters.

Mind if I put it to the test?



Doesn’t matter which flavor you pick, Communism, Fascism or Theocratism, their equation for success is brutally devoted to subtraction:  

Responsibility – Opportunity – Liberty = Power

Obviously, the despot’s mission is their own success, so doling out opportunity and liberty is counter-productive. Their passion is to load us up with heavy responsibility and subtract the rest of the equation – and then reverse the formula for themselves. Picture the private shops, limos and dachas for USSR proletariat members and the cheap vodka, canned beets and otherwise empty GUM shelves for the masses. Then ponder on the wealth of Cuba’s Castro Inc., amidst a population who can’t afford toilet paper.

Every despot in history begins their mission of mischief by selling liberty and opportunity and minimizing responsibility. It’s such a consistent pattern that you can use the echo to spot the bad guys long before they’ve seized control. In the bitter end, they flip the burger.

Unfortunately, in today’s America so many people have been raised on the theme of happy ever after, that a host of talented social manipulators are successfully selling the promise of something for nothing. “You mean that if I just vote for you I can ease up, get disability, retire or otherwise kick back and live on the graces of the state?” “Sign me up!”

There’s only one antidote to despotism – more patriots resisting and protecting than bad guys pushing and seducing.

Don’t believe for a minute that the wrong side can’t win in America. We have no natural immunity from stupidity.



The left is the most visibly dominant movement in today’s America. Asheville offers stark testimony on their misguided capacity to victimize the innocent by cherry picking America’s traditional success formula.

Liberals like the idea of liberty – sort of. They’re good with intercepting the unborn, getting stoned, swapping genders or training girls to be sex toys for little boys. It’s downhill from there.

Liberals hate thinking that differs from their own, private property rights, financial independence, and anything else that echoes the conservative ideal of big people and little government. If you’re skeptical, take a look at about any local, state or national regulation you bump into – odds are a liberal politician or bureaucrat made it happen.

Liberals are 50-50 on liberty – 100 percent behind opportunity. That’s a good thing. Liberals are good at pushing the doors open to new possibilities and that’s a big part of the attractiveness of the movement. Unfortunately, the left’s indifference to attaching responsibility to that opportunity insures a never-ending cycle of failure. It’s sort of like having the freedom and opportunity to jump out of an airplane but no instruction on the importance of strapping on a parachute.

Liberalism sells because it suggests the promise of something for nothing. You get a little freedom and a lot of opportunity without matching accountability.  If this formula sounds a lot like the Snow White – Sleeping Beauty fairytales of old, it’s because the left has stolen and refreshed those tired old scripts to modern purpose.

That makes them smart and smarmy, not right. Happy ever after doesn’t exist. Yet with unwavering consistency one can listen to any liberal politician – Hillary Clinton being the perfected state of the art – and find all the elements of fantasy.

The American Success Equation efficiently confronts their lack of realism.




Libertarians are one of the groups Buncombe County Republicans refer to as our “partners in good governance.” We like Libertarians because, well, they like liberty – and walk their talk in preserving it better than any political movement in America.

As you might expect. Libertarians also believe in opportunity. Who doesn’t like desert?

It’s with the last piece of the equation, responsibility, that Libertarians lose some traction. Though they speak to the importance of personal accountability, it’s more of a philosophical reflection that studied dedication.

Case in point – the Libertarian passion for legalizing drugs. Dare to challenge a Libertarian on the reality of legalization versus the wishful thinking, and you’re likely to get conked on the head with a duck taped bong.

Libertarians don’t have an answer to what happens to the swollen masses of addicted people no longer capable of self-care. Do we send them out to the woods to die? Of course not. By skipping the accountability component of legalization, you and I are left with the bill and headaches from those who inevitably fail in finding a pharmaceutical shortcut around Mother Nature’s demands.

Libertarians and conservatives have a lot in common. These freedom-lovers just need some work on that responsibility thing.





Conservatives get an A+ on the American Success Equation. That’s why more and more young people are instinctively migrating to the right.

Conservatives cling to liberty as we seize upon opportunity and embrace responsibility.  We understand that prosperity in a hard world is hard won and there are no shortcuts. That resonates with people who like to live in the real world.

Yes, we recognize there are some movements suggesting it’s ok to skip one or more steps in what is arguably nature’s success equation, but we know better. Conservatives comprehend that dreams add seasoning to life – but it’s in reaching for reality that we find the meat and potatoes.





There’s another political group that may be the largest secret society in America. These are the folks who imagine they can pick and choose which parts of the equation they wish to squeeze. These people treat America as a cheap steakhouse buffet.

Noble people have never been in a majority anywhere on our fallen planet. America is not an exception. There will always be those who see life as an opportunity to take over give and exploit America’s Success Equation to their own advantage.

Note the unsustainable expansion of food stamps, disability and other entitlements under the Obama administration. Largesse with other people’s money is the mark of a political predator, not a benefactor. Real leaders recognize that making people increasingly reliant on government handouts robs them of their dignity and secures a cycle of hostility and misery inevitably linked to dependency.

There are a million ways to exploit America’s Success Equation and conceal the action. In the end though, skipping any piece of the puzzle is like using cheap paint. It might look good going on, but it will not stand the test of time.




Political reset

If you’re one of those with an internal conscience that won’t let you sacrifice truth to habit, comfort or interpersonal safety, you might find solace in the American Success Equation. Its reliability matches that of gravity.

Please don’t take offense as I share that if you buy into this thinking, you’re a conservative – closeted or otherwise. As such you are the 21st century’s version of a non-conformist. The left long ago surrendered their non-conformist credentials to a convoluted version of conventionality. For conformation of such, witness their fury when they encounter opposition thinking.

Please email me when you come all the way out – there’s lots we can do together….


 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 . 



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