googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Where have all the conservatives gone?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Where have all the conservatives gone?

It is no small annoyance to me that Rudy Giuliani is among the front-runners in the Republican primaries. Perhaps he’s a conservative by New York standards, but not for the country at large.

Now don’t get me wrong - Rudy has several strong points: he’s for lower taxes, less government, and pro-defense. He especially looked good after the 9/11 tragedies. He certainly handled the surprise attack in NY much better than, say, the Mayor in New Orleans handled the Katrina disaster. I’d far rather have him in office than any Democrat candidate running.

But in spite of his good points, there are several issues where Rudy fails conservatism. He’s decidedly pro-abortion (he says he’s anti-abortion but for “the right to choose”); pro-gay; and pro-gun control. And though his views on these issues may not be as far left as those of the liberal Democrat candidates, there are obviously more conservative candidates running for the Republican nomination.

Besides his political views, Rudy has some personal baggage to deal with. I mean, come on, the guy’s been married 3 times. And don’t hand me any of that, “his personal life shouldn’t matter” garbage. If Democrat voters say they’re voting for Hillary because she’s a woman, I can say I’m not voting for Rudy because he’s a womanizer. I think a person’s character is part of his qualifications for being president. And a twice-divorced (actually one marriage was annulled) man has some character issues. Never mind his seeming penchant to dress in drag.

Tell me why, then, did Pat Robertson endorse Giuliani over any other candidate? As a Christian, I can’t imagine how a Christian leader like Robertson could endorse someone like Giuliani. Could it be because he thinks Rudy stands the best chance of beating whoever the Democrat nominee is? One of my biggest pet peeves is when Republicans choose candidates they think are “electable” over the people they think are the best for the job - unless Robertson really thinks he’s the best candidate. In that case, Robertson is just plain wrong.

But the Republican Party has started down a slippery slope in its pursuit of “diversity” or “big-tent” ideology. In 1994, when many Republican ran on a staunch conservative platform as demonstrated by the Contract with America, the Republican Party won in droves. Why have we abandoned that?

I first became concerned when I saw Colin Powell speak at the 2000 Republican Convention. He announced that he was “pro-choice” and was cheered! Kay Bailey Hutchison announced at the 1996 Convention she was pro-choice and was booed. Why the change?

Then there was the Governor’s recall election in California, 2003. The moderate Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected over the much more conservative Tom McClintock. Perhaps in CA, a moderate Republican was more appealing to the Hollywood crowd. But Arnold went on to be a keynote speaker at the 2004 Republican Convention. Is he the new face of conservatism?

And now we have Rudy Giuliani. Do you see a pattern here? Where are the true conservatives? Let me ask a question - as we have been moving away from conservatism toward “moderation” have we been winning or losing elections? After landslide victories in 1994 & 1996, we have been losing congressional seats ever since.

I’ve always believed that you get what you settle for. If we settle for mediocre candidates, we’re going to get mediocre candidates. I suggest that we don’t settle for them any longer. Remember Reagan? Where have all the conservatives gone? They need to step up to the plate in these elections. They’ll have my vote!

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