Underestimates Conservative Distrust of Buffett
Schwarzenegger no doubt believes that he is being very clever
in bringing the second richest man in the world on board
his celebrity-driven campaign for governor of California.
This contest is, after all, taking place in California.
Perhaps voters there will be impressed. But conservatives
– especially social conservatives – should be very concerned.
Shortly after announcing that Warren Buffett would serve
as chief economic advisor for his campaign, we got a large
clue as to the sort of public policies a Schwarzenegger
administration might pursue. Buffett opined that property
taxes in California were too low! That should come as a
shock to those who are struggling to pay them.
But there is more to Warren Buffett’s liberal views than
just taxes, much more. There is a dark side to the man’s
view of life.
It is said that if one had had the foresight to invest $10,000
with the unpretentious Mr. Buffett in 1965, when he was
first starting out as the head of Berkshire Hathaway, one
would now have a fortune in excess of $50 million. Not bad,
considering that the same investment in the S&P 500
would have brought one a relatively paltry return of just
under a half million. The man is without question a genius
when it comes to investing.
But he is completely out of the mainstream when it comes
to public policy, and Arnold Schwarzenegger may have miscalculated
badly in his understanding of just who Warren Buffett is
and what he represents to social conservatives.
Having lived in the same community as the “Oracle of Omaha”
for most of my adult life, I have witnessed the paradox
that is Warren Buffett: a man of incredible means who donates
large sums of money to far-left causes, yet lives modestly
in the same Omaha neighborhood in which he settled four
Warren Buffett is more than just a committed Democrat –
although he is definitely that. He is a flaming liberal
who is deeply involved in social engineering. His support
for abortion on demand would have made Planned Parenthood
founder Margaret Sanger and her friends in the Eugenics
Movement proud. Buffett almost always supports Democrats,
contributing time and money to Republicans only when they
are liberal – which should give us all pause now that he
is on the Terminator Team.
As a social conservative who cares deeply about pro-life
and pro-family issues, I have taken great interest in the
causes Warren Buffett supports with his billions. He provided
major funding for the development of RU-486, the morning-after
abortion pill, as well as contributing heavily to other
so-called population control organizations like Planned
Parenthood. It is well known that he plans to will his billions
to these same kinds of “charities.”
This is not a man whom social conservatives can simply dismiss
as a “financial advisor” to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Buffett
will push the Terminator in social directions he already
leans, but probably farther than he would have gone on his
The entrance of Warren Buffett into the inner circle of
the Schwarzenegger for Governor campaign should give principled
conservatives everywhere a cold chill. In fact, the retention
of Gray Davis is starting to look better all the time –
not because he is a better governor, but rather because
the election of Schwarzenegger is looking more like a lose-lose
situation for conservatives: if he fails as governor, the
California GOP may not recover for a generation. Worse,
if he succeeds, conservatives will be unable to convince
the party hierarchy that a true Republican can be elected
Doug Patton is a freelance columnist
who has served as a political speechwriter and public policy
advisor to candidates, elected officials and organizations
at the federal, state and local levels. His weekly columns
can be read in newspapers across the country, and on selected
Internet web sites, including www.GOPUSA.com,
where he serves as the Nebraska Editor. He also writes for
Talon News Service (www.TalonNews.com).
Readers can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.