California Freak Show Continues Unabated
freak show currently under way in California is a perfect
example of why we have regular elections, in an orderly
manner. We allow elected officials to serve out their full
terms unless they turn out to be criminals - sometimes even
if they do turn out to be criminals.
now has in excess of 130 candidates on the ballot in its
current election for governor. With the recall of Gray Davis
virtually a forgone conclusion, the special election has
become a free-for-all, with the biggest name in the race
a muscle-bound movie star with liberal views on most of
the social issues of the day.
wisdom is that Arnold Schwarzenegger will be the state's
next governor. That could very well be the case. The way
the ballot is arranged, with the recall as one issue and
the election of a replacement as another, it will not take
a large percentage of the vote to win. But the advisability
of such a move is questionable. By most accounts, he is
pro-abortion, pro-homosexual special rights, pro-gun control
and not likely to do anything about the continued flood
of illegal immigrants across the California border. Not
to mention that his conduct in his personal life is rumored
to be a politician's nightmare - perhaps worse than Bill
Clinton's, if that is possible.
are those who contend that someone of Arnold's stripe is
the only kind of Republican that can run and win in California,
that another Ronald Reagan could not be elected there today.
Maybe. But what a test of that kind of thinking it would
be if Arnold were a true conservative. My guess is that
he could be elected in a landslide, just as Ross Perot might
have made history in 1992 if he had not turned out to be
so liberal on social issues and such a screwball on everything
as a true conservative, Schwarzenegger would solidify the
base of support Bill Simon enjoyed in last year's close
contest against Davis. Meanwhile, Arnold's celebrity would
pull the votes of 18-to-24s enamored with the idea of "electing
the Terminator," without regard for his positions on
the issues. (Dude! Like who cares about that?) This is the
same demographic that never votes unless there is a Jesse
Ventura or an Arnold Schwarzenegger on the ballot.
are the ramifications of another liberal Republican in high
office -especially an insanely popular one? The GOP, already
being pushed to the left, would probably continue in that
direction. The White House has to be gleeful over the idea
of George W. Bush campaigning next year alongside Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger. That could actually put the state
of California into play for the president, something that
isn't likely under any other circumstances.
it is hard to imagine Schwarzenegger doing a worse job as
governor than Gray Davis has done. He will be a great promoter
of the state. And he is right when he points to his record
of achieving his goals in life. But there is no substitute
for making the hard fiscal and social decisions that can
stabilize the monster that California government has become.
as far as the Republican Party is concerned, the reelection
of the president over any Democrat in the field trumps all
other considerations, and Arnold could be very useful in
enabling that to happen. But in the long run, the erosion
of the conservative ideals and policies that have made the
Republican Party great could mean the death knell for the
GOP. In another twenty years, when our grandchildren ask
what happened to the party of Lincoln and Reagan, what will
we say? Will we tell them we lost it during a freak show
in "Caleefornia" in the Autumn of 2003?
is a freelance columnist who has served as a political speechwriter
and public policy advisor at the federal, state and local
levels. His weekly columns can be read in newspapers across
the country, and on 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.
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