Skip to comments.The Real Reason Conservatives are So Vehemently Opposed to the Candidacy of Arnold Schwarzenegger
Posted on 09/13/2003 2:46:24 PM PDT by Tony in Hawaii
The Real Reason Conservatives are So Vehemently Opposed to the Candidacy of Arnold Schwarzenegger
By Eric Dondero
What do you think the real reason is for why the conservatives are so vehemently against the
It's not the reason they are telling you. It's not because Arnold Schwarzenegger is a "liberal." It's
because our so-called conservative cousins are scared to death that if Arnold wins his new brand of
"fiscally conservative/socially tolerant" Republicanism will catch on and spread like wildfire outside of California across the nation.
It almost happened a couple times in the past. Senator Barry Goldwater shocked fellow Conservatives by coming out for tolerance of Gays and for marijuana decriminalization in the late 1980s. Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld came real close to popularizing a fiscally conservative/socially tolerant brand of Republicanism in the early 1990s. Jessie Ventura came real close too a few years later. If he had only been a Republican he might have pulled it off. And now out of California comes the Terminator.
Did you all catch Conservative Christian Reverend Lou Sheldon's remarks the day after Arnold announced a few weeks ago? It was vitriolic. This religious right Conservative standard-bearer was vicious in describing the "highly promiscuous hedonist" Arnold Schwarzenegger, playing it like he was almost "Satan incarnate." Now the American Spectator On-line (American Prowler), is brutally attacking Arnold every single day. Social Conservative Columnist George Neuyamar has been merciless for weeks in savaging Arnold. Neuyamar blasts him cause he's tolerant on social issues. He and other Conservative Publications like the California Policy Review have been body-slamming Arnold sometimes even double-teaming him with two hit pieces a day. They paint him as a "liberal" Republican. They conveniently ignore his support for free market economics while playing up his
few liberal stances on social issues.
Yeah right! Arnold is a "liberal." If Arnold was such a liberal, than why is he such a fanatic devotee
of Mr. Libertarian himself Economist Milton Friedman? This appears on the Laissez Faire Books web site:
I started flipping the television dial. I caught a glimpse of Nobel Prize winning economist Milton
Friedman whom I recognized from my studies in economics. I didn't know I was watching Free to
Choose. It knocked me out. Dr. Friedman validated everything I ever thought about the way the economy works. I became a big pain in the neck about Free to Choose. All my friends and acquaintances got tapes as well as books for Christmas after Christmas. If I had come up with Free to Choose, maybe I wouldn't have got into body building. -- Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold has been a frequent attendee and speaker at Reason Foundation Banquets in Los Angeles over the years. Even more it was recently uncovered that Arnold once attended an even more hardcore libertarian conference. Former UCSD student and current PrestoPundit.com Columnist Gregory Ransom discovered Arnold's name as an attendee at an obscure conference on Austrian Economics held at his college in the 1980s. He wrote, "I remember picking up a small, poorly bound book that was a collection of papers presented at a very academic, very technical symposium on Austrian economics. On the first page was a small list of attendees at the conference, and there was Arnold Schwarzenegger's name."
Highly respected conservative and Washington Times Editorialist Donald Lambro had this to say about Arnold in a recent column; "he has deep-set political beliefs in the power of capitalism, deregulation and free markets to create economic prosperity. His reading includes books by Friedrich Hayek, the Nobel Prize-winning economist best known for his seminal free-market work, The Road to Serfdom."
And according to a San Jose Mercury News report, Schwarzenegger is a "fan of the University of Chicago Economics Department, which had provided President Reagan's economic advisers."
And this quote from Arnold once appeared in London's Financial Times; "I still believe in lower taxes -- and the power of the free market. I still believe in controlling government spending. If it's a bad
program, let's get rid of it."
Lending even more credibility to his libertarianism Schwarzenegger recently appointed hardcore free market economist and drug legalization advocate George Schultz of the Hoover Institute to be his top Economic Advisor. In addition, the fact that Arnold has repeatedly asserted his enthusiastic support for Proposition 13 Property Tax Roll Back and Proposition 187 which eliminates illegal immigrants from the welfare rolls, proves that Schwarzenegger is not only a libertarian, but a pretty loyal one at that.
When was the last time liberal Republican stalwart Michael Bloomberg the Big Government tax-loving, cigarette smoker-hating SOB ever quoted Milton Friedman? When was the last time that RINO Dick Riordon ever contributed money to the libertarian Reason Foundation right there in Los Angeles? When was the last time squishy moderate Pete Wilson's name appeared on a roster of an Austrian Economics conference? When was the last time liberal Republican Senators John Chaffee of Rhode Island or Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania ever appointed a libertarian like George Schultz of the Hoover Institute as his top economics advisor? Come to think of it when was the last time ANY REPUBLICAN AT ALL APPOINTED A LIBERTARIAN AS AN ECONOMIC ADVISOR?
I'll tell you when - 1980 when "supposed limited government advocate" Reagan threw us libertarians a bone in an effort to appease those of us who had backed him instead of Libertarian Ed Clark by
appointing libertarian David Stockman at OMB. And then, Reagan turned right around and stabbed us libertarians in the back by firing Stockman a year and a half later.
Let's take it a step further. Would a "liberal Republican" like Maine's Olympia Snowe, Connecticut's
Chris Shays, or even the Ripon Society, bastion of liberal Republicanism, support a Property Tax Cut
Initiative like Proposition 13? Would they support an Initiative to Stop Illegal Immigrants from mooching off our welfare system like Prop. 187?
Hell no! Those sorts of positions on issues give northeastern liberal Republicans stomach ulcers.
I know liberal Republicans. They do exist. I'd say they are about 5 to 10% of the entire Republican
Party, mostly in the Northeast with a few in California. In the early days of the Republican Liberty Caucus, we flirted a bit with the liberal Republicans. We visited with the Ripon Society folks. We made some outreach efforts to liberal Republicans in New Jersey through liberal-libertarian hybrid Dick
Zimmer's Campaigns for Congress. Believe me, Arnold Schwarzenegger IS NO RIPON SOCIETY REPUBLICAN! The Liberal to Moderate Republicans would be strenuously opposed to his views on immigration and tax cuts. They'd be extremely turned off that "right-wing kooks" like Dana Rhorabacher and Ed Royce are acting as Arnold's campaign advisors and accompanying him to
many of his campaign events and appearances.
No, Arnold is a solid "libertarian" Republican. That's spelled L-I-B-E-R-T-A-R-I-A-N.
Yes, Arnold leans more moderate than most libertarians, particularly more so than the anarcho-capitalists, paleo-libertarians or the extremist Libertarians in the Libertarian Party. He
is a mainstream libertarian right smack dab in the middle of the libertarian movement. On the World's
Smallest Political Quiz he comes out at about 75% to 80% on economics and maybe as much as 80 to 90% on personal freedom issues on the New Political Spectrum. Even more libertarian than Weld and certainly higher than Ventura. Interestingly, this is exactly where Milton Friedman (and notably Barry Goldwater), ends up on the New Political Spectrum.
This is precisely why our so-called Conservative pals tremble in fear of the thought of a Schwarzenegger victory. This is why you are witnessing such a saliva-spewing vitriolic response from Christian Conservatives, The American Spectator and other conservative groups and publications at the mere mention of Arnold's name.
This California race is about much more thanCalifornia. This is about changing the entire face of
the Republican Party for years to come. It is a struggle for the heart and soul of the Republican
Party. It represents the ultimate battle in the never-ending competition between the two frequently
warring right-wing factions: conservatives and libertarians.
First, in the late 1950s there was the firing and banishment from the Conservative movement of Frank
Meyers because he switched from conservative to libertarian, and the subsequent dismantling by
conservatives of the premiere libertarian think tank FEE. Hayek reacted to the libertarian banishment in 1962 with his famous article, "Why I am Not a Conservative." Then, there was the Young Americans for Freedom Split in 1969 in St. Louis where the libertarians walked out on the "trads" (more accurately were physically ejected). Then there was Reagan's campaign recognizing the appeal of libertarianism and stealing rhetoric from Libertarian Presidential Candidate Ed Clark in 1980, enough to win the election, along with his subsequent "night of the long knives" firing a year later of the Administration's leading libertarian Budget Director David Stockman. Then there was the Conservative Establishment's on-slaught against libertarian Republican candidate Ron Paul when Ron chose to run for re-election in 1996. Newt Gingrich, Bill Bennett, Ed Meese and just about every single washed up Social Conservative who had an opening on their schedule came down to Texas Congressional District 14 to campaign against that "extremist libertarian" Ron Paul.
And now we have the California race, where every social conservative in the country is pulling out all
the stops to make sure that libertarian Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't pull this thing off. So much so
in fact, that I've even seen conservatives in various on-line forums promulgating the line that it's "better to have Schwarzenegger lose and have two more years of Dems Davis or Bustamante" so that they can get a "real conservative" to run in 2004.
This race has little to do with California Budgetary matters. No this race is not about Gray Davis. This has everything to do with the Decade's Old War between Libertarians and Conservatives. The Christian Right/Drug Warrior Coaltion, made up of folks like Lou Sheldon, George Neuyamar, Gary Bauer and Jerry Falwell just won't stand for any Republican being elected to a high profile office who has a good sex life and makes a few positive remarks about medical use of marijuana.
A man who once bragged in a Dirty Magazine about some sexual orgies he's had in his life and all the
hundreds of beautiful women he has had sex with?
Heavens No! We can't stand for that!" the social conservatives say, huffing and puffing.
Will we let the social conservatives prevail yet again? Or will we libertarians come out on top?
If you are a libertarian of any stripe you should be out there campaigning as hard as you can for Arnold Schwarzenegger. You don't need to agree with him on all the issues. This fight is about much more than Arnold. It is a battle for the heart and soul of the Right. The conservatives have treated us libertarians as a bastard step-child for too damn long.
To steal an old political line: "Let's win won for Uncle Milty."
*Note - Eric Dondero Rittberg is a Libertarian
Republican Activist living in Houston, Texas. He is a
former National Committeeman of the Libertarian Party,
LP candidate for state legislature, and served as Ron
Paul's Travel Aide in his 1988 Libertarian
Presidential Campaign. In 1990, he Founded the
Republican Liberty Caucus. He went on to serve as RLC
Chairman, Executive Director and National
In the long term, it is about the sure death of the Republican Party if social conservartives are marginalized and and rejected.
In the short term, it is about the sure loss of the White House in 2004. Karl Rove had better pay close attention. Bush cannot win without the votes of the social conservatives that Arnold and the Log Cabin Republicans despise.
And make no mistake about it: social conservatives WILL stay home on election day if their only choice is to vote for a social liberal Republican or a social liberal Democrat.
Social conservatives are the life-force of the Republican Party. Only they truly appreciate and understand the truth that social liberalism and fiscal conservatism are mutually exclusive.
This reminds me of the tortured logic espoused by Fred Barnes the other week trying to explain why it's ok for the Prez to be a big government Repubbie. I don't care what labels they chose to use. There is no such thing as a fiscally responsible Nanny State.
Is misspelling a libertarian thing ("Who are THEY to make up rules on how to spell)?
I know I've made my decision. When polled, or in conversations, I say I'm voting for McClintock. When it comes time to vote, I'll see whether he or Arnold is ahead in the polls, and vote for that one. If Bustamante is leading either of them in the polls, I'll vote no on the recall, and still vote for the leader of Arnie or McClintock.
No matter how much I dislike Davis, I don't want Bustamante as Governor.
I think that if he's elected he'll try to balance the budget by a mixture of budget cuts, tax increases and by selling bonds, which is what the California Democrats want, but Arnold would use a different mixture of the three. Then, when the economy turns around and the tax base recovers he'll jack spending way up again to fund those programs that are so dear to his heart. He's said he'll do exactly that, in fact.
Arnold is no conservative, either socially or fiscally, nor is he a libertarian. He's a liberal who just happens to be a Republican. Sort of like a California version of George Pataki.
Ronald Reagan? Barry Goldwater?