Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Arnold is not a moderate Republican

This Daniel Henninger piece in Wall Street Journal is excellent. Read the whole thing, please. Henninger thinks that the Davis recall and Arnold’s election is a tectonic shift in American politics. It effects American politics, in part, because California lies on the San Andreas Fault, and the aftershocks of any earthquake there will be felt throughout the country. The immediate effect is this: the definition of political "moderate" has shifted seismically to the right. And this new moderation that Arnold represents (the first such moderate was Giuliani, elected as mayor of New York in 1993) is not the old Rockefeller or Olympia Snowe, et al. "On the core governing issue of the state’s proper role in economic and political life, Arnold Schwarzenegger is well to the right of these people, Henninger says. Arnold is not your Republican father’s moderate. I agree.   

Discussions - 2 Comments

"On the core governing issue of the state’s proper role in economic and political life, Arnold Schwarzenegger is well to the right of these people," Henninger says. Arnold is not your Republican father’s moderate. I agree.

Duh! You’re kidding, right? We have in "Conan" a guy whose only foray into politics before the recall was to pass an initiative that forces the "bankrupt" State of California to spend nearly a billion bucks (it doesn’t have" on a new "Nanny State" social program. How conservative!

This is the same guy who being Pro-Abortion, "reaches out" for inclusion on his "transition team", not for someone from the Christian Coalition to expand his "Big Tent", but instead he selects a feminist and former NOW member. Of course, being a "serial gropist", that "political move" probably makes some sense.

Additionally, when Arnie speaks of where his motivation for public service stems his mentions not Ronald Reagan, nor George Bush, and not even Dwight D. Esienhower. Instead the "Terminator" tells us that it was his father-in-law, R. Sergeant Shriver, of Peace Corps fame and George McGovern’s running mate in the 1972, that inspired him. Wow! The apex "of the state’s proper role in economic and political life" - that is if you are a Big Government socialist.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Arnie, who retains his Austrian citizenship (probably not in honor of the Austrian School of Economics) and more likely because he feels he is a "true citizen of the World", tells anyone asks that the World figure that most influenced him was not Margaret Thatcher, or even Mother Theresa, or even Winston Churchill. Instead "Conan" thinks that the Communist, Nelson Mandela. The same Mr. Mandela who opined of Arnie’s "adopted country?" as recently as 9/18/2003 - "that the attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace". This "Terminator", had he not been born in the Austria that the United States defended from the Russian hordes during the Cold War, could easily be one of Democrat’s "dwarfs" running for President.

You are right - the definition of "political ’moderate’ has shifted seismically", NOT to the right, as you suggest, but emphatically to the LEFT. Then again, I suppose that depends on just what your definition of "right" is. Apparently you see someone on the right as being pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro-same sex marriage, pro-human cloning, pro-big government programs, who thinks that R. Sergeant Shriver and Nelson Mandela are "political ideals" to be emulated, who insures the feminists but not the Christian Coalition are part of his "transition team", and who confessed that the reason the "State requires more revenue" is to "fund more needed government programs".

"Right n. the conservative faction of a political party [syn: right wing]." [from the fact that conservatives sit on the right side of the legislative chamber in various assemblies.]

Okay, then:

"CONSERVATISM: Although the term conservative can mean many different and often contradictory things depending on the context, it is generally a description of an outlook or disposition that is traditional. The word ’traditional’ may simply refer to a political or social attitude, or to a more or less well-defined set of political policies designed to preserve traditions (moral, political, cultural) inherited from the past. It is important to note that conservatives’ defense of the traditional does not simply stem from the fact that it is old, but that it is somehow true. Conservatives support this claim by appealing either to the moral values of Christianity or to natural law (see Natural Law). Conservatives resist change. They stress the limits of human reason, and regard human nature to be tainted by sin. Today’s usage is often associated with such terms and concepts as family values, the political right, and the Republican party. Key thinkers include Edmund Burke*, Russell Kirk*, Richard Weaver*, and Leo Strauss*."

"NATURAL LAW: A philosophy that understands morality (see Morality) to be universal, objective, and derivative from human nature. Reasoned reflection upon human nature yields rules or laws of conduct for moral behavior. Natural law undergirds man-made positive law because it is rooted in the nature of humankind. The natural law tradition is a theistic system. It precludes any contradiction between revelation and reason because God, who authored the Ten Commandments, also designed human nature. Formative influences were Aristotle*, Cicero*, St. Thomas Aquinas*, Franciscus Suarez*, Hugo Grotius*, Henry Veatch, and John Finnis."

"MORALITY: Morality is any intellectual system which tries to explain right and wrong. Strictly speaking, morality deals only with the realm of human actions and intentions. The key to understanding any moral system is to identify what determines or acts as the standard of right and wrong. For Christians, it is the Scripture and natural law (see Natural Law). For relativists, it is either societal trends or individual preferences."

"Religious liberals, such as Lord Acton, Alexis de Tocqueville, and Frederic Bastiat, consider a virtuous citizenry to be an essential component of a free society. Typically, however, secular liberals regard morality (and religion) as an exclusively private and personal matter. It is up to each individual to decide upon his own moral code. According to secular modern liberals, the government may only insist that individuals refrain from violence and theft, and honor all freely entered contracts. From the classical liberal perspective, the objective, rational, and cross-cultural moral norms of Christianity provide the basic understanding of virtue."

From: "Dictionary of Key Terms for a Free and Virtuous Society" at: http://www.acton.org/research/dictionary/index.html

Personally, I think "Conan, the Barbarian" is a leftist - morally, economically, and politically. The fact that he gives lip service to promoting business is totally offset by his urge to be "Green". The day Arnie starts promoting new dams and nuclear energy plants (instead of "pie in the sky" hydrogen powered autos) to solve California’s energy programs, is the day I might admit he has at least one "RIGHT" thought in his head. Like all leftist statist-elitist, his answer to the State of California’s fiscal crisis will not be cutting so-called "needed government program", but instead he will beg the Federal government to take more money from its taxpayers so the "Golden State" may continue on its uncontrolled spending binge! Arnie’s reason for running for Governor was so he could feel good about himself by doing "something" for others. As a private individual, he was limited in "feeling good" by the sum of his "net worth". As Governor, he will billions of other folks cash to spend on "helping others" so he will really feel good about himself. I can think of no better definition of a leftist - "spending other peoples money in order help people, and thus feel better about yourself!"

BTW, calling Giuliani a conservative, because he insisted that the "trains run on time" and that the police did their jobs, is somewhat akin to saying Hitler was a conservative for the same reasons. I think Henninger and others are "whistling past the graveyard", trying make the "Termination" something he obviously isn’t! Maybe you can explain just what are "moderate liberal voters"?

Query: "If the "center" in American politics is migrating steadily to the right in a measurable and significant way." - how is it that a Republican controlled Congress, with the support of a Republican White House could spend so freely on "new pork" that "discretionary" portion of the Federal Budget is growing much faster than did that of the State of California under "lame dog" Governor Gray Davis?

I believe you guys are all truly delusional! Now we know who "has been overdosing on medical marijuana". The Republic is collapsing and you are singing "Happy Days are Here Again!"

I AM AFRAID I CAN NOT AGREE WITH DANIEL HENNINGER, EVEN THOUGH I WOULD VERY MUCH WISH TO. I DO NOT SEE THE ELECTORATE MOVING "RIGHT" AT ALL. I SEE JUST THE REVERSE. THE "CENTER" OF TODAY SEEMS TO BE THE LEFT OF YESTERDAY. THE "RIGHT" IS LOSING, AND LOSING BAD.

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