Mark Levin has two important posts conservatives should read. Many of us are having a hard time giving full support to any of the, as of now, front runners for the GOP nomination. And for very good reasons. I read all the criticism from fellow conservatives/Republicans, mostly directed toward social conservatives, especially in regard to Rudy Giuliani. I read one post where the writer basically said that since Giuliani would take New York and Florida, he wouldn't have to spend any time worrying about the folks in the Bible Belt. Speaking as one of those living in the Bible Belt, I would not hesitate to vote for Giuliani if he were the nominee. But I'm not yet ready to give up hope for a true conservative. I know there will never be a candidate I agree with 100%, but I'm not comfortable with any candidate who, although he believes in the sanctity of life will not defend it as a public official. In Giuliani's case, I do believe him when he says he will nominate judges like Alito and Roberts and that is a positive. But assuming I can come to terms with his position on a woman's "right" to choose, believing his appointment of federal judges will mitigate that, I cannot when it comes to controlling illegal immigration. He wants to "regularize" the illegals already in this country, as he said on Hannity and Colmes. Sean asked him if regularize meant amnesty, he said no, it means "earning it". Why should people in this country illegally have the opportunity to earn anything? Amnesty by any other name is still amnesty.
On February 9, Levin wrote Listen to the Base: (his link)
I fear we will be hearing a lot more of this kind of argument in the weeks ahead, despite its illogic. It suggests that since perfect conformity to conservative principles is an impossible goal, and one which has never been displayed by any president, then why pursue it? I suppose the argument could be taken further, i.e., since conservatives can’t always agree on certain issues, then why be conservative? Nobody is saying that the Republican candidates have to meet some purity test. What is being said is that they have each embraced various liberal positions that raise questions about their fundamental beliefs and principles, i.e., their approach to life and therefore governing.
How many of our conservative principles are we willing to give up? Where will the "giving up" end? When we're all liberal Democrats?
In today's post, Levin writes Will You Get a Load of This? He is referring to a column written by George Will:
Will, citing and embracing John Patrick Diggins's new book, Ronald Reagan: Fate, Freedom, and the Making of History, writes, in part:
Diggins says Reagan imbibed his mother's form of Christianity, a strand of 19th-century Unitarianism from which Reagan took a foundational belief that he expressed in a 1951 letter: "God couldn't create evil so the desires he planted in us are good." This logic — God is good, therefore so are God-given desires — leads to the Emersonian faith that we please God by pleasing ourselves. Therefore there is no need for the people to discipline their desires. So, no leader needs to suggest that the public has shortcomings and should engage in critical self-examination.
If, in fact, that was Reagan’s view as a governing principle (note the letter pre-dates by years Reagan’s conversion to conservatism and his assumption of public office), it is actually consistent with traditional Jewish teachings, which reject original sin for largely the same reason. That aside, does Will actually believe that Reagan, who spoke and wrote more about limited government than any president since the nation’s founding, didn’t comprehend the reason for limited government? This is absurd. Reagan believed the American people were a great people, and he believed the American people had done great things. Reagan also had libertarian leanings respecting economic policy. But he always embraced the Constitution and its limits, divisions and separations of governmental power as a check on tyranny – whether by a tyrannical elite or anarchical mob. Big government conservatism, a phrase I have been using for several years now, is a rhetorical device intended to expose and shame big-spending Republicans who claim disingenuously to be conservatives. It is hardly a definition of Reagan conservatism.
This whole argument reminds me of the criticism of the University of Alabama's recent coaching search. Bama fans were accused of trying to resurrect Bear Bryant. No, we all knew Coach Bryant was (and still is) dead. But yes, we did want a coach who could win at Alabama. Most fans want that for their football team. The same holds true for conservatives. We are not trying to resurrect Ronald Reagan we simply want someone who shares our values and will uphold the principles we believe in. The twist, however, is that in the case of Ronald Reagan, many are trying to down-play Reagan's conservatism. He wasn't a real conservative anyway.
Will recently described Rudy Guiliani as a conservative. In some respects he is. Perhaps in a future column Will will tell us whether Rudy’s a big-government conservative or something else, or whether he’s more of a conservative than the Gipper was. If this is confusing don’t blame me. Blame Will.