I don’t disagree with Mark Levin too often. He’s smart, knowledgeable, colorful, and, most important, zealous when it comes to calling a duck a duck — or a communist a communist. A couple days ago, however, I had to part ways with him on an issue.
One of Levin’s callers was trying to make the point that Republicans not only have a habit of nominating the wrong candidate for president, conservatives and libertarians dutifully support him. They do it because they buy into the conventional wisdom that if they vote for a third-party candidate, or don’t vote at all, their vote is wasted.
Levin went ballistic on his caller, which is part of his “charm.” But in this case, not only was his rudeness excessive (actually hanging up on the poor guy after calling him a jerk — or something to that effect), he also was, in my opinion, wrong. The main point of his tirade was that whether we like it or not, Romney is what we’re stuck with. What an inspiring thought.
Levin went on to say (actually, shout) that we first have to concentrate on getting Commie Obammie out of the White House, then we can address the problem of fixing both Romney’s spine and the Republican Party. In theory, it sounds like a pragmatic approach to a very bad situation, but decades of empirical evidence suggest that it won’t work.
First, as to Romney, he’s had sixty-five years to develop a spine, so it’s wishful thinking to believe that conservatives can perform an extreme makeover on him in that area of his anatomy. It’s just not going to happen.
As to “fixing” the Republican Party, my memory harkens back to a number of conversations I had with my late friend, Bill Simon, who served as Secretary of the Treasury under presidents Nixon and Ford. Simon understood, but was uncomfortable with, the longstanding Republican mantra: “We should nominate the ‘most electable’ conservative available.”
The problem is that the establishment got it wrong on both counts with Romney. He’s not a conservative and he most definitely was not the most electable candidate in the Republican field.
Worse, in his book, A Time for Truth, Simon pointed out the “time-honored” Republican rationalization for betraying free enterprise, small government, and less regulation once members of the party are elected to office: “It’s necessary to stay in power. We can accomplish nothing if we’re out of office. So we have to throw the voters the kinds of bones to which the Democrats have accustomed them.”
That, my friends, is precisely what you will see happen if Romney wins in November. As I said my article “A Big Thank You to George W. Bush,” I’d appreciate it if you would quote me on that.
Mark Levin’s apoplectic point was, “So what’s the alternative, reelect Obama by voting for Gary Johnson?” I had to turn the volume down on that one.
The optimist in me would love to believe that once the Republicans take control of the presidency and both branches of Congress, the Mark Levins, Rush Limbaughs, Sarah Palins, and millions of Tea Party folks will force progressive Republicans to change their ways.
But, in my heart of hearts, I don’t believe it’s possible. The Marco Rubios are already being carefully groomed to become the next generation of establishment Republicans, and I get the distinct impression that they’re getting very comfortable in that role.
Which is why my bolder side thinks, “Let Obama get reelected so we can get on with the revolution — not a shooting revolution, but, hopefully, a Liberty-Education Revolution.” Why an education revolution?
Because the average American knows virtually nothing about Obamacare, nothing about how Congress works, nothing about the Constitution, nothing about the debt or the deficit — nothing about anything except perhaps what kind of tattoos LeBron James has on each of his arms.
Either way, as well-intentioned as Mark Levin may be — and I do think he’s terrific — he should not chastise someone for wanting to vote his conscience. If every conservative and libertarian had cast their votes based on principle over the past eighty years, Barack Obama wouldn’t be in the White House today and Mitt Romney wouldn’t be running against him.
It’s a sad commentary on America when voting your conscience is looked upon as heresy.
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ROBERT RINGER is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and host of the highly acclaimed Liberty Education Interview Series, which features interviews with top political, economic, and social leaders. He has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business, The Tonight Show, Today, The Dennis Miller Show, Good Morning America, The Lars Larson Show, ABC Nightline, and The Charlie Rose Show, and has been the subject of feature articles in such major publications as Time, People, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Barron's, and The New York Times.
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