was made in California Wednesday as state officials certified 1.3 million
valid petition signatures in the effort to recall Governor Gray Davis, far
more than the 897,158 his opponents needed to require the state’s first ever
special election. And really, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Davis, whose
given name is fitting as it describes a banal political persona that is as
lacking as his skills as a statesman, has managed to snatch defeat from the
jaws of victory. It was less than a year ago that he won re-election in a
landslide. But that was before the fruits of his liberal policies reached
critical mass and caused a meltdown in California’s economy.
What makes the prospect of a recall election all the more scintillating is
the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger could be poised to succeed Gray Skies
Davis, should the voters decide to terminate the Governor. While the bodybuilder
turned actor turned political aspirant hasn’t officially declared his candidacy,
I think that he will take the plunge. If he does, I think he will win and
follow in Ronald Reagan’s footsteps to become the second actor to occupy
the highest office on the left coast. And that would make me happier about
politics in America – not happy, mind you – but happier. I include this caveat
because while Schwarzenegger could follow in Reagan’s footsteps, he could
never fill his shoes. His election wouldn’t be morning in America, but just
a slight parting of Gray Skies.
The problem with the buff actor is that he represents the changing face of
the Republican Party, and what that means is that he isn’t really conservative.
When asked by Bill O’Reilly if he has been shunned by many of those oh-so-tolerant
Hollywood could-double-their-IQ-with-one-serving-of-fish types, he replied
that no, he hadn’t been because he’s merely fiscally conservative, but socially
liberal. You see, in Tinseltown being only fiscally conservative means you
simply aren’t as highly evolved as, oh . . . let’s say, an intellectual giant
like Barbara Streisand or Cher. But you will rue the day you become socially
conservative because then you’re deserving of extinction.
Lest you misunderstand me, I want to make it clear that I’m thoroughly imbued
with fiscal conservatism. This is because I recognize the fact that taxing
and spending is actually a moral issue – how could it not be? Coercively
extracting exorbitant amounts of money from people so that you can use it
for your charities, pet causes and vote buying is nothing less than legalized
theft. But fiscal conservatism is not my political master status, because
to care about nothing more than money is to lack a soul.
What lies at the heart of any sound philosophy of governance is a proper
grasp of social issues. For this reason, being a fiscal conservative doesn’t
impress me. Heck, a person could brand himself as fiscally conservative simply
because he’s a liberal who’s cheap. Think about it: saying you’re fiscally
conservative but socially liberal is a little like being a father who will
let his son do anything as long as the boy doesn’t cost him any money. Listen
son, you can have sex in your room upstairs and do drugs, just make sure
you get free condoms at school and free needles via one of those government
exchange programs. And if there’s an abortion, remember that there are free
clinics – I don’t want to see a doctor’s bill.
And that is what Schwarzenegger is: a man of the Christine Todd Whitman/George
Pataki wing of the party. Not a libertarian, not a conservative, he occupies
that populist land of laissez-faire morals where liberalism and conservatism
meet and melt into a type of amorphous mass of pandering goo that can take
the shape of whatever political vessel it finds itself in. You could say
that a politician like him is real conservative tissue over a liberal endoskeleton.
Fiscal conservatives lack a well-developed moral compass and for this reason
will never be visionary leaders. To many of them, being a statesman is similar
to being a CEO or a money manager. Fiscal conservatives also tend to lack
an appreciation for freedom; they may be pro-abortion but are willing to
limit other choices six ways to Friday. The right to bear arms, to allow
smoking in your own establishment, to have a men-only club, to spank your
child and many other freedoms are often anathema to them. You see, such kowtowing
to politically correct causes helps you get elected without sullying your
credentials as a fiscal conservative. After all, the trampling of these liberties
doesn’t cost tax money.
It will be delicious if Gray Skies actually bites the dust but it will simply
be the turning of lemons into lemonade, not the obtaining of a bottle of
Chateau Le Pin 1998. If I lived in California, I would have to hold my nose
while pulling the lever in the voting booth because I have no use for fiscal
conservatives. With Republicans like them, who needs Democrats? Don’t get
fiscal with me.
Selwyn Duke's homepage is The Truth Page.