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Talk Radio and Arnold
by John Jakubczyk
13 September 2003

Conservative talk show hosts give him a pass.


With the race to recall and replace the governor of California moving from a circus to an actual political event of possible historical importance, the major media has decided that it must take control of this populist response to the insanity that has been Sacramento during the Davis years.

Not simply the traditional major players but the talk show circuits have also weighed in to show their muscle in electing the next governor. All of this has created an interesting view of the credibility and the motivation of those who are jousting for position as the October deadline looms closer.

It all could turn moot if Davis, realizing that he will not prevail in the recall, decides to resign and give Bustamante the seat. This is the Democrats’ best hope at present. But Davis has an ego to match the great stretch of the Sierra Nevadas and it is most unlikely that he will go down without a fight.

So Bustamante has the role of loyal second man, all the while building his base for the future. This is after all a “prequel” as they say in the movies to the main event when Davis’ term expires. All Bustamante need do is keep his pro-abortion position below the radar as well as his past radical connections for the loyal Latino voters as he seeks to secure his future.

The traditional media will support this effort. They want the office to remain in Democratic hands regardless of whether it is Davis or Bustamante. Their concern is to insure that California remains Democratic for the presidential race in 2004.

Enter Arnold. For some reason, ever since Reagan, California Republicans have not been able to find a candidate who would capture the hearts and minds of the people. Of course Republicans claim that the state is too liberal for a real conservative. So they say people must compromise and select someone who can win. That translates to “ He is not pro-life.” Further translation. “Being pro life is not important.” Additional translation. “Not only is being pro life not important, but we don’t care.”

The response by the Arnold supporters is “we want to win.” Win what – for whom – and at what cost.

Imagine hypothetically that a candidate is a known racist? Would this candidate be credible even if he was a big celebrity? Compare the notion of support of killing and hating. Both horrific. Is either acceptable?

Conservative talk show hosts such as Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt support Arnold Schwarzenegger because they claim he is a “fiscal” conservative. That is pure speculation. He is a liberal and no one knows what he will do concerning government spending or taxes. Hugh likes him because he thinks that with Arnold, Republicans can win California in 2004. How he figures that to be a given with the state in a shambles, I do not know. The Democrats will blame Arnold for the continuing crisis. There is no logic into thinking first that he will win or that he will improve the situation. So we compromise on a hope …but no prayer.

Alas for poor Michael, his comments over the last few days on his show have not been at all clarifying. No logic. No principle. Simple adulation of Arnold. For what reason? Apparently it is enough to be a successful businessman and entertainer who knows how to take millions and make millions more. Give Arnold credit for using his body and his physical strength to find a corner of the movie business and do well. I will not debate that he loves his wife and children and wants to do the right thing. But does he even have a clue as to what the right thing is? Reading some of his past interviews gives one reason to wonder very much out-loud about his character and fitness for public office. However for Michael, challenging Arnold is not an option. After all everyone screams, that was the 70s and Hollywood. Everyone did it. And we wonder why we have problems with our young people.

Further raising the standard of true conservatives like Senator Tom McClintock is not even considered. How can conservatives consider whether a “real” conservative such as McClintock can win if they won’t even give him the time of day?

As for the real issues Californians want to discuss according to Hugh, why are Tom McClintock’s ideas not at least as serious as Arnold’s pretend to be. If Arnold was a true Republican concerned about the welfare of the state, he would drop out and support McClintock who has experience, understanding of the field and the principles which should guide every true Republican. After all McClintock at least has been in the state senate, has been dealing with budget issues for years, and knows how to find his way around Sacramento. Yet we hear nothing about him or his plan.

And is it not the “job” of the Medveds and the Hannitys to challenge Arnold’s thinking on important issues that really deal with children – issues like abortion?

Are not these friends in talk radio setting up their own credibility problems when they fail to demand honesty, consistency, integrity and truth from Republicans, and then castigate Democrats?

After all if Teddy Kennedy is pro abortion and so is Arnold, why should anyone care about the abortion issue? However, if abortion kills babies, then any candidate for political office who supports killing babies should be opposed. It is a qualifying test, just as such issues as race and financial integrity qualify a candidate.

However, if it is perfectly acceptable to support pro abortionists, then why not the David Dukes who are also such poison to the Republican Party?

Talk radio made it big by saying what the average guy was thinking. Rush and the other on-air talent were in touch with the great mass of ordinary people by speaking a simple truth. Compromise the truth and the people will turn them off.

Arnold is no Reagan. He is not even close. It is an insult to former president to say that this foul-mouthed former body builder now Hollywood actor could even hold a candle to Reagan. Is this the role model for my sons? I don’t think so. Neither is he the role model for governor.

One final note: By God’s grace, men can change. Honest repentance and repudiation of a past life of sin and debauchery are means to restore a person. God calls us all to repent of the evil in our lives. So if Arnold wants to be respected by those of us who live our every day lives mindful that we are called to account, then honest confession and repudiation of error is both recommended and welcome. But be warned. If Arnold were to so acknowledge his errors and, for example, recognize that unborn babies ought not to be sliced and diced, then watch the real attack begin. The last week will seem like a walk in the park.

John Jakubczyk is a lawyer and President of Arizona Right to Life. He has been a frequent speaker on life issues throughout the country.

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