By Scott Tibbs, August 21, 2003
A lot of Republicans are excited over the candidacy of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the recall election for Governor of California. The California GOP has not won the Governorship since former Gov. Pete Wilson won re-election in 1994. Gray Davis won by a large margin in 1998 and despite his unpopularity managed to hang on with 48% of the vote last year.
But is Schwarzenegger the answer? No, he is not. First and most importantly, Schwarzenegger is pro-"choice" on abortion. After 30 years of legalized killing and over 42,000,000 babies killed, Republicans should not invest in a candidate that is not committed to working against abortion. Schwarzenegger also leans Left on other social issues such as homosexual rights. The fact that he married into the Kennedy family is also not encouraging. He opposed the impeachment of disgraced Ex-President Bill Clinton. Finally, Schwarzenegger is not even strong on the GOP's signature issue, lower taxes. A high-level official in his campaign is supportive of an increase in California's property taxes.
Fox News analyst Susan Estrich said that Republicans take their "best" candidates and beat them up, preferring to nominate conservatives who have a difficult time winning in the Left-leaning Golden State. By "best", Estrich must mean Republicans who will cave in to Democrats on core issues like abortion. Republicans should not try to be like Democrats in order to win elections. The GOP is not a social club trying to put members of its clique into office. If the GOP is reduces to finding the most "elect able" candidate, what is the point of having a Republican Party at all?
Schwarzenegger is not even the best hope for Republicans to take back the Governorís Mansion should this recall succeed. This election is likely to have turnout similar to a primary election, and the more ideologically solid candidates tend to do better in those elections. This is because the people who turn out in primaries are the "true believers" on both the conservative side and on the Left.
The Republicans should stand for core principles. I left the Democratic Party in 1993 because I realized that, despite Clinton's claim that he was a "moderate", the party did not represent my views. I am a Republican because I believe in the Reagan/libertarian idea that government is the problem, not the solution. I am a Republican because I believe in the sanctity of all innocent human life. "Republicans" like Schwarzenegger will not get my vote. If I were in California, I would (after voting against the recall) cast my vote for conservative Republican Bill Simon.