What Exactly Makes Someone A True Conservative?
On Friday's show, I mentioned that if I were eligible to vote in Tuesday's Primary election in the 98th Assembly District, I'd vote for Village of Pewaukee Police Chief Ed Baumann. As I said, I have nothing against any of the candidates. It's just that I've known Chief Baumann for decades and I have a great respect for his accomplishments. I think he's exactly the type of person who should be involved in politics.
Following my comments, I received an e-mail from a supporter of one of the other candidates. Here's a portion of what that individual wrote:
" ... I was listening today and you said that if you lived in the 98th District that you would vote for Ed Baumann because he is a friend of yours. I live in the 98th District and will be casting my vote for [a different candidate], who is the TRUE Conservative and the only true conservative that is running in this race.
[A relative] went to several events and told me that Ed Baumann supports total amnesty of all illegal immigrants and he is really not up to date on all the current issues. That is not something that we support. So I guess I'm a little surprised that you put in a good plug for your friend Ed on the air this morning. ..."
As a starting point, I don't know that this guy's "relative" is accurately stating Chief Baumann's position on illegal immigration. However, I don't know anybody who has ever worked in law enforcement who believes that trying to round up and deport 11 million people ( many who who have been in this country for years ) is practical. Regardless, I don't think the Wisconsin Assembly is going to be dealing with too many issues regarding immigration policy of the United States.
Still, I thought the reference to being "the True Conservative" was interesting. I mean, just what makes someone "the only true conservative" and who gets to decide?
If you are Pro-Life but support abortion in cases of rape and incest, are you not a "true conservative"? If you believe that it's only sensible to create some path to legal residency for people who have been in the country for years, can you not be a true conservative? If you are in favor of limited government spending but don't want to see the Defense budget cut, are you not a true conservative?
A while ago, I had some kooks claiming that I was not a "true conservative" because - after pushing for concealed carry for years - I believed people should (horrors) have to get permits!
You get the idea.
Frankly, I'm more than a little frustrated by the idea that there can only be one "true conservative" in a race and that the candidate who stakes out that position is the only one worthy of the Republican vote. It's this attitude that has cost the GOP as many as four seats in the U.S. Senate over the last couple of years!
Remember Todd ( "Legitimate rape rarely causes pregnancy") Akin of Missouri? How about Richard ( pregnancies caused by rape are gifts of God ) Mourdock of Indiana? Don't forget about Christine ("I'm not a witch") O'Donnell of Delaware!
Don't even get me started about Sharon Angle, probably the only Republican in Nevada who couldn't beat Harry Reid!
I'm sure that some folks thought all four of these candidates were the only "true conservatives" in their respective races. They were something else as well - Losers!
As far as I can tell, all five GOP candidates running in the 98th Assembly District are solid conservatives. I also know that guys like Ed Baumann have been around Republican politics for decades and deserve better than to be derided by those who are pushing their own peculiar sense of ideological purity.
For what it's worth, former State Senator (and Lt. Governor) Margaret Farrow agrees with me about Baumann. I guess Margaret isn't a "true conservative" either.
I don't get to vote in the Assembly Primary on Tuesday. I am however reasonably confident that whoever wins the election will serve the District well.
Even if the winner isn't "the only TRUE conservative" in the race!