I believe in vigorous and active political campaigns, and the clash of political principles. I believe that when people hear the truth, they will choose the truth. The challenge is that too often political truth gets trapped in campaign rhetoric and political pandering. The challenge for conservative candidates is piercing the rhetorical cacophony, amplified by the leftist mainstream media, and speak truthfully about why conservative principles promote those government policies that will improve the every day lives of the citizens of this state and the country. Smaller government, stronger families, less taxes, freedom and free enterprise and the key to the peace and stability of each community, and the prosperity of families and individuals. On that, all conservatives should agree.
That doesn’t mean that, at any point, conservative candidates need to talk about “every issue” involved in the freedom agenda. Some specific agenda items need more explanation, some need more education, and some are so counterintuitive that promoting them will simply take too long, and generate too much opposition, to promote in the often hectic election process.
But that also does not mean that conservative candidates need to jump on the leftist bandwagon and promote a leftist agenda, for short term political gain. Unfortunately, some of the Republican candidates for Governor in the recall have taken to actively promoting government intervention in the free market, the “gateway drug” for bigger government and higher taxes, to attempt to tear down Larry Elder’s pursuit of the Governor’s office. He is the front runner to be sure, and he has a long history of talking about freedom, the freedom agenda, government policies that interfere with individual freedom and free markets. Finding comments from his radio program that are “unpopular” is easy. Defending those positions in a short campaign season, no matter how right they may be from a free market perspective, is hard. The left, which has descended into its predictable political slime pit, has called Elder, who is African American, the “face of white supremacy.” Our Arrogant Lazy Authoritarian in Charge (ALAIC) Gavin Newsom has attempted to paint Elder to the right of Donald Trump and a racist.
No matter how stupid that sounds, we have come to expect that foolishness from the left. What I would have never expected from conservatives is an active attack on a fellow conservative for advancing conservative principles.
At recent events, several Republican candidates attacked Elder because he opposed a minimum wage. While there are a number of arguments made in favor of a minimum wage, none of them are justifiable as a defense of the free market, which is be the yardstick against which government regulation should be measured. The fact is that the minimum wage, which only applies to jobs on the bottom rung of the employment market, deprives many unskilled laborers of a job, because no employer will take a chance on an employee that costs more in wages than they earn for the employer in profits. Spending more on labor than one earns in profit is the slippery slope to bankruptcy. While I would never call on any Republican to openly repudiate the minimum wage, a Republican attacking another Republican for opposing the minimum wage is simply wrong. The general defense of minimum wage laws is that they are necessary to guarantee families a “livable wage.” What guarantees individuals and families a path to success in a free society is a free market, not government bureaucrats, and minimum wage laws guarantee we will have more government bureaucrats, and necessarily increase the cost of employing low skilled workers, diminishing their opportunity for a job.
I believe we are in a position in California to advance a conservative political agenda. The collapse of our communities, the disintegration of public order, overreaching government regulation, and the out of control environmental agenda all at the hands of leftist politicians are turning our state into a virtual hellhole. People are tired of it, and gives conservatives a unique opportunity to compare and contrast their failures with our successes. This explains why the recall actually has a chance of working, and conservatives have a chance to redefine the government debate in California.
The recall will be in vain, however, if a candidate wins because that candidate has rejected the freedom agenda. It is a slippery slope. One need not openly advocate specific policies that may be unpopular at the moment, but attacking one who does is playing into the leftist agenda. We should fight on their turf, not ours, if we wish to win the war.