One of the problems with our government is that it often rewards bad behavior and punishes success. This never works.
Conservatives are fond of pointing this out, so why, in this primary season, are many conservatives punishing the good behavior of one of the candidates. We have lost our way and, as a result, the GOP presidential nomination likely will go to one of the most liberal candidates.
This must stop!
We are the party that stands for high moral principles. We constantly make the case for those principles in order to attract converts and, when we get one, we kick him in the teeth.
(Please note: I have not endorsed a candidate in the presidential race. On Tuesday, I cast a ballot for the man I believe will make the best president and I trust my readers to do their own research and do the same.)
However, I have become alarmed, that many of the tools voters use are biased. The way many have treated Mitt Romney is shameful.
Romney campaigned as a social liberal in his failed bid for a U.S. Senate seat and when he ran for governor. However, in 2004, he supported a federal marriage amendment and last year, before his run for the White House, he announced that he had changed his mind on the abortion issue and is pro-life.
It may simply have been for politically expediency. We have no way of knowing, but this was HUGE! It should have been a cause for celebration, but no! Liberal groups sought to punish him for it and, sadly, a number of conservative groups have done the same.
A number of voter guides (particularly those from “Christian” groups) chose to highlight Romney’s pro-choice record as governor, with no mention of his recent conversion on social issues. If a social conservative used one of these guides, Mr. Romney was not even considered.
Now ask yourself, if Mr. Romney had governed as a conservative on social issues and then announced that he had changed his mind, would these same groups have based their guilds solely on the past record of this candidate. I think not!
Some columnists are equally guilty. I jumped on the anti Mitt bandwagon by dubbing him the “Stepford” candidate. Columnists are free to endorse and make a case for a candidate. However, some have gone to great extremes to mislead their readers. On January 29, Andrew Longman wrote a column “Mitt or Huck: Who’s more conservative?” Mr. Longman used tables from the Tax Foundation to make a case that Mr. Huckabee was the more conservative, fiscally, which is not the case.
Mr. Longman tried to fool us by comparing the total tax burden faced by citizens in those two states while these men held the office of governor.
In Arkansas, workers, on average, make much less than they do in more affluent Massachusetts. Therefore, the overall tax burden (federal and state) on a citizen in Massachusetts is much higher. The relevant figures are the state and local tax burden, which Mr. Longman was willing to overlook. Yes, the overall tax burden on Arkansans went up by only four tenths of one percent in the ten years Mr. Huckabee was governor of Arkansas because his tax increases had a depressing effect on business and earnings, as tax increases always do.
When Mr. Huckabee took office, Arkansans faced the 30th highest state and local tax burden (1 being highest) of any state. When Mr. Huckabee left office, they faced the 13th highest tax burden. That’s a huge jump!
Huckabee now is campaigning as a fiscal conservative. Again, we have no way of knowing if his conversion on this issue is real or simply a case of political expediency. We should take him at his word.
Perhaps most disturbing is the way Mr. Romeny has been skewered for his successful business career and for financing his own campaign.
Let’s face it, the average voter sees no need to help the campaign of a multi-millionaire. Successful people, who understand how someone like Romney could help straighten out a country that is going broke, were prevented from writing hefty checks due to our misguided campaign laws. Romney was virtually unknown outside of the state of Massachusetts so he put his own money on the line to make his case. That is commendable!
We are the party that celebrates free enterprise! It made us the land of opportunity.
The important lesson for conservatives for this and all other elections is that we must hold every candidate to the same standard. More importantly, we cannot expect more political converts, when we fail to recognize those conversions.