"I was conservative yesterday, I`m a
conservative today, and I will be a conservative
declared Fred Thompson to the
Conservative Party of New York, billing himself as
the "consistent conservative" in the GOP race—in
contrast to ex-mayor
And, truth be told, Thompson was
reliably conservative in his Senate years. But so, too,
has John McCain been, and
Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter and
Tom Tancredo. Hunter, however, splits with Thompson
and McCain on trade. Paul disagrees with all six of them
on the war. And
Tancredo assails McCain for backing Bush`s amnesty
for 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens.
Will the real conservative please stand
up? Or perhaps we should recall
John 14:2, "In my father`s house there are many
What does it mean to be a
Sixty years ago,
Robert A. Taft was the gold standard. Forty years
ago, it was
Barry Goldwater, who backed Bob Taft against
Ike at the
1952 convention. Twenty years ago, it was Ronald
Reagan, who backed Barry in 1964. Reagan remains the
paragon—for the consistency of his convictions, the
success of his presidency and the character he exhibited
to the end of his life. About Reagan the cliché was
true: The greatness of the office found out the
greatness in the man.
defined conservatism for his time. And the issues
upon which we agreed were
anti-communism, a national defense second to none,
lower tax rates to unleash the engines of economic
progress, fiscal responsibility, a
strict-constructionist Supreme Court,
law and order, the right-to-life from
conception on and a resolute defense of family
values under assault from the cultural revolution that
hit America with hurricane force in the 1960s.
With the collapse of the Soviet Empire
and the breakup of the Soviet Union, anti-communism as
the defining and unifying issue of the right was gone.
The conservative crack-up commenced.
With George H.W. Bush came the advent of
Fred Barnes of The New Republic hailed as
Big Government Conservatism. Some thought the phrase
oxymoronic. But when Bush stood at the rostrum of the
U.N. General Assembly in
October 1991 to declare that America`s cause was the
creation of a
New World Order, the old right reached reflexively
for their revolvers.
In 1992, with foreign policy off the
table, the Bush economic record a perceived failure and
Ross Perot running on protectionism and populism, Bush
refused to play his trump card with the Clintons: the
social and moral issues he and Lee Atwater had use
to beat Michael Dukakis senseless in 1988. And so,
George H.W. Bush lost the presidency.
Now, 15 years later, what does it mean
to be a conservative?
There is no pope who speaks ex cathedra.
There is no bible to consult, like Goldwater`s "The
Conscience of a Conservative" or Reagan`s
"no-pale-pastels" platform of 1980. At San Diego in
1996, Bob Dole told his convention he had not bothered
to read the platform. Many who heard him did not bother
to vote for Bob Dole.
And so, today, the once-great house of
conservatism is a Tower of Babel. We are big government
and small government, traditionalist and libertarian,
tax-cutter and budget hawk, free trader and economic
McCain support amnesty and a "path to
citizenship" for illegals. The country wants the
laws enforced and a fence on the border.
And Rudy? A McGovernite in 1972, he
boasted in the campaign of 1993 that he would
"rekindle the Rockefeller,
Javits, Lefkowitz tradition" of New York`s GOP
and "produce the kind of change New York City saw
John Lindsay." He ran on the Liberal Party line
and supported Mario Cuomo in 1994.
anti-gun, again and again he strutted up Fifth
Avenue in the June Gay Pride parade and turned the Big
Apple into a sanctuary city for illegal aliens. While
Ward Connerly goes state to state to end reverse
discrimination, Rudy is an affirmative-action man.
Gravitating now to
Rudy`s camp are those inveterate opportunists, the
neocons, who see in Giuliani their last hope of
redemption for their
cakewalk war and their best hope for a "Long War"
I will, Rudy promises,
nominate Scalias. Only one more may be needed to
overturn Roe. And I will keep Hillary out of the White
A Giuliani presidency would represent
the return and final triumph of the Republicanism that
conservatives went into politics to purge from power. A
Giuliani presidency would represent repudiation by the
party of the moral, social and cultural content that,
anti-communism, once separated it from liberal
Democrats and defined it as an institution.
Rudy offers the right the ultimate
Faustian bargain: retention of power at the price of
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America,
can be ordered from