Saturday, August 05, 2006

Conventional Wisdom

In reading about the latest political commentary on Len Munsil’s campaign, there is an interesting evolution developing as the major media begins to recognize that Munsil’s campaign may actually have some legs as well as broad grass-roots support throughout the state.

For the last six months the press and the media have generally ignored Len Munsil and the Republican primary. Running occasional polls by the liberal Earl DeBerge, the Arizona Republic, that fast shrinking bastion of yesterday’s news, would solemnly proclaim that Janet had a 20+ point lead over all Republicans while conveniently neglecting to mention their names until the second page of the article. The conventional wisdom was that Goldwater had name ID and no campaign and Munsil was some right wing ideologue.

There was some truth to the initial perception that Munsil had no name ID and had his work cut out for him. That is still true. Len is not known as well as Janet and a lot of people have yet to hear about him. Yet Len knows that and so he is traveling the state to become known. And here is a little secret for anyone willing to listen. When people hear Len Munsil, they like what they hear.

The latest commentary revolves around the fact that Len is actually talking about a variety of issues. He has ideas on how to improve education. He can speak intelligently about addressing the border problems. He has opinions and perspectives on transportation, crime and water. It is funny that pundits are surprised that this journalist/lawyer/public policy advocate can actually propose ideas on matters outside of the social conservative milieu. The thing is that people already know where Len Munsil stands on the values questions of the day. They know he supports respect for the sanctity of marriage and the family, for the protection of all human beings regardless of age or dependency, for greater responsibility when dealing with issues such as gaming. Munsil does not have to discuss his position on these issues because they have been out in the public square for the last 20 years. His views are mainstream middle America. He reflects a Ronald Reagan approach to government. He believes in the value and importance in the individual’s role in creating financially and socially responsible government. So an articulation of his philosophy is expected by the voters. For how else can they get to know him.

Columnists are wrong therefore to suggest that he is “toning down” his conservative views and “moving toward the middle.” Munsil is simply getting a message about his views of government out to the electorate. What would be refreshing would be to have articles written about where he stands on particular issues so that the voters can make an informed choice come September and November. Unfortunately that works against the Janet campaign philosophy. Her game plan is to have enough photo opportunities and ignore the notion that there is even a campaign. It is however very funny to read that she is a “moderate” and not a liberal. On the social issues she vetoed five pieces of very modest pro-family pro-life legislation. She is against securing the borders. She has used the veto pen over 140 times since being elected. She opposed legislation to protect homeowners and their right to protect their property against government seizure. But then no one wants to talk about Janet’s history as one of the attorneys who represented Anita Hill in her calumnious attacks on Justice Clarence Thomas. No one wants to talk about her complicity in the late term abortion of the 14 year-old ward of the court, whisked off to Kansas by Planned Parenthood five years ago while Janet was attorney general.

Len Munsil is getting out and talking to the people of Arizona. It is natural that he would talk about a broad range of issues. In fact because this is his first time running for office, it is not enough to presume what he thinks about health care, transportation, groundwater, forestry, development, labor, and the like. Simply because he is protective of the family and respects human life, does not allow the press or the public to presume his position on the role of the courts, or the limits and uses of state trust lands. However the goods news is that because he respects the family and is protective of human life, voters will know that his approach to the important issues of the day will be based on the fundamental values upon which this country was founded. And that is good news for the people of Arizona.


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