As often happens, my current quandary was put best by my old friend, Prof. Ralph Raico. He was an ardent Buchananite, but as the horrible nomination of "Slick Willie" loomed, he began to admonish me, in his hilarious mocking half-serious tone: "Remember Murray, we must do nothing to harm the President." When the Perot phenomenon hit, Raico, for some unaccountable reason, failed to share my enthusiasm for the little punk from East Texas. After the Great Betrayal, I was ranting and raving over the phone to Raico, who took it all in, and then concluded: "I'm glad to see you're working your way back to the President."
Yes, gulp, I'm down to the grim, realistic choice: Which of two sets of bozos is going to rule us in 1993-1997?
No one has been more critical of George Bush than I, but yes, dammit, I am working my way back to the President. What? "Four More Years?" Yes, there is only one rational answer for the conservative, the libertarian, or indeed any sensible American.
In Bush's favor:
--First and foremost, Bush ain't Clinton.
--Bush has kept his cool and not gotten American troops or even airmen in a shooting war in the former Yugoslavia. The poor Bosnian Muslims claim that all the United States need do is bomb Serbian gun emplacements around Sarajevo. Rubbish. Objective military experts say that it would take a 500,000-man expeditionary force to secure Bosnia and Sarajevo, and God knows how many more to roll back the Serbs. America, keep out of Bosnia!
--Bush has the most even-handed Middle East policy since Jack Kennedy. The most credit, of course, goes to Secretary of State James A. Baker III, who formulated this policy and maintained it under vicious pressure. But Bush deserves credit for picking Baker and backing him up. With only a little stretching, Bush/Baker can even take credit for the Israeli election that got rid of Yitzhak Shamir.
--Last but certainly not least: The President is about to reconcile with Pat Buchanan. At last, Bush has shown some smarts, and perhaps even a spark of a sense of justice. After a vicious and despicable smear campaign by Rich Bond, William Bennett, Dan Quayle et al., the Bush people--while of course not apologizing--are at least implicitly repudiating their own smears by rolling out the welcome mat for Buchanan. Which brings us to the ghastly specter of Clintonian Democracy.
--Clinton as Southern moderate is the Big Lie of the 1992 campaign. He is a McGovernite. When he says "investment," he means government spending.
--The Clinton-managed Democratic convention was the most leftist ever: multiculturalism reigned triumphant, with "Lesbian Rights" banners almost as prevalent as "Clinton for President." Clinton means the triumph of ultrafeminism, trillions more of our dough for inner cities and the aggrandizement of phony "rights" over the genuine rights of private property.
--Al Gore was one of the biggest spenders in the wild-spending recent Congress. Gore, furthermore, is an extreme-left environmentalist, and he shores up Clinton's left flank on this issue.
--Never forget the menace of Hillary Clinton. Sure, they cleaned up her act until November; they shut her up, bobbed and blonded her hair and took that damned headband off, and made her look like a sophisticated matron instead of an aging grad student. But if Clinton wins in November, Hillary will be back: in control, nasty, tough and very leftist.
Mom and Dad: Hillary Is Out to Grab Your Kids! Hillary is the prophet of the children's "rights" movement, a movement that encourages 11-year-olds to sue their parents for "malpractice," and you know who will really be doing the suing: leftist ACLU-type lawyers in the mold of Hillary.
There is a lot of confused discussion about family values and what they mean. Well, there's one clear test: Family values means that kids get governed by their parents. Anti-family values means that other folk--bureaucrats, lawyers, social workers and "therapists," the rapacious, power-hungry, leftist New Class--get to run everyone's kids in the name of children's "rights" and "liberation."
A vote for Bill Clinton is a vote to destroy the last vestige of parental control and responsibility in America. A victory for Bush will--at least partly--hold back the hordes for another four years. Of course, that is not exactly soul-satisfying. What would be soul-satisfying would be taking the offensive at long last, launching a counter-revolution in government, in the economy, in the culture, everywhere against malignant left-liberalism. When oh when do we get to start?