Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Limbaugh Rule

By: Les Carpenter III
Rational Nation USA

The thing about extremes is they are extreme. Anytime you see a placard, or hear a voice that encourages you to make a voting decision based solely on the candidate being the most conservative be wary. The same applies to the opposite end of the political theater as well.

Being the most conservative does not automatically qualify a person to be the holder of elective office in and of itself. Just to make it clear, I am an independent conservative with Libertarian leanings. Naturally my vote always goes to a conservative or a Libertarian candidate, Although not always to the most conservative.

For a leader (and within the Republican party in crowd Rush is a leader)to pitch to candidates that are the most conservative based solely on the degree of their conservatism is offensive. The important criteria for voting for a particular candidate goes far beyond just a candidates degree of conservatism.

A person with demonstrated integrity, leadership, intelligence, the ability to build consensus, and perhaps the most important of all wisdom, is the candidate to consider giving your vote to. Not the candidate who just happens to be the most conservative. If the most conservative candidate posses all of the aforementioned qualities in your judgment they may be just the person to vote for.

However, if given the choice between the most conservative candidate, a person who lacks integrity, leadership ability, intelligence and or wisdom one should vote for a more moderate conservative who displays such qualities. To vote for a candidate based solely on the degree of their conservatism just seems foolish to me. And methinks The Founding Fathers and Ayn Rand would agree.

A further note, it may be well for conservatives to revisit the concept and principles of conservatism and judge for oneself if Rush meets the criteria to be considered a true conservative. A 1987 article by Russell Kirk, Ten Conservative Principals. Rush on the importance of voting the most conservative Republican in the primary.. period.

Cross posted to Left Coast Rebel

Via: Memeorandum


  1. The trouble with the Limbaugh rule, for conservatives anyway, is that it only serves to make Red areas Redder. It does little or nothing to make Blue or Purple areas Redder.


  2. If there's a weakness with your thinking, it would be this: By NOT voting for the most conservative candidate in the primary, you may very well end up with a candidate that looks so much like the liberal opposition that conservatives see no reason to vote at all, thus the liberal opposition wins. (Think McCain.)

  3. JMJ - I disagree in the election cycle at this time. The opposition to the Obamanation is so great at this point that the dynamic of which you speak is not in play.

    Les - Excellent piece, I commented at LCR, the following:

    Les - I agree with the fundamentals of your argument here and you said it well. That's what I appreciate about your voice - you have a great sense to speak above the fray and clear the fog.

    I would elaborate even further in that we should always stand by the candidate that stands for limited government, Constitutional restraint and integrity, honesty, leadership and smarts...

  4. The definition of conservative is so elastic, its a hard rule to follow and probably suicide. Russell Kirk's description of conservativism, which you link, is a neoconservative one. "its not an ideology, its a state of mind" which translates to pragmatism with a desire for power. "absolute moral order" is platonism, that well known advocate of dictatorship. "justice is an artificial product of social experience" wtf? i won't go on. Check out C. Bradley Thompson's book Neoconservatism: An Obituary for a view of the neoconservatives attack on freedom.

    Vote for whoever's a greater defender of individual rights, property rights, freedom of speech, etc. Pro-capitalists. Laissez-faire capitalists. Or whomever is more likely to protect freedom.

  5. Gorges - I am sure I open myself up for critism, but if the choice is between a moderate candidate with integrity, intelligence, wisdom, and the ability to lead I would vote for that candidate over a ultra cosevative candidate that I viewed as unprincipled,lacking in integrity, short on intelligence and wisdom and could not lead effectively.

    Of course one can never be sure. But anytime I see a placcard such as Rush is holding I get nervous.

    Tim - Thanks. I left brief coment at LCR.


    ... "Vote for whoever's a greater defender of individual rights, property rights, freedom of speech, etc. Pro-capitalists. Laissez-faire capitalists. Or whomever is more likely to protect freedom"

    Agree. However it is unlikely in todays politcal/social/government environment you will find even one candidate that supports Laissez-faire capitalism. The vast majority seem to support the mixed economic system with it's subsidies and corporate welware. Crony capitalism is indeed live and well.

  6. Agreed, but as a standard its clearer and easier to judge than 'conservatism'. That was my main point: not that you should only support laissez-faire capitalists, but that you should support the candidates that more consistently espouse a pro-capitalist agenda.

    Right now that's off course tea party style candidates. And there are some damn good ones. Peter Schiff was one before he lost to a less consistent, conventional mixed economy, establishment republican (McMahon).


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