This weekend, the man whom the liberal Nation magazine and the not-liberal Washington Times have agreed is one of the pioneers of the modern day conservative movement told Libertarians that the major parties have “both failed America” — and took particular aim at John McCain and the GOP.
In a keynote address to hundreds of Libertarians gathered for their national convention in Denver, Viguerie, godfather of the use of computerized direct mail, spoke of a troubled America, and leaders who have “failed us, lied to us, and betrayed us.”
And yes, he asserted that, “too many conservative leaders drank the Republican Kool-aid.”
Here’s an excerpt of Viguerie’s Friday speech, which can be read in full at conservativehq.com, of which he is currently the chairman.
In the big picture, the corruption of Jack Abramoff, Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney, and others is not a serious problem. They’ve been caught and punished and their illegal activities will not affect your children or grandchildren one iota.
What will seriously threaten the quality of life for our children and grandchildren is the Republican’s legal theft, or as Frederic Bastiat might say, the legal plunder by President Bush and Congressional Republicans.
They tried to bribe the voters with trillions of dollars of your children’s inheritance.
They tried to bribe the people of faith with the Faith Based Initiative.
The Republicans bribed the farmers with the largest farm subsidies in American History (and in the spring of 2008 they are doing it again).
They joined with Ted Kennedy on "No Child Left Behind" — a huge bribe, $23 billion for just the last year, a program that has also had the effect of greatly expanding federal control of local schools …
… All of this was done for the purpose — the immoral and corrupt purpose — of holding onto power.
And it has turned to ashes in their mouths.
Today we have Republican leaders in the White House and the Congress who have moved left and abandoned the base of their party — the conservative voters those who walk hand-in-hand with libertarians in opposition to Big Government … in opposition to high taxes, to bureaucracy, and to the arrogant elite — those who believe they know best how we should live our lives.
Republican leaders have treated conservatives with utter disrespect … and, in turn, conservatives have lost all respect for Republican leaders.
Millions of grassroots conservative activists and donors have left the Republican Party and taken with them their volunteer time, their checkbooks, and their votes.
John McCain has had the Republican Presidential nomination sewn up for 3 1/2 months and has done nothing to convince conservatives to come off the sidelines and enthusiastically support him.
Senator McCain is trying to get the conservative support on the cheap — that is, without having to give ironclad assurance that he will fill the government with people who believe in individual liberty, individual responsibility, and in freedom …
… The fact is, after more than 20 years surrounding himself with supporters of Big Government, he won’t change now.
The only thing Senator McCain and his consultants can say to conservatives and libertarians is:
The Democrat boogieman is going to get you if you don’t vote Republican
I’m the lesser of two evils
I may not be what you want, but the other fellow is worse.
Fear of the other guy is not a governing philosophy, Senator McCain. The lesser of two evils … is evil, Senator McCain.
Viguerie plans to follow up his Friday night speech with an appearance this morning, Sunday, May 25 on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal at 9:30 a.m. Mountain Standard time.