Adam Graham
June 26, 2008
National Review does not speak for me
By Adam Graham

National Review is set this Friday to release the names of four people it views as unacceptable Vice-Presidential Candidates: Tom Ridge, Charlie Crist, Joe Lieberman, and Mike Huckabee, and frankly I could care less.

In December, I listened to and joined in the DC echo-chamber that slammed Mike Huckabee mercilessly. I fed on the constant negative drumbeat of National Review and their relentless assaults on Arkansas' former Governor. I bought into it, I regurgitated it.

I never bothered to look into the facts, particularly in regards to the charges against Mike Huckabee's fiscal record. If I had, I would have found out that he had two court rulings come out against his state that forced increases in Medicaid and Education, and that on top of that he faced a legislature that was at least 70% Democrat every year he was in office and could override his veto by a simple majority. I wonder which Huckabee critic could have done more for conservative values than Huckabee under those circumstances.

If this past election cycle taught us nothing, it taught us that bias exists in the conservative media. The one-sided attacks on Mike Huckabee last December were not only unfair, they allowed the rise of John McCain to the Republican nomination, as the National Review-anointed leader of the Conservative movement surrendered on February 7th after having won only one competitive primary.

Conservative defeat is the legacy of National Review in the 2008 campaign. Why bother listening to them? Last week, I did a podcast in which I began to talk about some of the activities of John McCain, the nominee that obsessive huckacritics pushed over the top by becoming the echo chamber of groups like National Review and the Club for Growth and I wept for what I helped to bring about.

I feel as Heritage Foundation Founder Paul Weyrich did when he rose to speak to the National Policy Council to confess, "Friends, before all of you and before Almighty God, I want to say I was wrong."

Over the years, conservative magazines have ceased to speak to common people and explain how and why conservative ideas can make our country better. Instead, the magazines are full of intellectual navel-gazing that no one outside of the conservative movement cares one whit about.

They missed, as we all did, the grassroots movement that was Huck's Army: thousands of grassroots activists producing miracle wins on little money. They missed the optimism and faith in America that Mike Huckabee exuded? Why? He graduated from school they never heard of, he was an Evangelical, came from the rural South, and didn't embrace Darwinism as unalienable truth.

There is much of the establishment conservative movement that represents conservative beltway elitism. There time is ending.

There was a time when the New York Times was a Christian-owned newspaper that railed against the evils of abortion and even called it medical malpractice. There was a time when the motto of Harvard was, "For Christ and the church."

These institutions have become shadows of their former selves, enemies of the causes for which they once existed, but truth lives on. It does not live in the hearts of the Wall Street crowd, beltway political manipulators, or self-righteous pundits, it lives in the hearts of people we never hear from at the national level.

They're people who work hard, earning $12 an hour if that. They're the people Barack Obama thinks cling to religion and guns out of bitterness. They're the people that National Review thinks only refused to back Mitt Romney because of anti-Mormon bigotry. They're people the left scoffs at for voting against their own economic interests.

But these people really believe in America, and that it's a place where they can still make a better life for themselves and their children. They believe in a God who still governs in the affairs of men. These are the people who National Review disdains.

So, National Review can feel free to lump Mike Huckabee in with liberal Republicans like Tom Ridge and Charlie Crist, and even a Scoop Jackson Democrat like Joe Lieberman. But it is they who are missing the next great wave of conservatives.

Beyond this dark moment in the history of American Conservatism, I see glimmers of hope in those who are heeding the challenge of Alex and Brett Harris to "do hard things." I see it in people across this country who will bare the battle in the heat of the day for the good of their country. There is hope for our country. It just won't be found in places you'd expect like the offices of National Review.

© Adam Graham

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Adam Graham

Adam Graham was Montana State Coordinator for the Alan Keyes campaign in 2000, and in 2004 was a candidate for the Republican nomination for the Idaho State House... (more)

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