2016 Election

Maybe he’s not a conservative

As far as I can tell, the number one reason a few conservatives give for hating Eric Greitens is that he might not be a conservative. He’s probably not. But that shouldn’t make any difference.

Figuring out whether Greitens is a conservative or not requires a lot of thinking, a lot of writing, and a lot of clear analysis from readers. I won’t waste time on the first two because I won’t get the last no matter what. The handful of conservatives who hate Greitens have made a big public investment in their hatred. That investment is too big an investment to abandon it now. At least, I think it is. I’d be impressed if they changed their minds. But I’m afraid that  no amount of reason or logic or even persuasive psychological witchery will separate the Greitens-bashers from their conspiracy theories and angst.

Instead, I’ll just say two things about Greitens’s conservatism.

First, according to the dictionary definition, Greitens is probably not a conservative. Via Google Dictionary:

conservative: noun: a person who is averse to change and holds to traditional values and attitudes, typically in relation to politics.

Greitens fails the test here. Greitens is not averse to change in Missouri politics. In fact, that’s the whole reason he’s running. He wants to change, not only politics, but the people involved in politics. He’s running to clean house in Jefferson City. He wants to scrub the capital of the human detritus that commissions slander videos like the one that attacked him last Thursday. Greitens wants to return state government to something that helps Missouri grow. He’s tired of his home state lagging behind the nation in almost every area of growth. Greitens holds a claim on traditional values, but that doesn’t rescue him according to this definition. There’s an “and” between “averse to change” and “holds traditional values.” To be a conservative, one must have both. And Greitens is not averse to change. He’s all for beneficial changes for Missouri.

Second, it doesn’t matter whether Greitens is a conservative. It doesn’t. A few years ago, I listened to about 30 Republican candidates stand up and say, “I am a Constitutional Conservative.” They sounded like robots programmed to begin every sentence with those words. I wrote about it at the time. Many of those “Constitutional Conservatives” went to Jefferson City to do whatever their masters at the chamber of commerce tell them to do. These are good people who hold traditional values. And they’re true conservatives because they thwart change. They keep the revolving door between government and special interests spinning like a gyroscope. They became the grease that lubricates the business-as-usual machine in Jefferson City.

Eric Greitens won’t go to Jefferson City and grease the skids for the corrupt insiders. He will actually cause change. In order, his goals as governor are:

  • End corruption
  • Make government excellent
  • Fight for the middle class
  • Cut spending
  • Protect life
  • Support police and firefighters
  • Protect faith
  • Preserve the 2nd Amendment
  • Improve education
  • Reform welfare
  • Support veterans
  • Simplify the tax code
  • Restore the American dream

Again, many of these reforms fly in the face of change aversion. But I think we need all the changes Greitens wants to make. I also think we need a governor who is an actual leader, not someone who’s been waiting his turn to occupy the seat. Greitens never waits his turn when positive action can get things done. He lives Patton’s general order: “when in doubt, attack.” His Navy records show that Greitens accomplishes his missions and moves onto the next. There is no waiting.

So I don’t care if Greitens fits Google’s definition of a conservative. Or yours. I care about making Missouri a place I can recommend to my kids and their kids. Right now, I can’t. There’s just not enough opportunity in Missouri. And it’s not the kids’ jobs to fix that–it’s ours.

Eric Greitens earned my support because Missouri needs change, not the status quo. If that’s not conservative, too damn bad.

Author: William Hennessy

Co-founder of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition and Nationwide Chicago Tea Party Persuasive design expertLatest book: Turning On Trump: An Evolution (2016)Author of The Conservative Manifest (1993), Zen Conservatism (2009), Weaving the Roots (2011), and Fight to Evolve (2016)I believe every person deserves the dignity of meaningful work as the only path to human flourishing.

One Commnet on “Maybe he’s not a conservative

  1. Bill you write that you are supporting Eric Greitens for Governor, but what I do not understand is why you want to give Greitens a pass on his liberal leanings. Greitens was a registered Democrat until he decided to run for Governor. Then he became a Republican. Why? Greitens refused to answer Adam Sharp when he questioned him about when he became a Republican. (There is a video of the confrontation.) And yes most of this is copied and pasted from previous posts because those are questions that need to be addressed and why rewrite what was written when what I brought up yesterday is the same as today and will be tomorrow.

    The other problems I have with Eric Greitens are as follows: Why did Greitens not run as a Conservative Democrat against the leftist lib Chris Koster when he was a registered Democrat until he decided to run for governor? Greitens charitable group is affiliated with the Clinton Global Initiative. Why would he want to be involved in that criminal enterprise? He sits on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation a George Soros funded group. Soros is the man behind Hussein Obama. Soros took advantage of the 2009 Stimulus getting richer off the backs of the taxpayers. Soros is an evil man. So why does Greitens want to be affiliated with him? Greitens also believes in the hoax of climate change and there is video of that. Greitens supports a World Government. Then there are other questions that should be answered which are: what is his position on immigration; on the refugee/migrant situation; and what is his position on Common Core? Greitens claims to be Conservative. I say prove it. His history shows he is not Conservative. So prior to him changing his affiliation from Democrat to Republican to run for governor, what did he do that was “Conservative?” It seems you are enthralled to support Greitens even though his history shows he is not the Conservative you want or think him to be. I am asking for people to check him out further and question him on his history and affiliations.

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