Thomas Sowell

In hip and non-judgmental California, Democrats are suddenly expressing shock over Arnold Schwarzenegger's past sex life, his father's politics, and the example that his movies may have set for the young. Senator Dianne Feinstein expresses alarm over the fact that Arnold used ugly-looking military weapons in movies about military combat. Democrats are shocked, shocked.

Voters ought to be disgusted, disgusted. With the state's financial disasters and Californians fleeing to other states by the hundreds of thousands, you might think there might be something more serious to discuss than Schwarzenegger's private life, his movies or his father's politics.

The old "lack of experience" game that politicians like to play against any newcomer doesn't have quite as much weight any more, when you see what a monumental mess the experienced, lifelong politicians like Governor Gray Davis have made. There could even be a lesson here for people in other states. When politicians talk about being "experienced," the question should be asked: Experienced in doing what?

In deceiving the public? Evading responsibility? Claiming credit for what happens that is good and blaming others for whatever happens that is bad? Experience in spin or smoke and mirrors?

Let's not forget that the people who succeeded in creating the United States of America -- against all odds -- were not career politicians. Yet they succeeded not only in freeing the American colonies from the control of the British Empire, they created a constitution that has enabled this to remain a free country for more than two centuries.

There is no need to try to compare Arnold Schwarzenegger with the founding fathers. The California voters' choice will be between him and a couple of hack politicians like Governor Gray Davis and Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante.

Polls have been bouncing around so much that it is hard to see how this election will turn out. And federal courts have been bouncing around so much that it is hard to know when the election will take place. The Voting Rights Act, designed to keep blacks from being denied the vote in the South decades ago, has now become a legal nightmare in California, where the approval of the U.S. Department of Justice is needed for this special election.

But what about Arnold Schwarzenegger? What kind of governor would he be, if and when the feds allow a vote to take place?


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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