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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 7:59 pm 
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We all know that Huck was never embraced and was even pilloried by the talk radio crowd. Many here at HA have speculated as to why. I’ll posit the following explanation: They neither understood him nor his supporters due to their own isolation and insulation from the main current of American conservatism today. What they could not, or would not, understand, they feared and attacked.

First off I want to be clear that as an historian I believe completely that an individual can understand and be fair with ideas and mindsets they themselves do not possess. Black historians can understand Irish history. American historians can understand and fairly treat German history, including Nazism. History requires this as ultimately even if you are a white, Anglo-Saxon, protestant, studying 18th century New England you are still having to understand experiences which you yourself did not go through.

But, it is also a central tenet of history to recognize that the farther removed the observer is from the event or the experience and mindset of the individuals to be chronicled the more challenging the task. It is easier for me as a white Southerner to “get” the Old and New South. It is easier for Juan Williams to “get” the mindset of African-Americans during the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s. Both of us can develop a fair understanding of these topics, but it will require more focus and discipline. (There is some advantage actually in not being “too close” to what you study).

All of this is to preface an observation considering “Talk Radio.” Talk Radio has now for twenty years been considered the “voice” of American conservatism. Its influence and agenda setting is well understood and it has developed its own hierarchy of those who speak for and even profess to define conservatism.
Yet interestingly enough this self-anointed clergy is far from demographically representative of those for whom they allegedly give voice. According to political demographic studies there is no more reliably Republican and consistently “conservative” voter group in America than the regular church attending evangelical Christian. In 2008 44% of all GOP primary voters were self described evangelicals making them by far the largest single sub-group. Simple put – they are the base. Understanding this community and “getting” where they come from in their thinking and aspirations is pretty central to any accurate analysis of American conservatism today.

So how “close” do the leading talkers start when they begin their journey of understanding of the modern conservative mind? Are they drawn from the center of the main current of American conservatism – the church going evangelicals?

Well here are the religious affiliations of the most listened to and prominent (in order of listeners) conservative talkers today:

Rush Limbaugh – raised Methodist (non-practicing)
Sean Hannity – Catholic
Michael Savage – Jewish heritage (non-practicing)
Glenn Beck – Mormon
Mark Levin - Jewish
Dave Ramsey – evangelical Christian
Dr. Laura Schlessinger – non-religious/ late adult conversion to
Judaism/renunciation of Judaism/non-religious
Neil Boortz – unknown (“High Wall” of separation Libertarian)
Laura Ingraham – Catholic
Michael Medved - Jewish

One in ten is from the “dominant” demographic of conservative voters and Ramsey's format is not particularly political. (NOTE: regular attending Catholics do represent the second largest demo and are far better and more proportionally represented)

Now opinions will vary as to how well any or all of these folks “get” the movement they profess to speak for and define. But clearly as a group they will need to stretch and get beyond their own bias and identity (as would the evangelicals if they claim to speak for all conservatives). It is their failure to escape their own parochialism that best explains to me why talk radio was so hostile to Huck and seems for me personally increasingly an exotic ally at best and invading alien body-snatcher at worst.

In closing I’d like to restate: there is nothing that in any way requires someone to be evangelical, or carry the worldview and assumptions of most evangelicals, in order to be conservative. Certainly here at HA we have enjoyed a wonderful fellowship of likeminded conservatism from individuals of varied and diverse religious, and non-religious, backgrounds.

But I, for one, am tired of being told by the talk radio crowd that the one kind of conservative who need not apply for the position of leader of the conservative movement is the one who holds the normative assumptions, worldview, and positions of the largest segment of conservative voters.

This is also why, if this crowd continues to define the agenda of conservatism and the candidates, they will be less representative of the movement as a whole and therefore more vulnerable to electoral defeat.

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Oliver Wendell Holmes


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:13 pm 
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Hugh Hewitt is mormon?

Anyway, something else to note is that only one of those folks - Ramsey - is from the south (I think).

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THE TIMES are nightfall, look, their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
And I not help. Nor word now of success:
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…
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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:20 pm 
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Miserere wrote:
Hugh Hewitt is mormon?

Anyway, something else to note is that only one of those folks - Ramsey - is from the south (I think).


My bad.

He was the ONE I didn't do a search on and his Romney Love had me thrown. He's also the least listened to so I've just dropped him from the discussion.

Thanks!

P.S. you're also very correct about the South. (though Rush might claim it)

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"As for us, our days of combat are over. Our swords are rust. Our guns will thunder no more. The vultures that once wheeled over our heads must be buried with their prey. Whatever of glory must be won in the council or the closet, never again in the field. I do not repine. We have shared the incommunicable experience of war; we have felt, we still feel, the passion of life to its top."

Oliver Wendell Holmes


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:31 pm 
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Miserere wrote:
Hugh Hewitt is mormon?

Anyway, something else to note is that only one of those folks - Ramsey - is from the south (I think).


One more note on Hugh Hewitt whose faith tradition seems to be something of a buffet.

Quote:
Mr. Hewitt is an ordained "Elder" in the radically liberal, pro-gay ordination Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA). While he appears right-of-center politically, he's far left-of-center religiously and morally, and those views account for some rather strange perspectives. Hugh Hewitt has leveraged support from evangelicals to build his on-air popularity, similar to Carl Rove's strategy to leverage support from the Religious Right to win elections--short term success at the expense of long term principle. His pragmatism can drive him into throwing principle overboard and coming up on the wrong side in political races.

An example, his 2004 support for beer-magnate and elitist-billionaire Peter Coors in Colorado over the more conservative Bob Schaeffer. Most Coloradoans are common folk. Consequently, the yacht-sailing Republican Coors was trounced by populist Ken Salazar, a Democrat. After hours-and-hours of radio plugs for Coors and the loss, Hewitt sheepishly disavowed all personal responsibility for the outcome.

Mr. Hewett heralds from an Irish-Catholic background and considers himself an "expatriate" Catholic--i.e., living abroad in quasi-evangelical, high-church Protestantism. During an interview with Andrew Sullivan (Daily Dish), Mr. Hewitt stated, in response to whether he was a "Christian," "I’m an Evangelical Roman Catholic Presbyterian."


http://withchrist.org/talkradio.htm

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"As for us, our days of combat are over. Our swords are rust. Our guns will thunder no more. The vultures that once wheeled over our heads must be buried with their prey. Whatever of glory must be won in the council or the closet, never again in the field. I do not repine. We have shared the incommunicable experience of war; we have felt, we still feel, the passion of life to its top."

Oliver Wendell Holmes


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:42 pm 
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Wikipedia had this to say about Hewitt:

Quote:
After Hewitt wrote the book A Mormon in the White House?, Robert Stacy McCain of The Washington Times wrote that "Hewitt finds himself under suspicion of being a cheerleader for the Romney campaign."[11] Hewitt donated $2,300 to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in 2008, as well as many other Republican candidates over the years, including U.S. Senator Norm Coleman and President George W. Bush. In the leadup to the February 5, 2008, Republican primaries, Hewitt became known for the slogan "A vote for Huckabee is a vote for McCain."[12] As soon as McCain won the Republic nomination, however, Hewitt turned his rhetorical fire on Democratic nominee Barack Obama.


I noticed that local talk radio hosts liked Huckabee. It was the national radio hosts that tried to skewer his record and derail his candidacy.

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 9:56 pm 
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Sometime I would like to write a paper which compares and contrasts political radio talk show hosts and professional wrestlers. I don't think there is a whole lot of difference.


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 10:02 pm 
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ConservTexan wrote:
I noticed that local talk radio hosts liked Huckabee. It was the national radio hosts that tried to skewer his record and derail his candidacy.

This is very true. A couple of conservative radio host in my area really liked Mike.


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 10:09 pm 
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Doesn't O'Reilly fit in this bunch of influential talkers. He may be a "fair and balanced" independent, but he certainly is a voice for conservatism who did not give Huckabee the time of day while he was a potential candidate.

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 10:57 pm 
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Don't know if Hannity is a regular Mass-goer, but he is at best a cafeteria Catholic as he has publicly stated beliefs that are at odds with his own Church.

Just read an article this afternoon that indicated that Ingraham is a convert to the Catholic faith - not sure from what background - and I'm not sure whether she fully practices her faith either (so few do anymore).

If more people actually lived the faith they professed, our country wouldn't be in the mess it's in...


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:57 am 
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Neither Rush, Hannity, Beck or Ingram consider Mike Huckabee a Conservative. To them he is simply an Evangelical Populist. His venial sin is that during his tenure as Governor the overwhelmingly Democratic and veto proof Arkansas legislature raised certain taxes for specific purposes as voted for by their constituents.

This is the straw man the uber-conservative talk media throws up to prove Mike should never become a member of the Republican elite. Take a fact out of context and spew it forth often enough it will grow its own very long legs.

Because the issue is complex, it does not lend itself to snappy 30 second sound bite explanation. A lot like Ryan's Medicare proposals.


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:48 am 
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QuoVadisAnima wrote:
Don't know if Hannity is a regular Mass-goer, but he is at best a cafeteria Catholic as he has publicly stated beliefs that are at odds with his own Church.

Just read an article this afternoon that indicated that Ingraham is a convert to the Catholic faith - not sure from what background - and I'm not sure whether she fully practices her faith either (so few do anymore).

If more people actually lived the faith they professed, our country wouldn't be in the mess it's in...


I think she takes it pretty seriously. She's good friends with Raymond Arroyo; he's on her program every week, and I've seen her on his on EWTN.

But all these talk radio people are RINOs, i.e. Reaganites In Name Only. Reagan, the real Reagan, would have been anathema to their ridiculous, arbitrary, and inconsistent standards.

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THE TIMES are nightfall, look, their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
And I not help. Nor word now of success:
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…
G.M. Hopkins.


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 6:26 pm 
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This is an interesting article I got a few weeks ago that fits what's being discussed on this thread http://www.movieguide.org/articles/main/et-tu-cal.html

It does appear to me that most talk radio hosts are more enraptured with the thinking of Ayn Rand than they are with the Christian informed perspective that someone like Huck espouses.

There was a good cover article after Huck won in Iowa in 2008 in the American Conservative magazine (have to see if it's still available online) that was titled "The GOP wants Christian voters, not leaders". Very well said.

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 6:32 pm 
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Southern Doc wrote:
Miserere wrote:


One more note on Hugh Hewitt whose faith tradition seems to be something of a buffet.

Quote:
Mr. Hewitt is an ordained "Elder" in the radically liberal, pro-gay ordination Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA). While he appears right-of-center politically, he's far left-of-center religiously and morally, and those views account for some rather strange perspectives. Hugh Hewitt has leveraged support from evangelicals to build his on-air popularity, similar to Carl Rove's strategy to leverage support from the Religious Right to win elections--short term success at the expense of long term principle. His pragmatism can drive him into throwing principle overboard and coming up on the wrong side in political races.

An example, his 2004 support for beer-magnate and elitist-billionaire Peter Coors in Colorado over the more conservative Bob Schaeffer. Most Coloradoans are common folk. Consequently, the yacht-sailing Republican Coors was trounced by populist Ken Salazar, a Democrat. After hours-and-hours of radio plugs for Coors and the loss, Hewitt sheepishly disavowed all personal responsibility for the outcome.

Mr. Hewett heralds from an Irish-Catholic background and considers himself an "expatriate" Catholic--i.e., living abroad in quasi-evangelical, high-church Protestantism. During an interview with Andrew Sullivan (Daily Dish), Mr. Hewitt stated, in response to whether he was a "Christian," "I’m an Evangelical Roman Catholic Presbyterian."
http://withchrist.org/talkradio.htm


If that's all you knew about Hewitt, you would know just by that comment that he's a Romney supporter! :lol:

Hewitt is the quintessential insider who wants people to believe he's just a good old fashioned conservative, all the while often backing RINOesque candidates. Sad to say, but he's a fraud just like the candidate he backs.

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 8:17 pm 
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goalieman wrote:
This is an interesting article I got a few weeks ago that fits what's being discussed on this thread http://www.movieguide.org/articles/main/et-tu-cal.html

It does appear to me that most talk radio hosts are more enraptured with the thinking of Ayn Rand than they are with the Christian informed perspective that someone like Huck espouses.
There was a good cover article after Huck won in Iowa in 2008 in the American Conservative magazine (have to see if it's still available online) that was titled "The GOP wants Christian voters, not leaders". Very well said.


Here's a particularly devastating attack by Chuck Colson on Randianism and its fundamental antithesis of Christian orthodoxy.

Its a three minute video and worth it:


http://www.colsoncenter.org/twominutewa ... y/33/17003

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Oliver Wendell Holmes


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:10 pm 
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Hey Southern Doc. Do you know what the Hegelian Dialectic method is, and how it is used to get people to compromise ? (Particularly in the seeker-sensitive church movement ?) ...Thesis, antithesis, synthesis.... Could this concept be at play even in the talk radio realm? I mean...are we being conformed to some kind of non-conservative conservatism when we listen to and "follow" these talkers who -as you point out- are not really living examples of the mainstream American conservative ?.....
Could it be that the aim is to turn us into CINO's..... "conservative in name only"


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:52 pm 
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Mundina O'Driscoll wrote:
Hey Southern Doc. Do you know what the Hegelian Dialectic method is, and how it is used to get people to compromise ? (Particularly in the seeker-sensitive church movement ?) ...Thesis, antithesis, synthesis.... Could this concept be at play even in the talk radio realm? I mean...are we being conformed to some kind of non-conservative conservatism when we listen to and "follow" these talkers who -as you point out- are not really living examples of the mainstream American conservative ?.....
Could it be that the aim is to turn us into CINO's..... "conservative in name only"


Could be but I personally don't think these folks are that systematic.

If anything I think its just good old fashioned syncretisim where they are blending ideas together in a way that seems harmonious but really just distorts. I think they really do believe they are the true conservatives and most conservative voters agree with them on all their positions. I think they were genuinely surprised at their failure to keep McCain out (or Huck down) in the last race and have never been able to figure it out except to blame the MSM for proping up McCain and Huckabee for not knowing when he was beat (their view not mine).

I think they just assume they know more and best (they are almost all into a kind of "I have special knowledge" mindset and their followers love it since they are by extention part of the illuminati (Beck especially loves to"reveal" things like they are lost national treasures that from my perspective just shows he never had a decent history class; Rush made his career on the simple, but rare, skill of reading the newspaper critically -that's his WHOLE prep.). As egotist or narcissists they think that what they think is reality. Sadly, whether the plan is to "tickle the ears" of the listeners or not the effect is the same. Blind guides far too much of the time. Not all are all that bad, but the biggest ones have the most cultish qualities.

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"As for us, our days of combat are over. Our swords are rust. Our guns will thunder no more. The vultures that once wheeled over our heads must be buried with their prey. Whatever of glory must be won in the council or the closet, never again in the field. I do not repine. We have shared the incommunicable experience of war; we have felt, we still feel, the passion of life to its top."

Oliver Wendell Holmes


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 12:18 am 
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Quote:
Beck especially loves to"reveal" things like they are lost national treasures that from my perspective just shows he never had a decent history class
And that most of us haven't either! :P


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 8:07 am 
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Thanks for the insight...Southern Doc. I have noticed SEVERAL times recently... while listening to both men you refer to (Beck and Rush) they talk about subjects that I had already seen in the news pages of the day or week.
(American Thinker, Drudge, Nat. Review, and various conservative posts.) Some fact-stories, some op-eds. They seem to read and adopt a good position for their own position as well....you can hear the same phrases coming out of their mouths....and then they spin-it with a bit of extra to make it unique to them. Many folks think it is original thought from Beck or Rush. ...and so glorify these messengers. Same on Fox News I suspect.
I have thought many times..."Well I don't have to listen today. I already read that."
So....your assessment of Rush as a good newspaper reader is spot on.
I think Beck's research team does about the same.

Beck doesn't uncover anything the rest of us couldn't have also found out if we had wanted to spend the time to read. I appreciate all his work in bringing us up-to-speed on the "czar connections", etc.. As long as he was talking bits and facts, I was OK. Now that he has crossed over to the spiritual-talk level.....I more and more hear decided error coming from him and his team. Sad. The error seems to be (aside from his Mormonism) that ecumenical speak which travels the world and infiltrates everything, not just the church.....but also public education, govt. offices, military, law enforcement, media. That politically correct disease that steers all areas of life worldwide. Prepping us for the one-world system ? Is it a systematic process of attrition? In a way is Talk Radio helping that goal ?

Tho' Beck and Rush may not be that "systematic", as you say, I still feel like people who are listening and following them like sheep, who are so easily persuaded, who let others "think" for them are setting themselves up for the next leader who might be that "systematic". Take them to the next level. Sort of like........ Talk Radio doesn't know it, but is tenderizing everyone for the later grill.
The reason this seems to fit the Heg. dialectic to me is that I hear Rush and Beck both take decided stands on something....and then will hear them backtrack a bit, and say something so "tolerant sounding" or rather "ecumenical" and almost apologize for their stand....As if they want to offend, and then not offend. Almost like thesis-synthesis....without the antithesis.
The seeker-friendly way has infected the Church, which is the foundation for the conservatism you refer to: 44% Evangelical Christian. Too many churches today have no problem compromising their words, and ways of doing/teaching things so the visitor will be comfortable/enjoy the experience. When conservatives who are evangelicals can compromise...how much easier for conservatives who are not in that 44%.

Guess I am just getting paranoid about EVERYthing and EVERYone I hear. Being Berean works in all avenues.


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 9:55 am 
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Mundina O'Driscoll wrote:
...Not all are all that bad, but the biggest ones have the most cultish qualities.


It is a relief for a Christian to be able to read the Bible and not have to sift out what is true. Everything else has to be sifted. Some conservatives, the cultish followers, seem to drink in everything they hear from their favorite talk radio host and then use what they hear as "the gospel truth". The problem is that they pass it along as truth and that makes for a lot of misconceptions. We know how that affected Huckabee's chances in '08 -- and I wonder whether it had an influence on him as he decided to run in 2012.

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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 10:40 am 
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SouthernDoc wrote:
We all know that Huck was never embraced and was even pilloried by the talk radio crowd. Many here at HA have speculated as to why. I’ll posit the following explanation: They neither understood him nor his supporters due to their own isolation and insulation from the main current of American conservatism today. What they could not, or would not, understand, they feared and attacked.


I think you nailed it here. Isolation and insulation. When you hear your own voice for two or three hours a day, you begin to believe everything you say. When callers are mostly your fans, and they tell you how marvelous your thinking is, you can be deceived into thinking you are smarter than anyone, even with half your brain tied behind your back to make it fair. You get even more entrenched in thinking you are the center of all truth and good ideas. Then, when someone with the popularity and likability factor of a Gov. Huckabee comes along, it is hard to move over and let him give his ideas. Huckabee has none of the worship for these talk show hosts that they demand.

Perhaps there has been some jealousy, too, that Huckabee had the opportunity to do more than just talk. He got to actually govern and make tough decisions. As they say, "Talk is cheap." Or, "The proof is in the pudding."

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