Larry Kudlow: A Plea To My Conservative Brethren


LARRY KUDLOW: What I want to say here is meant in a very positive, hopeful spirit--not a down spirit, an up spirit.

This is a tough election, and there are a lot of splits and divisions in this election, and, speaking as somebody who has been in the conservative movement for... four decades--former Reagan guy and all those things:

Conservatives themselves are split. They're split about the candidates. Trump/Cruz particularly.

What I want to say is, and I hope people take this in the right positive vein, in which I am going to try to present it. There's so many divisions, and some of the divisions have gotten very acrimonious. In some cases, the differences between and candidates and between candidates' policies have spilt over into very personal attacks or criticisms. In some cases friendships that are decades long have suddenly blown up and ended over disagreements about the candidates or their policies or the election.

For somebody like myself, it is a heart-breaker. I was at a wonderful dinner last night... And I was grateful to be there with some friends, sitting at a table we had three people in the broadcasting profession including myself. One of them was an editor, now he is a great broadcaster. Another is a former markets guy, now he is a great broadcaster. Another was me. Our wives were there. One of the wives said she is going to vote for Candidate X, but she'll have to throw back a drink in order to do it; I get that that was funny. Another one of the wives just kind of shook her head and said I'm not sure I can do this at all. I get that.

This is such a weird election. We've probably never seen anything like it in our lifetimes.

None of the candidates are perfect, none of the commentators are perfect, I, Larry Kudlow, am not perfect. But I guess my plea to my fellow conservatives, and others, is to please seek civility rather than acrimony. Please argue--I don't want monolithic. I love arguments and debates. I've been in that business a long time. But there are good ways to do it and there are bad ways to do it, and when it spills over to your friendships, it is rough.

Hearts are broken. And let me say this, I am not perfect, I have made mistakes. In one case I made a very bad judgment and I wrote this person--the other person--and asked forgiveness... I'm not a grudge guy... Anger and resentment are very bad. Talking policy is terrific. And conservatives have a big stake, we're not going to give up our values and principles--we don't want to do that.

Stuff happened in 2012, didn't go our way. 2008 didn't go our way. During the Bush years, we won some, we lost some. It is tough stuff. I love the debate, I love the disagreement. Believe me. I love it. I just hate it when it goes personal, when it gets so scathing, and sometimes it gets punitive. And I don't like it.

I don't think I'm overblown, I'm just speaking for myself. And I want to make a plea to my fellow conservative friends, brothers, sisters. I love you. We've been working together all these decades. We've accomplished a lot, and there is a lot left to accomplish. Just let's not throw all these friendships out. Let's just be respectful. Forgiveness is another key word. Friendship is another key word.

Conservatives, I think, are still by far the most powerful force in American politics. Powerful, and I am so proud and grateful to be a part of that. When we disagree among ourselves, that is fine, we don't lose our power. We shouldn't lose our power. But I fear we do and will, if our divisions run so deep and so irreparably and so personal, I fear for a hundred reasons we will be the losers in this presidential year and beyond.

Conservatives will always have a seat at the table. We are too powerful not to. We may win, we may lose, as I said before -- the fight is absolutely worth it. But where there are disagreements in the conservative camp, somehow or other we need to resolve them, find common ground. It is hard enough with the liberals, Hillary, Bernie, whatever, Obama. It is hard enough. It may be too much to ask to have total unity on issues, among conservatives. I understand there are certain things, certain disagreements about policy that will continue. I get that, but let's keep it as civil and respectful and positive as possible. People are good.

I am a total optimist... I love people, I always think the best of people, and I myself as I said earlier, I have made mistakes... To all my friends... I ask that that spirit somehow remain for all of us, the infighting should be about substance, not personality. That is what I am asking.

Reince Priebus, Republican National Chairman, of all people had a couple biblical statements on this topic at the RNC meeting in Florida. Hats off to Mr. Priebus. Psalms, he said, describe how good and pleasant it is when God's people dwell in unity... Mr. Priebus also said, quoting scripture, it warns us how, "the root of bitterness" can easily damage unity in Church or anyplace else. Another great quote.

So I ask my saintly wife, by far the better half... This is from Genesis: "And Abram said unto Lot, let there be no strife, I pray thee between me and thee, and between thy herdmen and my herdmen, for we be brethren."

I love that. "For we be brethren." My conservative friends are my brethren. I have many great liberal friends also, but my conservative friends are truly my brethren, and I'm asking us not to be too tough on each other. Some good could come out of this--I don't know. My forecasts are sometimes right and sometimes wrong, but I hope we can find common ground.

I will say this also. Whoever is the Republican nominee, whoever it is, my thought is we should help that candidate to make him better, not trash him.

Sen. Cruz, Gov. Kasich, whoever it is. Why not help them? Make them better. At least in my way of thinking, is use conservative principles and apply them to the current situation. Help them, don't trash them. Be civil. Keep the friendships. In the long run, let me tell you. I've been through a lot of wars, politics and elsewhere, relationships are so important. People are good, I believe that. We make mistakes but we are good.

Please let us respect ourselves. Please let us be civil. Please let us talk to each other. Keep the friendships, even while we disagree. It's okay, it's okay, let's try to make it all better. Let's try to make the country better, make the candidates better. I know people believe they are doing good all the time, but somehow, maybe we have to pull back once in a while. It really should be more about policies and not personality.

"And Abram said unto Lot, let there be no strife, I pray thee between me and thee, and between thy herdmen and my herdmen, for we be brethren."

My conservative friends: All of you, including me, let us be brethren.

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