Kid Rock, Conservative Outsider?
A recent poll from the Trafalgar Group showed Kid Rock leading the Republican field for U.S. Senate in 2018, polling at 49.62%. Although he has toyed with running, Kid Rock (Robert Ritchie) has made no official announcement, and is currently focusing his efforts on voter registration (according to KidRockForSenate.com). His potential candidacy has received some positive attention from conservative leaders across the country, including Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas).
I have to respectfully disagree with these conservatives’ support for Kid Rock. There is no doubt that he would, as Governor Abbott tweeted, shake up Washington. He is also most definitely a political outsider (although his beer line was granted government subsidies). Kid Rock’s wild demeanor and public vulgarity would definitely be outside the Washington norm, but does that somehow make him a conservative hero? Does his outsider status automatically make him a praiseworthy anti-establishment figure?
Absolutely not. Conservative talker Mark Levin said this well on the July 21st episode of his show. “They’ve never served in office? Well, so what? There’s a lot of kooks out there who have never served in office, who I don’t want representing me in any capacity in public office.” He continued, “The homeless guy is an outsider. The guy who lives next to you is an outsider. Who cares?”
Certainly, there is something to be said for bringing non-political experience to public office. Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) are arguably the most conservative U.S. Senators, and none of them had held prior elected office. However, being an outsider should be considered an added benefit, not a primary criterion.
So is Kid Rock a conservative outsider? To determine that, we would have to evaluate his policy positions. He said in a tweet that he thinks American taxpayers should be able to understand the tax code and other legislative acts. That sounds great, but even Democrats (at least in word) would offer support for clearer, simpler laws. We can gauge his stances on other issues based on an op-ed he wrote for the Guardian. According to the op-ed he owns numerous firearms and is a strong Second Amendment supporter, so that is good. Perhaps more troubling is Kid Rock’s stance on abortion. He says that he is personally opposed, but that a man should not dictate a women’s bodily choices. This is terrible logic, as I am sure I will articulate in a future post. Government’s responsibility is to protect the rights of its citizens. If a government cannot protect the right to life, than that government has neglected its most basic premise.
Kid Rock’s other political positions are unclear, but it is clear that he lives an openly sinful lifestyle, and he will not truly stand up for the right to life. Yes, he endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012 and Donald Trump in 2016, but that would not make him a conservative Senator. Is he an outsider? Yes, but a terrible outsider is no better than a terrible insider.