For as long as I can remember, Washington think tanks were dominated by the Brookings Institution and other left-leaning organizations.
Then the emergence of Ronald Reagan (search) brought the Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, and other conservative or libertarian groups.
The left thinks its problem is, in the words of Struther Martin in "Cool Hand Luke," a "failure to communicate." And so George Soros (search) and some other billionaires involved in last year's 527 groups supporting John Kerry have announced their intent to create liberal organizations they hope will rival Heritage, Cato and AEI.
There's plenty of money up for grabs. Soros donated $27 million to the 527's last year. Some of the other billionaires reportedly involved are Herb and Marion Sandler, the California couple who own a multibillion dollar savings and loan business, and Peter Lewis, the publicity-shy chairman of an Ohio insurance company. Lewis gave $63 million last year to organizations that tried to defeat George W. Bush. The Sandlers donated $23 million to the failed effort.
Like so many who lose and keep losing, these people apparently think their message isn't getting through. But it is getting through and that is their problem. The message is wrong and is being rejected.
The big media trumpeted their message and a majority of voters rejected it. From legalizing drugs, which Soros wants to do, to bigger government, higher taxes, more regulation and same-sex marriage, the voters have made it clear they prefer a conservative message.
So, let these billionaires spend their money. It helps the economy.
And that's Column One for this week.
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Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America". Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.