One good quote, or one good press release, does not make someone into a Conservative, or make them a good candidate for office. I note this because I have seen, more than once now, someone make the comment, “Maybe we could get him to run against Trump!” after reading about the one time that another politician gets something right. We need to make sure that we are actively being more discerning than just looking at a one time event and thinking, “That’s the guy!”
It is this very behavior that gave us some of the great disasters that brought us to the point where we are now. For instance, what made anyone think that Ben Carson was ready for prime time? What made people think he was a man who could be the next President? He had one good appearance where he stood in opposition to President Obama. After that, people looked at his religion, his skin color, and his professional background and jumped onto the bandwagon for him. Not many people, ultimately, but enough that he actually made a (probably significant) impact on this race.
For instance, take out Ben Carson and what happen with Cruz in South Carolina, or during the rest of the Southern primaries where the constant lie was leveled against him of having lied about Carson dropping out of the race? Think about how that changes the narrative.
Likewise, without “Wall, wall, wall, wall, wall…” we wouldn’t have Trump. Border security is important to actual Conservatives. And, with a Conservative President we would have improvement in border security (you’re fooling yourself if you think that the border will be completely secured in eight years, no matter who is President). But, with Trump, we won’t have the presidency, because he’ll sink like a lead weight against Hillary Clinton.
We have to get through our heads that there is a history longer than the last five seconds of political theater. And yes, at the end of the day, remember that all politicians, even the ones you like, are putting on a show. That’s part of the reality of politics. Even if, at some given point, they aren’t putting on a show, assume they are, and maybe we can keep their toes the fire a little better than we have.
No matter what though, please, remember that there is no flash in the pan conservatism. Conservatism is built on far deeper roots than a one time statement. Let’s stop getting excited every time a politician says the right thing for the first time in his or her career.