Diary

Dear Newt and Rick, It's Time for a Unified Ticket

Dear Speaker Gingrich and Senator Santorum,

As a lifelong conservative Republican, I support you both in your bids for our party’s nomination for the presidency.  I recognize the courage that you have both demonstrated throughout your careers of service to America, in standing up for true conservative principles, in spite of the heavy personal and political costs you would have to bear by doing so.

A prime example of this was the overhaul of the American welfare system which you both led.  This was the first and still only major reform of an entitlement program in the US.  You challenged the failed utopian thinking that had gripped the mainstream media, the political establishment and academia, who were steering the country toward escalating spending and debt, and generations of Americans toward ever increasing dependency on the government’s ability to redistribute the wealth generated by a constrained and besieged productive sector.  You transformed welfare into a program that incentivizes work and practical skills training instead of addiction to government handouts, and for this you were accused of ignorance, heartlessness and even racism.  However, unlike the self-proclaimed champions of the ‘working class’, we conservatives saw only fellow Americans, and were therefore not surprised to see a new culture of work and responsibility rapidly emerge where before there had only been helplessness and dependency.  Poverty declined precipitously and the unburdened economy flourished for everyone.

I believe that the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 steered the country away from the path of economic catastrophe and cultural decay.  Europe stayed on this path and is now reaching its unfortunate destination.  I believe that your landmark legislation effectively saved America’s economic future, if only for a time, since others have placed the US back on this road to despair and have been hitting the accelerator.  But now we need you both to get us on the right path again.  Your joint experience is the best model we have for how to confront the very similar domestic challenges America faces today:  bankrupting entitlement programs, paralyzing regulations and the crippling ObamaCare system.

Looking at you both, I see a veteran Cold Warrior who stood at Reagan’s side and stared down the Soviet Union, helping to seal its fate, and two unrepentant foes of the new yet very old threat of pan-global Islamism, a totalitarian movement more dangerous than Communism or anything else the US has ever faced before.  America needs leaders who are willing to make a stand, be clear in their understanding and communication of the existential threat we are facing, and be steeled in their resolve to confront it.  And just as in the case of America’s domestic challenges, based on actual track records, the only candidates that I trust to faithfully and competently assume this unenviable responsibility are you both.

So now here is my problem.  By both of you remaining in the race for the nomination, you are making it very unlikely that either one of you will be our nominee to lead America.  Yet in fact our country needs you both.  One does not have to be a political genius to see that Governor Romney’s greatest asset isn’t his campaign war chest or his organization.  Nor is it the establishment and mainstream media, with their disingenuous attempts to crown him as heir inevitable to the nomination since the start of the race.  If Romney does eventually win, it will only be because the Republican Party’s most important base of voters, people like me, are split between the two of you.

Romney’s strategy is clear.  As the campaign proceeds, he is sure to intensify his onslaught of propaganda against you, Mr. Speaker, chipping away at your support.  But he will make sure to avoid any more direct attacks against you, Senator, because he realizes that every point you gain is a point added to his lead over the Speaker.  In fact, he will be rooting for you.  He has a solid ten to fifteen point lead in the imminent Florida primary, and a win there will, I believe, vault him into clear frontrunner status.  The bandwagon effect will then give him a huge tailwind heading into the early February primaries, and I am afraid he may become unstoppable.

So here is my suggestion – or plea really.  Senator Santorum, please withdraw from the nomination process and make clear to your supporters, in case they don’t know it already, that you support and would like for them to back Speaker Gingrich.  And Speaker Gingrich, I ask that you name Rick Santorum as your running mate before the Florida primary.  You have already bravely put forth your choice for Secretary of State, and the early declaration of your intended Vice President will further foster the clarity and openness with which you have conducted your campaign.

By standing together and forming a single ticket now, I believe you will catalyze the immediate coalescence of the conservative majority in our party behind you both.  Disaffected conservatives and independents resorting to Romney or Paul will close ranks and unify behind an allied ticket.  Even before this ‘knock-on’ effect, by combining your current support you will be able to transform your Floriday poll deficits versus Romney into a solid lead for a unified ticket.

I cannot remember a more critical time for Americans to have the right leaders in place to navigate our nation through a perfect storm of domestic and foreign policy challenges.  If I can cast a ballot for a Gingrich-Santorum ticket in November, I think that at least we will have a fighting chance.  And I look forward to a Santorum presidency as well, starting in 2020, God willing.