RENDEZVOUS WITH DESTINY [Opinion]
Kiran O’Shay, ThirdRailers.com
He’s just a dumb actor. He’ll never win. What does he know about governing? He’s too conservative. He’s been divorced.
It’s funny how some things never change.
When Reagan ran in ’79 those were the things the establishment said about him. Those that had through habit, tradition or laziness made their living off of the status quo hated everything Reagan believed in. Sure, they paid lip service to the idea of less government, less regulation, freedom and individual responsibility but they owed their living, lifestyle and existence to the “state”. Those are the same people that say we must nominate someone like Romney today and find a million and one excuses why every other conservative just won’t do.
Now I have been accused of being a purist , of being uncompromising, of seeking the ever-illusive perfect candidate. People are fond of saying that you can’t always get what you want. Some have said that I would sacrifice the good I could get for the perfection I desire. Well, I may be an idealist and an ardent constitutionalist but I am also enough of a realist to know that very rarely will you ever get everything you want [at the time you want it]. However, there are times when second best just isn’t good enough… And we are faced with that dilemma today.
There are many who say Romney isn’t the perfect candidate but he’s better than Obama. They say he’s by far the best, most electable candidate the GOP can put forward in 2012. They cite polls that show him leading Obama [by a few percentage points]. They declare his business experience will pave the way to the White House. They say anything’s better than Obama. Well, as bad as Barry is, just replacing him with a lighter shade of grey isn’t a road I’m comfortable walking down.
Many Romneyites point out that people like Gingrich, Santorum and Paul can never win. They point out that Gingrich isn’t a perfect conservative, he’s had marital issues, he’s difficult to get along with sometimes and that he’s had “ethics” problems in the past. They say he’s too unpredictable to be President. And the latest slur seems to be that he’s not Reagan. The charge against Santorum goes something like: ” he’s just not electable enough” or “he doesn’t have the money or organization to win”. And concerning Ron Paul: they just say he’s “crazy”. This is regardless of the fact that his monetary policies are “spot on”, his voting record is consistently conservative (even if at at odds with neoconservatives) and his national organization is comparable to Romney’s.
Romney and his “me too” supporters both in the establishment and in the Press have consistently pushed him as the inevitable Republican nominee for 2012. Like Buddhist monks, they recite the Romney 2012 Campaign’s mantra that the other GOP candidates just can’t win. This is interesting because in a lot of ways it’s exactly the same thing they did to Reagan before he went on to crush Carter in the general election. They also gloss over the fact that Romney has consistently supported liberal Republicans and even Democrats. They dismiss the idea that the only thing he’s consistent on is his inconsistency. The fact that he’s changed, modified or “adjusted” his “deeply held beliefs” on almost every single position he’s ever held seems to matter little [to the same people who decry Obama’s litany of lies & half-truths].
Some, in trying to make an excuse for his ever changing positions point they fall back on the “people are entitled to change their mind” rationale. True, people are and do change their minds all the time. However changing your mind every time you run for a new office smacks of insincerity and opportunism. Sorry, many people want more than just someone who will say or do anything to get elected. The desire to be President isn’t a good enough reason that entitles a person to your vote. Is that too extreme?
Question: if someone changes their mind about something every time you run into them how can you trust that the next time you run into them, they won’t have changed their mind again? Being open to new ideas is one thing, having no foundation for your beliefs is another.
As far as Romney is the most electable: Funny, he’s won one race in four… That doesn’t seem to be a very good track record.
I don’t know if Newt or Rick or Paul is the best candidate. But I do know this, regardless of any inconsistencies or imperfections each of those candidates have they pale in comparison to Mr. Romney’s. While Newt may suffer from the same “government has the answers” syndrome that many others in DC also fall victim to, and though he may not be the ideal conservative answer to everything that is wrong with government today – he has always been more reliably conservative than the former governor of Massachusetts. What’s more, he’s done more in his life to elect conservative republicans to office than anyone else running today.
As far as Rick or Paul goes they too are far better candidates then the man the establishment is pushing down your throat. If nothing else, they have principles and records which haven’t changed from one election to the next.
The one thing about Reagan is that he stood for something and he did so for very long time. He didn’t change and equivocate and pander ad nauseam. He didn’t alter his beliefs faster than the sands shift in the Sahara. He didn’t try to eviscerate those he disagreed with: he pointed out his differences forcefully [at times] but did not engage in character @[email protected]@tion. Those who talk about the 11th commandment should remember that and not just play lip service to it. Reagan had a vision of what this country was and could be and it wasn’t a lighter shade of his opponent’s [socialist] program. Was Reagan perfect? No. But by and large you knew what he wanted, you knew where he was going, and you could trust him.
So, the choices you make in these primaries matter. You can swallow the line that Romney is our best chance of winning in 2012. You can accept that Gingrich, Paul and Rick are deeply flawed candidates with no chance of winning. You can say to yourself that anyone is better than Obama but the decision you make today will reverberate far beyond the next election. If you place a [closet] liberal in charge of the Republican Party [which we did with Bush Sr., Dole & McCain] you will affect the direction our Party goes for a long time to come. Certainly if he wins.
This is a chance to either right the course we’re on as a nation or simply to head for the cliff at a slower pace.