I can officially say that I am tired of the fear mongering tactics of the establishment and its candidates. You know the line… “I am the candidate with the best chance of beating (insert liberal democrat politician here)”. Thus far the only two candidates to have uttered this phrase have been Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, thought in Mr. Gingrich’s case it was in response to Mr. Romney’s assertion. The problem with the statement is that it is a “red herring”, used in an attempt to sway voters who are having a hard time coming to terms with the idea of voting for Romney.
This year’s entire crop of Republican candidates is “electable”; none are too far to the right as to alienate the moderate Republicans and Independents that in the past may have eschewed these candidates. Add to this that the President is currently “enjoying” dismal approval ratings and what we have is a perfect storm of electability. In fact, I would argue that the most dangerous thing the Republican Party can do is nominate someone based on “electability” because it could de-energize the base and produce another turnout similar to 2008.
What we must realize is that voters want to believe in something. They want to support a candidate who believes in something. So the very best our candidates can do is to clearly and vociferously articulate their beliefs and ideas to the electorate. Don’t just tell us what you think we want to hear… tell us the truth about the problems we face, and then tell us how you can lead us to fix them! Joe Scarborough, who is often the bane of the base and has oft been accused of being a RINO himself has some interesting reminders for us in a piece he wrote for Politico. In it he reminds us of some of the very problematic positions both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have staked out in the past, and that Jon Huntsman is indeed to the right of both men. An arguable point for sure, but Scarborough shows us how even we, the dubious right who believe the majority of mass popular media to be quite villainous have allowed them to paint the candidates as they see fit.
What the Republican primary voter must decide is which candidate best answers the important questions of how we can “right our ship of state”. This election holds huge implications – electing a Republican to the White House very likely means complete Republican control of the government. Imagine majorities in the House and Senate with a Republican President to sign Republican legislation into law! The election cycles of 2006 and 2008 could become just another unpleasant Big Government memory. A unified Republican led government can very quickly make vast changes to what have been the last four years of Democrat ineptitude and malfeasance. There is a caveat; the Republican primary voter must pick the right person for the job. If we nominate a politician simply because the media tells us they are the most “electable”, we risk falling into the McCain trap yet again.
This year’s entire crop of candidates is superior to Senator McCain, and all of them would be superior to President Obama, but we must not settle. This election can revitalize conservative government, not just here but around the world. If we show the world that a conservative path can lead us out of debt and financial calamity, they may embrace our reforms. If we can prove that a conservative government means greater advancement in technology, medicine, politics, etc… this can be an extraordinary moment in history. Nominate the candidate who will lead us down the road of fiscal conservatism and government restraint even when it hurts them in the polls and in the papers. Republicans need to stand up and own this moment, not settle for what the media tries to tell us is the most electable. Vote for Romney, Gingrich, Paul, Bachmann, Santorum, or even Huntsman but do so because you believe that they will lead us down the best road not because they will put up the best fight against President Obama. If there is one thing I can guarantee – they will all be up to the fight.