A blogger whose posts I read religiously has just written one that I consider required reading for Republicans. This Republican Primary is unlike any in my memory bank – and my Dad would force me to watch them on TV as far back as the 50s and 60s. There are many qualified candidates. They all speak forcefully on issues important to the survival of our Nation – as we know it. And yet, the media, the blogosphere, and the pundits have submerged the entire debate and focused on the most superficial points they can glean from the day’s conversation.
Mr. Toomey has a solution (and a sense of humor). And he was kind enough to give me permission to reproduce his post on The Rugged Individualist. Read! Choose!
PICK A HORSE.
By Dick Toomey
A tiny fraction of Americans tune in to Presidential debates. And they, along with media pundits, are a picky bunch. You figure they must be looking for perfection. Evidently, their candidate must carry zero baggage. Here they are — mired in misery — suffering through the presidency of the emptiest corrupt suit in the history of the Republic — and they expect to find a candidate who walks on water. They want someone charismatic, a leader who looks cool, speaks fluently, knows every detail of every aspect of foreign and domestic affairs, appeals to the GOP base plus all the minorities, understands every nuance of how every government department works and brings years of management experience to the table. So what happens? Realizing that people want to elect Sir Lancelot, everybody works overtime to find and expose resume discrepancy — to dig up every flip-flop on any issue, as if changing your mind is a venereal disease. In the spirit of negative political advertising, therefore, the accusations fly — Rubio charges Cruz with being a weakling on national security — Cruz says Rubio sided with Obama on a massive immigration amnesty plan — Bush dismisses Trump by calling him a “chaos candidate” for his blunt and pugnacious opinions. For the most part, the rest of the field are spared the verbal missiles because their poll numbers wallow in single digits. For your part, you’re not so critical of debate performances. Every one of the candidates has worthy attributes. On balance, you give them good marks, secure in the knowledge that any one of them is American through and through, and would be a Godsend compared to the current WH fraud. But the last time you checked, the GOP nominates only one candidate. It may be time to pick that horse.
Rubio Positives: He really sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. He has verbal command of the issues and delivers with a silver tongue. He has good looks. He would be acceptable to the GOP Establishment. Rubio Negatives: He’s a typical politician. He’s done nothing of distinction, missed a ton of Senate votes and has been running for President from almost the moment he was elected. He would be acceptable to the GOP Establishment.
Cruz Positives: He’s a staunch, principled conservative. He’s probably the smartest guy in the room — a bulldog who has stood up to both parties in his almost singular effort to uphold The Constitution and fight to reduce the size of the Fed. Cruz Negatives: He’s viewed as negative. He’s accused of routinely attacking his colleagues and many of them don’t like him. He’s physically not appealing — has those chicken lips and an annoying stutter under stress.
Trump Positives: He’s self-funded and wouldn’t owe his soul to PACS and special interests. He’s not a politician, not part of the current mess — an outsider who wants to clean out the bureaucracy, take action and put America first. Trump Negatives: He doesn’t sound Presidential. He says outrageous things, hurls insults and offers policies that can’t be implemented. He seemingly has scant knowledge of many things. He hasn’t yet proved he can deliver a substantive speech.
Bush Positives: The guy has experience successfully running a big State. He’s articulate and intelligent and knows how to work the political system to build consensus. Politics is in his blood, literally. Bush Negatives: His name is Bush. He’s GOP Establishment personified; nothing in Washington would change if he’s in charge and he would undo nothing of Obama’s mischief.
Kasich Positives: Here you have a journeyman politician who has vast experience and success in Washington and Ohio, reforming his State economically during hard times. Kasich Negatives: Here you have a journeyman politician. He pounds his chest so hard, you fear one day he’ll break a rib. He visibly hungers for the job.
Carson Positives: This is a moral, honorable human being whose intellect and toughness are masked by his quiet demeanor. His life’s work prepares him to make pragmatic, reasoned decisions under chaotic conditions. Carson Negatives: He has operated as a benevolent dictator in his line of work, not having to confront daily opposition. He has not dealt with the quicksand of business or politics. He’s too decent to be President.
Fiorina Positives: She’s articulate to a fault and demonstrates a decisive executive persona. She has traveled the world, met with heads of state and run one of the most competitive private sector businesses anywhere. Fiorina Negatives: She can’t hide a pique that her ouster at HP had something to do with her being a woman in a room full of men. She lectures with an annoying school teacher cadence that appears carefully choreographed.
Christie Positives: You have no doubt that this tough minded prosecutor would kick ass and take names. If he can butt heads in NJ, he surely has the experience and spine to handle DC. Christie Negatives: He’s an Eastern Establishment Pol who has no problem with big government apparatus. He may claim to be conservative, but he’s definitely part of the dreaded Establishment and would not move the Limited Government needle.
Paul Positives: Rand is an authentic fiscal conservative who believes all of America’s goals rest on its financial strength. He is incorruptible, dedicated to The Constitution. He would not squander US resources on foreign aid without getting something in return. Paul Negatives: He can’t shake his isolationist reputation. Although he gets credit for conservative values, he lacks the passion, energy and stature to ignite a sizable constituency.
What’s missing from this rather simplistic summary is the most important consideration of all — which candidate can win? If Jesus couldn’t beat Hillary, you couldn’t vote for Him. Therefore, if you were a candidate at the next debate, this is what you would say at your end-of-debate summation:
Ladies and Gentlemen, any of us up here is a better choice than Hillary Clinton. But this election is not about us; it’s about the country we love. If I had a crystal ball to see which of us would prevail over Clinton, I would raise his or her hand in victory right here and now, and happily leave this stage and go to work. If we don’t win this election, America — the exceptional America which has an exceptional history– will be the loser. No personal ambition is worth that loss.
Epilogue: Don’t expect perfection. Don’t be superficial. Don’t listen to pundits. Trust yourself. Pick a horse.