It seems that a lot of posts stem from conversations I have with people, whether they be friends, family, coworkers, or even strangers. In the end, a good conversation inspires thought, and that’s what this blog is based on – thought.
The latest conversation on politics was with a republican, who I agree with on some things and disagree with on others. I agree with him on things like gun control, and public employee unions. While he considers himself a conservative, I might not call him that. More of a pseudo-con if you ask me. While he may agree with me on moral issues, he doesn’t stand up strong for them. For me, abortion is life and death and therefore very important. For him, it’s a minor league issue. You see what I mean, right?
During our talk he mentioned his distaste for the candidates running, and his disappointment in the upcoming republicans. Why aren’t we breeding the next generation of Ronald Reagans? Well, let’s pick these two statements apart. These are things I hear from people all the time, and I assure you they’re flat out wrong. People are uninformed. They see what the local TV wants them to see. They get their news from Yahoo! Don’t worry – I’ll set the record straight.
Unfortunately, people will often take someone relatively unknown, like Rick Santorum, and equate “unknown” with “weak”. This can be a fatal mistake. If you look back a few years, virtually no one outside of Illinois knew of Barry Obama. Yet he managed to run a very aggressive campaign against Hilary Clinton in the democratic primaries, and he ran a brilliant campaign against John McCain, his Republican opponent for the presidency. Unknown is not weak.
Furthermore, “weak” is relative. Who are we comparing our candidates to? Ronald Reagan? Again, if we look back – Reagan fumbled with his words. He messed up at debates. He misspoke. Our memories seem to forget that Ronald Reagan was not “the perfect candidate”. In fact, he was anything but. He was the outsider, pushing to break the status quo. Our candidates may mess up at times, but so did Reagan, and so has Obama.
I asked this person, “How many of the debates have you watched?” He told me he hadn’t watched a full debate from start to finish. Personally, I’ve watched about half of them from start to finish, then rewatched them an hour later, then read reviews on them, then listen to the radio to hear what the talk-radio-pundits were saying. If you haven’t watched the debates or done a bit of research, don’t tell me that the candidates are weak or that you don’t like the selection.
The fact of the matter is that we have had a lot of great candidates come and go, and we still have some running today. Michele Bachmann is a leader in the House of Representatives, and has a great record as a conservative. Tim Pawlenty is a popular republican governor of a liberal state, Minnesota. Rick Perry grew jobs in Texas as governor faster than all of the other states combined! These are leaders in our country, all of whom have great records, who just didn’t catch on.
Left behind is our mainstay, Mitt Romney – former governor and private sector tycoon. Rick Santorum – leading welfare reform and tough as nails on social issues. Ron Paul – brilliant on the constitution and small government. Newt Gingrich – rich resume, former speaker of the house, and the best debater on stage. These are not weak candidates. They may have their flaws, but any one of them could beat Obama!
This coming election will not be another 2008. There are a number of things that have drastically changed since then. First of all, Barack Obama ran in 2008 with a clean slate. Now he has a record, and it’s awful. Everyone knows it. Despite what the media may tell you, unemployment sucks, home sales suck, GDP growth sucks, Obamacare sucks, stimulus sucks. I could go on and on. Obama is a weak candidate with a horrible record to run on. He doesn’t have nearly the same enthusiasm behind his campaign as he did in 2008. People realize just who he is, and people are rejecting him.
Don’t count our guys out. They aren’t weak. They can all go 10 rounds, as they’re proving it right now. As I’ve stated before, Rick Santorum is who I stand behind. I’m really pulling for him to get the nomination. Seeing Santorum debate Obama on substance and issues would be a slaughter. But in the end, if Santorum isn’t the nominee, I’ll support whoever the candidate is. We have a strong few left, and any of one them is better than who we have now.
As far as “not breeding new candidates”…. well…. Here, I’ll list a few names for you – John Kasich, Scott Walker, Jan Brewer, Rick Perry, Tim Pawlenty, Chris Christie, Rick Scott, Mitch Daniels, Michele Bachmann, Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio. The point is this – the next generation is strong. All of the names here could be running for president in the next 10-20 years. Our party is strong. We’ve gone through some rough times, but we’re starting to get back on track. Conservatism is not dead – it’s alive and well, and it’s ready to fight!