Thursday, November 17, 2011

Will the Real Republican Candidate Please Stand Up?

You read the title and the first thing that comes to mind is, “no $h!t Sherlock!”   But sometimes, even the most ridiculous of statements apparently need to be made.  That’s where we are today in our politics.  The ridiculous get the attention while the astute are ridiculed.

During the debt ceiling debate, many on the left used the term “hijack” to define the political process during that time.  I understand that many on the right took offense to that word being used; given today’s warlike world, that offense was understandable.  However, I’m not convinced it wasn’t without merit, for here we are yet again.  This time we aren’t talking about deficits and taxes, but instead, who should hold the Oval Office.  Don’t get me wrong, it is more than understandable to have a political difference with the current administration and want a change in the guard, but it is a completely different thing to put up a cast of characters so under-prepared to do the job that the process alone makes our relevance questionable on a national stage.  And I’m not talking about some arbitrary number of years in some arbitrary job “prepared,” I’m talking about having the ability to display a level of intelligence and pragmatism to do the job and have the respect of both the domestic and international community.  Again, policy aside, Reagan had it, Bush I had it, Clinton had it and Obama has it.  

...well... not so much...

There is a certain level of gravitas, or seriousness, that one brings to the Oval office.  Something that makes people feel as though a decision would be made after all the facts are put onto the table and prudence prevails.  

There are two in this current crop of Republican contenders that do come with this level of pragmatism: Mitt Romney and John Huntsman; the sad part about today’s process is that we can’t actually hear their solutions to today’s real problems because we have idiots in the back making all the noise.  Apparently, to be accepted by this crowd, you must completely screw up history, or sexually harass women, or spend more time on a book tour than campaigning.  Whether or not I agree with their policies, both Romney and Huntsman are actually serious candidates.  Both of them raise the level of discourse on political issues in our country.  But thanks to the extreme nature of our politics, the “clown” candidates get all the attention and actually threaten the prospects of the legitimate candidates. 

Seriously, how can we talk about the pros and cons of the Health Care Reform law and entertain legitimate alternatives when we can’t hear from the pragmatists in the room?  How can we talk about serious government reform and identifying regulations that may actually be outdated and in need of retraction when we can’t hear from the grownups on both sides of the aisle?  How can we legitimately identify a bipartisan plan for long term debt reduction when one side is holding steady on a position that a majority of respectable economists say is not realistic?

Honestly, the rest of us should be offended.  Have your differences, but damn it, put forth a candidate that can really do something.  Is that too much to ask?  Don’t give us “Ubecki-becki-becki-stan-stan.” Don’t give us “I forgot…opps.” Don’t give us someone whose only political position is repealing “Obamacare.” Don’t give us a candidate whose only solution is completely gutting the entire federal government. And please, don’t give us someone whose leadership was so bad that his own party ousted him.

The search for a legitimate Republican presidential candidate has turned into a mockery; instead of talking about working together to fix legitimate issues, the election process is being used as a marketing technique for those to get their name out there to sell books and increase their speaking fees.  You can’t convince me that Cain cares about running a country made up of multiple cultures and points of view more than he cares about getting his name out there to sell books and make himself more marketable on the speaking scene.  As [she that will remain nameless] has proved, it is WAY more profitable to be an extremist mouthpiece than a legitimate public servant. 

The extreme wing of the conservative movement has made the political climate so toxic that even the true conservatives, with bona fide resumes, wouldn’t be given a chance in this election.  It’s a sad day when conservatives aren’t even recognized within their own party. 

Our country deserves better.  Huntsman and Romney would, at the very least, provide alternative solutions to real problems.  It is embarrassing to think that they may not even get that chance.  Conservatives, you’ve said it many times before, but now you REALLY do need to “take your party back.”  It is time for you to provide the conservative voice for our country.  It is the combination of liberals and conservatives that make us a great country.  We NEED liberals to give us the courage to progress our country and drive it forward.  We also need conservatives to ensure we don’t become reckless and drive our country off the cliff.  A country of nothing but liberals would lead to anarchy; a country of nothing but conservatives...well, lets just say that it is quite possible that I would not be allowed to write on this blog. ["who taught you octagon?"]

If conservatives were half as serious as they claim to be about removing Obama from office, 1) they wouldn’t have polluted the political environment to the point that legitimate candidates RAN from this winnable election, and 2) either Romney or Huntsman would have a commanding lead in the polls with the others not too far behind.   But that isn’t where we are today.  Apparently, celebrating ignorance is the neo-neocon.  The sad part is not only is it possible that they may get what they wish for, but we may get it as well.

Why aren’t the legitimate candidates getting more attention?
Does it appear that the conservatives want “anyone but Romney?”
Has the Tea Party’s influence created the environment for ignorance to prosper?

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