Don’t listen to the media. The three major GOP candidates are excellent. They are some of the best we have seen from either party in many years. Governor Romney, Speaker Gingrich, or Senator Santorum would be heads, shoulders, knees, ankles, shoelaces, heels, and soles over the disaster we now have in the White House, either the most inept or the most malicious and malevolent President we have had.
I, however, cannot say the same positive things about Representative Paul. I am very conservative and over the years have become a quasi-libertarian (e.g., get the government out of our lives, but let’s have the biggest, baddest, most lethal military establishment ever to exist.) I have friends and close relatives who support the Texas Congressman, but I cannot. While he has made some prescient observations re the destructive role of the Fed, and the unnecessary growth in size and power of the federal law enforcement bureaucracy, he has had an undistinguished career in Congress, no record as a leader or implementer of anything, and appears naive, confused, and dangerously wrong on foreign affairs. There are powerful people out there who want to kill us just because we are we. He does not seem capable of understanding that. The United States is not Paraguay; we cannot have the foreign and the defense policies of that quite pleasant nation. In addition, I am convinced Paul is racist and anti-semitic. I do not abide that. He seems to be a lightly airbrushed version of Lyndon LaRouche, with a dash of David Duke, more than a pinch of Dennis Kucinich, and seasoned with some Father Coughlin. He also reminds me of the cranky old guy always yelling at the neighborhood kids, “Get your dog off my lawn!”
The other three candidates are superb. We should be proud that our system produces candidates of that caliber. I do not find huge ideological differences among them. All three are practical conservatives; genuinely concerned about the future of America; have what it takes to govern in the national interest; and over the years have had to make tactical compromises--exactly as the Founding Fathers wanted. I like them all, and would be proud to have any one of them as President.
But, we can only pick one; I have made my choice: Governor Romney.
Speaker Gingrich has one of the most original minds in American politics. He speaks clearly and to the point. He is easily understood, and can make complex issues understandable, e.g, his pronouncements on energy, and has the ability to show the absurdity of the liberal position with a few well-chosen words. He has vast historical knowledge, and can pull up the right example at the right time to make a point. He appreciates and favors the uniqueness of America, and the role it plays in world politics and history. He, however, is slated to join the ranks of Senators “Scoop” Jackson and Barry Goldwater as one of the greatest Presidents we never had. He cannot get elected. His personal baggage, e.g., marriages, lobbying, some ethical lapses, and a long and rowdy political career would fuel the liberal media fire. He would have great difficulty getting his message out past the great Obama media noise machine. He could turn Obama into finely ground dust in a free-wheeling debate, but the way the few debates (no more than two) are structured, and the control that the left-wing media has over form, substance, and spin means the debates likely would have minimal impact. Obama, of course, would never agree to seven Lincoln-Douglas type debates. The Speaker also has a self-destructive streak; we could never be sure Gingrich would not detonate. He comes across as the Angry Bird of American politics.
Senator Santorum is a brilliant and determined campaigner. My wife and I were in Las Vegas last October, when the first big GOP debate was taking place there. We were walking through The Venetian casino, when the Diplowife nudged me and said, “Isn’t that Senator Santorum walking next to you?” I looked, and there was this very tall man, who, indeed, was the Senator. He was heading to the debate site, cutting through the crowd completely unrecognized. No Vegas odds-maker then would have given him a chance to make it to where he has arrived. He is solid on foreign affairs, especially on Iran and Israel, and pretty good on economic issues. As with the other two, he has not been consistently a small government guy, but, in practice, neither was Bush nor Reagan. He cannot win. Although in essence a typical mainstream American politician (not a bad thing) he has allowed himself to get characterized, unfairly, as a retrograde anti-woman religious fanatic who doesn't want kids going to college. In a general election, he would find himself constantly correcting the record, doing damage control, getting savaged by late night comics, etc. Why he gets into topics such as birth control is beyond me. A bit of advice for GOP candidates: don’t let the left-wing media decide your agenda. When asked loaded questions about politically irrelevant and long-settled issues, e.g., birth control, answer with a question, e.g., “Don’t you think the President’s failed economic policies are more important for voters?”
I think Governor Romney can beat President Obama and end our national nightmare. From my little perch in the State Department I saw how genuinely horrible this mis-administration could be, e.g., I was instructed to give a speech in an international forum criticizing Arizona’s immigration stance--I refused. There is no respect for American interests, values, and our long traditions. I think the Governor can put an end to the Obama mis-administration. I think he has the best chance to garner the support of independents and moderate Democrats in a general election thereby defeating Obama’s effort to use taxpayer money to buy the government for the left. American elections, as designed by our Founding Fathers, are won and lost in the center. He has been thoroughly vetted and scoured by the national media. He is a profoundly decent and patriotic man. I doubt the media can dig up anything new on him. Unlike the other two GOP candidates, and President Obama, Governor Romney has proven success as a designer and implementer of plans in the private and the public sectors, and as a leader in both sectors. He is an executive. Of the three GOP candidates--not to mention the President--he has the most firm grasp of economic issues, and understands how wealth is created. He is tough on foreign affairs, and knows (as do the other two GOP candidates) the importance of having a robust military, in particular a navy that can respond overwhelmingly to threats to the national interest. The general public does not see him as an extremist, and the media will have a hard time painting him with the same brush used on Santorum and Gingrich.
Romney has the best chance to win.
The 2012 election is critical for the USA and the world. If the Obama mis-administration is rewarded with another four years of power, we could see changes implemented that would permanently and negatively alter the American social, political, and economic landscape and consign the United States to a path of decay and irrelevance--in other words, to become another Europe. One Europe is more than enough. Our prosperity and freedom are in peril. The essence of our history and our traditions is in peril. President Obama must be defeated, and, in my view, Governor Romney is the one who can do it. We need to win. We conservatives do not need to make a brave point. Neither the Alamo nor the 300 Spartans should serve as our model.