Rick Perry is not a friend of mine.
I don’t know Rick Perry, he’s not a friend of mine and from what I’ve observed of him he’s no Ronald Reagan. But I think conservatives who are so crashingly disappointed in Perry today really need to chill out and gain some historic perspective.
The wails of anguish emanating from various conservatives today is disconcerting for many reasons but primarily because I fear there is no antidote. People who have the ability to inspire friends and disarm enemies with wisdom and good judgement, don’t grow on trees.
Unfortunately “Ronald Reagan” is not a hardy perennial that can be planted each spring in odd numbered years for a bountiful harvest in the fall of even numbered years.
A look back over the group of men who attained the presidency, reveals very few Ronald Reagans. That is because Ronald Reagans are very rare. Perhaps they should be on the endangered species list. Think of this for a moment. How many Ronald Reagans have there been in the 220 or so years since we started keeping score?
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Teddy Rooesvelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan. Any others? Can we even agree on those six? I mean to be blunt Ike was sort of a squish sometimes and TR was a bit of a compassionate conservative diva (assuming you didn’t have antlers). Abe had a squeaky voice and don’t get me started on Jefferson’s bimbo eruptions and perpetual indebtedness.
Conservatives might be well served to cut Rick Perry (and all of our other candidates for that matter) some slack when holding him up to a template that few men (or women) have ever fit. Being inarticulate is not a character flaw. Lack of affinity for a superficial exercise that has virtually nothing to do with performing in the crucible of the presidency should not disqualify a candidate.
Barack Obama is so bad and so destructive and the need to replace him is so exigent, that conservatives have developed a collective case of the yips. We crave a candidate who is so wonderful that we can finally relax and look forward to the end of this nightmare. It is not going to happen. There are no Ronald Reagans ripe for the picking in 2012 so we had best concentrate our efforts on insuring the election of some lesser mortal with an R after their name, flawed though they may be.