All the cool people were chiming in with their presidential qualifications list. I thought I'd try to be trendy and urbane too. Possibly smoke some cigarettes with those fancy quellazaires and blowing smoke rings, while breezily opining on the matters of the day. That's still cool, right?
OK, now the fun and games are over. I mean that. What's been done to this country the last 4 years isn't a bit funny, nor have been two generations worth of the march to an over-arching state, the very opposite of what the Founding Fathers built and 10 generations of Patriots fought and died for.
November 2010, America voted to break the seige. We sent 90-odd new soldiers to the wall some of them replacing soldiers who demonstrated no stomach for the fight. What they do for two years, we'll see. Succeed or fail though, we will send another 50 in November 2012, perhaps replacing some of those who campaigned one way, then governed another. In addition, we will send in a new field general.
Starting in January 2013, we can drive the Visigoths back over the Alps, pursue them all the way back to Dacia, then burn down and raze their homeland into an ash-surfaced parking lot. Thus, and only thus, will be saved the Republic established by Washington, Madison, Jefferson, and other giants not named Sanger, Wilson, Roosevelt, Warren, or Obama.
Alternatively, after breaking the seige we can shout and cheer from the walls of Rome, and party for weeks on end as the Visigoths retreat and lick their wounds. If we do what we have always done, we will leave their forces relatively intact, able to regroup for an even stronger seige in 2014 or 2016. They will as always have a 5th column securely embedded in the city in the form of the media, the government unions, and a massive bureaucracy with the power of stifling regulations ready to continue, unabated, the left's agenda.
So which road will voting Republicans take? The Party will choose the safe, comfortable option unless we, the voters and the activists, push them and elect leaders who actually lead. Who we select as a presidential nominee will say much about the America we want to build (or rebuild).
The Republican nominee will win in 2012
This is my belief: in November 2012, the Republican nominee will be elected President. It will be a tough, vicious battle. Arrayed against us will be massive and well-funded efforts by the Left and the media. They have tremendous numbers of well-organized union foot soldiers who know how to turn out the vote, dead or alive, and how to cheat elections (just look at Harry Reid's election for a textbook example). They are, finally, respectful and fearful of the power of the Tea Parties, and they will want to stomp the life out of any grass roots freedom-oriented movement. There is nothing to take for granted, no room to get sloppy or lazy.
But it will happen. We will not be sloppy, lazy, or dumb. We will gain 5 Senators and 20 House members. at the minimum. If we stay on message, and nominate strong, articulate, conservative candidates, including the presidential candidate, it will be 10 and 40 (yes, that's "inconceivable!". Book it). We lost alot of close races that we will not lose next time if we are ready, motivated, and well-led. And this time, even the "safe" Democrats like Barney Frank will be fighting for their lives. Along with the net gains, there will be a shocking number of Republicans who lose in primaries to Tea Party candidates who will then win in the general election.
The Tea Parties are just getting started
Speaking of the Tea Parties, they are just now finding their footing. They will grow wiser and more.... thorough...... in their attention to candidates, new and incumbent, Republican and Democrat. More thorough in their knowledge of ground game, funding, technology, and the methods and goals of their enemies. Interestingly and to their credit, they will remain fiercely decentralized and contentious, but most importantly, due to them Americans as a whole will be more engaged, more informed, more diligent, more watchful of the goings-on in Washington (and in their own city councils and state halls), from January 2011 to November 2012 than in any 2-year period in American history. And they will not be satisfied with what they see. They will demand better at every level. I dare say that neither Republicans nor Democrats of this age are prepared for the kind of scrutiny they will get in the coming 2 years.
So, about that field general. Better be the right stuff. Big time.
The right stuff
This is my opinion, but I bet I'm not alone. [Below I use "he" and other male gender terms - I weary of "he/she" constructs, just know that this includes women] The media is not going to pick my candidate. The "who looks the most like a candidate the middle will find appealing" contest will not decide for me. The GOP Establishment does not reflect conservative ideals, and we are busy taking them from within anyway (see ColdWarrior's PC Project). They are not going to decide for me. The Tea Parties, with which I will own to being a fellow traveler, also do not decide for me. I decide for me, and this is the president I will have.
- A leader -- You know what a leader is, don't you? You do when you see one. It's nice to have a wonk, a guy with the best conservative ideas, a person who can reach out to the middle. But the qualifications begin with a man for whom others will charge hell with a bucket of water.
- core conservative instincts -- Does he instinctively view new or old challenges through the prism of conservatism, or is he easily drawn in by specious nonsense like Keynesian economics or global warming? Does he immediately act because "we have to do something about this", or is his first instinct toward freedom from government intrusion? Will he be a constant force, leaning, agitating, vetoing, strong-arming a weak-kneed Congress to reduce spending, reduce taxes, reduce the government footprint in our daily lives, strengthen America abroad, advocate for America, and anchor his policies in what is good and right?
- the courage of his convictions -- Will he act, or fail to act, out of fear of what the media will say? Will he commit America to difficult road when it is the right thing to do? Will he choose Supreme Court and lower court nominees based on who is the most qualified and most true to the Constitution, or will he choose the ones with the smallest paper trails in order to minimize Democrat opposition?
- bold, charismatic, and articulate champion of core conservatism -- can he teach Americans the simple wisdom of conservative principles? Perhaps the squishy middle likes a squishy middle candidate, but I don't think so. I think they would resonate to a well-spoken conservative message. We keep hearing, and I believe that, we are a center-right nation, but the conversation, the terms, the newsmedia and academia are all thoroughly dominated by the Left and the terms of the Left. To break through all the left-noise, we need a leader who welcomes every opportunity to explain cogently why our viewpoint is the right one. He needs to excel at it. It need not be scholarly, but it must be memorable and compelling.
- believes in a muscular, exceptional America that bows to nobody, and owes nobody an apology or an explanation of anything. -- America is special and unique. History has seen neither her like nor her equal, not once, not ever. We are the strongest, the most just, the most compassionate, the most generous nation that has ever existed. And it's not bragging when you can back it up. Our field general will proudly serve, proudly defend her name and her interests, and happily proclaim her as the light of freedom that guides all freedom-loving people in the world..
- views leftism as the opposite of the Constitution. -- this is a deadly serious affair. Everything -- everything, and I dare you to find me an exception -- the Left strives for is away from personal liberties, away from consent of the governed, and toward control, toward taking from the unfavored and giving to the favored. My president will fight it, call it out, and actually despise it in his guts.
- professing, born-again Christian -- my president will believe in universal right and wrong. He will appreciate and foster the moral underpinnings on which this country must stand, and without which we are nothing but the world's strongman. And he must be a Christian; not a church-goer, a pew sitter, one who speaks glibly of God. I must be able to sleep at night knowing that our Field General is a man of prayer, and that the prayers of the saints nationwide concerning him reach a God who he calls Friend and Savior. Hey, it's my list, and you don't have to agree or like it.
- proven record of governance, leadership and competence -- I do want him to be good in front of a teleprompter. I really do, but that should be down the list of his talents. I will not be swayed by a campaign or by campaign promises. What was he doing 10 years ago, and 5 years ago, that demonstrates what he says on the campaign trail? When life punched him in the mouth, did he come up fighting? Was everything handed to him, or did he have to scrap for what he's gotten or accomplished? Does he have victories, skins on the wall? Does he know how to delegate to trustworthy subordinates? Does he choose intelligent and wise advisors?
Nobody will shine in every category, but I believe that the times breed the right person. In another time, Washington and Jefferson might have been nice, adequate plantation owners of some regional repute. But the times called on men to do great things, and they rose to the occasion.
2012 will bring us men and women who could take on a bear with a birch switch; people made of the right stuff, because the times demand it. We need to make one of them our President.