In Tom Clancy’s novel Executive Orders, Jack Ryan becomes President after a long and successful career in the CIA. A terrorist takes out the President, Congress and the Supreme Court, just after he was sworn in as Vice President, replacing someone that had resigned. It was done to re-unite the country, but was only supposed to last for one year. What is so appealing about the scenario is he never had to compromise to ascend to the Presidency, and he had no political debts to pay. He was free to govern in the manner best for the country with little opposition.
But it’s fiction.
Jack Ryan isn’t running for President. Neither is Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, or George Washington. Nor is Jesus running. Even this guy isn’t running again. All of our candidates have flaws, and all of them have had to make compromises and have strayed from the conservative path at one time or another during their political career. They all have warts, and no amount of makeup is going to cover them.
What we need to be doing is looking at the positives of the candidates. Perry, Huntsman & Romney have lots of executive experience governing their respective states. All three and Newt have successfully furthered the conservative cause during their career at one time or another. There are even some positives with Santorum, though not as many as with the other four.
We’re all aware of the flaws in each of the candidates. We’ve been hearing about them ad nasueum for the past few months. I just don’t believe that choosing a candidate based on who has the least flaws is the best method. Winning this race is going to require a positive message and some reasonable experience to back it up. Reagan won because of this, not because he had fewer negatives than anyone else in the race. He convinced the American people that he was the right man for the job.
This is who we’re looking for. If all we’re going to do is keep accentuating the negatives of each of the candidates, very few of us are going to be engaged once one of them is selected. Colonoscopies are important for determining health, but you can’t rely on them alone. It’s time to move beyond that and get behind a candidate that not only can win, but has the coattails to maintain the majority in the House and regain a majority in the Senate. Who can handle the media? Which candidate has the political savvy to deal with the Democrats to actually get conservative legislation passed?
It is difficult to accomplish anything with our system of government. That’s a feature, not a bug. The one we’re looking for is the one that can successfully move us back in the other direction, if only a little. No one is going to turn the clock back to 1781 in four years. We have to stop demanding a utopia, but instead work together to present the best candidate from what we have. That, unfortunately, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the one that’s the most conservative. We have to be ready to accept conservative enough. I’m ok with that, and you should be too.
Tom Clancy had to blow up Washington to get Jack Ryan. We just need a guy that can clean it up, even if just a little. The alternative is to allow Barack Obama four more years of dictatorial corruption, and a mess that will be even harder to clean up after he’s done.