An interesting article by Mark Davis which ties the “Free Market” concept with the current GOP primary situation. An article which curiously fails to mention even the NAME of either of the other candidates still in the race, and tells us to “Calm down” and “Relax” and “Take a deep breath”…sound familiar?
If Mark Davis were to follow his market analogy, then he would agree that competition breeds quality improvement.
There is a plethora of evidence that:
a) McCain indeed could conceivably go into the convention without 1191 delegates.
b) The other candidates (all that currently have delegates–Huckabee, Romney, and Paul) will as a result have influence at that convention.
c) All four of these Republicans add to the discourse, and as a result improve the party and hold it to its principles of National Security, Free-markets, and Traditionalism.
d) Governor Huckabee and Congressman Paul will have a debate with John McCain at least once before the very important March 4th Primaries. This helps the Republican party in a plethora of very obvious ways.
There is no such thing as a perfect candidate with a perfect history. Reagan wasn’t perfect either, but he communicated the Conservative vision extremely well. Huckabee does that better than McCain and that’s why he is doing so well in “Middle America.” That doesn’t make him perfect, and it doesn’t make him Ronald Reagan, but why is a candidate having MORE success in core Republican States make him LESS of a player than someone having LESS success there (like Romney).
If we are concerned about the future of the party (or more importantly the Conservative Movement), you need to look no further than the Youth Vote on the Republican side. In competitive Primary states (Missouri, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Georgia) Republican voters between 18-29 vote pretty largely in favor of Huckabee…there’s a reason for that, and it’s mainly because the guy makes sense, he doesn’t “golly” too much and he doesn’t speak down to people, he relates and he connects.
Another odd thing about the “Middle America” voter: the “three legs of the Conservative stool” are not represented so clear cut by the candidates’ supporters. For instance, Mitt Romney supporters are more confident of his foreign policy abilities than they are his economic abilities, and McCain supporters are more confident in his economic abilities than in his foreign policy abilities. Seems odd doesn’t it? It’s not odd; it means that most people don’t vote like mindless drones based on ONE issue. If they’re voting for some guy, they either a) like him because they like him, or b) believe he is the right man for the job…period.
The reason why a John McCain fan feels John McCain can handle the economy better is because they trust him…they respect his military leadership experience to the point where they think he would MAKES BETTER DECISIONS about the economy. An avid Romney fan trusts Romney to run our Military the same way he run his businesses: efficiently, intelligently, calling on other experts for advise, and MAKING GOOD DECISIONS.
And a Huckabee fan trusts Huckabee with Foreign Policy AND the Economy, not because they hope he’ll sweep into the White House, change all our textbooks to teach only Creationism, hang all the gay people and hand out guns to first graders. They trust him because they trust his ability to MAKE DECISIONS based on his Faith, his Principles, and his Values, and like the idea of his getting on his knees every once in a while and asking the Good Lord for guidance. Thus the often maligned and often denigrated “Evangelical Right” wants a leader that makes major decisions much like they do. (And by the way, did anyone notice that the more educated voters in these States tend to vote for Huckabee…hmm.)
All that to say that “the third leg of the stool” is the one that is missing from the Conservative conversation…and Huckabee embodies that even more than the current President does, because he talks about ECONOMIC and NATIONAL SECURITY issues from the SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE point of view. Reagan did it…A LOT!…just listen to his speeches. It’s perfectly reasonable (even recommended) for someone’s foreign policy and economic ideals to be firmly rooted in their “SOCIAL” principles.
Liberals do it easily. Every argument they make stems from a social core: Respect for human dignity, the plight of the poor, equality, “universal health care”, privacy…
Name an argument–foreign policy, economics, or social–from the left’s point of view that doesn’t stem from this core. It’s impossible to think of one. Simple economics, historical truths, science…all can be ignored at the drop of the hat because of what they feel is the “Right” thing to do. And their logic still comes out looking consistent and sound.
The Conservative view has the ability to do the same thing, but it gets lost in semantics: “I’m a FISCAL conservative so I think those dumb redneck christians should just shut up about their stupid “social” issues. ” or “That Romney guy is a good business person, but I just don’t think he has what it takes to fight the ‘War on Terror'” or “That McCain guy thought stemcell research was a good idea so he should definitely ROT IN HELL.”
I’ve often said that the thinking Conservative view is harder to sell because it requires logic to defend it, whereas the Liberal point of view doesn’t require it at all. The problem with that is, obviously, thinking Liberals feel the same way about the Conservative view. Thus logical conversations are often impossible between even the most intelligent political thinkers.
Maybe the problem is that the Conservative three-legged stool is not really Free Markets, Christian Fundamentalism, and Peace through Strength. Instead, maybe it’s: Limited and enumerated Government, Community and Family Values, and National Sovereignty. Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee represent those ideas better than ANYONE in the race and thus need to continue to be heard. Without this perspective Conservatives look like either: 1) warmongers, 2) greedy money-grubbers, or 3) fanatic proselytes. (As opposed to Environmentalist Wackos, Feminazis, and Peaceniks). None of these images were attractive to “Reagan Democrats.”
I believe my point is, if we can’t have a reasonable, logical, and productive conversation with each other through the Republican primaries–regardless of the damn delegate count, how in the hell are we supposed to change the hearts and minds of Liberals and “Moderates?”