Thursday, March 1, 2012

Some Thoughts on the Republican Presidential Nomination

Americans tend to idealize the political candidates they support, while ignoring the shortcomings which their preferred candidates possess. They also tend to favorably compare their preferred candidate with his (or her) competitors by trashing the other candidates. This theme has been evident during this election cycle. Not one of the four Republican candidates for President can stand up to a rigorous appraisal. All of them have strengths, but all of them have serious flaws which might affect their future governance of our country. All of them are guilty of misrepresenting the positions of one or more of the other candidates. None of them have all the qualities necessary to be a worthy president. Here is a look at all the candidates:1) Santorum: Santorum makes marvelous points about such topics as the role of a Catholic in society, but fails to live up to his Catholic ideals when it comes to voting. He supports anything with the label Republican, and makes concessions so as to be accepted by his political peers, instead of upholding the ideals which got him into office. Rather than attacking other candidates for being hypocritical, Santorum should reexamine his commitment to his own ideals.2) Paul: Paul has some good ideas on cutting spending, but tends to cling doggedly to his libertarian philosophy. His political thought is essentially based upon letting the states decide what laws they want in place – no matter how contrary to good government the laws of the states are. He can mesmerize many people, but he also quickly rubs those who do not support him the wrong way. 3) Gingrich: Gingrich has experience, but his morals leave quite a bit to be lacking. While he says the right words during debates, he still does not understand the repercussions of his own actions. He claims to be opposed to gay marriage, but has not lived out the concept of a traditional one. His “flexibility” in his personal life raises many concerns about the type of leader he would make. 4) Romney: Romney is able to run a business, but politics requires more than a cut and dry business approach. Also, does anyone know what he really stands for? Romney’s record as Massachusetts governor seems to suggest a shifting political philosophy. He also needs to prove he is not another establishment pick with a shifting record and no backbone. There are other issues which I did not even bring up for lack of space. Which one of these flawed candidates is the best of the four? I honestly do not know. But bashing other candidates by misrepresenting their positions is destructive. In the end, any of the four current Republican candidates would make a better leader than Obama. If Republicans wish to see that happen, they must stop spewing vitriol at candidates they oppose, make their decisions, and stick behind the final candidate chosen, however great his personal flaws. Otherwise, they are asking for another four years under the current administration, which will have nightmarish consequences for our country.

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