The American public is not currently thrilled with its two political parties, and they have all the right in the world to be disenchanted. It is clear that the current administration has struggled - as most big dreaming Presidents are known to do once they realize that the realities and the domestic pressures of the job prevent a reinvention of the wheel.
And over on the Republican side, business is just as messy as they have failed to take advantage of an opponent who would normally be facing an incredibly daunting reelection campaign. But due to internal party squabbling, and a lack of excitement in regards to candidates, the Republican Party now finds itself in a precarious position.
The problem they face is entirely of their own doing, and it comes from a hesitance to come to terms with the following statement: Ronald Reagan is not walking through that door, and a candidate of his stature should not have to.
The conservative base in
It’s not fair to hold Mitt Romney – the most pragmatic and practical of all the candidates – up to the standards of the grand old ghosts of the Grand Old Party. The likes of Lincoln and Reagan are revered for the same reasons all famous men are: they were considered exceptional in their field. Exceptional candidates do not come around every four years, nor can we even expect them to come around once in a lifetime. The Democrats are currently learning that lesson with President Obama, and Republican supporters would be wise to follow suit. All that glistens is not gold, and there really is no such thing as the perfect candidate.
Furthermore, the glorification of past leaders is a noble undertaking but it can be detrimental to the leaders of the present. On the Democratic side, history has been very favorable to John F. Kennedy, as his steady hand during The Cuban Missile Crisis helped steer the world clear of nuclear war. Yet every year a new tale emerges of sordid affairs and a troubling family life shaped by an almost maniacal father.
And for the GOP, not a debate can go by without the candidates tripping over each other to mention Reagan first; even though this was a President that instituted many policies – such as amnesty for illegal immigrants and eventual tax increases – that would be considered political napalm for a modern Republican’s campaign.
Both great Presidents, but certainly neither man was infallible.
It’s that message of infallibility that the Republican voters must come to terms with if they truly want to reclaim The White House. For history has a way of being viewed through rose-colored glasses. We remember the highs, yet rarely the lows. And after all, who’s to say that Reagan and Kennedy could even be elected in today’s hyper critical, 24/7 media environment? Reagan was a divorced former actor. If so much of the Republican voter outrage is stemming from a lack of a true moral leader, then even one of
Smaller government and enhanced personal freedoms will always mean a great deal to conservatives, but those ideals lose much of their luster if those in power do not abide by them. A candidate like Mitt Romney may not be considered the perfect conservative; he certainly is not. But that should not matter.
After all, there’s a reason that voters are consistently disenchanted with their candidates once they reach the oval office. It’s a hard job and it takes place in an even harder world and to expect nothing but clear sailing is naive. Maybe one day, after all the hand wringing and complaining, voters will realize that the problem doesn’t lie with the candidates, but with themselves for constantly believing that the perfect saviour is out there somewhere. Superman isn’t walking through that campaign office door. He never has, he never will. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author's own and do not necessarily represent those of The Prince Arthur Herald.
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