The Prism of Electoral Reality

(See also: Prepare Yourself for Obama's Second Term)

In January of 2013, a deeply flawed human being will take the oath of office as president of the United States.  And he (or she) will do so based on the ballots of over 100 million deeply flawed voters.  This is what we call reality.

About this, we should not complain.  After all, in both Testaments, God used only deeply flawed people.  Why do some among us seem to think that we can/should/will have a better selection before us?  To believe and demand this is to deny reality. 

But I do not like denying reality -- and the reality is that the current occupant of the White House has among his flaws a deep resentment against this nation as founded, an ignorance of and antipathy toward the free market, a cynical notion of United States military power, and a proclivity toward socialism/statism/Marxism/fascism/corporatism. 

And it is these Obama flaws -- amplified by too many members of Congress who share them -- that drive the vast majority of the problems we are facing today as a nation.  There are flaws in every single Republican candidate for president, some of which should concern us.  But none of those concerns are really responsible for our big government-hobbled economy that is in its third year of real trouble, a housing market that cannot recover, a national deficit that threatens our way of life for generations, an army of overpaid bureaucrats whom we are ceding our liberties to by the hour, and a federal government which now appropriates 25% of our GDP instead of the modern average of 20%.

And under this weight, our very spirit is being broken, as the mountain of self-imposed government obstacles is so high as to kill off incentive to a lot of folks -- especially business owners.  And this is part of the leftist plan, of course.

And now spread before us are a group of men (and one woman) who are all well into their 50s and beyond.  That most of them look much younger can be deceiving.  The fact remains, however, that people who are that far along in life and who are in the position to run for president have done a lot in their lives.  Usually a whole lot.  Much of it is public, and not all of it is good, and not all of it is wise, and not all of it is moral. 

Thus, our roster of candidates share a lot in common with folks we know as David, Abraham, Moses, Jacob, Joseph, Paul, Peter, and Jonah.

Take this week's hot candidate, Newt Gingrich.  This week, we have learned that he was the recipient of significant consulting largess from Fannie Mae.  That's not a conservative resume enhancement by any means, but what does it tell us?  It tells us that Newt has ties to Washington and was less than altruistic in how he stewarded those connections.  Oh, the shock. 

But tell me, do you think Newt is the real problem with Fannie?  Was it his idea?  Is he determined to continue this kind of "left-wing social engineering?"  I think not.

We've also seen Rick Perry forget -- in the midst of a debate -- which three departments that he would like to zero out.  He had a brain freeze.  And no, that's not a good thing, and not particularly helpful in an election campaign.  But do we really think he would get into office and not know which three departments he would push Congress to zero out?  Really?

And then there's Herman Cain.  Beaten down by a ridiculous "not overtly sexual" sex scandal, he muffed a question on Libya with two awkward minutes out of an hour-long session.  That is not good.  That is embarrassing.  But let's grow up and know that a President Cain is going to defer such issues to someone like John Bolton -- which means we'll as citizens get damned good Libya policy that is congruent with what we believe.

And besides, do you think he would even attempt to implement 9-9-9 before the nation had reached some consensus on it?

Of course, we can't let Mitt Romney off the hook.  He did some things as governor of Massachusetts (including his campaign to win that election) that are terribly offensive to the conservative mind.  No argument from me on that.  And he's had to "adjust" his positions because running for governor of that state and running for president as a Republican in the same lifetime constitutes an attempt to defy electoral gravity.  Not excusing it -- just connecting some dots.

But let me ask you: do you think someone who has been an organizational success at everything he has tried will govern the United States the same way he governed the liberal state of Massachusetts?  Looking at it one way, Romney governed Massachusetts to the right of that state's population.  What would be so terrible if he did the same -- governed to the right -- with the nation's population? 

And even Ron Paul -- whose positions on foreign policy, plus his poll-spamming, debate-shouting, Kool-Aid drinking followers insult the standard Tea Party ReaganLimbaughLevin-type conservative -- would be far superior in the Oval Office to the current occupant.  There would be sufficient checks and balances on President Paul's powers to prevent the nuttiest of his ideas.  Meanwhile, I would love to see what he could do to government spending with a Republican Congress.

Which brings us back around to the reality thing.  Were any of our eight candidates -- yes any of the eight -- to win, it would more than likely be part of an election that sent even more Tea Party-type candidates to the House and the senate -- and likely gave the GOP the Senate in the process.  Thus, voices like Jim DeMint and Marco Rubio and Tim Scott and Allen West and others would be amplified. 

In such a scenario, good government could result regardless of who wins the White House, as long as it is not Barack Obama.  Consider that with the Contract with America Congress, we got relatively good governance with Bill Clinton in the White House.  This Congress and the next one will come much closer to the Congress of '95-'96 than any of the Congresses we have had since.  And Clinton is more liberal than any of our candidates -- even Huntsman.

And under such a scenario, even President Jon Huntsman represents a big improvement over what we have now.  Now, we can, should, and will do much better than Huntsman, of course.  But we will still be dealing with a deeply flawed candidate with probably six-plus decades of flawed existence.  

Fight like heck for whom you perceive as the best candidate, but don't get sidetracked by details.  God made do with nothing approaching perfection.  So can we.  And besides, it's our only choice.  That is the prism of reality.