Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina just announced his candidacy for President in 2016. That makes about 20 people running, or preparing to run, for the GOP nomination next year. That means each of those Republicans will be telling us why we should vote for them instead of the other 19 candidates in the myriad state primaries beginning early next year. In order for them to that they must criticize their opponents, all of whom are in the same political party, and, presumably, have similar views on the future direction of our country. Nevertheless, they must disagree with their opponents, otherwise, why are they running? Hence, if they want the conservative vote they’re likely to tell us how much more conservative they are than the other 19. The same goes for the moderate, aka, independent vote. One wonders how they can remember and accurately articulate the public records of so many others, each of whom will be attacking them at the same time.
Out of the 20, there are probably 10 that will be more than a blip on the political radar screen by the time the primaries begin. Still, that mean 10 Republicans will be bashing each other until one of them gets the required amount of delegates to win the nomination. Then, when they get into the general election campaign the Democrat nominee will be pointing out all the prominent Republicans who told the country that the Republican nominee was unworthy of the presidency. Said prominent Republicans will then be unable to support their standard bearer without appearing to be hypocritical. Is this a sensible plan to win the White House? The GOP is telling the country that we need to reestablish a secure foreign policy, revitalize the economy and deal with a host of other domestic challenges, including immigration.
In fact, we often hear of doomsday scenarios that could occur if we don’t put a common sense Chief Executive in office. If we assume that every candidate believes we’re headed in the wrong direction, and that another Democrat would only continue to follow that path, shouldn’t Republicans put ego aside and form an alliance behind one or two candidates and have them vie for delegates? Let’s face it; most of them know their chances are between slim and none. Wouldn’t it make for a stronger nominee if they could coalesce around the top tier candidates early in the process? The contest between the GOP nominee and the likely Democrat (read: Hillary Clinton) will be tough enough without the extra baggage brought on by a blistering primary battle. In 2012, when Romney finally got the nod, he was pilloried all over again by Democrats using Republican criticism as part of their attack machine.
Where is the National GOP during all these quixotic candidacies? Isn’t there a leader strong enough to bring the group together and cull the herd, so to speak? Frankly, it seems to me that a lot of people are running merely to get nationwide prominence in order to pump up their speaking fees and sell books. Although there’s nothing wrong with trying to earn more money, it seems a bit unethical to do so by conning gullible voters and using the national stage as a front for one’s personal aggrandizement. I’ll admit to being a political junkie, causing me to look forward to these sparring sessions every 4 years. But, if our country is in as much trouble as we’re being told by those who seek to rescue us, I’d gladly sacrifice some of those stimulating exercises in one-upmanship in order to keep this ship of state from sinking.
Similarly, we need some sacrifices from those who proclaim to be patriots fighting for the resurrection of the American dream. If they can put their pride aside for the good of the country, perhaps the GOP nominee would be less tired and tattered when entering the arena against the ultimate challenger. If we had 17 or 18 well-known leaders abandon their recent plans and begin working alongside one or two from the top tier, the nomination process would give us a winner with a lot less baggage and a lot more money! I think the result would be a Republican Party that’s ready to rumble with anyone or anything the Democrats throw at them.
Bob Weir is a veteran of 20 years with the New York Police Dept. (NYPD), ten of which were performed in plainclothes undercover assignments. Bob began a writing career about 12 years ago and had his first book published in 1999. Bob went on to write and publish a total of seven novels, “Murder in Black and White,” “City to Die For,” “Powers that Be,” “Ruthie’s Kids,” “Deadly to Love,” “Short Stories of Life and Death,” and “Out of Sight.” He also became a syndicated columnist under the title “Weir Only Human.”