A Way Outů
After three Republican candidate debates and a smattering of states having straw poll contests, the big question for the party remains – Can it unite behind its nominee, determined to win at all costs, or will it allow the media to muddle the race, dividing itself to be conquered?
The GOP presidential candidates have been the fodder for jokes on every late night talk show. They were recently spoofed on Saturday Night Live in one of the best skits I can remember in recent times. The sad part is the basis for the humor is fairly close to reality. (See the skit here: http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/GOP-Debate-Cold-Opening/1358180)
The joke closest to real life, however, is credited to David Letterman when one night he quipped that President Barack Obama was watching the Republican debate, in the White House, and after it was over he turned to the First Lady and said: "You can stop packing now, honey."
Such a sad perception the media is imparting to the general public when any of the GOP hopefuls are better qualified and certainly could do no worse than the current resident of the White House.
Former Speaker of The House of Representatives Newt Gingrich was totally accurate when he said in a recent debate that it is not about media generated Republican infighting – it is about President Obama being defeated in November 2012.
He was right; we have turmoil and economic strife in our nation as bad as it has ever been, with little signs of relief on the horizon. Our president is playing over his head in a "global economic game" which affects all of us.
President Obama has only a small clue as to how to get anything accomplished, no apparent agenda and has alienated most of the effective Washington insiders, on both sides of the aisle, who actually accomplish good.
We are on the cusp of one of the greatest opportunities for a desperately needed economic change, if the tide continues in favor of the GOP. The question is: Will Republicans be able to maintain focus through the upcoming primary season, or will they divide themselves over political ideology to be conquered...again?
It is tiring to hear people parroting the press by saying the GOP isn't fielding any good candidates. The field includes multi-term governors and members of Congress; a former senator, a diplomat, two very successful businessmen, and a former Speaker of the House. Short of an ex-president coming out of retirement, I am not sure what other experiences could be on the menu.
Each of these individuals (except Herman Cain) has served more time in elected public office than former Sen. Barack Obama did prior to becoming our 44th president! All of these candidates, no matter how wooden or stiff, regardless of accent or awkward hand gestures, appear less self-centered than the man currently leading our country...and that is important.
Granted, to be President of the United States you have to start with a huge ego to drive yourself forward and to emit "presidential-size" self confidence; however, those who did best as the leader of the Free World were empathetic, in tune with the citizens and understood being selfless when it came to caring for our nation and its people, especially in times of economic turmoil.
The Republican Party and its presidential candidates need to be educating the public daily about the need to change course in our nation. Our problem does not lie in the minutia of whether candidates are socially conservative or who can evoke the name of Ronald Reagan the most. That will do little good to a jobless, starving people. Our problem is our economy and the fiscal welfare of our people.
The key to a GOP win and an economic turnaround is fiscal soundness. Recently I was at a Republican club meeting listening to a GOP state senator being questioned about gay marriage and civil unions. There were good questions by the audience and good answers given by the senator. However, the best question came at the end of the discussion.
Standing in the back of the room a young man asked the best question when he said he couldn’t care less about gay marriage and civil unions. He wanted to know when the State of Maryland is going to do something about tax relief, jobs and the economy... that was his priority.
Kudos! This young man was on the money with his question. People are worried about jobs and the economy. Young people especially. They are trying to look into the future and do not want it clouded with social issues – until they feel economically secure. Not that they don't care...it is just “basic needs” priorities.
The GOP can win the 2012 election – if they remain focused, as a group, on the facts that jobs, food and shelter trump all the social differences and the inter-squad political differences which can be hashed out later.
Even though the media will continue to paint Republican presidential candidates as right-wing, center-right, Tea Partiers, libertarian-leaning or even just plain weird, it doesn't matter, our nation cannot fall into four more years of an economic death spiral.