Recently by Susan Westfall: We Are All Libertarians Now
I’ve always been a great lover of ice cream. It’s almost as American as apple pie, upon which a scoop of vanilla is often added for true perfection. We’ve all chanted that old childhood ditty "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!" And seriously, who hasn’t waited for or chased an ice cream truck down the street at some point in their lives? Then came Baskin-Robbins. Ice cream lovers everywhere rejoiced at the advent of their 31 flavors. Not only that, they also introduced rotating flavors of the month! This innovative marketing concept undoubtedly contributed to BRs becoming the world-wide franchise it is today. That being said — and my appreciation of ice cream and creative ideas having been expounded upon — I would like to suggest that the GOP stop trying to emulate BR’s success by introducing a new flavor of candidate every month. In politics it’s not really innovative, as much as it is mind-numbing — and nauseatingly ridiculous.
What (you might ask if you were Rip Van Winkle) is the goal of applying such a marketing strategy to the political realm? Apparently at some level of the established leadership structure, there still resides the idea that candidate kryptonite will be discovered in time to fortify the ranks against impending disaster. Somewhere, in some nook or cranny yet to be peeked into, lurks a miraculous nominee able to leap the immovable wall of Ron Paul in a single tent-saving bound.
While the search continues, we are bombarded by the press with this month’s top contender — the name keeps changing as rapidly as the media polls do — Mitt Romney. At the upcoming CNN New Hampshire debate on June 13th, Mr. Romney will assume the center stage position, thereby demonstrating (hopefully) his superiority as a candidate to all viewers not intelligent enough to divine this fact from his steel-bending responses and laser-like stares. I expect the morning of June 14th will prove these hopes sorely dashed. Mr. Romney’s rhetorical ammunition to this point has proved of only two casts: well worn status-quo pebbles unable to penetrate previously abused eardrums; and shiny, new rocks of constitutional sagacity chipped from the afore mentioned immovable wall. The latter will sound good, but Mr. Luther — um…Mr. Romney — does not have a supportive enough voting record to withstand even the most cursory of glances by those wishing to verify his sincerity. I wonder if Mr. Romney is given to premonitions, seeing as he has decided to skip the Iowa straw poll.
Next? Ms. Palin and Ms. Bachman ————– "On you marks!" Surely, one of the two females in the revolving carousel of flavors will be given their moment in the sun as well. According to Slate, it won’t be Ms. Palin however, so Ms. Bachman better suit up.
In the meantime let’s move on to other candidates already in the display case. First, Mr. Gingrich whom it would seem is in for some difficulties — if not already on his way out — since on Thursday his "campaign manager Rob Johnson and…[the] entire senior staff, including [the] strategists in early primary election states," resigned en-masse. Good luck with that is all I can say.
Next, there’s Mr. Pawlenty who, in essence, threw himself under the bus by acknowledging that "Mitt is going to be the front-runner." I’m sure his campaign staffers were — after their initial shock – reinvigorated to hear him add, "but those early polls usually don’t predict the final outcome." Then, there is Mr. Santorum whose demise — once it’s admitted to — will eventually be laid at the door of Google. Two cases of either blowback or collateral damage it would seem.
As for Mr. Cain, the New York Times felt moved to state that "candidates with electoral resumes as thin as Mr. Cain's have very poor track records." This despite early polling results for him being more impressive than even those achieved by "Mr. Jackson in 1988, Mr. Buchanan in 1996 and Mrs. Dole in 2000." Numbers even the Times apparently found remarkable, especially considering all three of these candidates were achieving name recognition percentages of 80, while Mr. Cain’s recognition factor "barely exceed[ed] 30 percent." One just has to wonder, albeit tongue in cheek of course, if the poll respondents included employees of the Federal Reserve and Godfather’s pizza.
All this without even mentioning Gary Johnson — the candidate banned from the New Hampshire debate for "low poll numbers" despite his having participated in the recent South Carolina debate. Sadly for him and for the so-called "democratic process," he seems to have been allotted the position of replacement "fringe candidate of the year"
Lest you be heaving a sigh of relief at the moment — don’t bother — as there are additional flavors presently in preparation for the voters’ edification. Possible favorites with previous mass appeal that might rotate in and out are: Rudy Giuliani; Rick Perry; Jon Huntsman; Jeb Bush; and any other possibility that can be dredged up from the depths of some ancient rolodex.
This distasteful state of affairs is likely to continue for some time. At least until the GOP concedes that times have changed. This is not the 2008 election cycle. There is no enchanting new flavor to be found in their stale freezer of ideas. The economy is in a shambles, the country is bankrupt, the failed foreign policy of war and empire is an expense that can no longer be afforded — and the people know it. The tea-parties, which included participants from all areas of the political spectrum, were evidence of the great awakening that began in 2007 and continues to grow apace with the crisis. The formerly clueless televised mainstream media is now recognizing the fact that there is only one candidate with real solutions to America’s problems and the prospect of even challenging Obama. The quiet little country doctor and Congressman from Texas’s 14th District.
Ron Paul has been offering the tried and true taste of liberty to the American people for decades, and has a record just as long to back it up. The time has come for his distinctive, unique brand of flavoring. It’s finally in high demand and it’s value isn’t going anywhere but straight up. Consequently, it’s time for the Grand Old Party to accept with grace the presence of Ron Paul and invite his supporters gladly into their "big tent" for the win in 2012.
Susan Westfall [send her mail] is a mother, a libertarian, and an educator.