The Republican Party is desperately seeking a candidate who can unseat Barack Obama.
What qualifications would the ideal candidate have? How about these?
1. He should bring to mind popular past Republican presidents and leaders, to prove his authenticity and excite the Republican base.
2. At the same time, he should be able to win the support of a large number of Independents and disaffected Democrats.
3. He must provide a sharp and positive contrast to Obama. The country is souring on Obama — polls show him at all-time lows. Obama's youth, once appealing to voters as freshness, is now looking more and more like inexperience and uncertainty. A mature GOP candidate, with successful experience inside and outside of politics, would provide a sharp and appealing contrast.
4. He must have a solid record of foresight on the economy. As in past elections, the phrase “It’s the economy, stupid” may decide the election.
5. His message should excite and motivate the increasing number of voters looking for a limited government, pro-Constitution candidate.
6. Above all, of course, the candidate must have a genuine shot at beating Barack Obama.
We have such a candidate before us — Ron Paul. Consider:
1. More than any other GOP candidate, he recalls the best qualities of previous popular Republican presidents. He is the very embodiment of Ronald Reagan’s statement that “Government is not the solution, government is the problem.” Just at the moment that the public is turning against Obama's several wars, Paul reminds us of President Eisenhower, both for Ike’s ending of the Korean War and, especially, his renowned warning about the dangers of the military-industrial complex. He also calls to mind two famous GOP candidates of the past, who, though unsuccessful in their races, profoundly influenced the GOP in the direction of limited government and constitutionalism: Barry Goldwater and “Mr. Republican,” Robert Taft.
2. Surveys show that Ron Paul has more appeal to Independents and disaffected Democrats than any other Republican candidate — and more than Obama.
Every Democratic vote for Paul is at the same time one less Democratic vote for Obama — a twofer of the best sort! And only Ron Paul can assemble a coalition of Tea Partiers, anti-war and pro-civil liberties leftists, and change-minded Independents, while at the same time retaining the GOP base. Indeed, a recent study showed that a stunning 49% of his supporters would not vote for any other Republican candidate.
3. Ron Paul exudes a Reaganesque maturity that can trump Obama's youth card. Remember Reagan’s effective reframing of the age issue during the 1984 debate with Walter Mondale: “I will not exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” Unlike Obama, Paul has served in the military and has been successful in his private sector career. And Paul has a political record of trustworthiness and consistency that no one else in Congress, Democrat or Republican, has.
4. Paul has been right, again, and again, about the economy. His message of free markets, limited government, and economic liberty will stand in stark contrast to the ever-bigger-government rhetoric of Obama.
5. No candidate in modern American history has been as close to the message of the Founding Fathers, as deeply committed to the Constitution, as Ron Paul. His supporters already know this, and more people are learning about this every day. Glenn Beck recently told his millions of listeners that Paul is "the closest to our Founders" of any of the GOP candidates. This has appeal that transcends left-versus-right politics. Millions of Americans will be excited to have the opportunity to vote for a candidate sounding the ideals of the Fathers.
6. Finally, on the vital question of who can beat Obama, surveys show Ron Paul can compete head-on with Obama. Indeed, there are indications that Paul has the best chance of any Republican against Obama.
Summing up: no one else but Ron Paul fulfils these six crucial requirements; Ron Paul is the Republican Party Dream Candidate!
Jim Cox [send him mail] the author of The Concise Guide to Economics and Minimum Wage, Maximum Damage. James W. Harris has published articles in numerous magazines and newspapers including Reason, The Nation, and the Orange County Register.