“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned;

if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity;

but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand."

Ezekiel 33:6

"A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring."

Proverbs 25:26

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The GOP Nomination Is About the Future, Not the Past

"In a free society, government reflects the soul of its people. If people want change at the top, they will have to live in different ways. Our major social problems are not the cause of our decadence. They are a reflection of it." - Cal Thomas
The most popular parlor game among the cool kids these days is “Find the Apostasy.” You just fire up The Google, type in a potential candidate’s name and pick from a list of current ‘third rail’ conservative policy positions, e.g. cap and trade, earmarks, individual health insurance mandate, or amnesty. Within a nano-second you’ll have a host of quotes from five, ten or even twenty years ago with something far less than a full-throttled opposition to these policies. You may even hit the jack-pot and find a potential GOP nominee downright supporting one of those ‘third rail’ positions. Fire up a short blog post, toss in a couple “RINOs” and…presto…comment crack.
Don’t get me wrong; I am absolutely opposed to those positions and have been for the 20+ years I’ve been in this game. I also absolutely believe that the GOP nominee in 2012 must also be opposed to these positions going forward. However, I think we have to be careful about firing up the way back machine unless we recognize that, even 5 years ago, the political climate was very, very different.
Obama didn’t invent deficit spending, burgeoning debt, new entitlements or wasteful government boondoggles. Those have all been around for decades. Obama just found a V-8 booster we didn’t know our fiscal engine had. He seized a rare moment to implement almost the entire Progressive wish list and failed so spectacularly and exposed its false assumptions so clearly that even the most wishy-washy “independent” could recognize it was a false religion.
So, today, the American public, and especially the average GOP primary voter,  is in the mood for a policy rumble. They want to dramatically cut spending, reform entitlements and, to varying degrees, scrap the tax code and start over. They are more aware of the challenges we face and better educated on the policy implications than I’ve seen in my lifetime. They are ready for a very adult conversation on the tough choices our nation has to make.
But, this wasn’t always so.
Just a few years ago, a politician who campaigned on “bringing home the bacon,” i.e. earmarks, was a pretty safe bet for reelection. In fact, more “bacon” usually brought a bigger victory margin on Election Day. Showering more money on education or handing seniors a brand new prescription drug entitlement put one on the safest political glide-path. Talk about “compromise”, “working together” and “bipartisanship” and you were assured a long and successful political career.
Worse, the electoral landscape was littered with the carcasses of political Cassandras who had tried to warn us about the horrible decisions we were making. In 1988, Pete DuPont went into the Iowa caucuses warning us about ethanol subsidies and the looming bankruptcy of Social Security. He was never seen again. In 1996, Sen. Phil Gram and Steve Forbes urged us to scrap the tax code and institute a Flat Tax. Sen. Dick Lugar urged us to institute the Fair Tax. All were crucified by GOP primary voters. (Imagine if we had tackled those issues back then…)
I’ve always believed that politicians, like everyone else, respond to market signals. If you vote for a politician because they bring you earmarks, you’re going to get a lot of earmarks. If you vote against a politician who advocates entitlement reform…surprise, you’re not going to get anyone advocating entitlement reform. Conversely, if you reward politicians who cut spending, you are more likely to get a lot more spending cuts.
Inevitably, people running for President have usually spent a lot of time in politics. They have probably occupied a string of local, state and federal offices that has stretched over decades. That’s a lot of political terrain. And, over the last 20 years, that terrain was an order of magnitude different than today’s.
In fact, many of the policy challenges we face today are due to the fact that the public was largely asleep at the switch for the last two decades. We basked in the end of the Cold War and took our prosperity, and how we became prosperous, for granted. We thrived in a strong, albeit bubble, economy and on those rare moments we thought about politics, we liked those politicians who had soothing rhetoric and promised they could fix various problems with a couple of bucks here and there.
Fortunately, much of the American public has awoken from this stupor.
Virtually everyone running for office is going to have some policy position in their past that doesn’t mesh with today’s political climate. If, however, a candidate is able to convince me that he understands the political shift that has happened and is willing to commit to a bold agenda to restore American exceptionalism, I’m willing to give him a mulligan. In other words, I don’t so much care what you believed yesterday, I care about what you are going to do tomorrow.
I hope that aspirants for the GOP nomination can catch up with the public’s mood and outline the bold reform agenda we need. I hope one of them realizes that the politics of the past two decades was an unserious escape from reality. I will absolve your past sins if you convince me that you get it.
In the past few weeks, two prominent potential candidates showed us they still don’t get it. The others still have a chance. But, in the end, we may have to take this into our own hands. The national GOP leadership is still very far behind the times. So, why wait for them? Rather than decide among a half-dozen or so people who offer themselves up for the job, it might be time for us to offer up our own candidate.
Bottomline: We the People HAVE been asleep at the switch, and we must do our job. Otherwise, our country will be in the hands of the power/money-greedy, unprincipled, politicians who we've "allowed" to operate.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke

 "I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachment by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation." - James Madison





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