I have a personality flaw. That flaw is that I’m naturally inclined toward pessimism. It’s from that perspective that I am afraid for our prospects of voting out President Obama in November. We have a perfect opportunity and I’m afraid we will squander it.
The Republican field for president has been volatile because no one individual has had the record or personality to articulate a real difference in their view of America. Newt Gingrich has come the closest, but he has his failures in record and personality that keep him from being a viable candidate. I’m not whining that one candidate should be the nominee over the Mitt Romney and that the voters are dumb for not seeing it. My disappointment isn’t with the failure of any candidate that has dropped out of the race. My disappointment is that there isn’t a viable candidate for me to pine for. There is no one on the sidelines for solid conservatives to draft. The thought of a brokered convention excites me for about five minutes. All four of the remaining candidates would be better than President Obama. I will work to get any of them elected (Yes. Even Ron Paul.) It appears however, that I will be working to get Mitt Romney elected.
The problem is that it is a hard sell.
I was wondering the other day what had happened to Ann Coulter and who was now impersonating her. She used to be on Sean Hannity’s show on a regular basis trying to get Chris Christie or some other person to run “because if we don’t, then we are stuck with Romney.” Now she is pumping him up every chance she gets. She’s a smart woman. What happened? Earlier today I realized what had happened. She realized the inevitability of Romney as our nominee. She decided that it was better to backtrack sooner than to decide after the convention that she had to support Romney.
This is where I am today. I will support Mitt Romney to defeat Barack Obama. Reread that sentence. I will support Mitt Romney to defeat Barack Obama. This is supporting a negative. I am not necessarily for Mitt Romney, but I am “all in” when it comes to ending the Obama presidency. Unfortunately, this is the message that Republicans just may be taking for granted. Are Republicans counting their chickens if they believe anyone can defeat Obama and that is all that matters? There is a large group of Republicans that believe Mickey Mouse could beat Obama this year, but there is a greater number that hold on to this ambiguous concept of “electability.” It’s one of these concepts that you can’t define, you just know it. This group believes Mitt Romney has it. This is where you hear the argument that a candidate needs to be near the center of the political spectrum to have mass appeal and win.
I believe that the United States is a center-right nation politically. Trying to appeal to the center-center is a mistake. I believe that a Democratic candidate campaigning to ward the center picks up votes. I don’t think many people will argue with that point. Democrats try to present themselves as more conservative during election season. Depending on their district, they will advocate anti-tax policies, be pro-military, or be pro-life. A quick look at any Republican election will show you how important the conservative vote is. Mitt Romney spoke at CPAC this year for example. I believe that if a Republican goes too close to the center, and cannot provide enough of a contrast with the Democrat, then he/she risks losing due to apathy. If people believe that they are getting similar policies, then there is no incentive to vote. Partisans will vote, the middle will vote for something, but they are not voting for the letter next to the candidate’s name.
Romney is in danger of engendering that apathy. With Romneycare and being a “Wall Street guy”, Mitt Romney isn’t inspiring. He just isn’t. If anything, Mitt Romney will encourage the Occupy movement to participate and vote. It could be hard for most people to care enough to vote against a crony capitalist when they believe the alternative is a corporate.