So here we go again, another election with an open field of candidates. For one side, the choice is pretty clear, the Democrats will nominate President Barack Obama. Then there will be the Republicans, who are obviously the opposition party and must select a candidate to their liking. Once this process is complete, the Republican nominee goes on to face President Obama in the general election. It is a typical American political story that has yet to have an ending.
Personally, I identify and am registered with the Republican Party. My preference is not solely based on ideology (though it is not entirely obsolete), but also on what I feel to be a better track record. Hailing from an East Coast state, the corruption and big machinery of the Democratic Party is rather abhorrent. The few times Republicans have held statewide office in this region, it has been for the better (Chris Christie and George Pataki, to name a few). One may ask, how was it that these great leaders could be elected into office? The way I see it, this was because the party realized the need for a pragmatic approach and selected the candidate who had the best chance for victory. On the national level, however, I am afraid that this approach is lacking within the party.
Barack Obama has been in office for a little over three years. Personally, I believe that he has performed a terrible job in office. Of course, he has not achieved anything as president during his tenure, which would disqualify him from being labeled as a good or bad president in my opinion. It appears as though he thoroughly wishes to be the most effective do nothing president in recent history. While his administration may be one for the record books, it is not one that the American people need for four more years.
At first, Republicans seemed to be opening up. They had a Mormon and former Massachusetts governor as their front-runner. Mitt Romney is by no means a conservative. He is a bull’s-eye moderate right on the ideological dart board, and that is perfectly acceptable. Romney is conservative on the two dominant issues of the race, fiscal and foreign policy. As a result of this, Romney has held the slight edge over the president in recent polls. Why is this? It is because the crucial independent voters can accept him as a candidate.
Unfortunately, last Saturday’s South Carolina primary displayed some bleak colors. After adhering to fears that “a moderate” would be the Republican nominee if Romney won, South Carolinians granted Newt Gingrich 40 percent of the vote. I find this to be rather absurd on a few accounts, but the fact that Gingrich has a weaker national standing than Romney in the polls doesn’t leave much to the imagination. Let’s face facts, conservatives can talk all they want about social issues, but at the end of the day, the unemployed swing voter will not be concerned with whom he/she can marry. So why is Gingrich better for the Republican Party just because he proclaims himself to be a “conservative”?
A typical answer lately has been that he evokes the policies of Reagan. That rhetoric may sound good on the surface, but we must remember that Reagan ran for president over 30 years ago. Times have changed, and the “Great Communicator” would have known better than anyone pragmatism was key to victory, which enabled him to govern effectively.
So in effect, the Republican Party has to realize that fundamental ideology is not always beneficial. The best candidate must be backed. This year, like it or not, Romney’s the guy. If Gingrich wins the nomination, I have a feeling it will be another four years of a useless Democratic administration.