Republican voters have become political versions of Goldilocks. Every candidate they look at is seated either to high within the Republican establishment for their liking, or too low within the TEA Party for their support. Every candidate they chew on is either too hot or cold. And every candidate’s campaign they sleep on is either too hard or too soft on something for their liking. Now you could argue that Goldilocks was too particular about everything. The same case could be made about Republicans in their selection of a candidate. You could also argue that both Goldilocks and Republicans just have very high standards and will not settle upon a choice until they have carefully examined each one.
No matter how you look at it, before you draw any conclusions on that, you must first answer an overriding question.
Did Goldilocks find a suitable bowl of porridge to eat, chair to sit in, and bed to sleep, in because she was making her decision relative to the choices available to her? Or did she make her selections because they were as good or better than what she could have ever imagined a good bowl of porridge, a chair, and a bed could be.?
Republicans have yet to determine what they will base their decision on. Will they base their choice of a candidate on some imagined political Rambo who can singlehandedly kick the ass out of our national debt, imprison out of control spending, and blow up all the bad guys? Or will they make a decision based upon the candidates available to them?
Dumb blond or not, even Goldilocks knew that the only way she was going to eat, sit, and sleep, was if she based her decision on what was realistically available to her.
The G.O.P. and those active within the TEA movement are at a point in time when they must make that same critical decision that Goldilocks made.
Are we going to push the options available to us and shape the debate in such a way that existing candidates are forced to stake out positions that we either support or oppose? Or are we going to continue to to project some wishful image of the perfect candidate on Chris Christie, Sarah Palin, Mitch Daniels, or Paul Ryan, and beg them to run for President?
Many Republicans did that with Rick Perry.
With at least eight other major candidates who were running for months already, Rick Perry was the one. He was the answer we were waiting for. Then he told us we were heartless for not being supportive of taxpayer funded programs for illegal immigrants. Well I have news for everyone. Chris Christie is not perfect either. Don’t get me wrong, I like what he is doing so far, but he is not perfect. We now know that Rick Perry isn’t perfect either. And it is safe to say that Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Herman Cain are also not perfect. For that matter, neither was Ronald Reagan in 1980. No matter who runs, there will be a problem with some aspect of their record, personal history, or personality. But at some point we have to say to ourselves, are we going to engage those who have committed themselves to run a campaign for President, or are we going to keep imagining someone who has not been willing to commit themselves to running, as some kind of utopian candidate who is the only one who can do what is right for America?
This is not to suggest that Republicans must settle for anything less than the best. But I am suggesting that by working with what we have, we can force the candidates running, to become the best. In America, no one is born a President. Presidents are people who have risen to the occasion.
It is up to us to set the table that they sit at. We are the hosts, and this party begins and ends when we say. The candidates running are sitting as guests at our table and they have to abide by our conditions. If they do not, we won’t be inviting them back. If we as Republican voters can understand that, than we will not need to wish for someone else to run. If we focus on the candidates running and force them to compete on the terms we set, some will live up to our standards and others wont. But we have to give those running, a chance. It is not fair to cast Rick Perry aside because of one incorrect tought, or Mitt Romney for one failed experiment.
The first step though, requires that we the voters really know what we want. Once we know that, all the candidates will have reasonable expectations to live up to. The one who comes closes to those expectations will be the nominee. And when we do have that nominee there is another lesson we must learn from Goldilocks.
After finding the chair that was just right for her, she eventually broke it. The parable to that is that even when we find the candidate who is just right for us, it is possible that like Goldilocks with the chair that was just right for her, we can be too hard on the candidate that is just right for us, and break them. That might possibly be what we are doing right now.
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