I’ve written to warn you about those who are trying to deceive you. But they’re no match for what is embedded deeply within you—Christ’s anointing, no less! You don’t need any of their so-called teaching. Christ’s anointing teaches you the truth on everything you need to know about yourself and him, uncontaminated by a single lie. Live deeply in what you were taught.
1 John 2:26-27
Not having too much to do, I’ve been able to follow the Republican primary circus pretty closely, and generally found it to be a fabulous show. I’m an interested spectator: I’m not Republican, but I’m also not a dyed-in-the-wool registered Democrat; although I usually lean liberal, I try to vote based on the candidate’s positions, not his party.
I can’t remember enjoying a primary election so much in the past. There have been so many bizarre twists and turns, with a cast of characters beyond a fiction writer’s wildest dreams:
- Michele “My facts are accurate” Bachmann
- Herman “I did NOT — OK, maybe I DID, a little bit, sleep with or sexually harass every woman I laid eyes on” Cain
- Rick “Three things, what was that third thing?” Perry
- Newt “Keep it civil, you lying, liberal, tree-hugging, Obamacare-supporting SOB” Gingrich
- Ron “My foreign policies hark back to the Monroe Doctrine” Paul
- Rick “Ban contraception, environmental policy, and logic” Santorum
- And, of course, Mitt “The dog on the roof was a long time ago” Romney
Now the field is narrowing, and we’re down to a manageable number of lunatics who actually want to be President, running around slinging mud at each other as hard and fast as they can. It’s dizzying. For now, the accusation “You’re not conservative enough” is the filthiest accusation they can toss around. Each one is trying to outdo the others proving that he is the most conservative, and therefore most worthy of winning the candidacy.
I would humbly submit that these efforts by candidates to out-conservative each other may, perhaps, be a little shortsighted. After all, in the general election, are those on-the-fence undecided voters going to want somebody who’s just spent the last few months beating his chest and proving his uber-conservative credentials? Is somebody who’s gone to great lengths to disavow any relationship with level-headed environmental, energy, foreign, and domestic policy; who’s made darn sure that everybody knows HE won’t change his mind, regardless of the evidence; who’s guaranteed that HE won’t compromise, even to the very bitter end — is this guy going to appeal to people who are, by nature, compromisers?
When I vote, I look for somebody who’s going to examine the evidence on all sides of an issue, who will listen to the advice of advisers from a variety of viewpoints, who will make an informed decision based on the best information at hand.
I don’t want somebody who’s never going to compromise: Compromise is crucial to a working democracy. I take the accusation of a politician being a “flip-flopper” as a good thing, proof he’s willing to change his mind if the situation or evidence changes.
I don’t want somebody who stands alone, convinced that he and he alone knows the best way: No one man can know the best way to run this incredibly complicated country.
Most of all, I won’t want somebody who’s going to make stupid, un-keep-able promises just to appeal to a certain segment of voters (note: It’s true, all candidates do this. It’s depressing).
No individual, not even the President, can magically fix our economy and get unemployment back where it belongs, and certainly not solely with tax cuts for the rich and corporations.
No individual, not even the President, can guarantee energy independence, and certainly not by drilling more here in the US.
These issues require an entire government working together as a unit, not some heavy-handed proto-dictator passing down decrees from on high. Americans admire independence, pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps, and firm, definitive, and unswerving confidence in leadership — all things that I would humbly suggest make terrible Presidents.
I hope that whoever ends up the Republican nominee turns out better than any of them look right now. In the meantime, I’m spectating avidly, always wondering: What can they come out with next?