it’s a difficult search in real life, but it’s even harder in politics. i don’t know how many more stories i will have to read about how conservatives are unhappy with all the current frontrunners for the republican presidential nomination. they know the kind of candidate they want, and they just don’t see that ONE TRUE CONSERVATIVE in the race right now who is capable of beating the democratic nominee (whoever that is). i admit to being disappointed in the current field, but maybe conservatives will just have to settle for romney, giuliani, or mccain. maybe there won’t be a late entrant on a white horse who will fulfill all requirements of the social and the fiscal conservatives this time. there’s nothing wrong with having high standards and never compromising those standards, but in the political world, we don’t always get everything we want in a candidate.
in supporting romney, giuliani, or mccain, we have to accept that they aren’t really reagan conservatives, and that this is not necessarily a bad thing. it makes sense that they would want to embrace the social conservatives and the religious right, because those are still influential groups in the republican party. there is more to conservatism than “values issues”, although those issues are very important.
how should we define conservatism? in its hard-core form, i suppose that the definition would be a combination of the social (pro-life, pro-gun, opposition to gay marriage) and fiscal policies (low taxes, limited government, and significantly lower federal spending). it would also include a no-tolerance policy for terrorists, as well as an affinity for judges who have an originalist view of the U.S. constitution. (did i miss anything in this definition?)
i’m not sure that there are many conservatives out there like that who would be willing to run for public office. most of them are too smart to run and put themselves through that grinder, and i don’t blame them for that choice, but that’s why we are where we are.it would be hard to make the case that any of the current candidates will be exactly what we want, and on some issues, it will be difficult to overlook past history. that’s ok. take the bad with the good, and don’t give up on this field of candidates just yet.
i have a few ideas for my perfect presidential candidate (which i may or may not share in a future post), but i want to know what you think. if you could elect anybody as President of the United States, who would it be…and why?