The same "Reaganesque" qualities will be essential to any successful Republican who aspires to this nation's highest office. But will any individual possessing those qualities step up to the "plate" in time?
With the Democrat Presidential primaries apparently already completed, and Hillary Clinton declared the uncontested winner, it might behoove Republicans to start pondering a workable strategy for the 2008 election cycle.
Thus far, it has been the “business as usual” wing of the party, with such notable past candidates as Bob Dole, who are working hardest to define the impending race. And true to form, if they continue to dominate we should resign ourselves to “President Hillary,” nationalized health care, and the grim eventuality of our children being raised by some bureaucratic monstrosity of a “village.”
The list of Republican names presently being floated as potential candidates contains some notables with substantial and creditable accomplishments (such as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani). Yet their support for a liberal social agenda constitutes an insurmountable liability.
Along with Rice and Guiliani is the standard litany of Republican imposters, chief among them being Senator John McCain of Arizona and Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, either of whom would drive the pivotal “values voters” of the 2004 election away from the polls in record numbers.
Romney has been weak and indecisive on such issues as traditional marriage, and the sanctity of life. And when politically expedient, McCain has been openly hostile to the Christian Right. Ultimately, this band of moderates is devoid of any who could connect with the conservative grassroots of “Red State America.”
To have any hope of a victory, Republicans must first recognize that they simply cannot triumph by adopting Democrat rules of engagement. No Republican candidate can prevail as a cheap imitation of his/her Democrat rival. The insipid “move to the center” strategy, which never served the Republican Party well in the past, will fare no better this time around.
Secondly, Republicans need to come to grips with the fact that their track record of success, for at least the past four decades, can be directly correlated to their ability to steadfastly advocate and advance the conservative message in the face of inevitable media attacks and character assaults.
The three issues that will define America in the coming decades, and are thus of primary concern to the electorate (despite any efforts of the liberal cabal to disparage such concerns as “narrow minded” or “simplistic”) are national security, national sovereignty, and restoration of the American culture.
Democrats can garner a sufficient plurality to secure a victory by running against such principles, as did Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, but only when facing weak Republican opposition. But any attempt by Republican candidates to waffle or “moderate” on these issues, or any past track record of having done so, will deal a fatal blow to their candidacies. Thus far, at least among the presumed Republican “frontrunners,” prospects do not look good.
Last minute, election year “conversions” by candidates seeking to appeal to the conservative base will be no more highly regarded than Hillary’s sudden advocacy of her version of “Christianity.” And while mainstream Democrat voters regularly ignore such duplicitous reversals, the “red states” are not nearly so forgiving.
Rampant government spending with the blessings of the White House, the lack of a veto of any measure no matter how adverse to conservative America, and perhaps worst of all, the immigration issue have left George W. Bush with no political “coattails.” As a result, the best approach for Republican candidates would be to treat him as an irrelevancy.
This being the reality of the current political climate, only a few individuals yet stand out. Senator George Allen, of Virginia is one such personality. And although Senators have not historically done well when attempting to ascend to the White House, Allen was also a very successful Virginia Governor. Overall, he can credibly campaign as a stalwart conservative. And that is a winning strategy.
One individual who embodies the qualities of principle and leadership so sadly lacking among the present cadre of GOP hopefuls is Representative J.D. Hayworth of Arizona. Admittedly, Congressmen have had even less success at winning presidential elections than Senators. Furthermore, to date Hayworth has shown little or no interest in running.
But he is a solid conservative and a fearless advocate of proper border control, and possesses the charisma and devotion to principle that are essential to brave the storms of “political correctness” currently decimating legitimate debate in Washington. He displays a clearer understanding of the immigration issue than anyone on the Senate side, and is spirited in his determination to confront and, more importantly, to fix the problem
The next presidential election cycle is looming close at hand, and Hayworth would have to move quickly to establish an organization sufficient for an undertaking of this enormity. But by so doing, he could completely change the political landscape.
The ongoing demonstrations throughout America by advocates of illegal immigration reveal an ominous and metastasizing threat to the country’s future. And whether it is Hayworth himself, or someone else with similar qualifications who will take the reins of leadership, the events of the past few weeks prove that such a leader is desperately needed.
Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming and has been involved in state and local politics for many years. He writes for several prominent conservative websites, as has written for regional and national magazines. His contact information and article archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com, and he can be followed on Twitter @CGAdamo.