The fear in the Republican Party is palpable. The country is being destroyed by Barack Obama. He must be defeated in 2012. Conservatives, long the red-headed step children of the Republican Party, have now become the dominant force through the emergence of the TEA Party. And they are determined to not allow another moderate Republican to be nominated by the Republican establishment. It would mean defeat. And another 4 years of Obama. Something the country cannot bear. It’s that important. Emotions are on high and what’s at stake is nothing less that the existence of America as we know it.
This is the viewpoint of most conservatives today and many Americans in general. This election is for keeps. Which is why the Republican primary race seems so manic. Talking heads have agreed this is a crazy primary season. And here’s why.
It’s open season on RINO’s. Republicans In Name Only. Conservatives have been left at the altar since Ronald Reagan left D.C. for his beloved Rancho del Cielo in California. A disappointing string of moderate Republican presidents, candidates, congressmen and senators have left the conservative movement with a case of jilted lover’s syndrome. Republican candidates campaigned as conservatives. And then ruled as moderates. Conservative principles were abandoned over and over again for personal and political gain.
This has left those in the conservative movement feeling used and taken for granted. Very angry. And highly suspicious. Conservatives are looking for 2 things in a presidential candidate. And these are non-negotiable.
#1: A True Believer.
A fighter who will champion conservative principles such as lower taxes, limited government, life, religious freedom, strong national defense, secure borders, energy independence, sound money, traditional values, the Constitutional rule of law and free enterprise.
These are core values that conservatives cherish. And the prescription for what ails America. Election year lip service to these principles is not sufficient. Conservatives have been burned before. This time, they are demanding the real thing. A genuine conservative. Fakers or political opportunists need not apply.
#2: A Brawler.
The anti-Obama. Conservatives have watched in years past as their candidates engaged in lukewarm policy discussions refusing to fight hard and talk tough. No more. The resentment felt for Barack Obama cannot be overstated. It is deep and dark. Conservatives are seething. They want a Rocky Balboa.
The Republican candidate must take on Obama toe to toe. Call him out. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Recall Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. Reagan was at his best in 1980 when he said: “A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.” With humor, Reagan said what everyone was feeling. But he hit hard. Conservatives long for someone who will tell the truth about and to Barack Obama. John McCain blew it in 2008. There’s no room for that in 2012.
The current crop of Republican presidential hopefuls is facing an electorate that has no tolerance for deviation from the conservative playbook. The problem for the candidates is that everyone knows this. Any supposed infraction is immediately twittered and trumpeted by media outlets, liberal and otherwise.
Conservatives have been deceived before by Republican candidates. Those who toed the conservative line just to buy votes. And all eyes and ears are on the alert lest it happen again. Conservatives are looking for the genuine article this time. Another Ronald Reagan. But even Reagan would not likely pass the conservative test in 2012. Even he was not a perfect conservative. Yet, for many, he was the greatest president of the 20th century and one of the greatest in American history.
There is no “perfect” conservative candidate. And that’s important to remember. Because in the midst of the frantic search for a candidate with true conservative credentials, “the next Ronald Reagan” that so many long for could well be overlooked. Rejected and discredited. Destroyed by his own kind.
The Republican primaries are set to begin with real voting in a matter of weeks. The true selection process will finally begin. Meanwhile, conservatives within the party continue the purge. Rooting out the weak. Exposing the insincere. Pouncing on imposters.