I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

- de Tocqueville 1831

Friday, February 3, 2012

In The Land of Lillaputia It's Hard to Find Giants

The political "silly season" is in full swing.  Republicans, Independents and a few Democrats are in the process of choosing the candidate that:  a) they think would be the best choice for president, b) the candidate that has the best chance of defeating the current president (Barak Obama in this case) or c) as in the case of the few Dem's. that slip into the REPUBLICAN PRIMARIES, vote for the candidate that will,  in their mind,  lose to Obama. Why we let Independents and temporary Republicans - Dem's in sheep's clothing - choose our candidate is beyond me.  I believe the best answer to making the right choice for our nominee is to vote for the one we most want to place in office.  As my wife said this morning (yes she is still my wife and gratefully so) "we make the winner".  Choosing the candidate who is the most "electable" is granting to oneself a foresight that is not available to us mere humans.  Part of this thinking is brought about by listening to political pundits who espouse themselves as experts.  These "experts" (the republican establishment for one) who actively work to elect a nominee that is more moderate, are of the belief that we cannot draw in the votes of independents which are vital to winning the White House.  This has given us candidates such as Bob Dole and John McCain (yeah, real winners there).  These establishment types were dead set against Reagan getting the nomination, but now they want to jump on the Reagan band wagon and are often quoted as having been a supporter of Reagan all along.

Everyone with a hint of conservatism are now looking for the next Ronald Reagan.  The problem is, their will never be another Ronald Reagan.  Heck, even Ronald Reagan wasn't Ronald Reagan before the office made him the great leader that we so fondly remember.  Even in office, Reagan had made his fair share of mistakes; mistakes we now choose to forget or to deemphasize.  The hard truth is none of us are great until that time we need to be great.  The office of President of the United States of America is unlike any other job in the world.  It makes great men out of ordinary people.  This is why I put large emphasis on the moral fiber of whom I choose.  It is not easy to determine the moral fiber of a candidate and we all have baggage.  I dare say that few could undergo the scrutiny that our candidates are put through without looking bad.  That scrutiny gains more intensity with the advent of time and technology.

I have chosen to vote for Rick Santorum, in part for his stance on unpopular issues.  This indicates to me that he has the fortitude to do what he says he will do.  I also believe that he will have the strength of character to change course if he finds that he has led us in the wrong direction.  I am comfortable in voting for three of the four Republican candidates (with the notable exception of Ron Paul).  However, I could not support any of these men for king.  Thankfully, we do not need to choose an autocrat.  This is the genius of our founders,  knowing that  people are fallible and susceptible to corruption.  Balance among the three branches tempers the impact of choosing the wrong candidate. 

So here in the land of ordinary people (Lilliputians), we will have to give up looking for giants and do the best we can to raise our kids to be of giant character and to elevate our standards so that when the time comes we can find amongst ourselves tomorrow's leaders and today's banner bearers.