What does the future hold?
A lot of folks are asking the question these days, and not just about politics. Opinion polls consistently reveal that Americans are fearful – for the cultural direction of the country, for their safety, for their kids’ prospects, for their ability to pay for basic necessities and for the national economic strength to allow them to remain employed and maintain a quality of life – and seeking some assurance that tomorrow will be better than yesterday.
The old saying goes, “Elections are always about the future”, which is corroborated by the plethora of chatter about who both the Republicans and Democrats will nominate going into the next presidential election. About three-quarters of those surveyed suggest that America is on the wrong track. It’s more than just pessimism among the citizenry – it’s outright fear.
None other than the leader of the NeverTrumpers, Bill Kristol, wondered out loud (or at least in print) about who would lead America back from the brink. In a piece titled, “Who Will Both Defend and Reform Our Democracy?”, Kristol wrote last week at The Bulwark:
“We don’t face a challenge of the magnitude of the one Lincoln faced. But we do face considerable challenges. In considering who should lead the Democratic party in the 2024 election, supporters and friends of the Democratic party need to ask themselves who is up to these challenges. Who can at once marshal the forces for a stubborn defense of our democracy and mobilize the means of its energetic reform?
“For while one speaks of a challenge facing a political party, the answer tends to come down to that party’s leadership—and in particular, in the United States, to that party’s presidential nominee. That nominee is key. He or she has to win the election. He or she has to govern successfully. He or she has to once both conserve and reform.
“Who is that person? We won’t know until many individuals step up to the line, state their qualifications, and make their cases. They have time to think about whether they want to do this, and how to do this. But not that much time. The flag drops on November 9, 2022.”
That’s the day after Election Day this year, in case you were wondering. But oh Bill, did you write this with a smile on your face? Maybe you could use a hug. I’m sure Joe Biden – assuming he’s recovered from his bout with COVID – would be pleased to advance you the gesture as long as he could sniff your coif and massage your shoulders a little bit in the doing.
It’s reached the point where Kristol isn’t even considered a nominal Republican any longer when he’s waxing poetic about Democrats taking future leadership roles. His transformation is complete: Bill’s gone over to the Dark Side and is never coming back. Perhaps now he’ll even admit Darth Vader is really his father – but that’s a story for another time.
Why shouldn’t Bill be a full-throated Democrat? Senile Joe Biden’s completely adopted Bill’s aggressive neoconservative foreign policy rhetoric and policy approach. It was the Democrats and establishment Republicans, not conservatives, who provided most of the impetus for recently sending tens of billions of domestic dollars in pursuit of Ukrainian favor. Senile Joe, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell and “Chucky” Schumer wouldn’t even consent to stringent accountability measures before appropriating the loot. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kristol is on the president’s speed-dial for daily consultation.
In his piece, Kristol seemingly grasps at straws to try and find a “reformer” liberal who doesn’t exist. Needless to say, there was no discussion of culling the potential 2024 Democrat field down to those who could win – which basically rules out practically every party politician. But such viability speculation usually only takes hold on the GOP side.
Whenever pundits or the establishment media suggests that conservative candidate X or Y “is unelectable” or “can’t win”, it’s almost always due to some perceived disqualifying personal trait or incident in their history that the opportunistic snobs then project onto the judgmental electorate as ruling out the possibility of him or her ever winning a statewide or national race.
Granted, that prohibiting personal characteristic unique to each candidate only applies to conservative Republicans. It’s not disqualifying, for example, to examine Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock’s past praise of black radicals and his anti-Semitic remarks, his marital history, or anything else about the man because he’s a minority Democrat running in an old South (and therefore assumed to be racist) state, and to make a stink about his character issues would only demonstrate that said complainer is a bigot, potential domestic terrorist, or worse.
It shouldn’t be forgotten that the Republican Party possessed all the material it needed in 2008 to make a big deal out of candidate Barack Obama’s longtime relationship with Black Liberation Theology propounding Pastor Jeremiah Wright – you remember, the guy who said after 9/11 that America’s “chickens have come home to roost”, and shouted “God damn America!” during one of his rants – but the soft underbelly of GOP nominee John McCain wouldn’t allow for the truth to get out lest it make him look mean and intolerant – and racist!
But if there’s a blip in any Republican’s past – THAT’S ALWAYS FAIR GAME! Donald Trump has been married three times! He’s rich! He allegedly called Venezuelan beauty queen Alicia Machado fat or something! He said awful, distasteful things to Billy Bush on that “Access Hollywood” tape! He’s a cad, a sexist, probable racist, “deplorable” all to himself – and therefore should remove himself from politics!
The sleaze-pursuing establishment media and the Democrat base hasn’t stopped with its expressions of outrage about Trump and all other Republican candidates. They can’t afford to tone it down, because it’s all they’ve got.
But I’m also sensing that Americans are moving past the pettiness into a new era of sensible political awareness where they’re paying much more attention to what a candidate promises to do and his or her ideas of fixing the badly broken system rather than homing in on something he or she said or did x number of years ago. It’s hard to make the argument that a politician is ineligible to serve when inflation is sucking the value out of everyone’s retirement savings, illegal aliens are undeterred by the federal authorities, crime is rampant in the streets and it costs you a hundred bucks to fill up your gas tank.
Has America finally reached a “who cares” moment? It’s not that conservatives and Republicans don’t pay any mind to human mistakes of the past, and the party establishment talking heads such as Karl Rove certainly give outsized importance to ugly personal warts, but, in the balancing act of life, when should we say “enough is enough” and, “just shut up and vote already”?
It’s not just candidates running this year, either. The Republican establishment and the heinous ruling class media tried hard to retroactively banish Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert by acting shocked and appalled by episodes that happened in their backgrounds. Oh! MTG once said something nice about QAnon! Lauren Boebert was arrested at a country music concert and likes to carry a gun!
Sooner or later, the establishment’s overt exclusionary efforts for conservative candidates they don’t like -- such as Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell (2010), Indiana’s Richard Mourdock (2012), Missouri’s Todd Akin (2012) and Alabama’s Judge Roy Moore (2017) -- become a self-fulfilling prophecy. These unfortunate pols became “unelectable” because the powers-that-be pulled resources from their very winnable campaigns, damaging them to the point where it was very difficult, or even impossible, to prevail against their Democrat opponents.
There’s nothing quite like your own party’s campaign brains all-but working against you. Democrats never had better friends in the instances cited in the previous paragraph. Does anyone notice that Democrats NEVER do this to their own people? Heck, Ilhan Omar married her brother and the liberal hierarchy didn’t say a thing about it. Or Sen. Dick Blumenthal was caught in a blatant lie about serving in Vietnam, and Democrats strained their necks to look the other way. They just wanted to win, baby!
Bill and Hillary Clinton have been bilking the taxpayers and screwing (in some instances, literally) the system for virtually their entire lives, and Democrats essentially cried, “Come on back Bill & Hill, how about another four years?”
It’s about time American voters got beyond the personal stuff and concentrated on policies that will make their lives better. No one ever said you had to like your boss in order to do a good job, and politics, though ultimately a popularity contest, is not a beauty pageant. Here’s thinking the world would be better off if we elected some candidates with a few warts every now and then – and I’m not talking about welcoming Nancy Pelosi in a bathing suit or looking past Hunter Biden in a presidential campaign.
Something as important as the future should not solely be determined by a candidate’s personality, personal history or a blip on an otherwise successful life. America needs leaders who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is and say what they mean… and mean what they say. Fortunately, the extraordinarily long presidential campaign season will allow the cream to float to the top.
Or sink to the bottom, in the case of the Democrats. Bill Kristol won’t get what he seeks – a Democrat with the courage to fix themselves as well as plot the future. Democrats are only interested in settling scores and maintaining appearances. It’s up to Republicans to provide the real path forward.
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