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Some Free Advice for the Republican Field
To be perfectly honest, I’m not crazy about any of the Republicans running for president. I still think Mitt Romney has the best chance to beat President Obama, but I also think he’s one of those rich guys who’s embarrassed about being rich. Rick Santorum is a train wreck. He blames the media for bringing up social issues that he had already brought up. I could be wrong, but I think deep down, Rick Santorum would like to set up a neat little theocracy here in secular America just to make sure we’re all living moral lives – as he sees it. I like Newt Gingrich. I think he’s smart and has some good ideas and would make Barack Obama look silly in a nationally televised debate. But every now and then he goes off the deep end and someplace along the line I fell out of love with him. Then there’s Ron Paul, who makes a lot of sense when he’s talking about money, and very little sense when he’s talking about a whole bunch of other things, especially foreign affairs.
That said, I still plan to vote for anyone running against the person currently occupying the White House. But what has me worried is that the Republicans have spent entirely too much time belittling each other – all to the benefit, I fear, of Barack Obama. I understand the reality of the situation – they have to win the nomination before they can run in the general election. But all the name-calling can’t help the Republican who survives. You think the Democrats aren’t taking notes – and making video clips – to use in ads once the nominee is picked?
It’s time for the Republicans to knock off the sniping and start running against President Obama. Here’s what I think they should do -- and whoever does will will stand a good chance of winning the hearts of any voter who hasn't already made up his or her mind:
Tell the American people that this president doesn’t have a clue when it comes to money. Tell them that he spends and spends and spends to make government bigger and more people dependent on it. Tell them that he has raised the debt by about $5 trillion dollars since he took office and if he wins re-election things will get worse, that he will have no incentive to stop trying to transform America into something that resembles socialist Europe. Tell them that when he gets done taxing the “rich” he’ll come after you – the middle class – because he can’t tax the top one percent enough to do everything he wants to do.
Tell them that while we had to go to war in Afghanistan, 10 years (plus) are enough. Tell them that we beat the Germans and the Japanese in four years, and that we’ve been in Afghanistan way too long. Tell them we go to war to defend America, not to nation build. Tell them that 10 minutes after we leave – whenever that is – the Taliban will be back terrorizing the locals, because that’s what terrorists do when the locals are afraid. Tell them that we as Americans abhor what the religious fanatics in that country do to their people but we will not shed any more American blood to make things better. The Afghan people must do that. And tell them that if the Taliban or their friends even think about using Afghanistan to stage another attack on America, we will unleash drones on them and when they die they won’t even know what hit them.
Tell the American people that while you don’t care whether they use contraceptives or not, and that you’ll stay out of their way if they decide to have an abortion, tell them that having kids outside of marriage is hurting them, their kids, and their country. Tell them that having children without being married – according to study after study – will put them and their kids behind the 8 ball; that their kids will likely grow up poor, that they run a higher risk of failing in school and will likely have all sorts of other problems. Tell the American people that you will use the bully pulpit not to preach morality but to encourage people to think straight – and to stop their dysfunctional behavior. Tell them that the reason they’re poor is not because someone else is rich, or because America hates minorities or women or anyone else. Tell them the reason they’re poor is because they do things that make them poor.
Tell the American people that we’re all in this together. That no longer will half the working population pay absolutely no federal income tax. Tell them that we are a generous nation that will help the working poor. But half the country isn’t poor. So the rest of the American people – the ones who have deductions that reduce their federal income tax rate to zero – will start paying something. Tell them that if they elect you president, everybody will have skin in the game – and even if they don’t know it now – everybody will be thankful before long. Nobody really wants to feel like a freeloader.
And finally, tell the American people that Barack Obama rode into office on a promise to bring us together and then made a conscious decision to run for re-election trying to drive us apart. From now on, you should tell them, there will be no more class warfare, no more pitting Americans against each other based on how much money they have in the bank.
Tell them these are not just words. Tell them you too have a vision of America and that it is decidedly not Barack Obama’s vision. Tell them, that with their help, we will feel good about ourselves again, that we will stop apologizing for America's supposed sins. And then tell them that if this is not the America they want then they should vote for the other guy.