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October 06, 2011 9:03 am

Waiting for the messiah

Written by Don Amend

The big news as I write this is that Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, has decided not to enter the Republican race for the chance to run against Barack Obama.

Shucks, just when I thought the race was going to get really interesting.

Not that it isn’t crazy enough already. It seems there are more people running for that nomination than there are wild horses running through the McCullough Peaks before a BLM roundup.

Still, it seems that a lot of Republicans, at least the ones who make the most noise, aren’t happy with any of them.

That dissatisfaction isn’t unusual, of course. Just about every election year, you hear a lot of people saying they want someone else to run, because all the others aren’t good enough.

I have to confess that I’ve been in that position myself over the years. I have been voting since 1966, and I’ve almost never been able to vote for my favorite candidate — a list that includes Nelson Rockefeller, John Glenn and Henry “Scoop” Jackson, none of whom never won the nomination, and Mark Hatfield, who never even ran.

(Note that two of those guys were Republicans and two were Democrats. I don’t want anybody saying I’m not “fair and balanced.”)

Anyway, back to the present Republican field of candidates, each of whom has some followers who think he’s the messiah that will lead us out of the wilderness, but each of whom has some characteristics that some Republicans will find, not just objectionable, but down right heretical.

Take Mitt Romney, for instance. Everyone knows he backed a health care plan for Massachusetts that was very similar to the national health care reform all Republicans hate, and he used to brag about it.

As for Rick Perry, it turns out he’s a bit soft on undocumented aliens, letting their kids pay in-state tuition at Texas colleges. Had Christie entered, he would have had that same problem.

Ron Paul turns off conservatives by saying we shouldn’t go around poking our noses in the affairs of such nations as Afghanistan and Syria, which has led some conservatives to call him weak on defense. Besides, as a libertarian he’s a bit soft on stuff like the war on drugs and abortion.

So what’s a good Republican to do? Go with Herman Cain, who thinks running the government will be just like selling pizzas and promises to run the government like a business. Many other candidates have promised that, but none of them has ever succeeded. This is probably because, as I once heard Stan Hathaway — a conservative Wyoming Republican who tried to do that — say the truth is, government isn’t a business.

So should Republicans turn to Michele Bachmann, whose knowledge of history and the Constitution seems to be a bit confused? Or should they hope that Sarah Palin decides to enter the race and pray that, if she gets elected, she won’t get bored and quit in the middle of her term?

A few people are looking even further afield for their messiah. A few months back, a letter to the editor of the most conspicuous newspaper in Wyoming claimed we need John Wayne for president, apparently unaware that Mr. Wayne is dead, and that the John Wayne characters this voter had in mind were imaginary people, the creation of Hollywood screenwriters.

Even dumber was a letter writer to Time magazine who said he could not vote for John McCain in 2008, so he had written in the name of Jack Bauer, the fictional hero of the television series “24.” Bauer’s main task on the show was torturing people in order to stop terrorism. The prospect of a guy like that as president conjures up interesting images of a small room in the White House where congressional leaders are waterboarded until they agree to support administration policies.

The truth is that there is no messiah out there. Republicans who are looking for one will be just as disappointed as a lot of Democrats who thought Obama was a messiah.

In fact, the president only has so much power, and the people who voted for him have a variety of positions, some of which conflict. Should a Republican be elected, I’m sure he will hear from conservative supporters who, as one example, want all undocumented aliens run out of the country and others who want to hire them to work.

The Democrats, of course, will be ready to take advantage of that split if they can get together and agree on a candidate. I’m guessing they’ll have the same problem, though. That’s politics in America, and there’s no political messiah out there who will stop that.

What we really need are more voters who will listen to reason and accept the reality that there is no perfect presidential candidate out there who is the magic solution that will solve all our problems in four years, or maybe even in 10 years.

Life and politics just ain’t that simple.

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