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The GOP Seeks its own John Kerry

Eight years ago a candidate who inspired young Democrats and independents was passed over in favor of a more electable choice – John Kerry was chosen over the brash Howard Dean in an “anyone-but-Bush” race.

Today, Republicans line up in an attempt to repeat history. In this "anyone-but-Obama" race, they are overlooking a candidate who inspires inside the party and out in favor of the “electable” option.

Is a win more important for Republicans or is that vague feel of electability more important? The two are exclusive of each other according to the results of the 1976, 1980, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 elections. Choose the moderate – the one who feels tolerable to everyone – and you reject the candidate from your own party who inspires.

The moderate might win if the other team’s guy fails at inspiring his base.

Spending a fortune, having a hard time breaking 50%, inspiring few, tolerable to party insiders – Mitt Romney comes across to independent observers as John Kerry Part Deux.

Good for a Cocktail Party
I have no idea whether either John Kerry or Mitt Romney speaks French, but something about them makes me feel like they both do. In fact, they can probably both tell a good joke in French. You know, the kind of joke that makes you chuckle, chuckle, chuckle.

Men of the world, men who look presidential, men who can be universally tolerated in polite company – the kind of guy you’d invite to your cocktail party if you wanted to make sure that he would offend as few people as a discussion on the weather. They both come across as gentlemen and are both capable of being tolerable politicians.

They would even be great candidates if elections weren’t about winning support, but about offending as few people as possible.

However, we are at a world historic moment where inspiration is needed rather than just tolerable. In this “anyone-but-Obama” race, we are missing the point. “Anyone-but” is not good enough for a President of the United States. We can do better. The four candidates have differences. Some like TARP, some support deficit spending, some have been in the private sector, some have no business calling themselves fiscal conservatives, others have even published tomes on economics. There are such great distinctions in this race that it’s not enough to throw your hands up in the air and say “I’ll take any of them.” There’s nothing responsible about that decision, but of course, I don’t expect the baby boomers to be responsible in their voting – they, after all, led us to the place we are right now through their decades of supporting fiscally irresponsible politicians.

Furthermore, the “anyone-but-Obama” route is a route to failure. Mitt Romney can’t even inspire in his own party, how the heck is he going to inspire outside of the party in the general election? Tolerable isn’t good enough to win, let alone run a meaningful race against the charisma of President Obama. If we choose the one who feels moderate, tolerable, and therefore “electable” then we’ll end up with Lame and Lamer running against each other, and one or the other will win – probably the one who knows how to inspire his base.

Republican voters can do a whole lot better than this practically apathetic “anyone-but-Obama” line that they are getting fed from the media. It makes me wonder if even Fox is rooting for an Obama second term. That, after all, is what pumps up the ratings.

Allan Stevo is a writer from Chicago. He is the author of the newly releasedHow to Win America for Ron Paul and the Cause of Freedom in 2012.

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I doubt you believe what you say

I doubt you believe your own derogatory comment about one who speaks French. You make plenty of good points. Stick to the first principles.

"Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms."
Ron Paul

Allan Stevo's picture

I Love French

I speak several languages, sadly French is not one of them. I was not trying to be either nationalistic or xenophobic – if I am to imaginatively read into your comment, which I think you did with my writing. As far as I can see, nothing derogatory was said about any francophones. I think French is a beautiful language and the French culture a beautiful culture (though after watching many French films, I have yet to find an example of French cinema that I appreciate). The noted Czech educator, Jan Amos Komensky, roughly translated, said "The number of languages you speak, is the number of times you are a human." I think there is a lot to be said about the ability to speak other languages and to better see the world from the perspectives of people who are different than you.

Again, I think Kerry and Romney would be cocktail party treasures – inoffensive, worldly gentlemen. On the other hand, simply mentioning Ron Paul’s name in some company is enough to get you removed from the guest list. Sometimes a superficiality - being able to tell a cheesy French joke (something I think Kerry and Romney can probably do) instead of being able to vigorously dissect policy (something Ron Paul will do for anyone who will listen, whether or not it might offend) - is what some voters prefer.

No attack on France, French, or the French was intended, nor was an attack on either Romney or Kerry intended. Both are probably very nice guys. Neither are able to inspire. That doesn’t make them either good or bad, it just makes them wrong as a winning nominee at this moment in time.

Thank you, ComparedToWhat, for the praise of the article as well and for giving me the benefit of the doubt that I probably did not believe the comments that your perceived as derogatory. Also, thank you for being ready to call out viewpoints that you personally considered disagreeable.


Nicely said

You are a very good diplomat and I enjoyed your article and this reply Allan.

Thank you. Keep up the good work.

"If we lose freedom here there's no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth." -Ronald Reagan

When they took us off the Gold Standard they took away our money... in order to make it theirs. -OneTinSoldier


Speaking french is a good thing for a president. It's easier to understand other people if you can speak their language.
But the point of the article is right.

Its about time someone else said that, haha!

Romney WILL fail the Presidential race, as his "ideal tax plan" will find itself at odds with an Obama tax plan that only has minor shift in sources of revenue, not to mention the destruction of Social Security and Medicare.

They have both been bought by the establishment, and they will both continue to make and find wars spread Amercia thin and broke.

Mitt Romney is most DEFINATELY a John Kerry, and we should all begin to poin that out to ourneighbors.

This is NOT a race for the "lesser of two evils" This is a REAL Presidential Election,and RP is the only leader in this race.

Sounds like something I said a few days ago

Romnantorich is McCain '08.

The Republucan Primaries of 2012 have become the Democrat(ic) Primaries of 2004, where "Anybody But Bush" has become "Anybody But Obama."

Active Duty U.S. Navy Submarine Officer...FOR RON PAUL!!!

I have been saying this all along

Romney is the Kerry of 04. The anti-candidate. Problem is, the anti-candidate doesn't bring enthusiasm or positive emotions. It is essentially, not enough. Anyone that spent a minute looking into Kerry was no longer interested in voting for him. The same will go with Romney. The race will be closer than in 08, but it will be another win for Obama with Romney as the nominee. That is a guarantee. It would be worse with Santorum also. The idea of Santorum scares me into almost contemplating voting for Obama because I despise that guy so much.

reedr3v's picture

I think the last line in Allan's OP is very

perceptive. It is not plausible that the shrewd Republican/Fox Establishment kingmakers actually thinks Romney, Gingrich, or Santorum could win against O. Their disdain for the public is evident in the choice of candidates who are fine with murder of innocents, and robbery of the economically defenseless. Obama serves their purposes well, the "approved" Republican slate is mere window dressing to fool the naive.

Faux News Network is partially owned by a Saudi Prince

Check out what got Judge Napolitano the boot then get back to me.

As to French, Je ne donne pas un monsieur merde, vive la révolution!