The GOP Phantasma
By Jessica Walworth
The thing about statistics is that crooks already know how to use them.
Or so says Darrell Huff in his book How to Lie with Statistics. Apparently, statistics appeal to our fact-minded culture because we love the sensationalized, inflated, and oversimplified. And without honest writers and critically thinking audiences? Well, no wonder we are confused.
With this assurance—that though as an American I like statistics, they are worthless—I wasn’t too concerned with Bret Stephens op ed from Tuesday’s The Wall Street Journal. Stephens, with oh so many stats, claims the Presidential Race of 2012 is over. He thinks Republicans should stop watching the debates, vying for some guy they can’t actually commit too, and banking on the economy to get Obama out of the office. According to Stephens, the race is over. And the winner is incumbent President Barack Obama.
Now. I’m the president of this Conservative Group—I most adamantly disagree with President Obama on most every social issue, and think his fiscal policies borderline lunacy.
I guess the better way to put that is that I really, really don’t like Stephen’s prediction.
I really want to believe that the majority of Americans disagree with the socialistic path our country is treading, and I really want to believe that ideas of liberty still permeate society… But if this is the group of candidates the GOP is presenting, maybe we don’t.
So what’s my point? Well, I recently labeled myself as a realist. A person who, with all due citations going to Merriam and Webster, bases my opinions and platforms on what is real rather than on what is wanted or hoped for. And realism demands President Obama will serve as our Commander in Chief because while Americans are generally eager to send Mr. Obama packing, we can’t be reasonably sure the presented alternatives won’t cause another fiasco.
Is the GOP field so feeble? Are there no candidates qualified? Is there truly no better option? Well. That’s what is so alarming. The list of those not in the field—Mitch Daniels, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush—holds the names of the GOP A-Team. And those statesmen and women? They chose to opt out because their spouses weren’t keen on the idea of spotlight (Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels), or they’re happy with where they are at (New Jersey Governor Chris Christie). Yet, as demonstrated with Paul Ryan’s response to why he isn’t running, the A-Team remains very concerned with those currently running nomination because they are “not addressing long-term fiscal and economic issues in a way that makes clear the magnitude of the challenges.”
What happened to a GOP that puts its nation’s needs before its own? What happened to precedent set by those like Abraham Lincoln? If any politician has the right to step down cause of his spouse, Lincoln fits the bill, yet he did not shy away from the contest of 1860 because of Mary Todd. If this election is as important and nation defining as the GOP claims, why is no one stepping up to the plate?
If Mr. Obama wins in November—or, rather, when he does—the failure will lie as heavily on the shoulders of those candidates who opted out as it will with the nominee.