Grassroots to be Trampled Underfoot by the GOP Marathon
At the start of the NYC Marathon the Verrazano Narrows Bridge is full of people. Over 50,000 long distance runners come over the bridge. For all but a few, there is no chance of winning. For 99.99% it is just competing and running that brings them out. No other sight is like it.
Except for the Republican presidential primary.
First let me say I like the primary process. Unlike Harry Reid who said he hates primaries I think they serve a vital necessity. Reid would prefer that the party elite decide who you will vote for. So much so the Democrat party has Joe Biden tied to a chair in a basement somewhere. It is rare when the Vice President does not run for the open seat. I prefer that We the People make that decision. I just wish some sanity would come to the process. I wish that the GOP would learn from the mistakes of the past. They have plenty to choose from.
Any primary apparatus that has George Pataki thinking of running for president is a flawed machine. Pataki was a three term governor of New York. He has been out of office for ten years. Outside of serious political junkies, a small fraction of New Yorkers that pay attention, and immediate family members I don’t think anyone could pick Pataki out of a line-up.
Nothing against the man, he was a fine governor. I’m just using him to prove my point. Pataki has as much business running for president as does many other candidates. Such as Carly Fiorina and Bobby Jindal, one announced and one still thinking about it. To the untrained eye there is no difference between a stakes horse and a $2500 claiming horse. That is until you put them on the track together when the difference becomes readily apparent.
It is a free country, and it’s not my place to say who can and cannot run for office. But with freedom comes responsibility. Sometimes you have to be the one to volunteer not to volunteer. Sometimes being part of a team means being part of that team and playing a role. Sometimes that role is not the lead role.
The GOP is divided between the party elite or the establishment and the grassroots. During presidential primaries that divide becomes magnified. On one side of the river you have Jeb Bush, favorite of the establishment, and the establishment money. Still officially unannounced but running all the same. On the other side you have those running and those who have expressed interest in running (in no particular order) Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, John Kasich. Those are just the names that come to mind at the moment. I’m sure I’m missing a few.
Oh, I forgot to mention Chris Christie. I’m not sure what side of the river he would be on should he announce. Probably on the Jeb side, given his views on Cap and Trade and the 2nd Amendment and NSA data collection. For now let’s just say he is on the bridge over the river. He is stuck in traffic due to some lane closures. I’m not sure he’ll get off in time. Then there is Donald Trump, no one loves The Donald as much as The Donald.
If the GOP establishment consisted of only 20% of the primary vote and the grassroots consisted of 80% of the primary vote Jeb still wins. The grassroots vote will be diluted and spread around. There will be no clear choice. Candidates who had no business being in will quietly drop out. Weeks of discussion about delegates, pledged delegates, super delegates, and those last minute rule changes forced by the party elite will all but guaranty you know who gets the nomination.
Then the grassroots conservatives will all stand around looking at each other saying, “What in the heck just happened?” The GOP nominee will be someone who will give us near unconditional amnesty, and who has spent the past few years pushing Common Core. The nominee will be someone who loves big government, and more comprehensive plans to solve the problems created by prior comprehensive plans. I hope I’m wrong.
Contrast this mayhem with the other side. Hillary Clinton tied to Benghazi, with destroyed government emails, who can be tied to billions of dollars missing from the State Department, who can be tied to taking bribes through her foundation in multiple “pay to play” scenarios, is running for office virtually unopposed in her primary. I’m sorry Bernie Sanders. You can show up and debate an empty podium. Hillary, whose only accomplishment is staying out of jail, gets the nod. Once again, I wish I were mistaken.
There has to be a happy medium.
This isn’t a discussion on who should and who shouldn’t run. Each candidate has their strong points, each have their loyal supporters. Some like Carson and Fiorina have amazing messages that must be heard. Both would make outstanding emissaries or ambassadors educating the previously indoctrinated with the message of smaller government, free market capitalism, personal responsibility, and enlightening people to the false narrative of victimhood that the DNC has been selling for the past 60 years.
The question remains, who is to tell them and others, “This is not for you.” The simple answer is no one. For many who said to the mirror, “I must run for the good of the country,” must now have the courage to say, “I’m not running for the good of the country.”
Don’t look for the RNC to sort this out. They’re the establishment and the chaos helps their candidate. So each candidate must look within themselves. Are they better off running for president so they can add it to their resume or better helping the person that does, be part of a winning team, and be part of reinstating America as that ‘shining city upon a hill whose beacon of light guides freedom loving people everywhere’. As Ronald Reagan so often described America. Be reminded that Reagan was not the establishment candidate.
Sadly this will not happen. Not in numbers that will make a difference. The Republican primary will look like the NYC Marathon, or at least a local 5K and it is doubtful that the grassroots will like the outcome.