I must admit that last night was both surreal and disappointing. My guy, Gov. Mike Huckabee surprised everyone by winning 5 states, but it was not enough to bring him out of third place in the delegate race. Yet, one claim that Huckabee can make, that the others can't, is that in 3 out of the 5 states he one with well over 50% of the vote, and he barely loss Missouri by less than 1% of the vote. Even with the surprise success, nothing changed in the standings. McCain is still the front runner, and Romney and Huckabee are competing for second. What is most compelling about last night is that the vote revealed a glimpse into the Republican psyche, and what they are thinking. Even thought Mitt Romney overwhelmingly won in the exit polls when it came to conservative issues, McCain still got the overall vote. Why? Simple, the Republicans across the country are trying to beat Hillary with a moderate. This a tactic that is doomed to fail.
In 1976 and 1996, the Republicans went to the middle, because the polls were showing that America was becoming more moderate. However, they ran against a liberal, and when the American people didn't see a difference in the candidates they went to the person with the most emotionally driven argument. The only times the Republicans have won is when they clearly show their difference with the other party. For some reason the conventional wisdom among voters and Party insiders is that when there is a strong Democratic personality running, Republicans need to run to the middle much like they are doing now.
Granted in 2008, there really is not one solid conservative that the GOP can rally behind, but the candidate they are choosing is not even close to what they need to win. Even though I believe Romney to be nothing more than a hair-do, or a convenient conservative who became conservative to win the GOP nomination; he is still a better choice than McCain. McCain's military experience gives him a lot of credibility when it comes to defense, but his willingness to be overly pragmatic makes his nomination sour in the mouths of dyed-in-the-wool conservatives. Many on the right believes that McCain would sell his values down the river in order to get things done. As you all know I love Huckabee, but I know that he has a few weaknesses. He is a little more moderate on immigration as he should be, and he did raise taxes in his state, but not as much as Mitt Romney, and he is not guilty of being a proponent of universal healthcare.
Many of the RNC insiders are gun shy after the spanking they received in 2006, but that was because many of the GOP faithful were disillusioned by their out-of-control spending. So, you would think that the RNC would have learned that returning to basic principles would be the answer, and recruiting a candidate that was conservative would be top priority. By the looks of things...Maybe not.
Leadership seems to be the one thing quickly lost from the Reagan revolution. If the GOP has any hope of restoring this country to its past greatness and keeping this country's economy and populace safe, it must return to the leadership examplified by President Reagan. Over the next couple of weeks this blog is going to take a look at what I like to call Impact Conservatism. I know that this philosophy will return us to Reagan's ideology, but also give it the necessary twist for a 21st century world.
Unless the GOP and the RNC committ themselves to the ideals that resonate witht he American people, they will increasingly lose ground to the emotional policies of the left, and then this country will be irreversibly changed. I pray we never let it get that far.