Reason has Left the Building

Ron Paul admirers complain that he doesn’t get enough respect or attention from the media. I agree with the attention part. Unfortunately too many people admire Paul because he “sticks to his guns” even if the gun is pointed at our collective heads. Sane people call that suicide.

Some Democrats like Paul because he’s against the wars and wants to cut military spending. This is the political equivalent of putting a group of monkeys in a room with a typewriter. When someone is against government in all its manifestations, eventually you’re bound to find something you can agree on. That doesn’t mean the man isn’t a lunatic. Or that the novel the monkeys eventually write is readable.

Some Democrats liked John McCain because, in the years before he became a presidential candidate, he wasn’t afraid to vote contrary to the party line. That didn’t make him moderate; it just indicated that he was, in his own words, a maverick. Others might say he was simply contrary.

We shouldn’t be voting for personality traits. We’re not electing a prom king or queen. “Likeability” – the trait that George W. Bush had in spades – is important in a brother-in-law, but it’s not top of the list of what one looks for in the leader of the free world. I can forgive the President of the United States if he has a prickly side. In fact, I’d welcome another LBJ about now. We should be voting for leadership qualities such as intelligence, thoughtfulness and shared values as demonstrated by a candidate’s past behavior and the ability to act in the best interests of the country as a whole.

That’s what makes it hard for Republicans. Of their two top candidates, one has no core values and the other has values straight out of Dickens. Even his name, Newt Gingrich, sounds Dickensian. Or is it Seussian? Who can forget Mr. Murdstone? Or the Grinch?

The only reasonable Republican candidate, Jon Huntsman, just can’t get a date to the dance. In the Republicans’ house, reason has left the room and along with it, the ability to be reasonable. Republicans aren’t the loyal opposition – they’re just the opposition. In my book – one that wasn’t written by monkeys – that makes them unqualified to govern.

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