Whom should we nominate to represent the GOP in a fight against President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election?
I believe the name of the candidate that fills the majority of the answers in 10 particular questions deserves your vote.
Last week, I discussed the first five questions. (If you haven't read those, please do so before proceeding.)
Here are the last five questions:
5) Who has the best chance of beating President Obama, in and outside of debates?
Providing the best and worthiest contender to enter the ring against Obama is critical because four more years of his reign certainly would bring the kiss of death to so much that we have held dear.
It is imperative that Obama's GOP rival be very polished and articulate, possess a comprehensive knowledge of America and the world, including societal and political ills and historical solutions, and be able to recall quickly Obama's failed solutions and promises.
As Thomas Jefferson once said, "I should consider the speeches of Livy, Sallust, and Tacitus, as pre-eminent specimens of logic, taste, and that sententious brevity which, using not a word to spare, leaves not a moment for inattention to the hearer. Amplification is the vice of modern oratory."
4) Who has the best abilities to lead Washington politics and politicians?
Leading in Washington is unlike leading in any other setting, political or otherwise. That is why I believe we need to be careful how we throw around the pejorative term "insider."
Is all Washington experience negative "insider" politics? Absolutely not. To be sure, one man's "insider" is another man's "expert." As Robert Frost once said, "you can be a rank insider as well as a rank outsider."
Though having a presidential "outsider" win the White House has its appeal, where does U.S. capital inexperience cross over to ineptness? And aren't most Washington "outsiders" at least somewhat restricted by their inexperience and unfamiliarity of the vast web of Washington workings?
Longevity in Washington has a tendency to create bad politicians, but we must remember that it also has the ability to refine its good ones. What's critical here is that the next president has not only a great working knowledge of Washington but also superior experience in getting things done there. Without that, he will spend a large part of the first term in office just learning the ropes and spinning his Washington wheels mastering the maze.
3) Who has the best plan and leadership ability to restore America's economy?
It's only half the battle that America's next president has a better economic plan than other candidates and the current administration, under whom the national debt has almost doubled at twice the speed than it did under President George W. Bush — to more than $15 trillion — and during which time the unemployment rate, though better than a year ago, has remained at a recession-level 8.5 percent (up from 7.8 percent when Obama took office).
The other half of the economic battle for the next president is that he must have much greater leadership skills to have his economic plan be accepted and come to fruition, especially in the midst of partisan polarities. I agree with William Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services. He recently criticized the White House, saying it has "often failed to lead with enough vigor to overcome political obstacles."
2) Who is the most fiscally prudent?
This question is related to the previous one, but I believe it deserves solo attention because of the escalating crisis of our national debt and spending. America is drowning in debt, and Washington is on a runaway spending spree. And President Obama wants to increase the national debt ceiling by another trillion dollars?
As George Washington said, "to contract new debts is not the way to pay old ones." And as Jefferson said, "the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." During his first campaign, even Obama himself called that type of fiscal management "irresponsible" and "unpatriotic."
We need to ask, Which candidate has the best track record for making fiscally prudent decisions, cutting what needs to be cut and (re)allocating investments to bring about the greatest yields? It's one thing to know what to cut but quite another to know where to invest, for solvency comes primarily from the former and growth from the latter. Our next president has to have a great track record for both.
1) Who has demonstrated the highest regard for human life?
Our president leads more than a nation; he leads one of the largest masses of human beings on the planet, and he also has influence over the remaining global majority. Therefore, it is imperative that he has an impeccably high view and value of humanity.
The Declaration of Independence affirms the value and rights of "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" for all human beings — something further secured in our Bill of Rights. How one values human life is reflected in one's adherence to America's founding tenets, as well as how one has treated others and where he stands on such issues as abortion, embryonic stem cell research, cloning, euthanasia, civil rights and capital punishment.
As Jefferson so eloquently put it, "the care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government." And therefore, it is the first and only legitimate object of good leadership, too.
For further study of where each GOP candidate stands on these and other critical issues, check out the Family Research Council's voter guide.
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