What about Mike Huckabee? He’s got the goods for the social conservatives (at least in Iowa), but he’s questionable, at best, when it comes to fiscal policy. Equally as troubling, he has demonstrated a lack of discretion as to when and where to play his “faith card” (can I guy who wants to “take back America for Christ” really get elected???). Worse still, he’s been quite willing to play upon the ungrounded fears many evangelicals have of Mormons, exacerbating an already contentious alliance.
John McCain? It’s tough for any “Reagan conservative” to not love a leader who valiantly wore the uniform, suffered torture at the hands of communists, and then went on to become a “pro-defense” Senator. It’s also tough for a Reagan conservative to embrace a Senator who voted against tax cuts, no matter what his party affiliation is.
How about Mitt Romney? A former Governor who has “real world” private sector business experience, plus MBA and J.D. credentials from Harvard, would seem like a Republican presidential dream come true. But he may be too recent of a convert to his conservative views of marriage and abortion, to satisfy the social conservative movement. And as shameful and narrow minded as it is, many religious social conservatives (including the movement‘s “leaders” ) simply refuse to embrace a candidate whose theology isn’t “correct,” even if his policy positions are.
Maybe Fred Thompson can unite us. He would seem to have the correct policy positions on all three fronts (not withstanding Dr. James Dobson’s assertions that Thompson is “not a Christian”). Unfortunately, Thompson for whatever reason has made a point of repeatedly reminding us how much he dislikes campaigning, and even insinuated to a news reporter last fall that he doesn’t believe that he can get elected anyway. And regardless of how Thompson feels about himself, primary election voters have thus far felt very little for him. But frustration with the candidates is a small part of the problem. The real dilemma facing the Republican Party today is the fact that the “leaders” of the three big issues categories don’t get along very well. While in reality the three groups form a relationship of core necessity, they nonetheless act as though their relationship is merely one of short-term political convenience.
The “short term” may soon be over. And the future of the party, as well as the presidency, is anything but clear.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.