Ripples began to form last year when then Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky spouted what some say were typical libertarian views but what to others sounded like criticisms of the fixed and firm Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Then there were House Republicans bickering back and forth forever over how much to cut from congressional budgets. Democrats learned quickly that all they needed to do was stay out of their way and allow Republican schisms to be viewed by the world.
In April, a Republican candidate for governor in West Virginia, Larry Faircloth, called President Obama a "Sambo" and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi a "bimbo." He proposed that Sylvester Stallone take the place of Vice President Joe Biden and that Obama start a campaign slogan, "Vote Sambo, Rambo and Bimbo." Faircloth apologized, but the damage was done.
And a more recent example came when Newt Gingrich criticized Rep. Paul Ryan's Medicare plan as "right-wing social engineering." Newt apologized, but the damage already was done.
There's a difference between "gotcha" politics and political friendly fire, but when Republicans are polarizing on issues from civil rights to health care reform, you can bet there's going to be a field day of Democrats ridiculing Republicans' disunity and dissolution.
We also can be assured of this: Republicans will never unify behind a presidential candidate as long as friendly fire and infighting create fractures and factions that characterize their party.
I don't know at this time which Republican candidate running for the presidential seat has the overall qualifications to successfully out-debate Obama, win the presidency and get our country back on the right track. I deeply respect his decision, but I was extremely disappointed when Mike Huckabee announced that he will not be making a presidential run in this election. When I was on the campaign trail with Mike, he was connecting with not only the Republican base but also many liberal-leaning people. Mike had a great mix of African-American and Hispanic followers at his rallies, as well.
You have to remember that Mike began his run for president with 2 percent of voter support and very little money. But he started resonating with the people, and they liked what he had to say. Mike only raised $13 million throughout his campaign but was still able to defeat every other candidate running except for John McCain. That included Mitt Romney, who had spent $107 million during his campaign, $44 million of his own money! Mike would have won South Carolina if Fred Thompson hadn't jumped into the race and siphoned off many votes that probably would have gone to Mike otherwise.
Seeing as many people know that I campaigned for Mike in 2008, I have been bombarded by people asking why he isn't running again, because they were planning on voting for him.
To that point, I feel that Mike has the ability to reach a wider spectrum of voters than any other candidate running, from Wall Street to Main Street, conservative to liberal and a diversity of all ethnic backgrounds. And quite possibly the most important issue of all is that I believe Mike has the ability to out-debate Obama, which would not be an easy task to do. We all know that Obama has the gift of gab and is a brazen young man who can make you believe he has your best interests at heart.
President Obama had the opportunity to be one of our greatest and most transparent presidents. Unfortunately, he failed that test. He not only reneged on all of his bipartisan campaign promises but also is well on his way to fundamentally transforming America, and it is not for the better.
It's been said that if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. At the moment, that adage characterizes too much of the Republican Party. Republicans need to return to their roots, remember who they are and reunify around those common tenets. In short, we need to get back to the basics.
And if Republicans are bewildered about those basics, then let Ronald Reagan remind us all of the platform on which not only to rebuild the Republican Party but also to reawaken America: "The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom." All decisions and plans should be based upon that philosophical conviction.
I pray one of the Republican candidates can prove to us that he possesses the leadership to rally us all behind the fundamentals and lead us on to victory in the 2012 presidential election. If not, by 2016, we will be well on the road not only to our partisan demise but also to a one-world government, if we aren't already there.
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