Last week, I showed how the Republican Party likely would lose the presidential election in November if it were to use conventional campaign tactics. However, I also explained an unconventional strategy that could usher in victory for the GOP and our republic -- a tactic used by President Abraham Lincoln.
This week, I want to elaborate more on Lincoln's concept of a team of rivals -- and who could be a part of it -- and also share with you the inspiring dream my wife, Gena, had that we both hope comes true.
For those who missed Part 1, a book that highlights Lincoln's brilliant action is titled "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," by Doris Kearns Goodwin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian. Lincoln's idea and action was simply this: Once elected, Lincoln brought together his former GOP competitors (each representing a political faction in the country) and created a united force that ultimately healed the divisions in the land and propelled America forward.
Why couldn't that happen again, especially in a country as divided as ours? And why couldn't the GOP nominee propose such a plan to boost his election probability?
The past GOP presidential competitors were and are a unique blend of gifted and talented people. How often did you think and hear others say during the GOP debates, "There are strong elements I like in all of them"? You may not have wanted to see all of them at the desk of the Oval Office, but wouldn't you want to see most help the next president in some capacity?
Who doesn't appreciate the resolve and moral resiliency of former Sen. Rick Santorum and Rep. Michele Bachmann? Who wouldn't want to see our country benefit from the business background and leadership of Herman Cain? Who doesn't like the emboldened constitutional spirit and frugal fiscal passions of Rep. Ron Paul? Who wouldn't value Texas Gov. Rick Perry's advocacy for jobs and against frivolous lawsuits via tort reform? Who wouldn't want to see the foreign affairs experience of former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman better America's global relations? And who wouldn't want to utilize the brilliance, bold ideas and experience of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich?
And what do you think would be the reaction of President Barack Obama and the entire Democratic Party, as well as their mainstream media minions, if the collective group above stood with Mitt Romney and said: "Vote for Mitt and you'll get all of us in his next administration. All for one, and one for all."
I recognize that candidates cannot choose Cabinet members or others in their administration before they are elected, but that does not mean they cannot pledge to. That is why I would ask Romney these two questions: If elected president, would you appoint your Republican rivals as a part of your administration, to utilize their skill sets as President Lincoln did with his rivals, in order to unite and restore our republic? And would you be willing to parade them on the campaign trail against President Obama to rally the country by showing a united GOP front?
Leadership guru John C. Maxwell says, "A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way." For too long, too many of our politicians (especially presidential candidates) have expected us to sacrifice our political preferences and convictions and simply rally at their sides merely because they are the nominee. They show the way but don't go the way of sacrificial leadership, which might make it easier for patriots of different persuasions to follow them. Politicians' pride prohibits public swells.
It's time for Romney to show in sacrifice (not merely in promise) that he is willing to serve our country for the next four years not only as president but by appointing his rivals to significant positions. I believe wholeheartedly that his sacrifice would galvanize the GOP base and others against the Obama campaign machine.
Incidentally, about six months ago, Gena had a dream that Romney was the GOP nominee, and during his first public debate with President Obama, up arose this team of GOP rivals behind Romney, who surprisingly introduced them. The action did rally the country behind him, and then he defeated Obama.
And for those who might call us "dreamers" for such an idea, very well then. We consider it an honor to join the ranks of all those who have dreamed for a better way, day and time -- men such as George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.
We always will prefer the way of wisdom of great leaders and visionaries, including the words summarized well in "The Angels' Little Instruction Book," by Eileen Elias Freeman: "Pay attention to your dreams -- God's angels often speak directly to our hearts when we are asleep."