We are eleven months away from a decision that will shape the future of America—the choice of our next president! In America, according to a recent Gallup poll, registered Democrats hold a slight advantage over registered Republicans, 30 to 26 percent. But it’s the growing number of registered Independents (43 percent) whose election choices ultimately determine the outcome next November.
As much as either political party likes to believe, neither the left nor the right owns the future. America’s electorate tends to have a self-corrective tendency to react against political extremes. After eight years of liberal leadership, many independents are likely to switch horses to counter perceived excesses. President Obama’s aggressive liberal agenda and use of far-reaching executive orders has taken America to the left. For evidence, take note of the passing and implementation of Obamacare, the new global warming agreement, and our exploding deficit spending.
Conservatives are motivated; they’re already celebrating Obama’s looming exit! That same motivation has helped secure a Republican-controlled House and Senate. The Rasmussen Reports Daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows that only 46 percent of likely U.S. Voters approve of President Obama's job performance. With 52 percent disapproving, it’s easy to understand why pundits would expect Republicans to take the final piece of the political trifecta—the 2016 Presidency.
But with thirteen Republican candidates still fighting to become the standard bearer by beating down their opponents instead of taking on their likely challenger, Hillary Clinton, the GOP’s ability to unify around any one candidate or platform is seriously in question. Will the eventual winner be so damaged by the primary fight that needed Republican voters will stay home instead of supporting the eventual candidate? That’s the GOP’s nightmare and the Democrat’s wish.
With a weak Democratic candidate embroiled in trust and credibility problems, the time is right for a Republican victory, if only we can come together. United we can win. Divided, we will fall. How are we to come together behind any one candidate? Here are some perspectives worth considering:
1. First and foremost, make winning in November the primary objective, no matter who the candidate selected. Four years of Hilary Clinton is a nightmare worth motivating even the most disappointed and frustrated Republican voter.
2. Vote party and principles, not personalities. In difficult times, it’s way too easy to focus on finding a presidential savior who will wave a magic wand to cure the problems America faces. But true change comes with a candidate who can rally citizens and appoint a team of leaders and advisors who can make his or her vision of the future a reality. A GOP president would appoint the head of the EPA, the head of the Department of Defense, the Attorney General, and new Supreme Court justices. That list of appointments will most likely include some conservatives and some more moderate. It takes a diverse and committed team to change the course of a great country. Commit to vote the party that best matches the principles and platform you feel must guide America’s future at this time. Think team, never just candidate.
3. Kill the myth of perfection for any candidate. There will be misstatements, changes in positions, and even talking points designed to confuse instead of clarify. Winning an election today is a daunting challenge. Every speech is recorded with an eye toward attacks or errors that can bring eyeballs to the news hour and sizzle to the talk shows. The only place that perfect candidates exist is in their own political ads. Republicans have a tendency of letting “Gotcha” politics weaken their own candidates.
4. Don’t let emotions rule out intelligent due diligence. Americans are angry about what has happened to their country and the frustrating inaction of the politicians they’ve sent to Washington. As a result, they’re susceptible to candidates who can reject political correctness and give strong voice to their frustrations. But does getting coverage today translate into election victories and leadership competency? Getting things done requires a shared focus, strength and diplomacy.
The election is coming whether we’re prepared or not. Stay informed. Vote party and principles. Support a unifying candidate, and we can and will win in November.