Yes, yes, I know … The GOP field of 2012 presidential candidates is supposedly a “weak” one. But today is Thanksgiving and everything acquires a rosy glow when you’re overcome by tryptophan. So, here I am, counting my blessings that the field is no worse than it is. And, as it turns out, our seven diligent presidential pilgrims supply me with plenty of reasons to give thanks:
1.) Every single candidate at one time or another has professed his or her intention to work toward a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Some of the candidates have more effectively intimated their awareness of what it will actually take to do that than others (i.e. they’ve acknowledged it can’t be permanently eliminated by an executive order), but not one has suggested he or she thinks Obamacare should be here to stay. Meantime, the legislation remains unpopular with the general public and that unpopularity will presumably be a driving force in the congressional elections, as well.
2.) In the present conservative political climate, it’s considered an insult or an attack to accuse another candidate of supporting amnesty for immigrants who have entered the country illegally. That suggests all the candidates respect the rule of law as foundational to the functioning of our government — or, at the very least, it suggests that the base is cognizant enough of the rule of law issues at play to force the candidates to pretend to prioritize them.
3.) As a group, the candidates appear to understand the importance of energy independence — and to recognize its feasibility in the near future. As with Obamacare, not one seems to think Obama’s anti-energy policies should remain in place permanently. They’re generally supportive of opening up more federal lands to drilling and of eliminating unnecessary or counterproductive regulations — while leaving in place those rules that ensure basic safety. They know that, by taking steps toward independence, we’ll also take steps toward toward lower unemployment and greater homeland security.
4.) They’ve initiated important discussions about tax reform and the need to eliminate crony capitalism. Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan might not be the tax reform I’d favor, but no question he inspired the electorate to consider the promise and pitfalls of a national sales tax. Nearly all the candidates have displayed the basic understanding that the federal government shouldn’t pick economic winners and losers — and those who supported TARP never tout it.
5.) They’re a family-oriented bunch. Collectively, they’ve racked up 229 years of marriage to their present spouses. Just one has been divorced. Among them, they have 33 children — an average of 4.7 each. What a beautiful testimony to openness to life — and what incontrovertible evidence that a large family need not drain a person of all energy! In fact, because I’m in a particularly charitable mood, I might as well add that I’m mighty thankful the Obamas, too, provide a positive example of marriage and family life.
6.) After 14 debates, the candidates have produced just a handful of gaffes — despite MSM moderators’ best attempts to disgruntle them. Even Rick Perry’s “oops” moment — which quickly entered the annals of the most embarrassing campaign moments in history — became a means for him to display grace and humility. And, while we’re on the subject of those debates, I’m actually even kinda grateful we’ve had so many — and are only to the halfway point. We’ve had ample opportunity to get to know our candidates — and, on the whole, they’re likable.
7.) Every single one wants to make Barack Obama a one-term president — and are willing to put money, sweat, tears and time into the effort. It surely can’t be easy to run for president — and it must often be tempting to quit. But these seven are indefatigable and their efforts to spread the conservative message have not been in vain, whatever the outcome in November 2012.