With the announcement by Fred Thompson that he has ended his bid for the Republican nomination for President, where
does this leave conservatives in making a choice as to who to back for the GOP ?
If most of those who call themselves conservative are like me, we are conservatives first and Republicans second. While we will vote for the eventual nominee, if the platform or the candidate are not following conservatives principles our vote will be more against the Democrat than for the Republican.
Many of us who are conservatives today found our political core from the leadership of one man, President Ronald Reagan. We discovered through his unwavering stand for conservatism and the fantastic optimism
that he always shared about the greatness of this country and the absolute confidence he had in the people of this nation we love, that not only did Reagan speak for us he was speaking ABOUT us. We found in him a President who understood our values, our morals and our belief in what Government should be and that the people are what make this nation great and it is we who are the ultimate voice for the nation.
Since then conservatives have been searching for another Reagan, knowing that no one could ever match his greatness or fill his shoes because God in his wisdom gave us only one. But yet we look for one who could follow in his footsteps and take the GOP back to the Reagan conservative policy and agenda that made the GOP the force that it was in the late eighties and the nineties.
We thought we had that person in Fred Thompson. He had most of the conservative credentials. He spoke eloquently
and from the heart. But most of all he believed
in the people and in the conservative values that we hold so dear, limited government, reduced spending, giving the money back to the people in the form of tax relief and a strong military which equates to strong national security. Fred also held strong to the moral issues that conservatives believe in. Though Fred was not Ronald Reagan, he did follow in the footsteps of Reagan and the conservatism that the GOP has fallen away from in the last few years.
His campaign never really caught on and though the Vice Presidency is still a possibility, we conservatives are now faced with settling
for a candidate who may not follow our beliefs or values whether morally or politically.Rudy Giuliani
- While his campaign is struggling and after Florida
, Rudy may no longer be a factor, he offers conservative points in the national security issues but in social conservatism, Rudy is far from conservative. Though he has indicated that if elected he would nominate Judges like Alito
and Roberts which does calm some of the moral issues, his record is still less than stellar
while he was Mayor of New York.Mike Huckabee
- Very conservative morally but extremely liberal when it comes to spending, (65% increase while Arkansas Governor), taxes, (more than $1, 000 dollar increase per taxpayer while Governor), and his record shows he favors social
programs for illegals, a stance he has tried to run from while campaigning but a record none the less that he cannot hide nor run from. Plus with the loss in South Carolina he too may not be around much longer.Mitt Romney
- Romney is talking a conservative game now but his record and many of the successes he boasts
of as Governor of Massachusetts
speaks otherwise. Many who have backed Fred seem to be leaning toward Romney because of what he is saying on the campaign
trail but I have found over the years that in most cases politically speaking, a Leopard does not change his spots.
Romney's success as Governor was more compromising with a liberal legislature than standing for conservative principles as he is trying to portray. We had enough of that in the first four years with President
Bush as he tried to reach out to the Democrats and that compromise which lead to unfettered spending ended up costing the GOP the Congress in 2006.John McCain
- Of all the remaining candidates McCain has angered conservatives the most. With legislation like McCain/Feingold
, the recently defeated Amnesty bill that he partnered with Ted Kennedy and the gang of 14 during the appointments
of Judges Roberts and Alito
, McCain has ruffled many conservative feathers. He has been one who was known to stab
the GOP in the back
in other instances also as he was one of only two GOP Senators to vote against the Bush tax cuts.
But McCain has been reaching out to conservatives in the past weeks and he is talking a Reagan conservative platform. One thing I can say for him is that he is one Senator who has not sought pork for his State of Arizona and his honesty is unquestionable. Good, bad or indifferent, whether it hurt
him politically or not, McCain has always
what he said. If that
honesty holds true he may very well have seen the light and understands that the conservative approach is what this nation needs and wants. But the Leopard and the changing of spots idea may still hold true and that is why I still have much hesitation with McCain.
So where do we conservatives stand ? Honestly I do not know. Fred Thompson in the VP spot on the ticket would certainly fill conservative gaps with any of the candidates who still have a reasonable
chance at the nomination which looks to be either McCain or Romney and Rudy with an outside chance though recent polls even have that diminishing.
Were it not for McCain/Feingold
a full fledged, real Reagan conservative would have already been in the
race and Newt Gingrich would have made this a moot point. But he cannot run without damaging the non-profit conservative think tank that he has invested so much time and effort into AND run for President.
So we are left with the wait and see on Super Tuesday and eventually the Convention. I do not envy any of my fellow conservatives who still have not voted in a Primary for you have an extremely difficult decision in casting your vote. But by all means vote. Remember it was conservatives staying away from the polls that helped the Democrats take power in 2006. So please make your voice heard at the polls in your State and then again in November!
As far as the Democrats are concerned Hillary, who I believe
will be the nominee especially now that she is kicking the Clinton machine into high gear, is VERY beatable and polls indicate that McCain has the best chance against her.
We conservatives can only hope that in the next few months the party that has slid away from our values and Reagan beliefs
will wake up and realize that returning to those principles will not only bring victory in November but will once again take this nation down the path of strength and prosperity.