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“Leave no tired cliche untouched..is this all there is?”
“Do young people like all these catch phrases?”
“Anyone who thinks college liberals will warm to an anti govt tirade or conservs will buy empty platitudes on def? Get real”
When Rand Paul announced his candidacy this morning, I had one eye on his speech and the other on the Twitter reaction. About a quarter of the tweets were positive to neutral reactions while the rest mocked the candidate, denigrated his fans, and ridiculed his chances in the primary. All the above comments were from a single Beltway GOP voice, but the jaded tone dominated my feed. These weren’t snarky reporters and Democrats, but Republicans who claim to want victory in 2016.
In the rapid-fire world of social media, negative voices dominate, whether fomenting the outrage du jour or sniping at the story of the moment. I get that and, all too often, engage in it myself. But I don’t understand negativity as an aspiration, especially among allegedly savvy Republicans.
Sen. Rand Paul is an interesting candidate. He broadens the tent to new constituencies, is willing to take on the establishment, and freaks out Lefties something fierce. Why do so many conservatives feel the need to micturate on his corn flakes during the opening minutes of his campaign?
This isn’t the grumbling of a Rand devotee (at this stage, I lean toward Gov. Walker); Sen. Ted Cruz announced to a similar chorus of snark and ridicule by members of his own party. That student’s wearing a Rand shirt! Speech is too religious! Cruz doesn’t have a chance! LOL! Rubio and Walker and Carson and Bush and Fiorina and anyone else foolish enough to want to serve this country will be greeted with the same derision by ersatz allies.
Why do Republicans savage their own every election cycle? We know that the Democrats and the press (but I repeat myself) will kneecap anyone with an “R” after their name; what is gained by joining in their contempt?
It’s understandable for conservatives to feel negative after the past eight years. We saw the Bush era end with more debt, more government, and a grinding war. He was followed by an inexperienced naif who has kicked government growth into overdrive and seems intent to drive the world into ever-expanding violence and terror. But no voter will be drawn to a party of miserable, embittered buzzkills.
A conservative understands that skepticism, especially when dealing with politicians, is wise. We should vet candidates, test their assumptions, and look at their results. All of this is beneficial.
Cynicism, however, is self-defeating. The cynic dismisses every candidate as a corrupt fraud from the start, assumes each promise is a lie, and has given up hope. This pose might impress a few jaded souls online or sullen teens at the local food court, but it repels voters and chokes the soul.
I like every Republican considering the presidency. Rubio is an amazing orator. Carson is a brilliant physician. Walker sits atop a throne of skulls of his vanquished enemies. Cruz liked an article I wrote (flattery works, people). Mix and match any of our candidates and you’ll have a solid ticket — one that’s a far sight better than any of the septuagenarian retreads the Dems are trying to shove down our collective throat. The GOP has a nice slate developing and I applaud them all.
Instead of cynicism and contempt, Cruz took a different tack with Rand’s announcement:
“I am glad to welcome my friend Rand Paul into the 2016 GOP primary. Rand is a good friend, and we have worked side by side on many issues. I respect his talent, his passion, and the work he has done for Kentuckians and Americans in the U.S. Senate. His entry into the race will no doubt raise the bar of competition, help make us all stronger, and ultimately ensure that the GOP nominee is equipped to beat Hillary Clinton and to take back the White House for Republicans in 2016.”
There’s enough time for sharp elbows once the primaries begin in earnest. At this stage, let’s sit back and marvel at the deep bench of talent the GOP will offer in 2016.