Friday, January 22, 2016
Play the Date, Mate, Hate Game
When reading P.J. O'Rourke's book Don't Vote, It Just Encourages The Bastards I learned of a crass group game called F***, Marry, Kill. To play you take three people and assign them to each of these categories. Obviously the Kill category is for the person you could do without and the Marry category is the person you identify as who is best for you. The other category may be good for a fling, but nothing long term. O'Rourke decided to apply this game to political figures.
I prefer to restate the game in more genteel words, so I call it Date, Mate, Hate.
Here is where I would match up candidates in these categories:
Date - Ted Cruz
I am close to him philosophically, but I worry about his appeal. A conservative has never been elected president by trying to get conservatives alone to carry him over the line. Barry Goldwater flopped using this strategy. Reagan was smarter, his message attracted moderates and that is how he won. Many people don't know that in 1980 there were fewer conservatives than in 2012. People also are not aware that among conservatives Reagan got a smaller percentage of votes than Romney. Romney lost because more moderates preferred Obama, not because conservatives stay away. Look at the Roper data. Facts don't lie.
Don't get me wrong. I think Ted Cruz is brilliant. I just think the main stream media would paint him as a nut and that would throw the election to the Dems. I think Cruz is much better suited for the Supreme Court where he could protect the Constitution for decades.
Mate - Marco Rubio, John Kasich
Rubio got elected to the senate as a Tea Party rebel. Yes he tried to fix immigration to the disappointment of many conservatives, but take that away and he is solid as well as appealing. Rubio could attract votes that would not consider Cruz. Kasich also has some appeal in the Mate category. He has executive experience, he would carry Ohio which Republicans need to win, he is a budget hawk which is the most important topic that needs attention. When he was in congress in the late 1990's, he led the successful effort to balance the federal budget. I recognize that Rubio and Kasich are not as conservative as Cruz, but I can live with that if they have a much better chance of winning. We don't need a repeat of Goldwater 1964.
Hate - Donald Trump, Jeb Bush
While people who follow Cruz are making an emotional selection, I think people who follow Trump are just plain irrational. TRUMP IS NOT A CONSERVATIVE. He just plays one on TV. This man has so many faults, it's astonishing that he can be leading in the polls. I get that he says things that fire up those fed up with the status quo.
We don't elect a soundbite or an idea to be president. We elect a person.
Trump is thin-skinned, vindictive, intellectually lazy, irreligious, progressive, narcissistic, and unelectable. Even the claim that Trump is a successful businessman is false. As I explained in a previous essay, Trump's wealth is much less than it would have been had he just used his dad's money to buy an indexed mutual fund.
As for JEB!, his brother was a big spending Republican. Instead of keeping up with the fiscal responsibility started by Kasich, George W. started us back on the road to unsustainable debt. JEB! gives no indication he would do any better. We have better choices that are more conservative.
P.S. Kudos to The National Review for dedicating a full issue to pointing out the obvious - Trump is no conservative.
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