Monday, February 4, 2008

The Will to Win

I had planned to write about the reasons why I will vote for Mitt Romney, and why it is important every conservative does so. However, there are far too many blogs that have addressed the subject already, so I will merely say that all my reasons can be found there, redundantly.

With Super Tuesday tomorrow, I began to consider why the party finds itself looking to which candidate is less liberal rather than which candidate should lead us to victory in November. This is because, while Senator McCain is an experienced legislator, and Governor Romney is a successful businessman and executive, neither one is a leader. Both candidates lapse into the tired, vacillating speech of a policy wonk when trying to discuss complex issues, or they fling out the feel-good sound bites that are common to our modern political process. And with the modern media, these chunks of good video become substituted for vision, a quality that the greatest of our leaders had.

It is the will to win and an accompanying vision that bring out the best in us, and it is through leaders that we, as a country achieve this. Ronald Reagan spoke of the unlimited opportunities of America, and of the evils of our enemies. Through his leadership, the Soviet Union was bankrupted and the back of communist domination was broken. John F Kennedy spoke of the greatness of the individual and dared us to look to the stars. Six years later, two Americans stood on another world and looked back to Earth. FDR, in an era where hope was all some people had, spoke from the fireside to keep America going, then spurred us on to support the troops in the Second World War. Facing a fractured country, Abraham Lincoln managed to keep the Union focused and on track, eventually pulling the country back together through the Civil War. George Washington, though only a moderately successful military leader, had the vision to hold an inferior army together until he could win a victory and break the British resolve. Then, when handed the reigns of power, he had the vision to relinquish them, setting us on the course of a balance of powers.

The will to win comes from knowing the right course and following it, no matter what the polls say, then to inspire Americans to follow you down that path. This is the element that every presidential candidate for the last 20 years has lacked. And this is why the choice is so unclear. We are in desperate need of a leader now, as the War on Terror is a war that will last a decade. The last time we fought such a drawn-out war, we did not have leadership to inspire us to victory. Instead, we had the population hostile to the war, the troops demoralized, and policy wonks deciding military objectives. Without true leaders in our current war, we may again have to face the reality that we can, through mindless infighting, suffer the kind of political humiliation that we suffered in Vietnam.

So examine your own beliefs and ideas, find a candidate that represents them best, work for and vote for that candidate. When, in the end, we have a President, we must support that President, but never betray our ideals. This means giving them hell when they are wrong and our wholehearted support when they are right. Perhaps the ultimate nominee of the GOP will realize this and lead us to victory in November.

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