Saturday, September 1, 2012

Random Thoughts Of An Old Conservative Friend

I actually wrote an intro to this blog when I first posted it several days ago, but for some reason it was lost. So, here it goes again. This blog is from a face book message from my old friend, Garry Wilmore. Garry and I met when we were Mormon missionaries in Santa Ana, El Salvador, a few months before I returned to the States in 1973. Garry was focused on politics even then and would often find time to read "National Review" along with the scriptures and many times would do his impression of William F. Buckley Jr.--one of my favorite characters from his "Firing Line" PBS show--much to my amusement. As he mentions below, he and I watched the 1980 election results and celebrated out mutual hero's (Ronald Reagan) victory that night. Garry and I share a love of conservatism and our religious faith. I wanted to share Garry's thoughts here because they mirror mine and because I enjoy his literary gifts. He can express my thoughts even better than I can without the tendency I have to throw an occasional barb. Sorry, that's me. So, here is what Garry had to say. See if you don't agree:

These are some random thoughts I'm sharing with a few people who I figure are likely to agree with them. I am not sharing them on my main Facebook page because I am tired of all the sniping that goes on there regarding political issues. Some of it is downright vicious. I believe people can disagree while still being civil, but apparently that idea has gone largely out of fashion now. If I mention that I am now convinced that Obama is actually a worse president than Jimmy Carter -- which, let's face it, was one tough accomplishment -- that makes me a racist. I support traditional marriage and took part in the Chick-fil-A appreciation day a few weeks ago, so I am a hatemonger, too. I am religious and a member of a church with a strict moral code, which makes me close-minded and intolerant and of the same spirit as the Taliban. I want to impose my narrow and bigoted worldview on humanity in general. And because I actually LIKE Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, I'm also, on top of all the foregoing, an empty-headed idiot. Etcetera, etcetera.

So with all that in mind, here are my observations. Discussion and comments are invited, of course.

1. I am actually starting to think Romney might pull this one off. One good reason for this -- and others will follow below -- just occurred to me a couple of days ago, and I haven't seen or heard it mentioned by anyone else. After the '08 campaign, Ann Romney told her husband that was it, and they weren't going to go through that ordeal again. Four years later, Mitt wasn't inclined to make another run, but Ann, having had a change of mind, talked him into it. A woman's intuition is something to reckon with, and I suspect Ann Romney's is exceptionally good. Does she know something that the rest of us don't? I wouldn't be at all surprised.

2. Even Paul Ryan's detractors admit that he at least is someone to be taken seriously, and his designation as Romney's running mate says something good and reassuring about the candidate. Romney isn't afraid of being upstaged by Ryan, which tells me he is not insecure at all. Ryan is a serious policy wonk. His speech last night reminded me of Reagan. Romney did very well to choose him, and the thought of him being next in line for the Presidency does not trouble me at all. Meanwhile, last night my wife said she is anxious to see Paul Ryan debate Joe Biden in a few weeks. Using language I employ only rarely, and then only regarding something I feel VERY strongly about, I responded by telling her that "I hope he kicks Joe Biden's ass." He probably will. Biden is an idiot, which apparently even some Democrats are willing to concede. I can sympathize with his propensity for gaffes and maloprisms, which is a trait I share with him, but I am not a public figure, to say nothing of being one heartbeat away from the Presidency. 

3. Finally, this is starting to feel eerily like 1980. I was a Reagan supporter all the way through, but by Labor Day that year I was starting to realize that in addition to not believing Jimmy Carter was a good president, I actually disliked him as a man. The Reagan campaign brought out Carter's mean and ugly side, which, as bad as it was, pales next to Obama's. I can no longer subscribe to the popular notion that Barack Obama is a likeable man, whatever his failings might be as President. And I have disliked Michelle ever since her contemptous remark last year, at some public ceremony, that all that fuss was being made over "just a flag." She clearly hasn't a clue what the country is about, and one cannot imagine Laura Bush or Nancy Reagan saying such a thing. (Even if Nancy had, her husband would surely have chewed her out right then and there!)

Now, here is one other similarity to 1980, and I hope this one pans out the same way. Reagan was behind in the polls for a long time, and while the gap gradually narrowed, as late as the evening before the election the network anchors were all saying it was too close to call. We all know what happened the next day. (Randy, I watched the returns that evening with you and your wife, remember?) 

I wish Barack Obama a long life and a successful career in what he appears to be best at, which is community organizing in Chicago. I don't believe he should teach constitutional law anymore, however. I question how well he even understands the subject, but I think his contempt for the Constitution is pretty obvious. 

And if Romney is elected, I think he will surprise a lot of people. I believe he has the potential to be the best president since Reagan. And I wouldn't mind seeing Paul Ryan in the White House someday as well, although I don't want that to happen for at least eight more years.

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