A View From Across The Pond
But only, and I stress the word, if one of the most fascinating battles in American political history has the right outcome.
The battle I refer to is not that for the Presidency, unusual though it is in that neither the incumbent President or VP is running for office. The battle is the one for, from this outsider's POV, nothing less than the heart and soul of the Republican Party.
Republican officialdom (what we in the UK often refer to as the Party Hierarchy) is at a crossroads at this moment. The relentless Leftist bias of the US media is beginning to succeed in the final stages of its mission to achieve a tectonic, permanent shift in the perceived location of 'centreground' of multiple issues in US Politics. But it can only complete that mission if senior Republicans (including the Commander-in-Chief himself) allow themselves to heed the seductive call of that perceived middleground.
Because its easy, you see. Really easy, in fact. Easy to accept the consensus on a multiplicity of issues, and narrow down the things that a politician really needs to actually have a position on. So much easier to let their be bipartisan agreement to, you know, not really discuss certain things because the decision about what people think has already been made. And the leading contenders in the Republican primary race are already starting to show signs of this consensus forming, without drawing anyone's attention to the fact.
Take immigration, for example. Well if there's one thing which could bury McCain with the Republican Party, its the so-called Guest Worker Program, which it is painfully obvious is nothing more than an amnesty for illegal immigrants. But Giuliani supports it with very little reservation. Mitt Romney on his own website gives the issue of immigration a huge seven lines, showing the obvious depth of his feelings on the matter. Whilst decrying illegal immigration (but not, it should be noted, calling for the removal of illegal immigrants or even stating a policy position on that issue) he says quite openly that he wants to see even more 'legal' immigration into the US, as if the only part of the immigration issue worth mentioning is whether or not a person entered the country illegally or not.
Even Gingrich, the still unannounced not-so-dark horse in this race, broadly supports it, though he at least is clear as to the issue's immense importance for America's future. However, having spent an amount of time making it clear that he understands that America's cultural integrity and demographic is being destroyed by mass immigration, he then begins to do his best impression of that seductive voice from the centreground, which has only the best interests of those who have entered America to leech from its body politic...
"Note that none of the above requires direct action against people who are here illegally. None of these steps will break up families or cause undue hardship."
Unlike the hardship felt by Americans who have had to support the enormous burden of healthcare, ever-rising crime, falling wages due to cheap labour...
"As we transform our immigration system from a dishonest to an honest one, it is understandable that those living and working here illegally — especially those who have lived and worked here illegally for a long period of time — would be anxious and fearful about the future. While our two-decade-long failure does not mean that we are required to maintain a dishonest system, it does mean that must have a humanitarian period of transition as we replace an illegal channel of immigration with a legal one."
Oh, the humanity. This, remember, is the current top 'Real Conservative' candidate for the Presidency folks, unannounced or not. Warms the heart that he has such concern for people who have been enjoying his country's benefits at the working man's expense for 'a long period of time'.
Gingrich says this 'isnt an amnesty'. I cannot imagine what else allowing a huge mass of illegal immigrants to stay in his own country is if it isnt an amnesty.
But there it is, folks. Probably the single most important issue facing America today (and I include the War on Terror in that - fighting Jihad abroad is pointless while a nation rots from within) and well lookee here - there's that handy consensus from the Big Four of the Republican Party. Mass Immigration is good - as long as its legal, and hey presto, we can make it so by spending your tax dollars on turning the people who have been driving down your wages, hoovering up your Healthcare, into new 'legal' immigrants.
I'm sure some American readers are blinking slightly in the face of this onslaught on what must be in some cases their favoured candidates. Where does this uppity Brit get off telling us what's wrong with our candidates? Where does he get this great insight into where our beloved GOP is stumbling toward?
The answer, ladies and gents, is simple experience. Here in my own country, we've had this 'handy consensus' thing going on for a very, very long time now - and on far more issues than Immigration. Our opposition 'Conservative' Party sold its soul to a smooth-talking, photogenic liberal Devil called David Cameron in an act of political calculation which set the seal on our media's campaign to shift the centreground firmly to the Left.
Immigration is the issue which must not be named unless it is to celebrate the increased Diversity (for which read destruction) of our culture. Those small Parties that do are decried as racists, neo-nazis, fascists etc - by our supposed 'conservatives' as well as the Left.
EU Membership? Well once again, our 'Eurosceptic' opposition now has a leader who states quite clearly that he would never have a 'Eurosceptic' in his Cabinet.
The Taxation debate? What Taxation Debate? Again, the three main Parties have decided that Britain should be and must remain a High-Tax, High-Spend, High-Debt economy.
Yet still desperate members of the Conservative opposition continue to campaign for a Party which no longer even vaguely represents their views on the important issues, with a leader who is so far removed from the reality of their lives that his most (in)famous speech to date was a call to understand 'hoodie' criminals (as opposed to jailing them) by giving them a hug.
Any of this sounding familiar to any of you 'lifelong Republicans'? Because if it isnt sounding familiar yet, its going to very shortly.
The GOP is your Party, boys and girls. Its not McCain's, Giuliani's, Romney's, Gingrich's or even ultimate George Bush's Party. And if you settle for a compromise candidate now who isn't prepared to represent your views, who is prepared to kowtow to the 'handy consensus', then if you get him elected you'll very quickly find that you won the Presidential battle just fine...
...but lost the War to save America.
(Cross-posted at The Wide Awakes)