In the Wake of the Florida Fiasco, Time to Consider Bella Santorum's Dad, Rick
Could the candidate left in the field be the one who is chosen to oppose the 1 Billion Dollar Presidential campaign of Barack Obama?
While "Mitt" and "Newt" were wresting in the mud (and lest there be any doubt, I favored Newt in that match) Presidential candidate Rick Santorum went home to care for his beautiful daughter Bella. She had been hospitalized and was in a critical condition. The very act of his leaving the campaign when the pundit class was interpreting his exit as a sign of his demise, reveals the character of this good man. It speaks loudly as to why he should be seriously reconsidered in this hotly contested Republican primary. This race is far from over.
Rick Santorum and his daughter Bella on the campaign trail
JACKSONVILLE, FL. (Catholic Online) - Like millions, I am watching the returns this evening. I will also watch all of the "experts" parse every possible statistical analysis of the poll results. However, the pundits and pontificators already called the Florida primary long ago. Mitt Romney won. I choose to address a real story and not a foregone conclusion.
While Mitt Romney "carpet-bombed" Newt Gingrich with merciless attacks; while Newt Gingrich succumbed to the temptation to respond with similar efforts, one candidate demonstrated the singularly most important trait we need in a President: character. His name is Rick Santorum, Bella's Dad.
There was a book of essays on Presidential leadership written in 1996 entitled "Character Above All" The book contained an excellent essay by Peggy Noonan on Ronald Reagan. Peggy is one of our nation's finest writers.
Ronald Reagan was the last presidential candidate who was able to reach across our growing divisions and bring us together. He taught us how to hope again. Peggy Noonan's words concerning Ronald Reagan, though written over ten years ago, are worth reflecting upon in the 2012 campaign:
"In a president, character is everything. A president doesn't have to be brilliant; Harry Truman wasn't brilliant, and he helped save Western Europe from Stalin. He doesn't have to be clever; you can hire clever. White Houses are always full of quick-witted people with ready advice on how to flip a senator or implement a strategy. You can hire pragmatic, and you can buy and bring in policy wonks.
"But you can't buy courage and decency; you can't rent a strong moral sense. A president must bring those things with him. If he does, they will give meaning and animation to the great practical requirement of the presidency: He must know why he's there and what he wants to do. He has to have thought it through. He needs to have, in that much maligned word, but a good one nontheless, a vision of the future he wishes to create. This is a function of thinking, of the mind, the brain.
"But a vision is worth little if a president doesn't have the character--the courage and heart--to see it through.... (Reagan) had the vision. Did he have the courage without which it would be nothing but a poignant dream? Yes. At the core of Reagan's character was courage, a courage that was, simply, natural to him, a courage that was ultimately contagious. When people say President Reagan brought back our spirit and our sense of optimism, I think what they are saying in part is, the whole country caught his courage."
People like me, "former" Democrats, were inspired by the courage, character and manner of Ronald Reagan. His was the kind of "conservatism" which made sense to people like us - who never thought we were "conservatives". He was real, honest and quintessentially American. He moved our hearts and made us want to be better. He helped us remember that we could.
We were not then - and are not now - comfortable with the "Nelson Rockefeller" blue blood image of the old Republican Party. Sadly, the image seems to be at work again in the coronation effort of the Republican establishment in Florida. The polls are closed and the results reveal that carpet-bombing your candidate with offensive, mean spirited and unfair missives still works, at least in the short term.
Sadly, this Republican primary has degenerated into a brawl. It just seems to get worse - at least between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. Many people like me who are following this campaign are eager to replace the current occupant of the White House for many vital reasons. However, we do not want the "establishment" candidate for many reasons.
We are concerned for the poor and disadvantaged. However, we have learned that big government does a horrible job of providing care for them and that collectivism - be it of the right or the left - is anything but the solution. We want a candidate who speaks of opening up economic participation in the American dream to as many as possible; one who recognizes that the market was made for man - and not man for the market. One who actually cares about such things as the loss of manufacturing jobs.
Though we are not fans of overly federalized and bloated centralized government, the "States Rights" mantra being espoused by the Republican establishment candidate scares us. Bull Connor's evil was not that long ago. It deeply disturbs us to hear candidates assert that if some States decide that an entire class of human persons has no fundamental human right to life it is "O.K." It is NOT "O.K."
The Right to Life is a fundamental human right, endowed upon us by the Creator. The idea, as espoused by the establishment Republican candidate that the decision ...
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