The GOP presidential primary gets more ridiculous with each passing day. From N-word rock to Gloria Allred and now moon colonies, we’ve made sure to focus on issues that matter. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’d be badass to visit the moon, but with soaring unemployment, unsustainable debt, an increasingly fragile Middle East, and threat of Obamacare, whether or not we can put a Starbucks on the moon is not something I’m terribly concerned about, at least not today.
Even more outlandish than lunar living are the “True Conservative” purity tests. Regardless of a candidate’s successes, cries from “True Conservatives” bemoan them as “not conservative enough.” Such whining also suggests that there is a candidate in the race who is the shining star of conservative principles and values. I hate to break it to you, but allow me to let you in on a little secret: there are no conservatives in the race. That’s right, you heard me, no conservatives, not one.
The current GOP field has three regular ol’ Republicans and a feisty little Libertarian. Breath a sigh of relief, there’s no need to scour their records to discern who is most Conservative. You can stop yelling at everyone who disagrees with you that their preferred candidate isn’t really a “truuuuuuuueeeee Conservative.” Because you know what? You’re right. While it’s true each GOP candidate has engaged in conservative behavior from time to time, they are by every measure, simply Republican. Whether it’s refusal to recognize this obvious fact, or a frantic desire to find Reagan incarnate, I’m not sure, but the sooner the base understands this, the easier life will be and the quicker we can all be friends again.
Blame “the establishment,” blame the media – it makes no difference because like it or not, we have four choices. In the Final Four we have three Republicans and Grand Pappy Libertarian. We have Romney, perhaps one of the most quintessential Republicans in existence (good hair and all) and yes, Romneycare, we heard you the first billion times you screamed it. We have Santorum, social Conservative, but Big Government Republican, supporter of Arlen Specter and believer in a restricted internet. And then there’s Newt, oh Newt. True, he led the GOP revolution in the 90′s and balanced the budget, yada yada yada, but he also supports the individual mandate and believes in global warming, or climate change, or whatever we’re calling it these days. And he’s definitely not a social conservative (unless we’ve redefined that to include up to four marriages and/or affairs). And if you’re still dissatisfied with these choices, there’s always Ron Paul.
So there you have it. You can pack away your conservative measuring stick and save it for 2016 when we will again, eviscerate any actual conservative for forgetting a talking point, being too boring, or something equally as asinine, but claim the man willing to spend a bazillion tax payer dollars to put a McDonald’s on Mars is the hope of all conservadom.
This post originally appeared on The Political Operative, January 27, 2012.