It’s Time to Stop Searching for a Status Quo Candidate
Nothing astonishes me more than seeing Mike Pence’s name on a presidential poll beside a number that’s not zero percent.
Don’t get me wrong, Pence seems like a decent guy. He was a decent governor and an adequate Vice President—although many of his voters wish things went differently in the bottom of the ninth and felt slightly betrayed when he agreed to an interview with David Muir of ABC “News.”
Much more popular in the polls is Gov. Ron DeSantis, a decent guy who does a phenomenal job running Florida. He’s “Trump without the nonsense.” He and Casey and the kids look mighty “presidential.” His time in office has been full of “class” and “decorum.”
Though DeSantis hasn’t yet announced his candidacy, he’s eating a big slice of the early polling pies. Why?
People want a decent guy. Someone who won’t stir the status quo. Someone who won’t twice get impeached, or be indicted by a Soros-backed local prosecutor on made-up charges, or get kicked off Twitter, or snidely comment on Rosie O’Donnell’s weight. Someone who will make everything go “back to normal.”
But what exactly is this “normal” people would like to return to?
To them, “normal” means an idealized America where politics and religion don’t come up at Thanksgiving. Where you need a moment to remember the name of the US House Speaker, because he (or she) isn’t going viral for ripping up a State of the Union address. Where “MAGA” is followed by “zine,” not “Republican.”
But just because the president of your nostalgic dreams isn’t tweeting about deep-state corruption doesn’t mean your elected officials aren’t bought-and-paid-for. Just because he’s not calling out the Fake News doesn’t detract from the networks’ endless agitprop under the guise of “objective journalism.” Just because he lets you tune out of politics for three out of every four years doesn’t mean anything in Washington is happening for your benefit.
For every American so complacent or financially secure that he can afford the luxury of not paying attention, there are hundreds of his fellow citizens jeopardized by warped tax codes, crooked judges, and tyrannical mandates imposed by unelected Beltway bureaucrats. We cannot afford a “decent guy” whose perfect restraint keeps him from calling out deep-seeded corruption to advance and save his career.
So it’s time to drop the talk about “decorum.” Put away any preconceived notions of “presidential.” Set aside this idea of preserving the status quo.
On Tuesday we saw the unprecedented indictment of a former president on disappointingly trivial charges. The State put him—he who was once the most powerful man on earth, the leader of the once-free world—in the figurative stocks. Because they can.
“We’ve crossed the Rubicon,” claimed commentators from both the Right and Left.
But our nation didn’t cross the Rubicon on Tuesday. We crossed the Rubicon a while back. But for some reason—be it ignorance or a yearning for “normalcy”—the comfortable are quick convince themselves that we never dipped a toe in it.
For decades, we splashed around obliviously in the Rubicon, like children in a kiddie pool. “Decent guys” disenfranchised voters, left American troops behind, allowed innocent civilians to rot behind bars. We let leaders off scot-free for perjury, spying, destruction of evidence, gross violations of civil liberties. How soon we forget we spent most of this decade muzzled in useless masks.
On Tuesday, scenes from the streets of Manhattan stirred in Americans something lost in our media-induced diminished attention spans. We really, truly belong to the State.
Thanks to President Trump and, unfortunately, thanks to his appearance in a kangaroo court in Lower Manhattan, Americans are awake again. I hope that this time we remain so for longer than five minutes.
We must understand that there is no such thing as a return to status quo. An idealized America is one where people are in the dark.
America must choose leaders who are fighters because we are constantly under attack. Yes, from domestic enemies as well as foreign despots. This is what it means to be free. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
And your “decent guy” candidate isn’t enough to preserve that.