How to Become the Front Runner in the Republican Race for the Presidency

The following op-ed was sent in from Russ Ramsland. Russ Ramsland is a tea party leader in Dallas. He is a successful businessman, harvard graduate, and worked with President Reagan’s administration. He is also a board member of Americans for a Conservative President.

As a leader in the Dallas Tea Party, I am often asked who will be the Republican nominee for President. To date it’s been easy to answer since one candidate in particular does consistently well on polls across the country, official and unofficial. That candidate is “None of the Above”.

Perhaps I should roll down to the courthouse this afternoon and change my name to “None of the Above”. If successful, it could be argued that without raising a single penny or eating one piece of rubber chicken on the campaign dinner circuit, I had vaulted to the top of the Republican race. How in the world did we get to this point?

The answer has several components, but many of them emanate from the same source. That is, the American citizenry have finally been goaded away from their sofas in front of the TV, and onto their computers and over to their neighborhood Tea Party or other such meetings. They are driven by the sheer arrogance and denigration of traditional American ideals and principles displayed by such a large percentage of the so-called “political class”. And what they are finding on their computers and at their neighborhood political meetings is making them even more angry, even fearful for the future that will be inherited by their children and their grandchildren.

Citizens are finding that leaders from both sides of the aisle have abandoned adherence to the Constitution and the Rule of Law, adherence to the ideals of individual liberty, and adherence to the concept of limited government answerable to the people. Instead they are learning the meaning of new words such as “oligarchy” and the many forms it takes, including socialism, fascism, and communism. The people sense these forms of government are more closely aligned with the heartbeat of their so-called leaders than is republicanism or democracy. And they really, really don’t like it.

The common citizen senses that politicians from many arenas have come to regard him or her as stupid enough to believe forever their mere words and not look to their actions and votes. Often whole campaigns are based on creating envy, distrust, and division between Americans with a goal of artificially creating equal outcome as opposed to being created equally, and in doing so are crushing the American spirit. And people really, really don’t like it.

The American people are also finding a mainstream media that no longer believes its job is to report events, but instead to “shape” public opinion by carefully shepherding what is reported and who reports it. They are being told they must accept “the lesser of two evils” in picking their leaders. Voters cannot trust what they hear and read, and they cannot trust the rhetoric of their “lesser of two evils” candidates. And they really, really don’t like it.

As a result, the people are becoming more and more sophisticated in evaluating those who would ask them for their trust and their vote. They are learning to compare mere words with actual deeds. They are learning to look past the candidate and see who that person surrounds himself or herself with, and to whose advice they listen. They look to candidates’ backgrounds. And they deeply distrust apparent contradictions.

None of this makes a candidate’s life any easier. The new energy and engagement by voters is making the political calculus harder to anticipate and spin. For instance, candidate Romney must figure out how to reconcile his actions as Governor of Massachusetts in creating Romneycare with his desire to wear the mantle of conservatism.

His best hope may be that voters realize candidates must be viewed through the filter of their political stage. That is, Romney was the governor of one of the true blue states, so what he could and couldn’t accomplish while claiming to be a conservative can hopefully be leavened. But even there he will have to contend with Chris Christie’s truly conservative success as governor of another true blue state. It casts a shadow on Romney. And what of Rick Perry, who has been governor of the reddest of the red? Upon the inevitable closer inspection, will his record stand up to the scrutiny?

Americans have always loved good orators. But this year the high ground may be claimed by principles—not class warfare, race or rhetoric. Voters want to believe their ears only by seeing proof in action. So far, candidate “None of the Above” sounds the most convincing.

Related Content: Who is afraid of the TEA Party? An interview with Dallas Tea Party leader Russ Ramsland


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