Do not apply “perfection tests” to candidates

by Political Arena Editor Chuck Norton

This perfection double standard could apply to any candidate, but since Newt Gingrich is the subject of the current news cycle he will make a fine example.

Like many people, Newt’s ideology has changed over the years. Reagan’s influence changed the ideology of a great many. Did you know that Charles Krauthammer and George Will both opposed Reagan?

I see many people on FaceBook, blogs, and message boards blasting a candidate for saying something nice about a Democrat in 1972, while engaging in pretzel logic justifying their own candidate’s recent imperfections. By that standard every candidate is disqualified including President Reagan.

Ronald Reagan campaigned for FDR and Truman. So by the standard applied to Newt Gingrich this week Reagan was unfit to serve as a Republican.

Michelle Bachmann campaigned for Jimmy Carter.

Rick Perry was Texas Chair for Al Gore for President.

Zell Miller was a life long Democrat before he spoke at the Republican Convention against John Kerry as the Keynote Speaker.

Dennis Miller used to be a Democrat. David Horowitz, a conservative icon in every sense of the word, used to be a full fledged Communist radical.

I see many people posting videos of Glenn Beck criticizing Newt, but Beck cannot meet the standard that he applies to Newt Gingrich because Beck was a liberal alcoholic just a few years ago by his own admission.

I have particularly noticed this “perfect conservative consistency standard complete with a 20/20 hindsight rider” used against Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum by supporters of Mitt Romney… yes that is right Mitt Romney, who of course has a record that isn’t nearly as conservative as the other two.

On line and in other communications I have seen more and more Romney supporters get so caught up and emotionally charged with the anti-Newt media narrative that they are ready to vote for:

The guy behind RomneyCare over the man behind the Contract with America (Newt), America’s premier social conservative (Santorum), and the best job-creating governor in America (Perry – but he just dropped out), all of whom would also be more electable.

The “perfectionists” are selectively and conveniently applying a standard no candidate can meet. They are making the perfect the enemy of the good as evidenced by a recent Romney narrative  “Newt supported Rockefeller in 1960’s” line. Really guys… the 1960’s?

The propaganda from those who oppose TEA Party conservatives and newly involved independents is designed to target the sensitivities of those TEA Party conservatives – by using that tactic those who are far less conservative have TEA Party activists attacking the candidates that would actually govern more conservative.

When Santorum started going up in the polls what did Romney and his attack dogs call him in ads – a Big Government non-conservative who was contrary to the Reagan Revolution.  The Ronbots ran with it and spouted a similar narrative.

At first Rick Santorum was too conservative and now he is akin to Nancy Pelosi… many TEA Party activists are being lead about by the nose with these false narratives that are so brilliantly designed to target their sensitivities.

As a trained propagandist myself, I am like the magician who shows you how the other guys “made it disappear”.

One can be certain that Mitt Romney and President Obama have hired a team people all with similar training to what I have. Their propaganda is focus-grouped to be tested to generate exactly the narratives I am explaining to you here. The tactics and psychology of communication they use IS that sophisticated. You need to be as aware of this as possible. And make no mistake, even educated conservatives who believe they are informed are as easily influenced by negative ads and attitude change propaganda as anyone.

Mitt Romney is attacking candidates far more conservative than he is for not being perfectly conservative throughout history and voters are falling for it…. and emotionally investing in it with zeal.

But Chuck, Romney can get independents and is more likely to win….

Besides the fact that the political strategy just outlined was the political strategy of Gerald Ford, Bush 41 vs Clinton, Bob Dole and John McCain… and it is precisely that strategy that Reagan opposed; just who are these “Independents”??

In the 2010 elections, in 9 of the top 10 presidential swing states, women and Catholics voted for GOP/TEA Party candidates in the largest numbers since the 1984 Reagan 49 state landslide. Woman and Catholics are the two most notorious 50/50 swing voters.

So let me ask you. Were those swing voters responding to a moderate message of not being too conservative? Were they responding to “lets not be too strident in our opposition to Obama” (That is a Romney quote by the way)? Or were they responding to the TEA Party message of Allen West, Newt Gingrich, and Sarah Palin?

Newt’s early previous statements, which I will freely admit are all over the place, do cause one to pause, but policy is where the rubber meets the road. not statements. Look at the policy heavy lifting Newt got done for conservatives.

While some are content to vote for the man who continues to defend RomneyCare and government mandates; I am more inclined to vote for an imperfect man who passed the Contract With America, balanced the federal budget, cut taxes, grew the economy, and passed Welfare Reform.

About Chuck Norton

Political issue strategist and communications professional. I write about politics, education, economics, morality and philosophy.
This entry was posted in 2012 Primary, Communications Theory, Editorial, Health Law, History, Mitt Romney, Newt, True Talking Points and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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