Friday, December 11, 2015

A suggestion for poor ol' Jeb

It's been pretty clear for some time that Jeb Bush's heart just isn't into this whole "presidential campaign" thing.
He seems to be going through the motions only because it's what other folks expect of him.

Of course, I could be wrong.
Maybe he harbors some fantasy about riding in on a big white horse just as the bad guys are about to triumph, rescuing the Party from certain disaster.
If so, I'd say he's delusional.
Should Trump falter (we can only hope!), Cruz, Rubio,... even Christie - all seem better positioned to move to the front of the line.

So, what can he do?

Let's pretend for a minute that I'm right, and that President Jeb Bush is not a realistic outcome.
... Let's also pretend that poor ol' Jeb would like to go down in history as something more than a governor of Florida, son & brother of presidents.

My suggestion for poor ol' Jeb?
Quit the race - BUT, quit with a flourish!
Give the best damn speech of your career to explain quitting.

I happen to have a draft of such a speech... here goes:
Today I am announcing the end of my presidential campaign – I am no longer a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.
This has not been an easy decision for me, but it’s clear now that I have little chance of winning my party’s nomination, and it’s time to move forward.

Before leaving the stage, however, I would like to comment on some of the disturbing trends I see developing within my party. To some extent, it is these disturbing trends that have contributed to my decision to withdraw from this campaign.

As a candidate, I have found myself compelled to say things I simply do not believe.
I have had to pander to special interests – wealthy interests – proposing tax programs that would clearly help the very wealthy in this country, while at the same time harming our vanishing middle class.
My faith is grounded in the belief that the widow and the orphan deserve justice – not just God’s justice, but our justice, today, in this world.
We – the Republican Party – used to stand up for the middle class, for the poor, for the widows and orphans.
Our heritage is Teddy Roosevelt’s – confronting the monopolists of the Gilded Age.
Where is that party now?

Some in my party shamelessly peddle fear.
They forget Ronald Reagan’s brave challenge to the Evil Empire that was the Soviet Union: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
They would have us believe that we are a weak country, on the verge of collapse, and they would have us fear our fellow man, not embrace him as another child of God.
I recall one of my favorite quotations from the Bible, Exodus 22:21
Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
We are today and have always been a nation of immigrants.
Immigrants of different nationalities and different faiths.
We Americans are today and have always been compassionate, welcoming “the wretched refuse” to our shores.
Fear of the Other has not made our country great.
Acceptance of the other – knowing that this acceptance will make “the other” in fact one of US – that is what’s made our country great.

In this campaign I found myself being called upon to say things that I simply did not believe.
Perhaps the other candidates DO believe what they say, but for the sake of my party and my country, I hope not!

No, I am not renouncing my membership in the Republican Party, rather I’m asking my fellow Republicans to ask themselves, “Where are we going?”
As Abraham Lincoln stated in his Second Inaugural address:
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
That is MY Republican Party.
I'm thinking such a speech would cement Jeb's place in the history books.

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