By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
The shadows are beginning to recede, and the political landscape is becoming clearer. The topographical features are now discernible enough to make this prediction: if social conservatives do not coalesce around one conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, we will get four more years of Barack Obama.
If Romney wins the GOP nomination, there is no question that Ron Paul will run a third party candidacy, because Romney is part of the status quo which gives Paul his raison d’etre. He has consistently refused to rule out running as a third part candidate, which means he will.
His supporters are the most rabid, hardcore political constituency I have ever seen, and they will be the most highly motivated Americans in the presidential campaign. Ron Paul will get every last vote that is available to him, which cannot be said of Romney or even Obama, whose base is growing increasingly disenchanted with him.
Romney’s support as the GOP nominee will be tepid at best and non-existent at worst. Honest social conservatives find him impossible to trust on the sanctity of life (RomneyCare offers the cheapest abortions in America, and was passed after his pro-life conversion), the sanctity of marriage (he imposed same-sex marriage on Massachusetts by executive fiat, and issued 189 same-sex licenses himself in 2005, after he supposedly had become the champion of man-woman marriage), the homosexual agenda (the Log Cabin Republicans have endorsed him, and GOProud loves him), and judicial nominations (if memory serves, 27 of his 36 judicial appointments were Democrats, and two were open homosexuals).
He will be utterly unable to generate any enthusiasm among the conservative base, which was McCain’s problem in ‘08, but things will be much worse this year because conservatives will have the option of voting for Ron Paul, and many will. Many conservatives will find Ron Paul to be the lesser of two evils, and vote for the guy who, despite all his liabilities on national defense, his dangerous naivete about Islam, and the social disintegration that his libertarian philosophy on marriage, prostitution and drugs would generate, know he’s dead serious about reducing government spending and the size of the federal government. A Mitt Romney nomination would be the best gift the electoral gods could give to Ron Paul and to Barack Obama.
So if Romney is nominated, he and Paul will divide the conservative vote, and the Ross Perot effect engendered by Ron Paul will pull enough votes from Romney to let Obama slither back into office with a plurality but not a majority of the vote, as Clinton did twice in the 90s.
The only alternative to this scenario is if social conservatives are able to rally around Rick Perry. Newt Gingrich is fatally flawed and bleeding from too many self-inflicted wounds, including morphing into Michael Moore in his attacks on free enterprise. Rick Santorum, despite his unapologetic and vigorous social conservatism, does not have the infrastructure, the organization, or the money to run a nationwide campaign. He will not even be on the ballot in four or five states.
Only Rick Perry combines effective executive experience, a proven record of economic vitality, a consistently conservative set of social values, and the structure and fund-raising capacity to defeat Romney in the primary and Obama in the general. He or Santorum could blunt some of the Ron Paul mania and keep many conservatives from defecting to Paul. But Perry finished fifth in Iowa, was barely a blip in New Hampshire, and is polling at five percent in South Carolina.
The odds of Perry getting a second wind may be astronomical, but those are the odds social conservatives face. There is no other alternative.This is not an endorsement, just an observation: it’s either Rick Perry or four more years of Barack Obama.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)