I’m a bit of a news junkie. News alerts are constantly being sent to my phone, and I love being able to explain trending stories to my parents as they get home from work. But when I flipped on the television this past Monday morning and saw Senator Lindsey Graham announcing his presidential bid, I kept sipping my coffee.
My yawns were nothing against Senator Graham and his capability as a lawmaker but rather the fact that the list of GOP candidates for 2016 continues to grow when the list should really have capped around six individuals, three or four being serious contenders, and another couple thrown in the mix who might just be trying to launch a bigger career. Later today (Thursday), Governor Rick Perry is set to announce his campaign, already garnering support from notable individuals like Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell and Taya Kyle, wife of American Sniper Chris Kyle. (Admittedly, Perry’s campaign makes sense-he actually has a chance at winning the nomination.) At first, I was amused by the insane quantity of candidates announcing their hopes and dreams, but then I became angry. Why are so many Republican politicians insisting on throwing their hat in the ring when we all know that only one will succeed? Do they all honestly believe they have a chance to win?
As someone who values a relationship with God, I truly admired some of these candidates when they asked people for prayers in discerning whether to run, and then as they announced their presidential bids because they felt called to do so. But the cynical side of me says, “Come on, now. Do each and every one of you really feel God’s calling to run for President of the United States right here and now?” The reality is, all of these candidates can agree on the fact that the last eight years have harmed the United States in unfathomable ways, and change needs to happen in 2016 to try and correct errors of the past and prevent grievous mistakes of the future. But as each individual announces, the funding pool for fighting the Democrats in 2016 shrinks. At the same time, voters like myself are feeling more confused every day. If there were only a few candidates at this point, I might have donated to a campaign for the first time in my life. But there is no way I’m throwing away money this early when honestly, I’ll probably be enthusiastic about whoever is chosen as the final candidate.
With so many candidates, the Republican Party runs the risk of repeating the mistakes of the 2012 election. There were so many contenders vying for the nomination that attacks became aggressive and sometimes personal during the debates. Once Governor Mitt Romney was chosen, the media jumped on the opportunity to remind the American public of what Romney’s fellow conservatives had said about him several months back. Romney became known as a “flopper”, and that seriously hurt him in the election.
So this is my plea to any more Republicans out there considering running: please don’t. You may be sharp, brilliant, and personable, but now is not the time. And, to all candidates already campaigning, ask yourself if you really believe you have a chance at beating Hillary Clinton, or any of the other Democrats. Do you truly believe you can win over the hearts and minds of Americans from coast to coast? Please think of the cause that unites us: inputting rational principles into the workings of everyday government, through sensible spending, protection of individual rights, and taking up the challenge of being a world leader.
On a closing note, I would like to ask all of you for your prayers as I consider whether to run for President of the United States in 2032. Thank you.