Since college, I have adopted, “Strive for the ideal, recognize the real,” as my personal motto. The striving is a lot easier than the recognition. As it is in life, so it is with politics.
We all wish we had a outspoken conservative candidate like Chris Christie, with the conservative vision of Marco Rubio, the fiscal knowhow of Paul Ryan and the entrepreneurial experience of Mitt Romney. But, this year, we lack the ideal conservative candidate as the rise and fall of the various “non-Romney” alternatives has shown.
For example, when Ed Morrissey announced that Rick Santorum was his choice, he was only tepid in his endorsement, noting, for example that some of the Senator’s “positions in the past and present” gave him pause. Today, that 2010 CPAC blogger of the year reported that Mitt Romney scored a big endorsement from fiscal conservative Sen. Tom Coburn. In his endorsement, the Oklahoma Senator hinted that he may not be entirely enthusiastic about his choice: “In life, and especially politics, our choices are seldom perfect and often difficult.”
It’s seems sometimes as if we’re dining at one of two restaurants in town and craving a thick, juicy steak, but not finding in on the menu. We have to settle for what’s being offered.
Now, some may be saying, they’re not in the mood for chef’s special, Massachusetts meatloaf and are leaning towards Pennsylvania liver and onions because, after all, the liver comes from a cow — as does the steak. (And this particularly dish always tends to be overcooked.) The Georgia tuna, while occasionally savory, is usually overly spicy. And the vegetarian offering is, well, a Texas turnip.
Our choices this year aren’t ideal, but, they’re far far superior to what the other restaurant is offering, a dish made of tofu and soy and billed as prime rib. The restaurant still posts the glowing review (on now faded newsprint) written by a food critic who had never actually tasted the concoction, but instead relied on Chef Axelrod’s glowing testimonial.
We may lament that steak is not on the menu, but we’re going to have to order something that is. In short, we’re going to have to recognize the reality that our choices this year are not ideal. But, at least they’re far better than the limited choices at the restaurant down the street.