Shawn Adams is an American teacher in Oman who has been a lifelong conservative, and someone I consider a comrade. Our paths crossed some time ago, and many debates involving politics and culture followed. This is his take on the 2012 Republican primary.
I have been a conservative all my life. I have almost always voted for Republican candidates, but these past few elections have made me rethink who I was voting for and why. When I was asked to write this, I had no idea what to say about the likes of Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, or Rick Perry. So I decided to examine my opinions the frontrunners and evaluate their chances of getting the Republican nomination, and in some cases, how I think they would do in the presidential election. SPOILER: Not Very Well.
Michele Bachmann: Honestly, this woman kind of freaks me out, even as a conservative; she just has some strange views, and her husband's odd views do not help her in any way. She may be able to rally the Uber Right, but she will never pull in the undecided voters in the election, and the Republican Party knows this. She will most likely not be nominated.
Rick Perry: This guy just strikes me as Michele Bachmann with XY chromosomes, and I bet most voters feel the same way. Voters tend not to mind you talking about your faith, Rick, but when that is all we hear you talk about, it makes us uneasy. If it makes conservatives worried, then how much more will it put off the swing voter?
Ron Paul: Once again, he's a little too weird to pull in those much-needed swing votes in the election. He may, in the eyes of most undecided voters, be way too far right of the game to vote for. He and Bachmann both need to see that although the far-right rhetoric may garner a lot of votes from your own party, this will not equal winning an election. For this reason, he will have an uphill battle to get the nomination.
Mitt Romney: I had a hard time choosing whether I thought Mitt or good old Newt Gingrich would be the front runner of this primary. I came to the conclusion that Romney's Mormon beliefs would put him at a serious disadvantage over Newt and would be a real deal breaker, both with the swing voters and the Far Right. Voters might feel that this guy does not think like we do: will he vote like we do in the crunch time? Plus, come on: you put this guy up against Obama, and he will look like a wacko religious nut, even if he is not.
Newt Gingrich: He can take the primaries and probably will get the nomination. All the skeletons are out of his closet. Which means no October Surprise for old Newt. He has proven he is a strong leader and will fight for what he believes in. Newt happens to be the only candidate in this primary who seems normal and who has not gone off the deep end. The problem with Newt is that he can be too liberal for the conservatives, and he may be too conservative for the undecided.
None of these non-candidates will have a fighting chance against an incumbent president anyway, mainly because the voting public is scared of change and always has been, but also due to the fact that most of the candidates at the moment are just plain out-there or way too religious for the common public's comfort. Even if any of these guys (or gals) gets the nomination, they would need a miracle to win the presidential election. So assuming that Obama doesn't screw up in the coming year (and it would have to be a major screw up), we are looking at four more years of Hope and Change. But hey, these are only my opinions. Take them or leave it.