Political strategists say probable presidential candidate Jeb Bush had a very bad week, last week.
Indeed he did. He even stumbled in his Fox interview.
Saturday in Iowa City, a reporter from the Washington Post asked him why he wasn't better prepared to answer the questions everybody knew he would be asked? And does that suggest a sign of weakness in his probable candidacy?
Bush replied, "Nah...we are all going to make mistakes. If you're looking for the perfect candidate he probably existed 2,000 years ago."
Most of us get that. Jesus was perfect. We are not. We also get that Jesus wasn't running for anything. He already was something. He is God. Politicians are not God, although some would like to be.
What politicians seem to consistently miss is that most of us "non-elite" folks are not looking for a "perfect" candidate.
Ironically, The New York Times, of all newspapers, may have at least brushed the truth this past weekend about what we the people actually "do" want in a candidate.
I could have titled this article, "Jeb Bush and Jesus," pointing out his recognition that Jesus was, and is perfect, but he, Jeb, the probable candidate, is not.
A majority of Americans already know that.
And this is not really about Jeb Bush.
The Washington Post goes to great length to explain what most conservatives and Christians also already know about the likely number of Republican candidates who want to be president.
The Republican field of candidates will probably end up being 15 to 20 candidates. Can you imagine the debates and debacles we will see over the next year and a half?
The Post says, hopefully, "With no clear front runner and Bush so far unable to consolidate his path to the nomination...This could cost presidential aspirants tens of millions of dollars; pull them far to the right ideologically, from hot button social issues to foreign policy; and jeopardize their general election chances."
The Post says, "Candidates will be rewarded for finding creative ways to gain notice," quoting concerned Republican leaders who are saying, "We're in a danger zone."
The GOP is in a danger zone, I believe, because of the notion that conservatives can't win. Each election we go through the same ritual---the Party backs the "moderate" who is often more liberal than "moderate" in the primaries, helping to fund the attempt to convince the conservatives he/she is one of us. Then in the general election their dogma goes, they come-out as moderate and win over all the Independents.
That has really worked out well for Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney hasn't it?
This next election may well be the most important in American history due to the "remaking of America" that has and is transpiring under current leadership.
But the leader America is really looking for in these perilous times may not be the embodiment of modern day American politics and pundits or the ability to creatively find ways to "gain notice."
It may be---dare I say it out loud?
In my mind the New York Times is a champion of only the far left progressive movement and agenda; and regular columnist Frank Burni most often advances that ideology.
However, in his article, "The Bitter Back Drop To 2016," written for the New York Times and carried by other newspapers including the Seattle Times, he may have lighted a candle in the darkness of the "enlightened" world.
Bruni says, "But there's a climate in this country that's larger than any contender, strangely resistant to the sorts of ups and downs that a campaign endures and as crucial to the outcome of the election as the clash of personalities that commands the lion's share of our attention."
"The climate," he says, "is a mood of overarching uncertainty and profound anxiety. And it's so ingrained at this point that we tend to overlook it."
He writes, "For a stunningly long period now, American voters have been pessimistic about the country's future---and their own. They sense that both at home and abroad, we have lost ground and keep losing more."
To support the idea that Americans have, for more than a decade, felt both anxious and uncertain, he quotes a number of polls.
Most of us don't need a poll. We already knew that as well. It's clear to a majority that we are on the wrong track.
A gathering of professors, politicians and writers met late last week at the Wilson Center in Washington DC to discuss the continuing, growing pessimism in America.
Their discussion centered on this question: "Is America at a Crossroads?" ---with specific panels discussing the related questions: "America's Decline: Myth or Reality?" and "Is The United States Still The Indispensable Nation?"
Their conclusions will probably be published within a week or so.
Frank Bruni touched the truth when he concluded in his NYT's article, "And the presidency may well be determined not by any candidate's fine-tuned calibration on hot button issues or by cunning electoral arithmetic...If one of the aspirants can give creditable voice to Americans' insecurity and trace a believable path out of it, he or she will almost certainly be victorious."
He says, "Politicians and voters will wrangle in the foreground over taxes, the minimum wage, student debt, immigration. But in the background looms a crises of confidence that threatens to become the new American way. Let's hope for a candidate with the vision and courage to tackle that."
A look back gives us a clear vision for the future: "Your love of liberty---your respect for the laws---your habits of industry---and your practice of the moral and religious obligations, are the strongest claims to national and individual happiness." George Washington--to the residents of Boston, October 27, 1789.
Bruni touched the truth. Why would we even consider the politician who is merely the greatest pretender, when we can choose one who is for real?
Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.