February 29, 2012

The Open Wound Paradigm

Imagine yourself out in a snowstorm or a lost in desert and you've somehow just suffered a bad cut on your leg.    You are bleeding pretty badly and you need to stop the flow of blood.  You don't have a hospital, medical equipment or even gauze bandages.  You do however have an extra shirt that you can cut into strips and use as a makeshift bandage.  It likely won't stop the flow of blood entirely but it will slow it significantly.  In fact, it will stem the flow of blood enough that you will be able to continue on towards civilization which will allow you to get proper medical attention.  The alternative is the risk of simply bleeding to death.

The choice you make should be pretty obvious - do what you can to minimize the flow of blood from the open wound. If you take that metaphor and apply it to the national debt and the economy, the role of the 2012 election as the strips of shirt becomes apparent.  The Republicans do not have a Ronald Reagan in the field.  Conservative voters have to make the best of the options available and staunch the flow of blood.  That explains why so many of the casually interested Republican voters have decided that Mitt Romney is the guy.  He's not perfect but he's the only option to defeat Obama, they reason.  Based on the evidence available in the media, and the lack of in depth investigation by these voters it's a reasonable conclusion.
Sometimes you improvise.

What may be missing for these voters is the search through the backpack because there happens to be a gauze bandage available.  Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich are both capable of beating president Obama despite what casual observance would indicate.  Nevertheless, this is the reality that conservative voters who are engaged and have a problem with the soft and intermittent conservativism of Mitt Romney have to face - he is not guaranteed but still most likely to end up the nominee at this point.

If that transpires, then Mitt Romney becomes that shirt to be used to stop the flow of blood and conservative voters will be obligated to support him.  The alternative is to let the economy and the national debt bleed out.  That is unacceptable.  While it does not mean that we should concede the primaries to Romney, it does mean that we have to throw our support behind him wholeheartedly should he end up the nominee.  On the flip side of that argument is the expectation that should Romnney lose the nomination, his supporters would be expected to offer the same level of support behind whomever the eventual nominee turns out to be.  After all, anything is better than leaving an open wound alone to solve itself.

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