Much has been said about how the Republican rank and file is viewing this election cycle's presidential candidates with something less than enthusiasm, but no one's addressed exactly why it is that the GOP's candidates are so underwhelming. If one really thinks about it, the answer should be obvious. Imagine, if you will, the Perfect Republican Candidate. He would be required not just to support, but to believe:
- Schools have not just the right but the duty to cast doubt on evolution and anthropogenic global warming (and that 98 percent of climatologists and 90 percent+ of the world's scientists are wrong);
- America can somehow drill a finite source all the way to energy independence;
- Women have no right to choice when it comes to abortion;
- Physical attraction to someone of the same sex is a deliberate choice;
- Guns make the world safer;
- "Corporations are people, my friend", and money is free speech;
- Government regulation is almost always a bad thing. Cars would be more efficient if the government would simply not regulate CAFE standards, the economy would do better if the government would get out of the way of big business, and it's only okay to protect the environment if it doesn't interfere with big business;
- Public employee unions have no right to collective bargaining;
- Anyone who supports the separation of mainstream Christian church and state is guilty of supporting President Obama's war on Christianity;
- The Islamists are trying even now to implement Sharia law in America;
- Schools would do better jobs of teaching our children if only we'd spend far less money on schools;
- Teaching contraception (or even mentioning homosexuality) in high school sex-ed classes is a bad thing;
- And let us not forget that President Obama wasn't born in America and/or he's secretly a Muslim.
Now I'm sure there are several factors I left out, but the above list should be sufficient. To be sure, most Republicans will not embrace all of the above, but I feel safe in saying that most will expect their candidate to support most of these dogmatic beliefs. The problem is, most of the positions above are Looney Tunes, and the more of these that a politician supports, the more likely that politician will also be Looney Tunes, or perhaps just not that strong in the gray-matter department.