But Bill Kristol observes: “You fight an election with the politicians you have.”
(Reagan) was a conservative first and a politician second, a National Review and Human Events reader first and an elected official second.
This is exceedingly unusual. The normal American president is a politician, with semicoherent ideological views, who sometimes becomes a vehicle for an ideological movement. …
This year’s GOP field is, in this sense, normal.
Kristol is witty, but I think his neocon perspective is wrong. Republicans electing non-ideological-conservatives, Nixons and Bushes, only results in more liberal policies, a larger federal government, and, finally, a Republican electoral debacle.
He is right in observing that, in this presidential election, and in recent American politics generally, no obvious unquestionably conservative leader has emerged in the nation and the Republican Party. We need to ask ourselves why. And we need to start producing them again, not settling for substitutes.