Who Will Bell the Cat? - 6/7/16
There is an old story about how all the mice who lived in a particular house held a meeting to deal with the problem of the ferocious cat who also shared the dwelling with them and its human owners. One of the mice had the bright idea of hanging a bell around the cat's neck so that it would sound a warning every time the feline approached one of them.
All the mice thought this was a brilliant idea, but there was one catch. Who would undertake the extremely dangerous task of approaching the cat closely enough to hang the bell on him? None of them wanted that job!
Bill Kristol over at the Weekly Standard is having the same kind of trouble finding a qualified conservative to run as a third-party Presidential candidate in this fall's elections against Democrat Hillary Clinton and "Republican" Donald Trump.
The problem is that no Republican office holder, present or past, even those few who have refused to endorse the Donald, wants the job for the obvious reason that if they run and Trump loses to Clinton, they will be blamed for that outcome and if the percentage of the vote they receive is greater than Clinton's margin of victory over Trump, rightly so.
So Kristol had to expand his search to include conservatives who were not directly involved in politics. And after what made what we have to assume was considerable effort, he came up with---Paul French, a writer for National Review!
Now, I have nothing against Mr. French, who, from what I have heard is an admirable individual. He is an attorney and a gifted writer, who interrupted his civilian legal career to volunteer to enlist in the U.S. Army and serve as a military lawyer in Iraq. But the fact is that he is virtually unknown to the public at large. I am a right-wing political junkie and I barely knew his name when it was floated as that of a possible independent candidate. I know I have read some of his pieces in National Review and enjoyed them, but I have to admit that not one of them has stuck in my mind. If French is the most prominent person Kristol was able to get to consider running, it is hard to imagine which namesare farther down on his list!
And I say, "consider" running because Mr. French (forgive me-I keep thinking of Sebastian Cabot in Family Affair) has also declined to bell the cat. In a fairly long piece on National Review Online, he states that while neither Trump or Clinton are qualified to be President and he dearly hopes that another conservative individual agrees to take up the challenge to run against them, he goes into Dana-Carvey- as-George-Bush- mode and says that it "wouldn't be prudent" for him to do so.
I wonder why Kristol doesn't run himself? He is certainly a much more visible conservative spokesman than French is and with long experience at defending and promoting our views ably both in print and as a talking head on television. Perhaps, and understandably so, he doesn't want to subject himself and his family to the personal attacks that French endured during the short time that it seemed he would run. But, as Edmund Burke famously said, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
I and many other conservatives would like the opportunity to cast our ballot for President this year for someone we will not feel ashamed to give it to like a man who (only to mention two of his most recent pronouncements) attacks a judge born in this country for being a "Mexican" and whose ego is so huge that he is not content with accepting his nomination by the Republican party in front of the merely thousands of delegates at the GOP convention broadcast on television nationwide, but wants a series of Nuremberg Rally style coronations in massive sports arenas before tens of thousands of spectators!
I hope that someone plausible steps forward soon to take up the gauntlet of responsible conservatism, but as each day goes by, it seems less and less likely that this will happen.
Questions, comments, compliments, objections about the above? The Oldest & Wisest wants to know! Email him at email@example.com