Complacency Watch

by Mark Steyn

Michelle Malkin writes about the various unconservative inclinations of the current Republican Top Four candidates:

Would be nice to get more conservatives to Occupy GOP Debates next time around.

On a related theme, Phyllis Schlafly’s column is headlined “America’s Decline: Candidates Just Don’t Get It“:

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, conducted jointly by Democrats and Republicans, reports that 74 percent of Americans think our government is taking us in the wrong direction, and only 17 percent think we are on the right track. Other polls are similar, with Gallup reporting 85 percent dissatisfied with the way our country is headed, and only 13 percent satisfied.

I broadly accept Hugh Hewitt’s line – that it’s in the nature of competitive politics that I’ll wind up with a candidate whom I agree with 70 per cent of the time. But it’s very depressing that in the debates so far there’s no sense, from either the questions or the answers, of the urgency of the situation. On every meaningful indicator, this country is accelerating toward the cliff. If the multi-trillion debt pile-up is not halted and dramatically reversed within the next presidential term, America will slip too far too fast to recover within its present political arrangements. Were the nominating process to fail this time round (as it did in 2008) it would be not merely a disappointment but an existential threat.

Yet the center of these debates is nowhere near where it ought to be. I accept that there’s an element of don’t-frighten-the-horses calculation going on, but it’s doing the nation a huge disservice. Much of America is seizing up. There are too many barnacles encrusted to the hulk, and the “viable” candidates are arguing about giving them a paint job.

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