I think I once told this story in a column, years ago — it involves my friend Johnny A. and the 1992 election. Johnny A. was an extraordinary athlete, in football and other sports. He worked with us at the golf course, in the pro shop. I said, “Johnny, who’re you gonna vote for?” He said, “Clinton.” I said, “Why?” He said, “Time for a change.”
I said, “Okay, what kind of change? What kind of change do you favor?” He simply replied, “Time for a change.” I said, “But Johnny, what is the nature of that change? Do you favor change for change’s sake?” “Time for a change,” he said, stubbornly, smilingly.
“A., work with me here!” I said. “How about we turn the country into a police state? That would be a change.” “Time for a change,” he said. “How about you drive your car off a cliff? That would be a change.” Johnny A. would not budge: “Time for a change.” I can still see him, smiling stubbornly, with a wad of chew in his mouth.
I wonder whether people will feel this way in the 2012 election: Time for a change, regardless. This position has no real philosophical content: a preference for smaller government, a preference for bigger government. It’s just, as I indicated, a feeling: Time for a change.
The Republicans need all the help they can get.