I have no idea if Jeb Bush has ever been to Nigeria or if he has an interest in that country. However, when I read an article about election absurdities taking place in Nigeria, as improbable as it sounds, I thought of Governor Bush.
On the surface, this sounds ridiculous. It may be no more than a journey in stream of consciousness, but hear me out. Here is some background. Nuhu Ribadu is a crusader who was appointed chairman of an anti-corruption commission in 2001. At that time, his country ranked 274th out of 275 countries on the corruption calculus. He worked diligently, but his work ended when two of his staff died in unsolved murders, others quit in exhaustion and he fled to a neighboring country to avoid being assassinated. He recently returned and (unsuccessfully) ran for election as part of the party that he once called, “government of the greedy, by the greedy and for the greedy.” He decided that the system is corrupt and that the only way to reform it was from the inside – even if he needed to go counter to his principles and use bribery to get on the inside.
I don’t see any parallels in this to Jeb Bush. However – the argument I hear from those I would call establishment Republicans, is that we must work within the system. Certainly, Republicans and conservatives on the whole believe in the Constitution and want to defend it. Certainly, our system, with all its flaws, bears no resemblance to Nigeria or many other countries. Yet a sea change has taken place. The current administration does not feel beholden to the Constitution. The Democrat Party bears little resemblance to the Democrat Party of Patrick Moynihan, Scoop Jackson, and John Kennedy, all of whom, I believe, would have repudiated much of the illegal, Obama onslaught. The Republican Party, on the other hand wants, at best, to be the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan. It bears too much resemblance to the Republican Party of Bob Dole and Mitt Romney.
I have serious disagreements with Jeb Bush on Common Core and on immigration. I find his comments on Loretta Lynch’s nomination to be misplaced. I greatly admired his stand on Terri Schiavo and admire things he did in Florida. In normal times, if he treated our differences respectfully (sadly, I haven’t heard an apology for when he didn’t), I could be persuaded to support him as the nominee even if he would not be my first choice.
These are not normal times! President Obama, with the support of his party, is turning this country into one that is unrecognizable to many of us. If he is changing the landscape by 140 degrees, Jeb Bush types are only capable of turning the wheel back by 20 or so degrees. That simply isn’t good enough. I don’t know Nuhu Ribadu other than from one or two articles I read. He is working on taking a super corrupt country and moving it in a better direction. Maybe he is doing the right thing by trying to work within the corruption, maybe he isn’t. Our country however, is currently drastically betraying and abandoning a precious and fantastic system. We need a drastic rejection of that betrayal, not someone whose candidacy suggests that we’re confronting normal challenges and that slightly adjusting one gear or another is all that is needed. Even if I’m wrong and Common Core is the greatest educational innovation since the printing press, it is placing a cast on the leg of a patient who is bleeding to death.
I think a successful candidate will need to be powerful, radical, and incredibly wily and articulate. I’m looking for a revolutionary conservative and I think the rest of the country is as well. He or she is going to be tarred and feathered, labeled as racist and evil by an opposition desperate to keep this country from having an intelligent, honest conversation. The attack will bear little resemblance to reality. It will take wisdom, principle, courage and passion to give America a fighting chance. It will take out of the box thinking, charm, pugnaciousness and agility. Above all, it will need a leader who draws his wisdom and vision from God and who is unashamed of his Biblical commitment. A Republican candidate with a deep bank account in the 2012 election allowed four more years of destruction. If we again grant the candidacy to whomever has the most affluent donor base and fund-raising machine, we may truly lose the war.