So here we were again, sleepily slogging through the dog days of summer in another election year, only to be awakened by the announcement of Mitt Romney’s choice of his running mate. Returning home from a wedding Friday night, in the early morning hours I turned on the TV to hear the news that Paul Ryan was to be the man. On hearing of Ryan’s selection, I felt like singing: He’s got the cool, clear, eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth. Then there’s the upturned chin and the grin of impetuous youth. In short, I believe in him.
But of course, not all the folks in this country felt the same way. You see, according to the powers that be, Congressman Ryan is, either the most frightening human being on the face of this Earth, or a total pushover who will indubitably send the R&R ticket to certain defeat. How can these seemingly mutually exclusive theories be correct? Welcome to the loony land of liberal logic.
On the one hand, they posit that Ryan, because of his age and experience, has little or no foreign policy credibility; as if you need little more than a pulse to fulfill that requirement as it pertains to the veep spot. How do I know this? Joe Biden is the sitting Vice President. No, the far more serious charge, indeed, the left’s favorite talking point, is the old liberal standby: the man is just plain scary.
Second only to the one-two punch of racial and class warfare, the "scary" charge is the arrow Democrats most often pull from their depleted quiver in national elections. Time and time again, all who would seek elective office with an “R” next to their names are made out to be the most horrifying bogeymen known to man or beast. And indeed, the GOP has managed to turn out such terrifying characters as:
Rick Santorum: A man whose visage encompasses all the sinister characteristics of your friendly neighborhood choirboy, was particularly singled out for demonhood by the liberal slander machine. After all, who wouldn’t be terrified by a man who loves children and fights for the rights of unborn babies.
Newt Gingrich: A scholar and historian of such intellectual magnitude who, had he not chosen to dedicate his talents to the dark and menacing precepts of the U.S. Constitution, would have graced the pantheon of liberal talking head-dom with the likes of trustworthy chroniclers such as Doris Kearns Goodwin and Joseph Ellis.
Dick Cheney: Someone who, when not dancing in the nightmares of liberal fear-mongers, could pass for your kindly old Uncle Al -- that curmudgeonly family treasure who has forgotten more than most people know about the things that really count -- with a smile that could melt butter; or, as conjured by the tortured imaginations of Democrats, turn his trusty shotgun on your wife and kiddies at a moment’s notice, blowing them away for target practice.
Donald Rumsfeld: Who could easily pass for a wise and beloved college professor or maybe a trusted and steely-eyed brain surgeon were he not, in the minds of Democrat spin-doctors, ever occupied with devising ways of obliterating half of the known world just for fun.
Sarah Palin: A sweet lady who, were she not so superbly versed in the ways of liberty and truth, would be the idol of liberal women everywhere; a role model who would undoubtedly command a seven figure salary for her own daytime TV show. But alas, when depicted by the poisonous pens of liberal punditry, she becomes a bespectacled Cruella De Vil; a vicious monster who eagerly devours children and small pets.
George W. Bush: A man so threatening to the free world, so full of devilish plans for conquest, rape and pillage, that he was regularly in bed by 10:00 PM. This terrifying frat boy/country bumpkin so terrified liberal journalists, that the mere thought of visiting his dark and foreboding fortress in Crawford, TX had them recoiling in dread.
Ronald Wilson Reagan: In the days before Hollywood stars became mouthpieces of the left and therefore beloved, President Reagan was considered to be no more than an actor reading lines, and a scary one at that. After all, this crazy cowboy—who, in his twisted and xenophobic love for America, had the nerve to call the USSR an “evil empire”—had his finger on "the button."
All objects of fear to be sure. But they may have a point. Taken together: the passion for virtue of Santorum, the constitutional brilliance of Gingrich, the industrious wisdom of Cheney, the laser-like diligence of Rumsfeld, the candor of Palin, the determination of Bush, and the patriotism of Reagan form something we on the right recognize as conservatism; truly something for liberal, American socialists to fear.
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