Letterto the Editor
TheNew York Times
Re:A commentary on the article “Unhappy with a moderate Jeb Bush,conservatives aim to unite behind an alternative”
Iwish to provide my perspective regarding the issue of the Jeb Bush,one of proposed 2016 presidential elections, on the grounds ofmoderate conservative approach to national issues. The author, TripGabriel, wrote in the article “Unhappy with a moderate Jeb Bush,conservatives aim to unite behind an alternative” stated thatvoters are likely to reject Bush because he holds a moderate positionon the issues of immigration control, abortion, and same sexmarriages. Gabriel is not ignorant of the fact that the RepublicanParty is highly supported by conservative movements in the operatingin the United States as well as the majority of Christian groups.However, he forgets that the U.S. citizens have different prioritiesand most probably the issues of abortion, same-sex marriages, and thecontrol of illegal immigration may not be the priority in theforthcoming elections.
AlthoughI am not writing to support either of the sides (conservative andliberal), I feel that labeling Bush as a moderate conservative whohave failed to declare a clear stand on highly debated issues is asubjective opinion. This is because Bush demonstrated his outstandingleadership capability when he was serving as the governor of thestate of Florida. Regarding the issue of immigration, Bush holds thatthe conservative approach of deporting millions of illegal immigrantsis a viable solution to this critical issue as most of conservativegroups. On the contrary, Bush offers a two point solution thatincludes offering the current immigrants with legal documents to livein the U.S. and enhancing border controls to avoid massiveimmigration in the future (Greenblatt 1). This confirms that Bushintends to address the issue in a more humane and a way that will notresult in the conflict between U.S. and other countries. Therefore,it is clear that Bush agrees with the general views of conservatives,but the approach differs slightly.
Mr.Gabriel is correct in stating that the conservatives need a candidatewho will be able to excite the public. However, it is wrong to assumethat a candidate who excites the public must be a hard conservative.While making this statement Gabriel intends to show that Bush may bethe wrong candidate. However, Bush has demonstrated that he has astrong grass-root support that a few of the other candidates canattain. For example, Bush was reported as the first governor whomanaged to convince voters and regulators to increase the power ofthe governor to appoint judges since 1874 (Greenblatt 1). Thisconfirms that Bush has the capacity to convince followers about thesignificance of political decisions that the Republican Party makes.In this regard, it would be wrong to consider Bush as an unpopularcandidate as Gabriel does in his article.
Mr.Gabriel is also right to state that the three issues (includingillegal immigration, same-sex marriage, and abortion) arecontroversial issues that are hard to ignore in the United States.However, it is equally wrong to assume that Republicans willprioritize the three issues over all other issues affecting theirlives when nominating the presidential candidate. In my view, thepeople of the U.S. are likely to prioritize economic issues oversocial issues. For example, an increase in the rate of unemploymentconcerns all political sides (including Republicans and theDemocrats), which implies that Republicans will consider a candidatewho will offer a viable solution to their economic challenges. It isevident that none of the potential Republican candidates (includingTed Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, and Bobby Jindal) havedemonstrated their ability to address the troubling issue ofunemployment as Bush did when he served as the governor of Florida.Records show that Bush attracted investors to Florida and reduced therate of unemployment down to 3 % by the time he left the office ofthe governor (Greenblatt 1). Reducing unemployment may be moreappealing to the public than addressing the social issue of same-sex,abortion, and immigration.
Inaddition, it is inaccurate to state that the social conservativevoters will unite and support one candidate in the 2016 elections toavoid the disappointment they have experienced in the past elections.Mr. Gabriel forgets that individual conservatives have differentpriorities that might guide them to support different presidentialcandidates in the coming elections. In essence, it is difficult topredict whether Republicans will be able to convince socialconservative voters and movements to agree on one candidate sinceindividual voters and movements could be pursuing totally differentgoals.
Itis important to consider multiple factors when analyzing thepotential of presidential candidates since different voters andsocial movements have different interests. Although someconservatives may be fascinated by candidates who promise to addresssocial issues (such as abortion and same-sex marriages), economicfactors (such as employment) affect all people irrespective of thepolitical sides that they support. In addition, it is undeniable thatconservatives were divided in the previous elections, but it is wrongto assume that they learned a lesson and will be united in 2016. Thisis because conservatives and their social movements have differentgoals that might lead to them to different candidates.
Gabriel,T. Unhappy with a moderate Jeb Bush, conservatives am to unite behindan alternative. TheNew York Times.25 March. 2015. Web. 24 April 2015.
Greenblatt,A. Now seen as moderate, Jeb Bush governed Florida like a‘Conservative hurricane’. Governing.2015. Web. 24 April 2015.