Dear Governor Bush:
Congratulations on your [sorta] decision to run for the office of President of the United States in the 2016 election. Before you begin, there are a few things you should know.
You have a lot to prove to the GOP and to the nation. This does not mean proving your conservative chops.
It means demonstrating that you can unite a party increasingly torn asunder by the dominance of reactionary ideologues, corporate lobbies, and social conservatives.
It means proving that you can build a big tent for all Americans, not just a cabal for special interests.
And it means stepping out of the twin shadows cast by your father and your brother, and actively rejecting much of what underpinned their presidencies. America has a very limited tolerance for political dynasties. You have far more to prove because of your name than you might realize.
This is not the GOP of Ronald Reagan, of George H.W. Bush, or George W. Bush. Mid-term election results notwithstanding, this party is an ungodly mess, but in it lies the seeds of a Republican Party of which all Republicans – and all Americans – could be proud.
If you find and nurture those seeds, you can rise above the conflicting interests and lead the party and the nation.
But if you cannot – if you succumb to the reactionaries, to the money, and to the old guard rather than just accommodate them, you will never live in the White House. You will join Mitt Romney, John McCain, Bob Dole, Jerry Ford, and Barry Goldwater in that sad little club of Republican nominees who placated just enough of the GOP to get nominated, and then were never able to credibly mount a candidacy that would electify and unite the nation.
The choice is yours, sir. Can you ignore the hacks and money men who surround you and earn the support of the nation? Can you cast aside the ideological baggage that burdens the party and lead the search for real solutions to real problems that burden the nation? Do you, in a word, have enough cojones to run as a leader?
Don’t answer. Show us. If you can.
The Pacific Bull Moose