The Flavor of the Moment
When Republican voters became excited upon Rick Perry’s entrance into the presidential election, Ron Paul dismissed the Texas governor’s initial popularity as the “flavor of the moment.”
Judging by the reaction to his debate performance last night, the enthusiasm of many conservatives for Perry was significantly diminished and for good reason—they are discovering that Perry is not very conservative. He never has been. Ask Al Gore.
But neither was Donald Trump, who was briefly the flavor of the moment for conservatives.
Then there was Herman Cain after the first debate in Greenville, South Carolina.
Then there was Michele Bachmann who energized the GOP’s grassroots base for a time after Iowa.
And then there was Rick Perry.
Ron Paul will never be just a “flavor of the moment” precisely because his conservatism is consistent in every moment. Being a true constitutional conservative requires steady fidelity to our nation’s founding charter, something that typically lacks flashy gimmickry or that doesn’t play into the cult of celebrity of so much public fancy.
This is not to take away from other candidates, like Cain or Bachmann for instance, who certainly promote certain conservative principles—but it is to say that no one else running for the Republican nomination has represented bona fide constitutional conservatism to the degree that Ron Paul has, vote for vote. In fact, no other candidate even comes close.
Ron Paul does not need to become the flavor of the moment because the Constitution should be conservatives’ favorite flavor every moment.
And 2012 would be the perfect moment for the GOP to finally insist on a candidate with an actual limited government record, not simply more unlimited rhetoric.