The Republican faithful are afraid to commit, hesitant to put their faith in any one of their flawed candidates for President. It seems the steady stream of GOP frontrunners have all the lasting power of Kardashian wedding vows. At this point in the election cycle, the Iowa results prove there is no consensus conservative candidate. Results from the Iowa caucus show Romney was still only able to capture a dismal 25 percent of the GOP votes, essentially the same as relative unknown, extreme right, conservative Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney appears to be walking in the footsteps of Bob Dole. Is it any wonder that the White House re-election team is pleased and encouraged by Republican disunity?
It appears that when it comes to Republican frontrunner Romney his glass is not even half full; Mitt’s cup in reality is three quarters empty as he is stuck on a 25 percent approval rating among members of his own party. So what exactly is the problem within the GOP, what is causing this lack of confidence in a single candidate?
In the dark recesses of the conservative psyche there exists the fear that their lack of consensus on one candidate is the Achilles Heel that threatens their election hopes. The GOP is splintered into hostile camps, including but not limited to, the radical right, the Evangelicals, the Tea Party, and the silent, back-room moderates all possessing their own agenda causing the Republicans to be slaves to many but master of none.
It is now becoming clear that the GOP faithful are suffering from a “crisis of leadership." Conservatives are learning the hard way that criticism is always easy, but genuine leadership and solutions are not and require a vital combination of traits that allows one capable and knowledgeable individual to provide purpose and direction to those that follow.
Republicans would be well advised to study what Confucius taught about leadership, specifically governmental leaders. Confucius believed that beyond all else a leader must be virtuous, must possess a quality of goodness by showing concern for the common people, he considered these to be the most important requirements for good government. Confucius taught that if leaders are virtuous the people have the inherent ability to recognize that quality of goodness and be attracted and willing to follow. Despite all of the moralizing and sermonizing by the conservative candidates there is nagging doubt that these candidates lack virtue and concern for the common people. As Confucius said, Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors. (The Confucian Analects)