You Can’t Win Without a Winner

In Caesar's Ghost, Masters of Command by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

With electoral politics heating up, I summoned up the new familiar ghost of Caesar.

Hail, Caesar. The Republicans seem quite optimistic these days about defeating President Obama in 2012 and winning the White House.

Men readily believe what they want.

But given the state of the American economy in the Obama years, doesn’t it seem that the Republicans have a good cause?

Perhaps. But the economy is far from the disaster that men say it is. Although houses have lost their value the homeless are few, and if many have lost their jobs, the state offers generous support. Meanwhile, the corporations are blessed with profit and liquidity while agriculture, technology, and luxury goods all flourish. When the market declines, many rush in to buy stocks.

Maybe so, but the public believes that the economy has gone to the dogs.

Let us stipulate that the economy could be better, and so the Republicans have a good cause. A good cause is not enough. The Democrats will have a good cause too by the time of the election, and that is: “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” And in the rough and tumble of the campaign, each side will do to the other’s reputation what my legions did to Gaul.

You make me shudder, Caesar.

Go back to your causes. Leaders know this: You can’t win without a winner. The President proved in 2008 that he knows how to win. The same is not true of Romney. When he ran against Ted Kennedy for the Senate, Romney lost both the debate and the election; when he was Governor, Romney declined to run for a second term. In 2008, he won none of the important primaries.

Bachmann is made of sterner stuff. The woman knows how to fight but she will frighten the powerful. That leaves Perry. By his leadership he has won III elections as Governor and administered Texas most felicitously for X years. He is sly enough to have switched political parties and forceful enough to have defeated popular opponents. He tips the scales of fortune in his favor by raising piles of gold and silver.

But will the Republicans support him? And if they do, can he win the White House?

He has only begun to address the troops. Time will tell if they will respond with shouts of support.

What does Caesar think?

Some men love luxury but they are soft. Whoever is ready to strip the bark off trees and live off it before giving up – he will win.

Barry StraussYou Can’t Win Without a Winner

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