Now, don’t get me wrong. Mitt Romney shares with George Bailey one stellar trait: he has exhibited the utmost in moral character, compassion and generosity in his personal life.
But, by all accounts, so has Jimmy Carter. It wasn’t Romney’s personal life, but his public life that — like Carter’s — was the problem. A problem that George Bailey never had because he led only one life.
To win again nationally, we need a standard bearer as authentic as Jimmy Stewart’s character. One who believes out of conviction and not political expediency — who also believes that behind this new “changing face of the American electorate” are the very same hearts and minds that have always yearned for the unfettered freedom and opportunity that only America can provide.
Next time around, GOP candidates should give voters the same tour that Clarence the angel gave George Bailey. We need to show just what America will look like if we cede it to the Henry Potters of today: the goose-stepping collectivists who love diversity of races and genders, but hate diversity of thought — who want to control every facet of our lives, from our earnings, to our religious speech, to the size of our sodas.
And then we need to replace that hideous sight with our own vision of America, communicated not with political slogans forged in the crucible of focus group testing, but with timeless American truths, enduring ideas that have a history as old as the Mayflower and still have a shelf life — well — longer than any Hostess product ever made.
I’m usually an optimist, but after watching “It’s A Wonderful Life,” I’m downright encouraged. So encouraged, in fact, that I’m saving my last duet of Ding Dongs® to ring in the Republican victory four Novembers from now.
That is unless, of course, Michelle’s minions have succeeded by then in making chocolate cake and cream filling illegal.
George Bailey in 2016!
Timothy Philen is an author and songwriter, and served for 15 years as a Ruling Elder of the Presbyterian Church in America.