So far I've given money -- amounts that the billionaire donors would find in their clothes dryer lint trap -- to two candidates: Scott Walker and Ted Cruz. There are a handful of others running that I could vote for without much in the way of qualms, but you won't find Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, Chris Christie or Mike Huckabee on that list.
I had respect for Huckabee when he succeeded to Arkansas's governorship after Clinton's own gubernatorial successor got sent up the river -- Huckabee even responded personally to a congratulatory email I sent him, back when a state governor could spare the time to read and answer his own email because trolls and spammers hadn't figured out how to operate a dial-up modem.
But Huckabee developed a track record as a more-government conservative -- the type that overlooks the role of individual free will in the charitable deeds and compassionate outlook preached by Christ. Huckabee, it turns out, is a collectivist as surely as any atheistic Marxist is.
God confers grace on individuals, not groups. He doesn't give any soul an easier road to Heaven than others because of the color of their skin nor the colors on their flag. The use of the United States government's power to buy cheap grace by doing "good works" against the will of those paying for them, is fundamentally unchristian. I won't vote for such a candidate.
Christie's appeal is that he brings to politics a stereotypical New Jersey attitude -- but his political views as expressed on the national stage are at odds with the acts as governor that first brought him to national attention. Politics, of course, is the art of the possible, and in New Jersey principled conservatism isn't on the menu. It may be that he's fought for more principled conservative ideas, but he doesn't seem to have won many such battles. Instead he's sought to temper his "attitude" image by making nice with people he ought to have chewed up and spat out. Not a promising performance for someone who wants the job of cleaning up Barack Obama's global mess, a job far more complicated and demanding than cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy.
Graham has been riding point for the Republican side of the amnesty push, and Bush has said that violating our nation's borders and invading our country illegally is "an act of love." Neither has demonstrated the requisite allegiance to the country they seek to lead, to merit a single vote -- let alone enough to win election. I'd sooner vote for Donald Trump.
And that's pretty damning, because there is no poll result that can turn Trump into a serious and qualified candidate for president. He is Huey Long with a Yankee accent, bad hair and deep pockets. The extent to which he believes any of the things he's saying is precisely the extent to which he believes it can get him something he wants -- and he's not foolish enough to sincerely want to be the 45th President of the United States. He has never bought a Superfund site, and winning this election would mean doing just that.
So, I'm still with Walker. He's won the battles Christie has either avoided joining, or quietly lost. That's who we need after these last several years.