Somewhere along the way we lost ourselves. We lost track of the fact that there’s more to picking a president than raising money and acting genuine. We wandered through the desert thirsting for leadership and when we couldn’t find it, we drank the sand.In short, we forgot about Steve Forbes.Look at that wave. Those glasses. The goofy grin that says “Yes, my hand is in fact in the cookie jar, but unfortunately it is now stuck and I don’t want to complicate things by attempting to remove it, so I’m smiling until the swelling goes down.” Look at Libby Dole, standing next to him, soaking in the rays of his greatness. She had to turn away, his presence was so strong. You need UV45 for that shit.I was only nine years old when he first ran for office, but I could still see the humor in his candidacy. He was someone parents and their kids could both laugh at—a lot like Toy Story, if you think about it. There was just something for everyone. Parents could watch him stump for president by touting his editorial skills, and chuckle, and I could watch the SNL skit where he announced plans to buy a US-sized chunk of Siberia and re-name it “Steve Forbes’s America,” which I thought was pretty funny.When it comes to fringe candidates now, the only possible comparable would be “Ran Poul,” but he’s much more like Ross Perot (Texan, possibly insane), and his supporters have more in common with Lyndon LaRouche’s brainwashed mamluks than the decent folks of Arizona and Delaware who supported Forbes in the primary.America never knew what it had until he was gone. Oh, he’s not dead. He’s still loaded, politically active, and goofy-looking. From time to time he speaks publicly, like when he endorsed Rudy Giuliani a few weeks ago. But this is the first contested Republican primary without him in more than a decade, and it just feels empty watching all of the candidates go through the motions on stage.