Friday, May 30, 2008

Election 2008

The politics in our country have gone from bad to worse over the last 4 years. Bush hasn't been a shining example of a solid Republican. His spending is embarrassing, but he continues to do a great job on the life and marriage issues. The Senate has been far worse; partisan bickering, political wrangling, and unprecedented lethargy on matters that count, while pressing forward on idiotic agendas (such as global warming, and big pork bills for their pet projects).

Although I wish I could put all the blame on the democratic majority, I cannot. It isn't only the democrats doing this, but many so called Republicans have been guilty of this as well. Because of this poor judgment and lack of guts, the Republicans are being called on the carpet, and hence the poor results we saw in the last election. (You may wonder why the Democrats aren't hurting, well, they are a bit, but not near as much as the Republicans. The Dem's base doesn't expect them to have guts, and the news media covers all the mistakes they can.) The Republicans have also been showing an ineptitude with the immigration issue, and have taken a weak stand on economics, while not even standing up to the Democrats at all on the big Global Warming farce.

I think Tom Coburn has said it well in a recent editorial:

too many in our party are not yet ready to return to the path of limited government. ...being a Republican isn't good enough anymore. Voters are tired of buying a GOP package and finding a big-government liberal agenda inside. What we need is not new advertising, but truth in advertising.

Becoming Republicans again will require us to come to grips with what has ailed our party – namely, the triumph of big-government Republicanism and failed experiments like the K Street Project and "compassionate conservatism." If the goal of the K Street Project was to earmark and fund raise our way to a filibuster-proof "governing" majority, the goal of "compassionate conservatism" was to spend our way to a governing majority.

The fruit of these efforts is not the hoped-for Republican governing majority, but the real prospect of a filibuster-proof Democrat majority in 2009. While the K Street Project decimated our brand as the party of reform and limited government, compassionate conservatism convinced the American people to elect the party that was truly skilled at activist government: the Democrats.

(By the way, the whole article is worth a read!)

Now in the Presidential Primaries, the conservatives couldn't get their act together. Some went after a democrat convert, who still showed some hope and loads of money, mixed with questionable social views, and some downright bad statements, others went with a promising candidate socially and economically who had absolutely no charisma. Many went with the charismatic, savvy, cash-strapped, underdog, who surprised everyone, held to his beliefs, and stuck it out the longest. Still others went with one of two single issue guys: fix immigration or bust! Of course we can't forget the libertarians who flocked like blackbirds on a corn field to one of their own, an isolationist without a world view, with some good ideas, but unable to cope with international affairs. All these have come and gone, all were considered, each in his own time, by each his own followers, to be prospects to latch on too, bright stars on the face of the party, and the one who could best take the reigns of the Presidency.

Finally, there were those few who followed the man behind "campaign finance deform," the forever hopeful, the ever maverick, the army veteran, the moderate senator, John McCain. He is against abortion, but will not stand up to Embryonic Stem Cell Research. He is for traditional marriage, but desires to do nothing about it. He wants to "reform" elections, but utterly failed, and made them worse, yet this is the man we have to compare with Obama. (yes, I think he has nearly sealed the nomination, but I don't want to totally count Clinton out yet!)

When we compare these two the choice is obvious. We need not ask a second question. McCain: Mostly Pro-life, Pro-marriage, Pro-gun, some grasp on foreign policy and immigration. Obama: (and Clinton as well, btw) Wants to increase abortions, wants to undermine traditional marriage, wants to restrict guns, and nearly clueless on foreign policy and immigration.

Now here is the big question, do we stick with the Republican Party Candidate, or do we now go "third party". Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin are the two names that have been tossed out so far for "third party" presidential presidential candidates. I am not a party person. I think it is a shame that our country is so much "run" by two parties. I will not support any person no matter the party they are a part of, if they do not support life, and traditional marriage. With that said, do we stick with McCain, or go "third party"?

This is a question that each will have to decide for himself, but I would like to give you my opinion. I will not support in any way a third party candidate for President this election. I do not consider McCain liberal enough to merit throwing away the privilege of voting, only to make a point. There is not a viable presidential candidate outside of the Democrats and the Republicans. These two guys will only hurt their own cause by stripping away votes from the only conservative that has a chance.

I think in local races and even state races if a third party is truly more conservative, and actually is running a competitive race, and as long as it isn’t going to split the vote between two conservatives. (I should add, that I think liberal “third parties” are good, at least for the conservatives :-P) I do not think it is ever good to vote for a third party, just to vote for a third party, neither is it proper to cast away your voting privilege by voting for a candidate who can’t make it, unless the other options are liberal.

I like how Tom Coburn expressed what we should hope for in McCain:

Regaining our brand is not about "messaging." It's about action. It's about courage. It's about priorities. Most of all, it's about being willing to give up our political careers so our grandkids don't have to grow up in a debtor's prison, or a world in which other nations can tell a weakened and bankrupt America where we can and can't defend liberty, pursue terrorists, or show compassion.

John McCain, for all his faults, is the one Republican candidate who can lead us through our wilderness. Mr. McCain is not running on a messianic platform or as a great healer of dysfunctional Republicans who refuse to help themselves. His humility is one of his great strengths. In his heart, he's a soldier who sees one more hill to charge, one more mission to complete.

Thus, although I can't get overly excited about this election, I do plan on supporting McCain in his bid for the White House.

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