by Jeff Swanson
There is every possibility this could irritate some. At least I hope so.
Have you said to either yourself or to others that you are not voting for MItt Romney? That you won’t vote for him because he is not your ideal of a Republican candidate? If so, get over it.
Listen, I love Reagan as much as anyone. He got my very first Presidential vote. There is no denying that Reagan did, in fact, accomplish much during his time as President of the United States. He kicked off one the greatest economic expansions in the nations history and nailed the coffin in an already crumbling communist USSR. No mean feat, these.
Since then, all candidates must be filtered through the Reagan Greatness Prism. A prism that doesn’t exist.
The greatness of Reagan wasn’t his specified stance on the issues. It was his optimism and hope for the future. No doubt, he encapsulated many beliefs conservatives hold dear regarding taxation, regulation and a strong military stance but if you look at the sum total of Reagan Policies, not all is exactly as we hope, such as, “The 1986 reform raised the tax rate on long term capital gains from 20% to 28%…”
Mind you, this is not to say that Reagan was not whom he said. It’s quite the opposite. Reagan was clear who he was. It has been the glow of an all encompassing greatness that we’ve all projected on to Reagan. Reagan was a great President but he was not the perfect Conservative idealist. Close.
In eulogizing Ronald Reagan, we’ve created an avatar by which we measure all others but that even Reagan would not measure up against his own measuring stick.
In 2008, en mass, a marked number of Republicans eschewed John McCain, “A downturn in the number and percentage of Republican voters going to the polls seemed to be the primary explanation for the lower than predicted turnout. The percentage of eligible citizens voting Republican declined to 28.7 percent down 1.3 percentage points from 2004. Democratic turnout increased by 2.6 percentage points from 28.7 percent of eligibles to 31.3 percent.”
To be sure, John McCain had economic and war fatigue as election headwinds but from my own anecdotal experience, so many Republicans weren’t turning out for McCain because he wasn’t the ideal.
Mine either. I still voted for him. In Illinois.
Consider those that didn’t turn out for McCain. Refusing to vote had an effect by enthusiasm on the election. Note, “Close elections are more prone to Bandwagon Effects, by which poll winners gain even greater leads in the actual election, while landslide elections are more prone to Underdog effects, where poll winners gain lower leads in the actual election.” (PDF)
This suggests that McCain could have made it closer. What this really means is that enthusiasm for the candidate is everything.
Still, you may not have liked McCain, or Sarah Palin for that matter. So be it. What you should consider is that by staying home, not having that enthusiasm, would the nation be in its current state?
The longest recession? Benghazi? A faltering Arab spring? Fast & Furious? Net Neutrality? legislating by Executive Order? Stimulus? And the whopper in the room, Obamacare?
By not supporting a candidate that was not your ideal, well, idealogical match, the nation has not yet recovered and has certainly fallen in a deeper hole.
You say that Republicans couldn’t overcome the 10 million votes positive for Barack Obama. Probably not. This is true. You are not overcoming votes or even a percentage of votes, you are overcoming states.
Obama beat McCain by 3 million votes in California. 2 million in New York. 1.5 Million in Illinois. The number of actual votes doesn’t matter. The percentage of the electorate doesn’t matter.
What about North Carolina’s loss of 15 electoral votes by only 14,000 cast ballots? Florida’s Loss of 27 electorals due to a deficit of 200,000 votes? Just these equate to a net change of 323 for Obama and 215 for McCain. These do not equate to a win but nonetheless points out that just a bit of effort quickly erases a deficit.
When you decidedly opt against voting based on principle, this decision has a material affect.
I wouldn’t suggest anyone not vote their principles. I’m simply not. What I am suggesting is those whom state they won’t vote due to a segment party not in agreement, to reassess what may be the result.
In choosing not to vote for a Republican and more pointedly, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, you are implicitly saying that you are ok with a nation that is pushing further in to a Godless welfare state.
In choosing between ‘not exactly my beliefs’ or ‘not at all my beliefs’; if you don’t vote, you’ve implicitly chosen the latter.
As the press likes to remind us, the Republican party has moved further to to right due to the TEA Party movement. Or stated in The New Republic, “A party that has set itself to frantically, fanatically expunge its moderates, quasi-moderates, suspected moderates, and fellow travelers of moderates chose as its standard bearer the lineal heir, biographically and genealogically, to its moderate tradition.”
While the left is missing the point of a solid Conservative policy, it does make the point that the right is moving rightward. Not in a radical sense, just away from the co-opted liberal positions.
The question remains, how far is the party’s soul from yours? If I were setting the expectation that the party must believe precisely what I believe in order to earn my vote, the only person I could vote for is me. And I’m not running for office.
Until that time, I’m voting for the best available chance to represent me in office, that is Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.