Archive for January 23, 2008

I’ve Come To A Decision

Posted in Elections, Fred(!), Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, politics, Ron Paul with tags , , , on January 23, 2008 by Randy Streu

I’ve been pretty down since Fred Thompson’s announcement to end his bid for the Presidency yesterday (Tuesday).  I won’t go into it again; I explained my reasoning already.  I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since then — sadly, I don’t have the luxury of a brain that turns off.  I’ve considered the possibilities of where to go from here, considered turning my support to the second-best candidate, Mitt Romney, and I’ve reached my decision:  I’m voting for Fred Thompson on Super Tuesday.

Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, etc., may well get to determine who winds up as the Republican nominee for President, but they don’t get to determine how I vote.  I helped draft Fred(!), signed the petition, and have had every intention of voting for Fred in the Primary — and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let anyone change my mind but me.

As Thompson said himself, this isn’t about Fred Thompson.  It never has been.  It’s not about me, or you, or Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee.  It’s not even about Hillary Clinton.  It’s about principle.  It’s about standing up for Conservatism.  And now, even more than that, it’s about a primary system that is flawed and only becoming more so.  As I said above, these early-voting states shouldn’t get to determine who the rest of us vote for.

For me, personally, it’s about voting for the candidate I want to win.  People have said we don’t vote for ideas, and that’s at least partially true.  You can’t put an idea in office.  What you can do is vote for the candidate who most accurately reflects those ideas.  That candidate, for me, is Fred Thompson. 

I will vote for Thompson in the Primary and, probably, in the General Election — unless something very big happens between now and then to change my mind.  But I’m tired of holding my nose.  I’m tired pulling the lever for a candidate simply because he’s “better than the other guy (or lady).”  This year, I’m voting for the man I want to see in the White House.

I say that to say this: Rombots, Huckabelievers, McCainiacs, Ronulans — all due respect, your guy’s not getting my vote, so don’t bother.  I’m voting for the man I believe is the best candidate — and that’s a right Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada and South Carolina can’t take away from me.

-Streu-

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The Difference Between “Voting For” and “Voting Against”

Posted in Elections, Fred(!), Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, politics, Ron Paul with tags , , , , on January 23, 2008 by Randy Streu

If you take all the remaining GOP candidates and mash together the best qualities of each, I think we’d have the perfect conservative candidate.  Take the fiscal policies of Mitt Romney, the consistent social conservatism of Huck, the foreign policy experience of McCain and the basic knowledge of the Constitution contributed by Ron Paul (but without the crazy), and there’s my perfect candidate.  And you know what?  We had him.

We Conservatives had a candidate whose career and policies reflected nearly perfectly the fundamentals of Reagan/Goldwater conservatism.  And we let him go, because some people believed he “didn’t want it” badly enough.  Forgetting, I suppose, that the mantle of leadership often suits best those who want it least. 

Then, of course, there are those rooting for the death of classic Conservatism — those for whom growth of government, loss of independence and a building national sense of entitlement are not only inevitable, but desirable.  “Moderates.”  Pah!

Fred Thompson’s bid for the Presidency is over.  Hopefully, his message isn’t. 

For me, I was looking forward to, just once, actually voting for a candidate, instead of simply against the other guy.  Of selecting the best, instead of checking on “good enough.”

The end result, I guess, is the same, as far as the individual vote goes.  But there is an excitement, a passion, in having a candidate you believe in.  When a message resonates, when you and your co-supporters find that community that comes from realizing you are like-minded in very important ways.  For Thompson supporters, those ways included a desire to really see a return back to this country’s fundamentals.  A road back to those ideals that made this nation great.  But in Thompson’s case, it wasn’t simply the ideas — it was the candidate himself.

In spite of what the MSM may have told you, Thompson has a way of energizing his supporters — not with a flash, or a soundbite, or that charisma which produces successful car salesmen — but with an honesty, intelligence, thoughtfulness and humility long missing from the hallowed halls of Washington.  With Thompson, you know what you’re getting.  He’s slow to speak; deliberate.  And when he does, you know he understands what he’s talking about and believes in it with every fiber of his being.  Unlike many candidates, Thompson the Candidate was never afraid of telling somebody he “doesn’t know.”  If he didn’t have enough information, he didn’t give an opinion.  He doesn’t fill up the space between facts with endless monologue, so you know when he does speak, you’re getting something well-thought-out and based on as much information as possible. 

That is the candidate I was voting for

Sadly, for too many, the sizzle outweighs the steak.  So now, I’m reduced to voting against.  In the primaries, against a candidate who supported amnesty for illegal immigrants (by any name), who created and worked to pass a bill limiting the right to Free Speech; against a candidate who, it appears, will say anything to anyone to get elected, who cut taxes a few times, but begged for tax increases totalling a net increase in taxes for his state, who engages in liberal rhetoric on taxation and redistribution of wealth, who supported the mone of taxpayers going to the children of illegal immigrants; against a candidate vocally pro-abortion, who has talked a good game with the Second Amendment, but in his only executive role practically eliminated it from his city.

I will vote in the Primaries, for the reasons stated above.  I have not yet decided whether I will simply write Thompson in, and so needlessly sacrifice my voice to my principles, or vote for Romney.  I’m against Mitt-care.  I’m nervous about his flipping on the abortion issue.  But I believe he may be sincere in that. 

If I do pull the Romney lever on Super Tuesday, however, it should be known, it is not a vote for Mitt.  It is a vote against the liberalization of the Republican Party.

-Streu-