Interesting question. Is it about the economy, oil, jobs? Is it about immigration, foreign affairs, military action against Iran or Pakistan? All of the above, but it seems also to be on the American character, and how it has redefined itself over the last half century.
Although Rick Santorum is still alive in this race and I continue to endorse his candidacy for the G.O.P. nomination and ultimately, the next president of the United States, I still give credit where credit is due and commend the Romney camp for winning three primaries in one night. This article is more about the character of the voters and how I believe it has changed.
I was born in 1962 and I have been a registered voter since 1980; I will still a senior at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, Connecticut and my conservative views were developing. At the time, it seemed as though three factors dominated how you decided who to vote for: Party Affiliation: Although I didn’t see it this way when I was eighteen years old, I see now the importance of political machine; the president needs allies in congress in order to implement vision for the country and the two-party system ensures a true majority and allows all issues to be represented and simplified to binary logic; for or against. Belief System: liberals vote for liberal candidates, conservatives vote for conservative candidates, in general, liberals are represented by the Democrat Party and my fellow conservatives by our own Republican Party. The State of the Nation: vote the same candidate or party if things are going well and vote opposite in hard times. It is not unusual for a party member to cross party lines and vote for the other candidate if in such person’s best judgment; he is doing harm or not getting the job done. But most people who make the state of the nation priority one are the swing voters, voters not affiliated with either major party—in most states such voters cannot participate in primaries. All candidates need swing votes to win an election. But I was surprised to see so many voters who have made their selection [Mitt Romney] by making the ability to defeat the other side [Barrack Obama] priority one.
It is like we have become the head coach and the ballot is our lineup card. Mitt Romney is the chosen one not because his views are consistent with ours, but because he is seen as most-likely to beat Obama. Let’s get a grip; this is not a sport, this is real life! Let’s say the pundits are right and Mitt Romney wins in November. He will be sworn in as the forty-fifth president of the United States and the Republican Party will be the party in executive power. But it is not a victory for conservatism as Romney, although more conservative than Obama, will not implement our conservative agenda nor will he push congress to do so. I think the American voter is making a mistake.
Let’s not forget the definition of democracy and our Founding Fathers’ intention for American Democracy. To quote Abraham Lincoln: government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is not Barrack Obama’s America. It is not Mitt Romney’s America. It is not even Rick Santorum’s America. It is OUR America. It is for US to decide what policies, liberal, conservative, or compromise, of which we will be governed. It is OUR view (majority rule) that counts. Presidents and other elected officials are conduits to we, the people, not the other way around. Our Founding Fathers chose the republic, or representative form of democracy over running a nation as one large New England Town Meeting to ensure a majority conclusion is reached before legislating and to avoid what Aristotle referred to as mob-ocracy where the masses get out of hand. We, the people should be evaluating our beliefs and voting for the candidate who best supports our beliefs, not filling out a lineup card.
Before World War II, primaries were only a secondary form of delegate distribution; power brokers recruited most of the delegates and in many cases, conventions would be held over as it could take several ballots to arrive at a nominee. These power brokers were like head coaches filling out the lineup card. And this is one of many reasons why the delegate distribution process was shifted to the primaries; so that candidates could be nominated based on the party politics of the citizens and not limited to the preferences of the brokers themselves, which are toward strong candidates and not how citizens stand on issues. Hence, to give more power to the people.
As I have stated in many other blog entries, Rick Santorum is the candidate most-likely to beat Barrack Obama because the election will be a referendum on liberal vs. conservative politics. Thus, the American people on all ends of the left-right continuum can vote based on their juxtaposition on that line, i.e. their own political beliefs. Mitt Romney will have to bully his way through the general election and run a lot of negative ads; and many of the things he will be bashing are issues he is on the same side as the incumbent president. Rick Santorum could just be himself, the nice easy-going Godly man he is. Some negativity would be necessary, but he could get away with just telling his story exposing his family. The liberals will stick to Obama but he would have us conservatives in the bag and this image could even win swing voters.
See you at the polls April 24!