The King's Marquee

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Patriot or Hyprocrite?

What is it with people who think that once you support a candidate that you're locked into that support 'til death?

Primaries can be drag out, knock down fights that often leave contenders battered and bruised, and heck - even sometimes mortally wounded. But that's almost to be expected by anyone who is vying for their own political survival to face the opposition party in the General Election. It's winner take all; and those in second and third place drift off into oblivion - at least until next time.

Now admittedly I was quite outspoken in opposition to Linda McMahon, and Janet Peckinpaugh in previous posts. And to be honest, I still have reservations about their ability and overall effectiveness of both candidates once in office. But in contrast to the option of sending Democrats to the House and Senate to rubber stamp the failed policies of Barack Obama, I'd rather send people who would at least provide a level of opposition to his policies. The idea of a guaranteed Democrat vote for two more years of job loss and higher taxes is frightening.

If you've been paying attention at all you've noticed that Democrats have been running away from their President and their own policies. None of them are running ads promoting higher taxes and more stimulus spending, are they?

Even in Democrat strongholds like Connecticut, Dems like Chris Murphy has been running ads that mention he's been "working with Republicans to keep jobs in Connecticut". And Joe Courtney has made a point of running commercials that state that he voted against the Obama stimulus plans - basically trying to sell himself as some quasi-fiscal conservative. If the Democrats were actually proud of their party and its principles, they wouldn't have to go out of their way to sell themselves as either collaborators with the GOP or try to co-opt Republican positions.

So what about the option of supporting third party candidates? Well, that option is beyond rediculous. Third parties in a two party system are spoilers in the General Election. Nothing is gained by voting for an Independent candidate except to siphon votes away from Republican candidates and help to assure a Democrat victory. You'll notice in many cases where left-wing parties are established (for example, like the Working Family Party) that they often cross-endorse and run Democrat candidates on their party line on the ballot. Meanwhile, Conservative and Liberatarian parties run their own candidates as true opposition candidates.

Third party voters will tell you that they are either "voting on principle" or "teaching the Republican Party a lesson". Well to you who think this way, I'd rather have an imperfect Republican candidate elected instead of one who's votes guarantee higher taxes and spending, and carte blanche for liberals to do as they wish at my expense.

There is no better example of the detrimental impact of a third party candidacy than the 1992 candidacy of H. Ross Perot which crippled Republican Presidential re-election chances, and gave us eight years of William Jefferson Clinton. As memory serves, Perot spent most of his time (and money) trying to pull down George Bush, and spent very little time attacking the positions of Bill Clinton despite the fact that Perot had far more in common with Bush than he did Clinton when it came to economic and foreign policy positions. But most know that Perot's election bid was his way of getting even with Bush for personal disagreements. Yet, regardless of the rationale for his campaign, Republicans lost the Presidency and Democrats took power for eight years.

The battle for the heart and soul of any political party should be conducted during the Primary. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. People win primaries for a number of reasons including they spend more, they slide in-between two other candidates (like Janet Peckinpaugh did in the second district), and sometimes its just because they are more appealing through their positions and temperment. And sometimes its a matter of simple demographics. Whatever it is, it is.

Understandably, burnout and anger are always a factor in post-primary elections. Losing stinks, and the idea of having to get behind a candidate whom you've been trying to pound into the ground for the past six months is not that appealing. So if you're on the losing side, you take time off and recharge your batteries. At the end of the day, you'll recognize that you'll likely find more in common with candidates from your own party, than you would with voting for the opposition candidate.

I guess you could vote third party, but that's akin to throwing a temper-tantrum and taking your ball and going home. Third party candidates generally amount to very little, but clearly their small impact to offset general election results is sometimes enough to tip the balance in favor of the person with which you have the least in common with.

Third party voters often refer to themselves as Patriots - out to rid the world of RINOs (Republican in Name Only), and you'lll find many of these people follow the same routine each election cycle - never really satisfied with the candidate who wins the primary because they find they ONLY agree with that person 70% of the time, as opposed to their candidate whom they agreed with 95% of the time, all the while - they likely agree with the Democrat candidate only 20% of the time. So in practical application is supporting a third party candidate who's candidacy will likely help elect someone whom you have 20% in common truly Patriotic? Or is it Hyprocracy at its best?

Often when you try to explain the outcome of their decision, third party goers become angry and dispondent. It's hard to reason with someone who is so unreasonable.

It's time for Republicans to weigh the risks in the balance. Tom Foley, Linda McMahon, Janet Peckinpaugh, and everyone else who won their Republican primary deserve Republican support. And we taxpayers don't deserve two more years of punishment because your perfect candidate didn't win the primary. And the Democrats in power are praying and hoping that some of you defect enough or sit home in order to give them two more years of one party control and declare it a mandate for a much more expansive government.

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