Monday, November 06, 2006

Election Eve

Expat asked me about 2 weeks ago to post my political thoughts on the upcoming mid-term election from a evangelical/conservative/republican viewpoint. I fit into two of those categories, so with literally hours left, I thought I would offer my ramblings for a little bit. WARNING: I have no idea what I am about to write, so be prepared for some word vomit...

The one thing that expat wanted me to sum up was how I felt about the Republican Party. I can only think of a few words. One would be ambivalent. Yes, I am a conservative. Yes I realize that a lot of the republican push is to "mobilize the base" on things in which they don't actually care about. But that is true of politics. Period. Politicians say what they need to get elected. Liberal/conservative. With the possible exception of Joe Leiberman, who BTW is a democrat (I guess ex-democrat) I would vote for. I don't agree with all of his politics and views, but he is a man of character who committed political suicide to stand by what he really believed. I can get behind that. There are only a few in the republican party I can say that of. Santorum - who I intend to vote for tomorrow but will probably lose would fall into that category.

Let me ramble here for a moment on what this reminded me of. Political Ads. I hate them. I enjoy good discourse and debate. But political ads are the equivalent of bumper stickers. First of all, the ones against Santorum here in Pennsylvania have made me want to vote for him more, so I guess I wasn't the target demographic.

TV- "Santorum has voted 5 times against raising the minimum wage."
ME - "That's great! Any freshman economics student can tell you that legislatively and arbitrarily inflating the value of goods or services is a disaster for an economy and jobless rates!"
TV - "Santorum voted to privatize Social Security"
ME - "Great! Everyone should have the right to decide how to invest their retirement! Imagine that, personal responsibility taking a prominent position."
TV - "Santorum has voted against bringing our troops home."
ME - "WOOHOO! Sure we need a better strategy and have some projected timelines, but we can't just leave."
TV - "It;s time for a change. Vote for Bob Casey who approves this message."
ME - "uuhhhh. I'm confused......Oh, that stuff was supposed to be bad."

I was in Missouri this week, and they got really bad. It was like 4th graders fighting with TV ads, insulting each other and then yelling "nuh uh" as a response. Pathetic.

OK, back to the main point. The republicans do center around things that are important to me. Tax cuts. Pro-Life issues. National Security. Personal Responsibility.
Of course the Dems have some strong points too. Although they are absent from any discussion right now. Like Darfur. African Aid. Lockboxes..oh wait no. Sorry bad flashback.

The problem. Fiscal responsibility. Most of the regular readers probably know that Byron Harvey over at A Ticking Time Blog is a good friend of mine. A book that he used to mention frequently (I can't remember the title of author) contained a chapter entitled, "Republicans and Democrats: Maybe A Dime's worth of Difference." What was that difference? Republicans are for Huge government, while democrats are for gargantuan government. There is no party of limited government, which is a staple of true conservatism, now labeled Libertarianism. So again, I am ambivalent. They are not my party, but the dems are REALLY not my party. SO where do I go. Independents are a wasted vote, even if worthwhile morally and consciencely speaking. I wish there were a system where there were a dozen candidates all across the spectrum, and the could be eliminated "American Idol" style. All the other components are there - spending ridiculous amounts of money on production, air time, nasty diatribes directed at competitors, elimination challenges or "Primaries". Let's just get 16 candidates and put them on a remote island. We can vote them off one a week, and then sell DVD sets for $60 bucks a pop after the election!

OK getting off topic again. Where does this leave the Hefe tomorrow? Voting for Santorum. Hoping the GOP keeps control of the Senate, because dear Nancy P scares the $#%& out of me. Seriously. But I also realize that politicians aren't really in the business of listening to the people, they are in the business of keeping their jobs. So I feel like the guy who doesn't belong. Things like tax cuts, minimum wage, etc... are closely tied to unemployment rates, and the welfare of the poor, but the dems seem unconcerned with the effects of these choices, even though those effects are tentpole issues to them. The GOP is strong on foreign policy, but weak on foreign aid - strong on values, but often weak on living them. SO who do I vote for? I vote for what I think is right and best for my neighbors in Red Lion PA, because raising the minimum wage may just cost him his job (sorry to jump on that issue so many times. It's late and it's the one thing I'm thinking of right now). I vote for what is best for America from my worldview, and look for the reasoning behind other worldviews to see if I there is something to embrace, like we try and do here at page 132. And I hope you do the same. I hope you vote. Regardless of what your worldview is, voting is indeed a responsibility. It is our one chance every four or six years to truly voice our opinion. Don't waste it. See you on the other side!