Friday, January 4, 2008

A political rant

Well, the Iowa caucus has come and gone... the moment we've all been waiting for has arrived and we know who came out on top. I always look at an election year as a sport -- it's kind of like the Iowa caucus is the kickoff to the season, ending up with a big Super Bowl in November. Election years are exciting at my house... 

In football, being the girl that I am, I used to hope for a win for the team with the best looking uniform in each game. This was, I suppose, mostly because I didn't understand the game of football at the time and spent half the game sleeping on my husband's lap. I now better understand the game of football and throughout the seasons will look for the personality I can find in each team to decide whom I like and dislike (still a chick way of doing things, I know). 

But back to politics -- I am no longer judging candidates based on what they say in their sound bite moments. I am interested in delving deeper and looking for the personality and sincerity of each candidate. Some I didn't really even bother with because they don't have a snowball's chance of getting anywhere, but for the most part I tried to research each candidate so that I could have an idea of whether or not their sound bite comments were at all sincere.

All that said, I'm very happy to see that Huckabee trounced Romney in Iowa. I have faith again in the American people's ability to see through slime. Granted, Romney came in second --- but he spent millions of dollars in negative ad campaigning in Iowa, which usually translates into a win. Fred Thompson coming in third is interesting, too. I'm looking forward to the game next Tuesday to see what happens there. 

I'm also glad to see that Hillary was (barely) put into third place in Iowa. This shows me that Democrats, too, are looking for something other than the usual sludge this year. This thrills me to the core! I really don't have a whole lot of admiration for any of the Democrat candidates for various reasons, but the fact that Obama took Iowa (putting Edwards in second and Clinton in third) is the only way that the Democrats could possibly restore my willingness to believe that they're not just nuts. I really love that Hillary Clinton came in just BEHIND the ambulance chaser (29.8 percent to 29.4 percent).

So obviously I vote Republican as a general rule, and my following the activities of the Democrats is more for entertainment purposes than anything else. My general view of politics and government is that the government has gotten so big it's out of control, and politics have gotten so small they're out of control. I don't think that it's even possible to fix the big government problem. There are too many people in the United States who are used to voting themselves some more "stuff" to make that happen. But I do think that the political atmosphere could be improved, and I think that a win for Obama and Huckabee has a delicious aroma.

Why do I vote Republican? Well, I'm a social conservative for one thing. I am anti-abortion (not anti-choice, thank you very much). I also don't consider myself "pro-life" because I am for the government imposing the death penalty for the most grievous offenses. I believe that homosexuals are people too, and they deserve respect and love just like any other people in the world. But I don't think that they need to be redefining the institution of marriage and/or getting any other special kind of treatment. I believe that people are born with different abilities and gifts, and that it is our responsibility to use those abilities and gifts wisely, thereby bettering our own lives. I don't think that any skin color delivers better abilities and gifts than any other. I strongly oppose gun control, and I think that if people cannot learn to control their own behavior the killing will continue with or without guns. Blaming someone's evil intentions on an inanimate object is just stupid. I believe in good vs. evil in the world. I cannot understand how anybody can possibly argue otherwise if they read any news at all. 

I also vote Republican because I don't want to be taxed to death. Now, this is a gray area because lately I am thinking that the Republicans want an entitlement mentality throughout the US just as much as the Democrats, but the Republicans appear to want to spend, spend, spend without taxing -- and the Democrats want to tax and spend. Neither works for me. But rather than throw away my vote on an independent candidate who thinks fiscally like I think, I figure it's better to try and reform Republican thinking back to what it used to be. 

I also vote Republican because I think that our national defense is important. I have the utmost respect for our military members and feel very grateful to them for the great sacrifices they make on behalf of me and my family and our country. Some pay the ultimate price, and that is a great sacrifice indeed. But ALL pay the price of being apart from those they love in order to be in a place they don't love -- all for the sake of the people and land they love -- and even for the sake of the people they don't know and who don't appreciate their sacrifice at all. Our military is incredible. I do not see a respect for our military on the Democrat side of the aisle (except in the case of Joe Lieberman). I will grant that it's possible there is a larger measure of respect for the military than I see, but if that's the case the respectful members of the Democrat party are not very outspoken. Oh - and saying, "I do TOO respect the military!! I respect them enough to bring them home!!" doesn't count. 

Okay. So I can get behind Mike Huckabee (even though he's a former Baptist minister, ha ha). And I can get behind Fred Thompson. I would vote for McCain in a pinch, but I sincerely hope I won't have to. And I won't vote for Mitt Romney at all. I think he's a slimebag who will say whatever it takes to get what he wants. My lack of willingness to vote for him has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with his religion. Give me a conservative Mormon with some integrity and I'll get behind him 100%. I'd rather see a Democrat in the White House than Romney. At least the Republicans in the House and Senate will fight a Democrat. They won't fight a Romney. 

So... looking forward to Tuesday!! Can't wait to see what happens next!! And all the garbage that's spouted in the meantime should be interesting, too. :-) Listen for the Clinton spin on Iowa. Should be good...


H.L.Washburn said...

I love the football analogy! For me, the holidays continue every four years when the primaries kick off and the real race for the presidency begins.
What is up with the conservative talk show hosts? They are in a depression…every one of them I listened to today was mourning the victories of Barak Obama and Mike Huckabee. They were bemoaning the populous outcome of the Iowa caucus. Rush said that Huckabee has no real support because if evangelicals had not gotten out to vote, he would have come in fourth place. Basically down playing his victory and conveying that he would be unable to win any further states because he was a minority group candidate. He complained for the first time about the people of America and that a populous candidate was not a good choice, that there is a big difference between a populous candidate and a conservative one. Well, I thought who is any more conservative than Huckabee. All the talk show hosts are for someone else, all are trying to knock the wind out of Huckabee’s sails, but why? Sean Hannity was listing all the negatives of Huckabee (before he interviewed him and I was not able to hear the interview) saying that the only real conservatives out there are, and get this, Romney, Guliani and Thompson…what is up with that? Hugh Hewitt was crying the exact same way, saying Romney was the real choice, that the stock market dropped today thanks to Huckabee and Obama and that the stock exchange was watching as populous candidates were winning and they were concerned. When did the vote of the people become a negative? Why are these conservatives calling Romney the real conservative and backing him like he is one of us, like he is a Reagan conservative?
Rush, Hannity and Hewitt have become mainstream media, they are the entrenched power structure of the republican party, just as the national news is for the democrats. I think they are bothered that the people/populous isn’t listening to them, and they are the elite so what is wrong with us. I guess if we are thinking outside of their approved lines we are minds full of mush for them to shape.
Another thing, going back to your football analogy, Rush and all the others are want Regan back, but they are never going to get another one. John Elway left the Denver Broncos three quarterbacks ago, and we have been waiting for John Elway ever since. We look for guys who run like he did, who can throw the long ball, who can carry a team all by themselves, who have the passion to win and lead their team to win, and who will make the Broncos the Broncos again. But it doesn’t matter how much someone plays, thinks or looks like Elway when we draft them, they aren’t Elway, and they never can be because there was just one Elway. And when we keep holding them up and measuring them against him, they will always fall short. So we miss someone good, by looking to someone who is no longer there. Reagan is not ever coming back, so we need to stop knocking down those who have some of his same vision, same passion, same hope but who are their own people.

4ofusinNC said...

Yes, it's amazing how many analogies we can put together with football/politics, isn't it? :-) Maybe it's really easy for me to do that because I don't fully understand either one! Ha ha.

I'm irritated, too, with the reaction of both the general MSM and the conservative talk show hosts regarding Iowa. I was listening to Rush Limbaugh yesterday for about an hour and a half and I kept finding myself saying, "Oh, puhleeeze!!" Hubby was in the other room (he can't stand Rush still), and he would say, "I heard that!!!! Why is he saying that??"

Rush's big thing seemed to be that he didn't like the populism that Huck is running on. He seems to think that Huck says, "Well, the little guy has problems -- I'll fix those problems for you!" But I don't hear Huck actually saying that. He was talking on Leno the other night about the problems in our tax structure, and saying that for the small businessman the biggest hurdle is government. And government needs to get out of the way of production. He also talked about someone he knows trying to help his daughter through college. He took on an extra shift to do this, but is finding that this puts him in a higher tax bracket, which eats up most of what he makes in the second shift.

This all makes perfect sense to me - and I see it as a reality here in America. We HAVE become a country that taxes productivity and rewards slothfulness.

A "populist" is a member or adherent to a political party, seeking to represent the interests of ordinary people. Why Rush would rag on this is beyond me. I think he must be letting his "power" go to his head. And I see his heavy hand of influence some (when he has callers who say, "Oh, Rush -- you're complaining but you're not telling us what to DOOOO." Gimme a break. You do not need a Rush Limbaugh (OR a Pat Robertson OR a James Dobson OR a Hillary Clinton, etc...) to tell you what to think or what to do.

Looking back, I think that Reagan ran with a populist type agenda as well. This would be why he won in a landslide, don't you think? Representing the interests of the ordinary people doesn't mean playing Santa Claus and giving them the desire of their hearts. It just means acting in their best interests rather than the interests of... whatever else there is! The ruling elite? The "special interests?"

In giving Rush a little credit, he was not pushing Romney yesterday, either. Thank goodness for small favors.

All that said, I don't think that I would describe Huckabee as a true conservative. I think that he would continue on in the Republican legacy of decrying taxes but loving the spending. He does seem to think that the little guy is getting screwed and the government leadership doesn't see or understand this.

I think that some of the complaints about Huckabee are disingenuous. Particularly in the area of foreign policy. Everybody talks like Huckabee is a giant empty hole when it comes to foreign policy, and I don't think this is the case... not any more than any of the other candidates. None of them have had much to do with foreign policy issues or judgments yet -- so they are all in the same boat on that one. Their understanding of world events cannot be captured in a sound bite, so we really don't know that much about any of their thoughts.

Touting Romney as a conservative makes about as much sense as saying the Clintons love and respect the military. They are saying that now, too, you know. But when they ran before, Bill Clinton made the comment that he "loathes" the military. So which is it? I'm pretty sure we can accurately say that they still LOATHE the military. And I'm pretty sure that we can say that Romney is still a liberal. But either way with him, he has no integrity. If he's a true conservative, he abandoned his convictions to get himself where he is, which makes him less than trustworthy, too. Why would anyone trust that man???

Hewitt has been carrying the torch for Romney from day one. I don't know how he became so convinced about him, but none of his articles has been persuasive enough to sway me. Hewitt seems to think that anybody who doesn't vote for Romney is against him because of his religion, which just CRACKS ME UP.

Giuliani is far from conservative. Both fiscally and socially, he is more liberal than I would like. He's a total social liberal, and I don't know how anybody can argue otherwise. But at least he's running without trying to back off that too much, unlike Romney. In debates, he has chickened out of answering in a straightforward way on some questions, choosing to talk about sports instead, but HEY. Whatever. I still would not love to see him as the nominee.

Thompson, as far as I can tell, is a conservative. I think that he made a few decisions while he was in office that I would strongly disagree with (one of them being McCain/Feingold), but a few mistakes does not, in my mind, make it so that I can't think of him as a conservative. His personal life is a bit on the interesting side, but so was Reagan's, you know?

I'm interested in seeing what else happens now. The game is afoot... :-) Very good stuff!!