Vision, Mission, and Strategy

Hillbilly Politics

It’s been an interesting couple of days since I last posted.  Like many, I’m looking at the remaining candidates, wondering which I could settle for. I settled for Romney since he was somewhat of a second choice anyway as being the only one in the race who has at least one conservative leg on his stool. The liklihood of Romney winning the nomination is pretty dim in the overall picture, in spite of the money he’s throwing into the campaign.

The problem for me and, apparently, many others is we’re tired of settling. Every election we have to settle for someone progressively worse than the time before. We’re told its our civic duty to vote for this person or that person because we have to defeat the other side and we have to keep the party together to win. They will use every trick they can imagine to get us to go along with the rest of the crowd and we have been to our detriment. There will be those who say we’re throwing away our vote by writing in a candidate or voting for someone who “doesn’t stand a chance.”

Who decides they don’t have a chance? We do. Each media person has only one vote. No more, no less. Each candidate has only one vote. No more, no less. We, as individuals have only one vote each. No more, no less. However, if one can convince another to vote the way of the first against the former’s own wishes, the first gains two votes while the former threw his away.

Consider this: Tennessee is very strong for Fred Thompson. Now, before you wave that off, also consider: Arkansas is not strong for Huckabee nor is Arizona very strong for McCain. New York is not strong for Guiliani and are leaning toward McCain. I haven’t heard much about Massachussetts one way or the other for Romney, although Michigan gave him a thumbs up partially due to his father’s tenure there.

But Tennessee is very strong for Fred. Tennessee is still strong for Fred in spite of the fact that he’s withdrawn.

Also consider this from PajamasMedia.

I was Fred Thompson’s first hire. In fact, I moved from ABC Radio, where I worked with him on the Paul Harvey show, first into the exploratory committee and then the campaign proper. When the campaign turned its focus and limited resources to the mechanics of traditional primary politics, my role ended.

FDT’s decision to drop out of the race at this point is entirely logical. It is, nevertheless, truly depressing.

This is a particular moment in history. After a brief respite, during which it appeared that the dangers posed by imperialistic totalitarian ideologies had abated, we are facing more seriously deranged enemies than ever. This time, however, they have billions in petrodollars and at least the possibility of acquiring nuclear or biological weapons. […]

Read the rest. It goes on to talk about the mechanics of campaigning and how Fred’s late entry played into that and I’m not talking about the fact the he waited until September to announce but the fact that he hadn’t been working toward this aim for years behind the scenes.

What happened this election is that a large body of the conservative party refused to settle. We tried to draft in a man who stood for what we stood. It didn’t work because of the process behind the elections. It smacked of desperation and it was. Having been handed candidate after candidate that weren’t up to snuff, we tried very hard to go against the status quo.

Even now, there are people who are adamantly voting for Fred Thompson, either because he will still be on the ballot or as a write-in. There are others telling them they’re stupid for doing so. That it’s a waste of vote and other arguments of a similar type.

Is it really? I would think it would be more wasted to go along with the status quo because if you keep going along with it, nothing will change. Going along with it only entrenches it more. It’s a false hope being held out that next time will be different but instead it gets progressively worse.

This is about Fred Thompson only nominally. He is but the symbol of our need for a true conservative leader. If we want to break out of the cycle of “next time it will be different” we have to start somewhere and it’s not by settling. Consider the “Cycle of Abuse.” An incident happens and there is recrimination, then wine and roses and promises, then a honeymoon period, then another incident and so on as the cycle begins again. The abused settles for the promises time and again, helping to continue the cycle and making excuses for the abuser. That cycle will continue until the day the abused dies or realizes the only way to break the cycle is to get out of it.

We have a chance to break the cycle this election and we have the right to demand conservative representation from the conservative party which is supposed to be the Republican party.

We might lose in the end but we don’t win by not trying. Bob Krumm thinks we ought to actively work for a brokered convention by voting for Rudy in Florida. I don’t know if I agree with that strategy. I’d say vote for the person you really want, rather than settle.

NewsMax sums it up nicely with this article:

Fred Thompson More Obvious in Absentia

Fred Thompson is having greater influence on the Republican presidential race now that he’s out of it than he had when he was in it.

In just the few days after he withdrew his candidacy, the tall Tennessean stands out more clearly than ever above the ranks of GOP contenders. By its very silence, the absence of Thompson’s steady baritone is heard above the cacophony he left behind.

Nothing else in this campaign is making so obvious the lack of an authentic, consistent, common-sense conservative among the surviving candidates.

It calls to mind the tale of the couple tending a lighthouse. In addition to a beacon pivoting, their lighthouse had a klaxon that blared on regular intervals.

They grew accustomed to the noise, the way folks living alongside a railroad track eventually ignore the roar of passing trains. One night, the mighty foghorn failed to sound off at the appointed time.

In that instant, the lighthouse keeper and his wife awoke with a start, sat upright in bed, looked at one another and asked: “What wasn’t that?”

It is the same effect Thompson will have, by increased measure, in this floundering Republican pre-nomination campaign. As the GOP rivals “surge” then fade in opinion polls, it will become embarrassingly obvious that what conservative voters still want is not altogether there.

Not a blessed one of them – Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney – is a 360-degree conservative. Each has at least one essential piece of his pie missing.

By not being among them any longer, Thompson has brought the spotlight to bear on those missing pieces.

The effect on the candidates is already having a noticeable, salutary effect. With Thompson off the platform, those remaining candidates have started fudging their credentials to shade over into the space of one or more conservative issues once occupied by the man who had no serious empty spaces.

Not much consolation for Thompson, personally, but it is a wholesome development for the Republican Party, which has been busy divesting itself of its founding principles and growing difficult to distinguish from the opposition.

This opens up a golden opportunity for Thompson to make a mighty contribution to the rescue and revival of the GOP.

Read the rest.

We’re Americans and we don’t settle.

January 2008


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