Thursday, December 13, 2007

The "Lesser of Two Evils" is a Greater Sin

I watched the Iowa GOP debate last night on DVR and was not impressed by any of the candidates who, according to polls, have the best chance of winning the Republican nomination.

After the debate was over, a reporter spoke to a focus group of folks from Iowa who were also responsible for the graph which appeared on the right of the screen throughout most of the debate. The graph was supposed to show, by political "leaning" (in this case "Conservative" vs. "Moderate"), which candidate garnered the most support throughout the debate. When asked, by show of hands, who liked Mitt Romney, 80% of hands went up. When an individual was asked to give a reason why they were impressed with Romney, his response was basically that he "seemed confident" and "presidential".

This was a bit of a surprise for me as I have always seen Romney as the least confident in his answers and he ALWAYS has to respond to other candidates when addressed, even if it is fun.

Example:

When asked a question about taxes, Thompson initially responds that his goal is to be like Romney so he doesn't have to worry about paying taxes. Pretty cute answer, and this is what we know Fred for: being likable and charming above all else. Romney could have left it at that, but felt compelled to respond with something to the effect, "No, I want to be like YOU (Thompson)!" He does this consistently, and I believe unnecessarily. To me, that makes him out to be a little insecure, definitely not confident. He has generally seemed to me to be in a "reactive" mode when it comes to addressing comments made by other candidates. Giving a speech about "Faith" after the media covered Huckabee's comment about the possibility that the Mormon church teaches that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are brothers is a good example. He has to be transparent and have such a degree of integrity that shots like that aren't even taken seriously. That would be "presidential" in my book.

Regarding the implication that Romney, "Seeming presidential" makes him a candidate worth voting for scares me because it is telling me that "John Q Voter" is looking for the man that can look the part more than a person of principle and character (can you say Manchurian Candidate with me?).

There is really no excuse for anyone who intends to cast their vote to not be informed about a candidate aside from what they see during these debates, or what is presented by the media. The availability of information at this point makes it so any person who takes politics seriously and understands the strategic effect on this country and the world can be equipped with the information they need to make an informed and intelligent choice for who they want to represent them as President.

What it really comes down to for me is not how a person comes across on television, although maybe there is something to be said about impressions when dealing diplomatically with the world, but what a person is made of. Are we really going to get to what these men are made of by watching them in this forum? I don't think so. I think if they had more opportunity to go after one another, we would see more of what they are really made of. You know the saying, "You don't know what kind of tea you have until you put it in hot water." Unfortunately, last night's "debate" was less that and more of a question and answer forum. Boring.

I believe the only real way to know what a candidate will do once in office is to look at his life, and if they have been in politics to any degree, their voting record. What they have done throughout their political career by their day to day actions in office will give you a better sense for what kind of leader they will be, regardless of what they are spewing from the podium. It is not highly likely that someone who consistently voted for open borders, or to support the redefinition of marriage throughout their career is suddenly going to turn on a dime now that the presidency is looming.

In all, I would say that the line between Liberal and Conservative, Democrat and Republican, have blurred quite a bit; and the GOP candidates reflect that. Predictably, they will appear very conservative while trying to win the Republican nomination, but when someone does succeed and they go against the Democratic nominee, they will suddenly be somewhere in the middle because they know they have to appeal to both the right and the left. This is just disingenuous and it's what makes politics so hard for me to swallow.

So what it comes down to (apparently) is, "Who makes the best politician?" Or the more pathetic, "Who has the best chance of beating Hillary?"

This is an abomination to me as a person who tries to live by principle and keep my conscience clear. Let me give a good example of when I made a decision based on what was politically expedient rather than my conscience, and how it subsequently backfired:

I voted for Arnold as Governor of California both because I thought he was a fiscal conservative, which California desperately needed (and still needs) and I reasoned he had the name recognition to garner enough votes to win. The result is not only has he become just another politician, in spite of his promise that he was just a regular guy and would therefore be more objective and not be influenced by special interests, but socially he is an absolute nightmare! Most recently, signing SB 777, a pro-homosexual agenda propaganda bill that ensures every child in public school will be indoctrinated into the homosexual lifestyle.

I have had to live with the decision to put that man in office ever since, and have therefore determined I will never vote on anything but conscience from now on.

Rudolph Guiliani is the front-runner in the race for the GOP nomination, not because he is ideal or even a true conservative, but because he has the name recognition and appeal to beat Hillary. Let's have a look at some issues that are generally important to conservatives, and where Rudy stands on them:

  • Abortion: makes no apology for believing abortion should be legal and publicly funded, but manages to stay in the middle by stating repeatedly that he encouraged adoption as an alternative and cut the number of abortions in New York while presiding as Mayor.

  • Gun Control: Once again, does not apologize for pushing stricter gun control laws and even suggests it made New York safer as a result.

  • Embryonic Stem Cell research: All for it.

  • Redefinition of Marriage: Has historically, in word and deed, supported the "right" of gays and lesbians to be legally married, but more recently taken a somewhat firmer stance on the issue, suggesting the existing civil union laws are sufficient for this purpose.

    But, all of that being said, he has been deemed by most Republican voters (notice I didn't say Conservative) as the "lesser of two evils" because if we don't vote someone in who can beat Clinton we put the country in danger of being led by her. So we harden our hearts against the fact that Guiliani is a card carrying liberal in conservative clothing, pull the handle in his favor, and hope for the best? This is a bleak outlook in my opinion and something my conscience cannot bear.

    In the end I will be forced by my conscience to vote for a candidate who probably has zero chance of actually getting nominated, much less win the presidency. But, I can live with that.
  • 10 comments:

    Dee said...

    I'm curious, I know you won't vote for Rudy and you said you won't vote for Thompson or Huckabee so who do you like?

    Bullfrog said...

    That is a tough call because obviously I am asking alot of my potential candidate, right?

    At this point, the candidate that seems to say what he means, and mean what he says about returning our country to a more Constitutional form of government is Ron Paul. I believe it would do this nation a great good to return to a form of government more like what was intended by our founders.

    Also, think what you want about Alan Keyes, he said some things during the Iowa debate that resonated with me in a big way.

    Great to hear from you LMC, I have missed interacting with my fellow bloggers!

    Outside the Box said...

    Hey!

    Nice to see you blogging again!

    I'm trying to get back in the swing of things myself. Hopefully soon. I certainly appreciate the times you stopped by blog to say "hi" and to ask how things were going. Thanks for that.

    As for this current post, I have to say that I'm hoping Dee will take issue with you. Her blog and yours are the two conservative blogs that I visit on a regular basis, but I never comment at hers as I've seen what happens to dissenters.

    I know that she can't stand Ron Paul, though I've yet to come across a reason that makes any sense. Fingers crossed that she doesn't let this one go!

    Great to have you back!

    Mr. Grey Ghost said...

    I want to endorse Thompson, but he needs to step it up more--liberals often paint him as lazy and at times he proves them right esp. on the campaign trail. All in all I'm leaning towards Romney or Fred, but keeping an eye out for Huckabee.

    Dee said...

    Bullfrog:
    Wow, then I guess you aren't going to like my latest post.

    Bullfrog said...

    LMC: In visiting your blog and seeing the comments made by "Conservatives" about the "lesser candidates" (those not in the coveted 'Top 5'), it occurred to me that not alot of positive, constructive things are being shared in general.

    It goes to my point about the "lesser of two evils" in that, when you are reduced to voting for the candidate who is "not the worst", you fall into the trap of critically analyzing what is wrong with candidates instead of what is right and whether they will best represent your interests.

    As I mentioned on your blog, the only compelling argument I have see against Ron Paul is that he wants us to pull out of Iraq, which some seem to think would make things worse for the Iraqi people.

    I am not compelled by people who are afraid of Ron because he wants to lessen the government influence over our lives by ridding us of programs like the IRS, Dept. of Education, and the like, and people's irrational reaction to this as if even considering abolishing these programs would somehow mean, "the End", only reinforces how we are not only dependent on these "services" to a dangerous degree, we actually have formed an emotional attachment.

    I would argue that it is a liberal mindset more than a conservative one that would not think to consider any possibility to restore this country to health. I would even go as far as saying it is downright un-American.

    Outside the Box said...

    Wow! I couldn't have asked for my point to be proven any better.

    Ironically, I just recently saw a compelling example of why Ron Paul wouldn't make a capable president and it was at a "liberal" blog.

    In what way exactly is being "liberal" un-American? (In reference to your last comment.)

    Outside the Box said...

    This is off topic, but I realized that I haven't asked any questions for a while now.

    What is Heaven like in your belief system and how does one qualify for it?

    Bullfrog said...

    It is not American in my estimation to depend on the government in the way that we do in alot of ways. Expecting the public schools to raise our children, to cure every social ill that besets our society. I believe it is the role of government to restrain evil by enforcing the law and to protect the personal liberties of Americans. Obviously, the government of the United States is doing much more.

    In general, liberal thinkers lean toward giving the government more responsibility over our personal affairs, while conservative thinkers are aiming for a more constitutional form of government such as I just described, where they protect our freedom.

    This is a generalization of course, so you can find liberals and conservatives who fall somewhere in between.

    In as much as a liberal, or anyone, follows the line of thinking that the government, not individuals, is responsible for doing good in the world, they stray from the mindset of the people who founded this country.

    Bullfrog said...

    "What is Heaven like in your belief system and how does one qualify for it?"

    The Bible describes Heaven quite a bit. We have all heard (I think) analogies describing a place with "streets of gold" and jewels, etc. I believe this is an attempt to describe a spiritual place using words and terms that an earthly person can relate to. It would be like a person who lives in the Middle Ages describing a helicopter of the current day. They would likely resort to using the analogy of an insect or the like. I don't believe we can adequately describe it.

    Basically, heaven as I see it is eternally being in the presence of God. Hell is eternal separation from Him.

    As to how one would qualify for heaven, there isn't one human being living on this earth through history who can accomplish this. We born into a fallen world and are fallen beings. There is nothing good in us and we are incapable of living up to the standard set by God. This is why God sent Jesus Christ, who is God, to be the propitiation for our sins so that we can be reconciled to Him and spend eternity with Him.