Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I am officially nearing exhaustion in hearing about this election. Don't get me wrong, I believe politics is important as it impacts Americans in a very real way. I remember when I was 18 I was eager to register and exercise my new right to vote and did so as soon as I was able. That year was when George Bush 41 was running for re-election against Bill Clinton. I rode my bike to my polling place and cast my 1st vote ever for none other than Ross Perot. I think I mainly made that choice based on the opinions of people close to me as I really had no idea what was going on in politics at that time.
My interest in politics didn't really peak until much later. Before I really started paying close attention to the issues and understanding where I stood in my political views, I was a registered Democrat (because my family are all Democrats) and I would base most of my political debate on popular talking points or whatever the MSM had to offer on the issues. I have always enjoyed a good exchange, call it a debate or an argument, I have always been "game" to get into it.
Once I really began to look more objectively at the issues, and also around the time when I became a Christian, it became obvious to me that I was better represented by the Republican Party. I was very zealous, if still not terribly well-informed, and went after those claiming to be Democrats with enthusiasm, thinking they must be fools for ascribing to a party that promotes such ignorant and irrational policies. For a good while I clung to the Republican Party and my conservative views with veracity. It defined me in a way, calling myself "Conservative" and the feeling that I had made the "right choice".
Another shift has happened since then. In the last few years as I have watched a Republican controlled Congress and Executive branch in action, in the few issues that are most important to me, there has been either no progress or backwards progress and, more and more, the Republican Party has represented my personal worldview in word only. My confidence in the GOP has eroded over the past few years as the line between Republican and Democrat have become more blurry. My disillusionment peaked in 2006, as I was utterly frustrated at the inability of either party to speak for me, and I voted for all 3rd party candidates in that election. I had broken away from the party line and chose each candidate based on their record and how closely their views matched my own. It was the 1st time I had refused to play "the game" of politics and voted my conscience, and I am glad I did it.
The conscience can be a terrible thing, especially when it is violated. This is something I learned in a very vivid way after voting to oust California Governor Grey Davis and replaced him with the utter disaster that is running California into the ground as we speak. I chose what was politically expedient over what I believed was right, and I have regretted it ever since. Every time the "Governator" does something idiotic I shake my head at him, and then at myself for helping make it possible.
The next time I cast my vote was in the recent primaries, in preparation for the 2008 General Election happening in just a few weeks. After reviewing the candidates, I cast my vote for Ron Paul on the Republican ticket. Men like Ron Paul, Alan Keyes and Chuck Baldwin are laughed at and disrespected by BOTH parties for having the "audacity" to even show up to run for office. These are men who intentionally go against the status quo because they hold personal principles and character above "winning". Alan Keyes was publicly disrespected by pretty much every other Republican candidate during the primaries, which hastened my disillusionment as I watched men of my party openly disrespecting a good and decent man who did not act in fear, but spoke from the heart about how far he believed this country has strayed from her roots. The Ron Paul's and Alan Keyes' of this country are Christians 1st and patriots 2nd. I think politicians may play a distant 3rd if I had to guess; but it is clear they have priorities like my own so as a matter of conscience I am obligated to support them, even if they cannot win. They represent the principles of a Constitutional form of government that we have long strayed from, and that I believe we need to return to.
This all may come off as a little idealistic to many, but what better way to be when choosing the person who will very soon be running the free world, and at such times as we find ourselves in now? Shouldn't we ask for excellence in the person who makes decisions and has influence that will profoundly affect our lives? The Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannity's of the world have dished out the "lesser of 2 evils" time after time, and where has that gotten us? It has led the GOP to put up a man like John McCain who, in the primaries, was scoffed at and ridiculed for the same maverick tendencies for which he is now being embraced and held out as the best the party has to offer? Despicable. I refuse to play the game this time around and further sear my conscience by voting for such a man whose only appeal, apparently, is that he is NOT Barrack Obama. I refuse to vote "against Obama" by voting for John McCain, as this is the same backwards logic conservatives ridiculed John Kerry supporters for when they vowed, "No more W" in 2004.
I am endorsing Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party in the General Election. Chuck is a family man and Christian pastor who was supporting Ron Paul before Ron left the race. The Constitution Party is right on all of the issues that are important to me: abortion, immigration, liberty, marriage, the right to bear arms, small government and every other issue that I believe we should not compromise in protecting.
Call it a "wasted vote" if you like, but I believe there is no such thing as long as the person casting their vote can do so with a clear conscience.