As I sit here this morning and ponder what I am going to post on my blog today, I am stilled awed by the amount of people both Democrat and Republican that will only vote straight line ticket at elections. While I don’t agree with that philosophy and people in this country are free to do what they want, I find it sad that this is what happens at every election. I myself have done this in the past but when I did it, it was out of sheer ignorance. Of course this is not the case with everyone but I am not too proud to admit that I have done that just as many millions of people have done the same thing.
I am also not ashamed to say that I voted for Bill Clinton twice in the 1990’s when I first began to vote because I was raised in an old fashioned Democrat home. In 1992 and 96 though I was a much smarter voter and only voted for those offices in which I was familiar with the candidates. If I didn’t know a candidate, I left that part of the ballot blank. Sadly that was not the case in 2004 when I voted straight line republican ticket but I happen to get lucky that year because all the people elected to office were pretty good. I am not saying I wasn’t disappointed because I certainly was – especially with 2nd term Bush – but for the local races, I got very lucky but I also had gotten to know many but not all of the candidates and those who have continued in office have proven their worth to the conservative cause.
You may wondering why I am saying all of this but there is a purpose and that is we cannot blindly follow a political party and far too many people do that. When we do we may miss out on someone who could govern effectively and better than the person our particular party has put forth. We miss out on the ability to punish our party as well because we are too afraid to let the other guy win because the opposition party is so bad that it will hurt the country but our own chosen party is hurting the country in the same way only on a slower train. We have to use our free mind when determining who to elect to office,
What is that free mind you ask? Well it is what we are born with which enables us to choose what is best for ourselves and others. It is commonly referred to as the American mind and is really enshrined in the Declaration of Independence when Thomas Jefferson writes “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” In other words all men are created equal but it is not equality of condition, it is equality of opportunity and it is up to each of us to use that opportunity to pursue our life, liberty and what makes us happy which for each and every one of us is different. It is so simple, so beautiful and yet it is probably the most misunderstood concept that is within each American that it is not a laughing matter.
We know it is there, we know we are free to think whatever way we want and yet we blindly follow a political party no matter what. While I perfectly understand and support those people who choose to do this, I (using my free mind) vehemently disagree with this. Since 2004, I have learned a great deal more about politics and American history which has shaped who I am today. I do not blindly follow a party because I know that the party itself has an agenda which may be harmful to its grassroots and the people of this country and this happens on both sides of the aisle. I also have come to realize that those who claim to espouse the beliefs that I and others have really do not. While we may agree on many issues it is how we choose to solve those issues that is vastly different and usually comes to light many months after an election. I do not believe in a defeatist approach but unfortunately many Republicans in Congress today do believe in a defeatist approach. One only has to look at the Ryan/Murray budget and the most recent debt ceiling vote to see the defeatist approach. As such, I am not going to blindly follow the Republican Party because they are Republicans and not Democrats. Neither would I follow the Democrats blindly. I decided in 2009 to only vote for those people who I thought best represented Constitutional and small r republicanism. Both of which our Founders fought for during the Revolution and the early years of our country.
If that type of voting makes me an independent so be it. I will hear from folks that voting this way will only cause the Democrats to stay in power forever. Really? Have you no faith in the people? I know it is hard to have faith in the people after the last two elections but I do. I know that eventually the free mind will kick in and the people will see the error of their ways and vote the bums out. We saw it in 2010 and we will see it again. I along with many people are tired of the defeatist approach of the Republicans and we are tired of being called terrorist, tea baggers and racist among other things and some of that has come from the Republican establishment as much as it has come from the crazy leaders of the Democrat party. Notice I said leaders of the Democrat Party because when you have 1 in 5 Democrats identifying with the tea party, you know not all Democrats are bad and you know you’re making a difference.
I am also sick and tired of being told I can’t criticize Republicans because that will embolden Democrats and give them the power and advantage in the next election cycle. While I can see some truth in that, I think it is a silly policy because how else are the leaders that we choose, if they happen to be Republican, going to know that we are upset with them? It just seems to be a policy out there amongst folks that you need to shut up because Democrats will get elected and that is bad very bad. How is it any better when we don’t criticize our so called Republican leaders and they do the very same thing as Democrats only at a slower pace? It is not and it is unenlightened to silence someone because of fear. Remember Franklin Roosevelt said “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” and that was from a progressive who actively lead the fundamental transformation of this country even more so than Barack Obama.