What can I say folks? When it comes to things that don't really matter, I'm lazy.
And because I've only always voted for the candidate, never the party. Not once have I filled in the little bubble to vote a straight-party ticket. Hell, I'm of the mind that straight-ticket voting should be forbidden: a voter should be forced to THINK about the people he or she is casting a ballot for. That right came at a high price. Too high to be too convenient.
If you've read this blog for very long, y'all know where I stand on a lot of issues. I think this government taxes too high and spends too much. Our elected officials have forgotten that they serve us, and that we don't serve them. If a major corporation fails because of its own mismanagement, that's not my problem. Socialism only ever worked in the Book of Acts and among the Smurfs. Education belongs to the states and the communities, not the federal government. America doesn't need to stick its nose in places where it doesn't belong... and we can't afford to do that anymore either. I despise hypocrisy, I despise fraud, and I despise lusting for power and excusing it in the name of God. The last serious President of the United States was Ronald Reagan and everyone since 1989 has been inept, corrupt, unbalanced or all three. Abortion is the greatest failure of a shortsighted nation. An armed society is a polite society and one with statistically less crime. We shouldn't be afraid to tap into our own energy resources. I didn't vote for McCain or Obama in the 2008 election and my reward for that is getting to sleep soundly at night. And there is absolutely no faith to be had in the political parties... and I mean any political party.
I suppose that for the most part, conventional wisdom would land me in the Republican camp, being it that my values might be described as more "conservative".
But do I spend any of my precious time and energy shilling for the GOP?
And based on what I've been seeing from the special election tomorrow for New York's 23rd Congressional District, that sentiment ain't likely to change anytime soon.
Perhaps you've heard of it. It's been making quite the rounds on the news networks and the Intertubes. Until this past weekend it had been a three-way race between Republican Dierdre K. Scozzafava, Democrat William L. Owens... and Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.
Scozzafava, the "Republican" candidate, favors abortion "rights", supports "gay marriage" (it's not possible for such a thing to even exist... but that's an essay for another time), thought the "stimulus" was a great idea, and didn't even have to win a primary election to be on the ballot. The only reason Scozzafava is a candidate is because she was tapped to run by GOP party bosses in the proverbial "smoke-filled room".
Doug Hoffman, on the other hand, is more Republican than the Republican candidate. Except that Hoffman is not running as a Republican. He's running as a Conservative Party candidate.
And until this past weekend, that was more than enough to merit his good name getting smeared by the elites of the Republican Party.
For the past several weeks the National Republican Congressional Committee put out press release after press release supporting Scozzafava and blasting Hoffman. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele - a man that I have no respect for whatsoever - vowed unflinching backing of Scozzafava. Many other Republicans also followed suit by circling their wagons around Scozzafava and firing cheap shots at Hoffman.
And then there's Newt Gingrich. The former Speaker of the House not only endorsed Scozzafava, he insinuated that Hoffman has no real knowledge of his own district and declared that Hoffman's supporters were little more than an enraged fad. All that mattered to Gingrich was to get a Republican elected, ya see.
Then, stuff started happening. People all across the country began paying attention to the New York 23rd District race. They began contributing more to Hoffman - the alleged "spoiler" candidate - than to either of his two opponents. Sarah Palin endorsed Hoffman. A lot of long-time grassroots Republicans started getting honked-off angry at their party's leadership.
And then this past Saturday Dierdre Scozzafava withdrew from the race. It's now a two-way battle between Democrat William Owens and Conservative Doug Hoffman.
So guess what happened next? All those Republican honchos who had vehemently stood up for Scozzafava had a conversion as profound as Paul's on the Damascus Road. The scales fell from their eyes, they recognized how blind they had been and declared they were now for Doug Hoffman!
Do they sincerely believe we're going to fall for that one?
Friends and neighbors, you and I know what really happened. Newt Gingrich, Michael Steele, and a lot of incumbent Republicans all over the place put their collective moistened finger in the air, felt which way the winds were blowing and decided that supporting Hoffman after all would be politically prudent.
Maybe so. But theirs are not actions of people of principle.
And that is why I do not count myself among the Republicans today. I can not be a Democrat because of that party's official stances on too many issues. But I can not be a Republican because of that party's lack of principle.
Now, you tell me which is the worse of the two.
As I see it from here, the Republican Party has a choice. It can give itself a good long enema and completely flush out the tired old blue-bloods and the elitists that have been running the show for more than twenty years, and allow some seriously fresh meat to take over. Or, it can keep with this foolish errand at preserving its brand name at the cost of ever-diminishing quality. It would mean an absolute repudiation of the neo-conservative and "bigger government" philosophies that have entered into the party during these many years, but doing so promises to yield a vibrant and robust party of principle for many years to come.
Or, it can hold steady to its present course, until the Republican Party goes the way of the Whigs and the Bull Moose.
As I noted earlier, any business that fails by its own lack of merit deserves to fail. Nobody should be asked to prop it up.
The same holds even more true for a political party.
The Republicans can re-define themselves, or fade away.
And as I see it on this end of things, the latter is the more probable. Perhaps even the more preferable.