Usually, by now, I would have been listening all day to conservative talk radio, gathering information about election choices, and beginning to form a plan about who I’m going to vote for and why. Being a mom of two loud, busy boys — and not having a radio in my main living space — I find myself in the dark at this moment in the election season.
“Why?” you may ask. “You’re an author at UnifiedPatriots.com, for heaven’s sake! Don’t you read?”
Oh yes, I read. And if I’m not careful, I’ll read and read and read ALL. DAY. LONG. Facebook and Twitter already put me in danger of that. Political punditry just seals the deal. I have children, remember. I have to feed them, and stuff.
Anyway, back to politics. I have been reading the occasional article about this candidate or that, usually whenever a headline posted to Twitter piques my interest. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot about Mitt Romney possibly taking the nomination, with Newt Gingrich (my dad’s favorite candidate) close(-ish) behind. I had tidbits of information about the other GOP hopefuls — enough to know I didn’t know enough.
Part of my fear in starting to get attached to candidates this early is that my favorites drop out before the real action begins. I felt a deep, abiding sadness when Fred Thompson dropped out before the 2008 elections. I was decidedly un-thrilled when McCain got the nomination, but went over the moon for Sarah Palin (I admit it freely: I love her!). And then I wanted drink myself into oblivion when Obama won the election. It’s kind of hard to fuel the desire to inform myself of what’s out there at this point in the game, knowing it will change significantly in a matter of months.
I’m an idealist: I would LOVE a Reagan-esque candidate. Someone to come swooping in like Batman to clean out the dross and rebuild
Gotham City America on its old foundations: Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Property/Happiness. Someone who is all for common sense, free-market capitalism, charity, gun rights, privacy rights, reasonable taxes, and domestic oil (just to name a few victims of our day and age) — and has the guts to back them up in the face of conservative conspiracy theorists, wishy-washy independents, bleeding-hearts, and slavering Liberal demagogues.
I was really hopeful of Perry. I did not see any of his ads, but what I was reading about him was great! He was a good leader in Texas. He supports most of what I hold dear. He’s all for fixing the problems, not putting a band-aid on them and building on top. He seems down-to-earth and hawkish enough to stand up to the opposition.
Except now he has stepped down. Like Thompson, he was a little too good to be true. It makes the idealist in me cry a little.
As much as I’m an idealist, though, I also strive to approach things rationally: Look at the facts, consider them (ALL of them, not just the ones that I like and fit my argument), make an informed opinion based on fact and not emotion, and continually evaluate based on new information (whether I like it or not). My decisions, of course, are filtered through my worldview and value system, so they’re not coldly rational, but even rational people with no morals value something, and will base decisions on that.
I do like Perry, I do. However, as I was reading about him and considering him, I thought about what he was up against: Independents, who just want everyone to put aside their issues and get along (sitting on the fence, waiting for someone to make them happy, who also doesn’t make waves); RINOs, who spout bi-partisanship over ethical or practical necessity (fence-hoppers, not to be confused with the fence-sitters); Democrats with an axe to grind; and frothing, big-L Liberals who don’t let things like facts or morals get in the way of their smear campaigns. Take into account that Perry’s already ticked off a good portion of these with his open condescension of homosexuality, alone (nevermind his gun and immigration stances), AND, well, he’s a governor of Texas. There are enough people on both sides who still suffer from Bush Derangement Syndrome, and will instantly fan those flames should Perry get anywhere near the nomination.
You know, and I know — regardless of our feelings about the Bush administration — that just because Perry’s a governor of Texas, he will not be Bush, and we should judge him by his own merits. We know this because we are not insane. However, those in the ‘Drome are certifiable — and vociferous. They have a lot of reach, and there are many malleable voters suffering Obamamania DT’s who will listen to them. I can see that being a huge obstacle for Perry — and I think he might be sensible enough to see that, too.
What I dislike the most about this election, though, is the uncertainty of having a candidate who will work to balance the country once more, and set up steps to reverse at least some of the damage done by Obama (and — in the essence of full honesty, as much as I don’t like to acknowledge it — the damage done by the end of the Bush administration, as well). I’m an all-or-nothing kinda girl, and prone to desire for instant gratification. But all the problems can’t be fixed immediately upon inauguration. They might not even be fixed in a four- or eight-year stint. Being aware of that, I know we need someone who can “win the hearts and minds” of those who aren’t too deep into the dystopian Liberal dream of a centralized, overreaching government — which means they’re going to have to lean more toward Center than Right. That is going to chafe a bit, I imagine.
What I really don’t want to see, though, is a big fight among the Republican/Other Party candidate hopefuls that allows Obama to slide on into home without a hitch. I’d really like to see a more overwhelming stance against the direction Washington D.C. has been taking us in the past eight (or ten) years. Republican majority in the House and Senate is a good thing right now, but there still seems to be a lack of solidarity there that is concerning.
At any rate, now that it appears the biggest fight might be between Gingrich and Romney, I’ll have to start paying closer attention. I can’t see myself voting for Obama just to keep from voting a Republican I don’t like into office, but I really don’t want to see our answer to Obama’s ineptitude be someone who gives the Republicans and conservatism a bad name.