I’ve already read a number of strong and thought provoking comments around various blogs as people have anticipated (prior to yesterday’s announcement) and reacted to Fred’s departure from the race. There is significant support for Fred’s message, disappointment (and some outrage) over his announcement, and frustration that the remaining lot of Republican candidates leave much to be desired. What is a conservative voter to do?
Some have suggested other candidates. Those that would be happy to have anyone other than Hillary or Obama in office lean heavily toward one of the front runners, who I think are in the position they are in because of one of three things:
- Their elect-ability (I despise this reason)
- Their message appeals to many who are toward the middle or left side of the party
- Nothin. I just hate lists of 2, and had to have a list of three to feel like a list was valid here.
Some have suggested not voting. I do not oppose this option assuming one thing… you still go to the polls in November. I don’t know if I can say it enough, but voting is an incredible right and opportunity that should be never taken for granted. I know a lot of people treat it carelessly, or with disdain, or dishonor it by casting an uninformed ballot, but if we treat it as something so lacking in value that we avoid it, we are making the wrong statement. Cast a blank ballot and let yourself be counted before you make your voice go unheard.
Some have suggested voting for the Democrat. Or another party. I suspect that a conservative or extremist third-party candidate will make a strong showing this year, even if it’s Ron Paul. In any case, I don’t see any value in these options with one possible exception… if Fred Thompson or someone that held his values setup a third-party run, I think I could support that. I don’t see Fred doing that as I think he is too strong a supporter of the party. There could be some interesting possibilities. As I always say, you should vote for who you think best reflects your values.
I don’t have a candidate I can support for President at this point. If the election were today, I’d probably either write-in a candidate or skip that part of the ballot.
As big a deal as we make about the election of the next President (and it is a fairly big deal), and as disappointed as I may be about Fred’s decision, I am quite anxious to see how our mix of Representative and Senatorial candidates come out. Tom Harkin is up for reelection in Iowa (I would love to see a strong conservative candidate run against him… if only Fred lived in Iowa). 1/3 of the Senate and all of the House are up for elections… there is a consensus that the makeup of the new Congress will lean to the left, but we have a an opportunity still to see a shift in the right direction. The President provides leadership, represents us to the world, sets foreign policy, oversees the military and appoints various officials. Congress passes the laws and spends our money. I think it’s reasonable to start focusing our sights on Congress and see how we can help influence their work for the next couple of years. We desperately need to stop the crazy spending frenzy that is putting us further in debt, eating away at out income and creating a larger burden for future generations. We need a tax policy that is fair, makes sense, and helps us hold Congress more accountable. We need laws that protect our rights, our freedoms, and helps build up our country and people. We need a strong military and internal defense. We need sensible immigration policy. We need tools to allow for reasonable enforcement of all of our laws. We need a stable economy. We need a smaller government.
In the next week, look for a statement on what we need from a President and Congress. It will be here in place of the “Why Fred?” page (which will still be available on the site, don’t worry).