Well, the California mid-term primary elections are here again. All together now: “Yip-eee!” Okay, that’s enough. Calm down and start taking this thing seriously. Remember, when it comes to voting, you get what you deserve, so be careful what you wish for (and vote for). It’s a fact that of all voting age citizens, only around 72% of them actually bother to register to vote, and of those, only about half of them actually turn out to vote in elections. In Southern California more people are apt to vote for contestants on Dancing with the Stars than to vote in elections. Given the mentality and convoluted logic of many whom live here, this is probably not a bad thing.
For the few of us who actually pay attention to politics and elections and have strong concerns about where our country might be headed, the right candidate is not always a clear choice for us either. Sure, we know in broad terms which ones are the progressive, big government types and which are the candidates with the conservative traditional values. Although it is not always easy to tell given campaign hyperbole (read: lies), for the most part we know which ones want to “change” America, and which candidates want to preserve America.
It gets sticky is when we have two or three candidates of the same party, each claiming to be the “real deal” for their base. That’s when the work begins for us voters. We need to dip into each one’s background, check the voting records, the history. Once we have settled on the one candidate we believe is the right one for us, then all we have to do is vote for him or her, right? Well, no…not quite.
You see, we’re told that it’s not enough to vote for a candidate that you like, you have to vote for a candidate that can win the primary and then go on to win against the other side’s candidate in the general election. The pollsters, the back room gang, and the political mavens all say that the smart thing to do is to vote for the one that maybe you really don’t like so much, but that has the best chance of winning against the other party’s candidate.
In other words, drop the candidate you really want, and compromise with the one who might be a modicum better than the one in the other party. To that I say balderdash, hogwash, and flapdoodle! (Not necessarily in that order.)
So much of what we have to do to get along in this world is fraught with compromise. You go to the market and they don’t have your favorite brand, so you buy the crap you really don’t like because well, you need to get salad oil and you really don’t have the time to run around to every store searching for the one you want. You can’t afford to buy your best girl the ring you really want to get her, so you’re forced buy one that is not as nice. You have an important function to attend, but you can’t fit into the great looking outfit that you’d really like to wear because you’ve been living on a diet of Cheetos, Snickers bars and Haagen Dazs for the last 4 months, so now your only option is the out of date thread-worn fat outfit that you swore you’d never allow yourself to wear again. You compromise all day long. Enough already! No compromising in the voting booth!
When Tom McClintock was running against Arnold Schwarzenegger for governor, many of my fellow conservatives were saying if I voted for the true conservative choice (McClintock) I would be throwing my vote away because Arnold has the best chance of winning against the Democrat in the general election. I guess most believed that, because Schwarzenegger won and, well, how do you like the state so far?
In my opinion, it’s more important to vote your conscience then to vote your compromise. I’d rather lose an election with the man whom I believe is best for my country, state, and city than to win with someone who will sell out my values once in office.
That’s why as a true conservative I plan to vote for Steve Poizner for Governor and Chuck DeVore for U.S. Senate. Poizner is a much stronger conservative than is Meg Whitman, and Chuck DeVore is a true “conservative’s conservative who has always stood on principle” as Tom McClintock has said. Chuck is for lower taxes and smaller government, and that’s good enough for me. I’m putting my money on a sure thing conservative, for better for worse. If he loses, he loses. But he can never win if people like me don’t vote for him. That’s my opinion, but don’t go by me, check out these candidates for yourselves.
I can’t tell you liberal Democrats who the best candidate is on your side, but the same rule applies to you. Vote for the one who shares most of your values. Vote your conscience not your compromise. But as a liberal if you really want to help America, stay home and vote for Dancing with the Stars.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of The Tolucan Times.