Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What are Crazy Politics?

"Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is a good description of insanity."
I've seen variations on this statement attributed to various sources over the years; so I'm not really sure of it's originator. Nevertheless, it seems to make sense.

"We need a change"; is a recurring theme in politics. Unfortunately, what is usually being called for is just a change of faces. When the faces change, but the standards and practices stay the same, we don't really see an improvement in the results. I believe that far too much of the time, we've had politicians standing for parties rather than principles. Furthermore, standing doesn't just involve talking points, it means consistently working for those principles.

Now most of my beliefs and goals fall within the range of what is normally called "conservative". As a result, I have most often found myself supporting Republican candidates. It was surprise to me when the Republicans lost the House and Senate in 2006, only to the degree that I was in denial. I had to admit that those Republicans we Conservatives and "Values Voters" had gone to the polls for in 2004, didn't act very conservative or work for moral values.

The days of pointing across the aisle and saying "look how liberal/immoral the Democrats are", and expecting Conservatives (especially conservative Christians) to tow the Republican line are over. We may not cross the aisle and sit with Democrats who do fit that description; but neither will we remain seated with Republicans who are just as liberal/immoral. Perhaps they will understand that a failure to take action for conservative and moral causes is just as damaging as actively working for liberal/immoral causes by understanding that giving Conservative Christians no reason to come to the polls will cause Republican losses just as quickly as if we came to the polls to vote for Democrats.

Case in point, Rudy Giuliani. I've heard it generally maintained that Mayor Giuliani is strongly conservative on defense, law, and fiscal issues; but a discussion of his positions and behavior regarding social and moral issues results in either a wink and a side-step or outright laughter. The best defense offered for the former New York City Mayor seems to lie in statements in the vein of; "He can beat Hillary"; or "Would you rather hand the White House back to the Clintons?"

A look at the positions and record of Hillary Clinton would definitely keep me from voting for her, but will not get me to vote for someone who has a far-too-similar record on the sanctity of both marriage and life itself; just to keep her out of office. I'm sure the pro-abortion, pro-immorality media knows this, when they hold up Rudy, and other pseudo-conservatives as the Republican front-runners; in between the stories on people like Rosie O'Donnell, Paris Hilton, and Lindsey Lohan; and the DNC knows it too.

If someone like former Senator Zell Miller were running for president, he is one Democrat for whom I'd vote in a heartbeat; when faced with Rudy, Romney, or McCain (still learning about Thompson) on the Republican ticket. Although Senator Miller's record is too liberal for my tastes in many areas, most of these are a matter of choice. On matters based in moral conviction, such as the sanctity of life and marriage, Senator Miller was a breath of fresh air in a party generally more concerned about the life of a tax increase than the life of an unborn child or the life of a holy union between one man and one woman.

Starting with a base of Moral and Conservative principles, (rather than prior media recognition and campaigning to the "middle" on issues) the Republican primary race would be much different. It wouldn't exactly turn on it's head, but would more likely have it's "middle" at the top, with the "top" in the middle. (I use "middle" and "top" here in reference to polling results, not issue positions) We would then be talking about Huckabee, Hunter, and Brownback at the top of the ticket, and discussing whether Romney, Thompson or one of the others might make an acceptable choice for VP.

If the GOP insists on following the same old path of prior name recognition and personal destruction, rather than principled action; then they are crazy if they think they will get a different result than they did in 2006.

The irony is that Mike Huckabee seems to be filtering toward the "top tier" despite the apparent determination of big Republican contributors and much of the media to ignore him. While he's not exactly "hard right" on all the issues, he is consistently conservative; and unquestionably firm on the moral issues. Add to that the fact the Huckabee is the husband of one wife and blameless reputation (did you get that?), and is not at all sanctimonious, but rather connects with voters in an obviously sincere and down-to-earth way; and you have the "worst nightmare" for certain candidates on both sides of the aisle.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying Mike Huckabee is the only valid choice. I am saying that conservatives and Republicans should take a look at the model that both he and his campaign provide if they don't want to be guilty of following the same losing strategy over and over again and expecting different results. In short; practicing Just Crazy Politics!

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