“The issues that have provided conservatives with victories in the past — particularly welfare and crime — have been rendered irrelevant by success,” Michael Gerson, the Bush speechwriter turned columnist, wrote last week. “The issues of the moment — income stagnation, climate disruption, massive demographic shifts and health care access — seem strange, unexplored land for many in the movement.”
In fact these “issues of the moment” have been with us for years now, decades in some instances, but until recently they were either ignored by conservatives or dismissed as the hobby-horses of alarmist liberals or entrenched “special interests.”
From the New York Times, on the future of Sarah Palin:
Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, a conservative group, called it a “top order of business” to determine Ms. Palin’s future role. “Conservatives have been looking for leadership, and she has proven that she can electrify the grass roots like few people have in the last 20 years,” Mr. Bozell said. “No matter what she decides to do, there will be a small mother lode of financial support behind her.”
Everyone gets to vote for the candidate that they want in a primary, but the delegates you elect are the ones who get to actually vote for a presidential candidate in the national conventions. They also get to vote on their parties’ platforms, so even if their candidate isn’t nominated for president, a delegation can still influence the party. On the state and local level, Ron Paul Republicans have made a significant impact already.
In Pennsylvania, you directly elect the delegates you want, so you need to know where they stand. Go here to find out your congressional district and see which delegates are for Paul, and vote for them on April 22. You can also print out sample ballots for each district to bring with to the polling station or to hand out to other people.
Why is it that for many people, they think that certain political ideas should go together by default? If one is pro-life, they must be for the Iraq war. If one is against the death penalty, they must be for (so-called) homosexual marriage. If one is pro-environment, they must be pro-choice. If someone is conservative politically, they are grouped with the conservative platform, and vice-versa. Shouldn’t we all know that this is not true?
Along the same lines recently, as far as I have noticed, Republicans (at least) have been toting the “united we stand” position. In other words, a Republican must be pro Iraq war, against any spending on health insurance, pro death penalty, pro-life, against environmental initiatives, for big business (especially the pharmaceuticals, big media, and auto manufactures), and against (so-called) homosexual marriage.
This is what is wrong with the American political party situation: one has to concede his or her personal position in order to meld into their respective party. I am not a cafeteria Catholic, but politics is too complex to blindly be led by all the fallible parties.
Generally, I try not to debate politics because there is no party that can be guaranteed my support. Libertarians want no government so they can have all they can get. Communists want government that is the will of themselves at the top. Republicans want limited government so that rich people, including themselves, can be unrestrained in filling other rich peoples’ pockets. Democrats want more government so that they’ll have a right to steal everyone’s capital for themselves (they would really like to be Republicans). For the most part, the other parties not mentioned don’t have enough members to hear or talk about. I know my cursory analysis of the political parties above is probably an oversimplification of their platforms, but I don’t think I’m off target that much.