Phew, it's finally over!
As many of you may have discerned from previous posts, my political views lean traditionally to the right of center. I'm an old-school, Goldwaterite/Reaganite Republican. Over the past eight years I've watched my party lose its way culminating in the royal trouncing of yesterday.
I knew going in, I wasn't going to vote for McCain. I've felt he was the wrong choice for this country since the primaries and he did nothing during the general election that would have caused me to change my mind.
The last time a Democrat won the presidency with over 50% of the vote was Jimmy Carter in 1976. Due to Ross Perot running in 1992 and 1996 the best Bill Clinton was ever able to do was a plurality of the vote. There were more people that voted against him than voted for him. Then there was the debacle of the 2000 election. I sincerely believe the polarization of this country started under Clinton and only grew under George W. Bush.
After their 2004 election defeat, the Democrats stepped back, re-grouped, changed their strategy and won back majorities in both houses of Congress in 2006 and now the presidency.
Now, now it's time for my party to do the same.
I still firmly believe the principles the Republican party were founded on were noble, just, and serve to outline the best direction for this country. The losses in 2006 and again yesterday are a resounding indictment of Republican campaign strategy and, to me, a sign that the leadership of the party lost their way and somewhere along the way forgot the founding principles that the party is SUPPOSED TO still stand for today.
To put it far more succinctly... I'll borrow from Cool Hand Luke:
"What we have here is failure to communicate."
Then again its hard to communicate the core principles of the party and illustrate why they're the best direction for the country when the leadership of the party has forgotten what those principles are. It also doesn't help that for far too long, the Republican party gave up the ghost on the African-American vote. For close to 100 years, the African-Americans that could vote, by and large did vote Republican. After all it was a Republican president, Lincoln, that issued the Emancipation Proclamation to free the slaves, and another Republican president, Eisenhower, that ordered the National Guard to go in and uphold the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown vs. the Board of Education. However, with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Lyndon Johnson was able to shift that voting bloc from the Republican to the Democratic party....
The Republican party has never put forth a legitimate or concerted effort to win back that voting bloc. That is to say, due far more to inaction than to anything they actually DID do, the Republican party has turned into a one race party. We are the party of Lincoln, we really ought to be ashamed! Far too much blood was spilled to preserve this union and unite this country for us to turn our back on this rich heritage of unity and inclusion in the Democratic process.
If yesterday's results were not a resounding wake-up call for the Republican party, I don't know what more it will take. I am still a Republican for the principles this party was founded on, here's to hoping that we find our way back to those principles... it's long overdue.
In the end, despite strong ideological differences, I voted for Barack Obama. In his speech last night, I felt redeemed that I'd made the right decision when Obama invoked Lincoln and reminded the country of the Republican party's noble roots of unity, individualism, and limited government. Because even if he doesn't necessarily agree with all the principles of the Republican party... Barack Obama seems to actually remember what those principles are... which is much more than I can say for much of the leadership of the Republican party.
Now playing: James Reyne - Stood Up