Tonight we witnessed the wonders of the American Federal Republic in action once again. The awesome right and privilege to vote is one of those great responsibilities so often ignored by an apathetic America.
Even as I write these words I am reminded of the first free election held in Iraqi history in 2005. Despite the threat of bombs, IED’s, attacks and death squads over 75% of eligible voters turned out to vote, even though it may have killed them. Yet, here in America, where we are safe and secure we can barely get 20% to turnout, and in an off year election if we can get 10% we consider it exceptionally high.
Now let’s add to this the effects of splitting the vote. In the current Presidential Election Campaign we are witnessing this exceptional phenomenon. Every time in history we can discover an example of this, we see that nothing good ever comes out of it. Shall I mention 1992 and 1996 and Ross Perot and the results? Dare I mention the example from the Middle East and just how Hamas gained power in Gaza? All examples of the results of splitting the vote of the target electorate.
Now, in 2012 in the Republican Party we are confronted with the same thing. There are only four candidates remaining in the race from an original field of 8 or 9, depending on who you count, and these four are a mottled mess. Let me see if I can detail them. The presumptive frontrunner, the favorite of the party insiders, the media and the more moderate wind of the party, and for all his professions of being a real conservative, he has yet to convince the majority of the GOP rank and file. Then we have the two who profess to be “real” Reagan conservatives, who are really just slightly less moderate and only nominally conservative ex-office holders. These two are splitting the vote of the conservative wing of the GOP, if one of them, yes just one would bow out the other would handily beat the “frontrunner” in every single contest, but alas, pride keeps the lesser successful of the two in the race. Then we finally come to the last candidate, a libertarian who doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell, and continues on for only God knows why.
How I wish the Tea Party, 9-12 groups and other grassroot conservative organizations would get behind just one of the two less than moderate, slightly more conservative candidates. How I desire they would come together and agree to one of them running with the other throwing all his support behind the other. We would all be better if this were the case.
I know there are strong emotions for both candidates, and each side is convinced theirs is the better candidate, but enough is enough. Let’s carefully consider what is happening, and come to the realization the conservative vote is being split, and made ineffective. I don’t support either one of these two, but I am witnessing the results and impact on an almost daily basis in the news. We could, can and should make a difference.
The question is, “Will we?”