Sunday, February 12, 2012

What's a mother to do?

Even though Colorado is considered to be a liberal and a progressive state it has a history of leaning more toward the right in the past.  Keep in mind that our largest industry remains agriculture.  Most of the land in Colorado is either public lands or land devoted to farming.  The people who till the soil are the backbone of our Colorado society and this includes our politics.

When I was a State Representative from 2004 to 2007 I was amazed on a daily basis about how many Democrats would vote against liberal bills and support most right wing conservative bills.  They did this because that is what they believed and it was what their constituents believed also.  I was and remain very liberal but at times I felt as though I was an outcast from my own party because of what I felt was right.  At times I would align myself with moderate Republicans because they were closer to my position than some of my fellow Democrats.

This I believe is the reason why Rick Santorum won the recent Republican Caucuses in Colorado.

By the way the recent caucuses were non- binding and the actual vote for a Republican presidential nominee in Colorado will occur later this year

It is not a good time to be a Republican.  They all want to get rid of President Obama but they do not have any idea of who to choose as his replacement.

A couple of months ago I wrote about how Palin and Bachman represented the hopes and desires of the Tea Party most effectively but that they could never win because they had a problem talking.  Or at least not talking about things that got them in trouble. 

I heard from several people that I was wrong and was being unfair.  So much for that because both of them are gone now.  Only a distant memory of what could have been.

At one point I remember that there were 15 viable candidates for the Republican nomination and now there are only three, not counting Ron Paul.  The three are Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. 

What I am now reading is that Mitt Romney is too moderate for the Conservatives.  Newt Gingrich is too “all over the place” for the party and Rick Santorum is too Conservative for the moderates.

What’s a mother to do?

When I am teaching our political system to my Political Science and American Government classes, I explain it this way.

Ten percent of the voters consider themselves Liberal.  Ten percent of the voters consider themselves Conservative.  That leaves eighty percent of the voters who actually decide the election.  That eighty percent will swing to the right or to the left depending on what is happening in the real world.

Right now I believe that everyone is upset with government as a whole.  I even tell people to just not vote for incumbents because of the “good old boy/girl” factor.  There is the continued buzz about the 27th Amendment to the Constitution that would require pay and benefit cuts for our elected officials in Congress.  You know how far that will not go in this climate.  We have the ability to vote out all of the House of Representatives and one third of the Senate every two years.  If it is that bad in your mind then vote all incumbents out of office.  Start with a clean slate.

Back to Santorum.  He is probably well placed at this point.  He is a strong social conservative.  He is an advocate for a Conservative approach to government.  He represents change and that is what most people want.

I will be 70 in a few weeks so I speak from experience.

We have never had a Conservative President of the United State.  The closest we came was Barry Goldwater but he was too conservative and lost.  Ronald Reagan who many think was conservative ended his presidency with a very moderate to sometimes liberal approach.  Richard Nixon created the EPA, Department of Energy and opened up China.  All very liberal ideas. 

We have also never had a real liberal President.  FDR would come close but by today’s standards he was a conservative.  Jimmy Carter tried very hard and remains a liberal but was a totally ineffective president.  Bill Clinton was very effective at pushing through programs created by the Reagan Administration Obama is considered George W. “Lite” as he has continued Bush’s bad policies and has moved so close to center that he is hard to define.  Obama has a reputation for being weak, indecisive and willing to pander to the right, the Republicans and the establishment.  He has already cast his liberal mantra by the wayside and is not part of the establishment.

There is a lot of buzz out there about what a great job Hillary Clinton has done as Secretary of State and that she would be a wonderful president someday.

As a very outside observer, my spin is that the eighty percent wants to vote for change.  Our elected officials have let us down and abandoned the 99% in favor of big oil, big business and big money.

I think that the reason that Rick Santorum has won the last few primaries/caucuses is that he truly represents change.  That if he was elected he would go to Washington and clean house.  It would not be business as usual with him.

I also think that he is in for a rude awakening the same way Obama found out.  There is no utopia.  There is no panacea.  After the first national security briefings he will, once again, have a “come to Jesus” moment and reality will hit him between the eyes.

Of course I would never vote for him.  He is way too conservative for me.   Obama is probably too conservative for me too.  Maybe Ron Paul?