The Suburban Dad Survivalist Politics Edition
When I first started this blog, I made the conscious decision not to discuss politics here. I did that for the simple reason that I wanted to focus on things we could be doing to better ourselves and become better prepared for the possibility of a wide spectrum of perils. Besides, it's no secret to the vast majority of you how I roll politically (uber Libertarian), so nothing I will say will shock any of you.
I want to share a few thoughts on how I arrived at my decision on whom to support for president. I'm not trying to change your mind or call you a moron if you disagree with me (if that's what you want, get a Facebook account). I do hope this will be instructive to many of you who don't fully understand the preparedness community or gun community as to how we think and vote.
Why I'm Not Voting For Mitt Romney
Whenever I've expressed deep reservations about voting for Romney, a number of my conservative friends have tried to sway me to Team Red using arguments such as "you have to vote for Romney" or "A vote for anyone other than Romney is a vote for Obama." If this is the best the GOP can do, they need to work on their messaging.
I supported Ron Paul in the primaries. I'd never donated to a presidential candidate in my life until this year, when I donated to his campaign. His message of freedom, respect for civil liberties, and a track record of voting for smaller government is what we need. I was heartened to see so many young people gravitating towards his campaign.
Interestingly, he was dismissed by many as too extreme. The Republican faithful complained Paul wasn't "pro-military
" despite the fact that as of February (when the primaries were at full speed) he received more contributions from active duty military personnel than all of the other GOP candidates combined, and more contributions than President Obama. Others claimed Paul was "anti-Israel." When I quizzed those folks on what Paul's position was on Israel, the usual answer I got back was "well, I don't know, but I hear he is anti-Israel." (If you care to read one objective assessment of Paul's position on Israel, you can spend about two minutes and do so here.) In short, Ron Paul is perhaps the most pro-Israel of anyone who ran in the 2012 primaries.
Paul failed to garner the nomination for a number of reasons. To be sure, he is not the most articulate when it comes to stating his positions in a soundbite-suitable format. It was his ideas, not his style, that drew so many of us to him.
And so normally the default candidate in this situation would be the GOP nominee. (Obama's track record over the last four years disqualifies him, in my mind, from any consideration.) This would naturally mean I would support Romney if I "wanted my vote to count" here in redder-than-hell Texas, where Rick Perry beat the living daylights out of his Democratic challenger back in the 2010 gubernatorial race, despite the fact Perry refused to even debate him. Voting for someone other than Romney in Texas is like singing off key in a large church service; the only people who will know will be those immediately around you.
Instead of supporting the establishment candidate, I will be voting for Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico and Libertarian Party nominee. Most people have no idea who Johnson is, which is disappointing. Rather than extol the virtues of his candidacy, I'd like to share why people like me - preppers, gun owners, people who value liberty - aren't getting on the Romney train.
It's not all about the economy.
As I have chronicled here for some time now, our economy sucks. Unemployment remains painfully high; the stock market gains come only from repetitive rounds of quantitative easing (and certainly not from increasing volume of shares traded). We need good jobs, and a lot of them. And there's no doubt Mitt Romney could move the needle in that direction.
Yet we cannot simply vote our pocketbooks. Our ability to express ourselves, and live as free Americans, continues to deteriorate. Just yesterday, the Washington Post ran this piece decrying the loss of free speech in the Western world. Meanwhile, the Denver Post reports a 55 year old disabled veteran was deemed a "terrorist" by local officials for complaining about the cost of a municipal security system.
These are not one off, anecdotal stories. These stories run every day in main stream media. And what position does Romney take on protecting our liberties and freedoms?
- He supports the death penalty
- He supports the NDAA
The GOP is about to have an identity crisis.
I'm not the one saying this, but I do agree with it. And I would submit it's necessary and a good thing.
The GOP establishment has utterly failed to understand the tea party. The tea party is, in essence, a bunch of pissed off, highly motivated Americans who are tired of the status quo from both parties and are willing to get out and mobilize. They are willing to do so inexpensively. They are willing to be generous to candidates who support their ideals. They are willing to get themselves and their friends to the polls, no matter the date, the weather, or what's on TV that day.
In short, they are the establishment's worst nightmare.
Many on the left like to ridicule the tea party, which is ironic, since it's that very criticism that fuels them. The tea party runs on instincts, emotions, and the ability to assemble a fantastic ground game come election time.
The GOP must find a way to inculcate the libertarian values of the tea party into its platform. It must be willing to get behind liberty minded candidates - like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul - if it is to be successful long term.
The gun community and prepper community have changed their focus over the years, shifting allegiance away from the GOP and towards more libertarian type candidates. It's not uncommon to see some of the well known firearms instructors in the country espouse pro-drug legalization, pro-gay marriage positions. Many in the preparedness community share those ideals. The GOP can no longer count on this group as a reliable source of votes.
It's my hope that as people support Gary Johnson and other liberty oriented candidates, both parties will take note and begin to re-evaluate their positions on the core beliefs upon which the country was founded. Voting for the best candidate is never throwing your vote away. Voting for one guy because you dislike the other more is, I would submit, the true throw away vote. That kind of voting never leads to significant change in how we conduct ourselves as a nation.
Our liberty is what makes America exceptional. It will continue to do so. If we let it.