Saturday, September 4, 2010

Why I'm voting for Floyd Bayne

The argument about 3rd party candidates "spoiling" elections comes up a lot. Especially when Republican candidates have such a poor record of supporting conservative principles. The argument is that the 3rd party candidate can draw off enough votes for the Democrat in the race to win the election, and the Democrat doesn't even claim to support conservative principles.

The fact is, when we want our representatives in Washington to support our interests, we must have a way to "guide" them to do that. And unfortunately, the only real tool we have is our vote. Our calls and letters don't really seem to work - representatives (and Eric Cantor is especially guilty of this) avoid even taking a position if the can, and when they do, it rarely has any relationship to the views their constituents have expressed.

The answer is to use our vote effectively, and the way to do that is to cause pain for representatives that have strayed from voting the right way. There is very little debate that Eric Cantor has failed to be a conservative representative. How may calls, emails, and letters did he receive from us asking him not to support TARP? Yet he not only supported it, he accused members of his own party that voted against in the first round as childishly using their vote to express distaste with Pelosi's speech - as if none of them could have had a problem with the bill itself. And he did that on national television. If you're not aware of all the liberal and statist positions Eric Cantor has taken recently, please do a little research, or ask me and I will give you a run-down.

So how do we cause the required pain to steer our representatives back on course? We vote against him. And we do that even though it risks the possibility of a Democrat taking that seat (because a freshman Democrat in office for 2 years from a Republican district simply can't cause much damage). Our representative must then spend time fundraising (pain), campaigning (will Cantor come out AT ALL in this effort?), and fear for his previously secure seat. He may have to take time away from his book tour and think about promoting his constituents interests instead of his own.

Without the ability to cause our representative some heartache, he will continue to vote the wrong way, and he will do it now with gusto and impunity with the realization that he can ignore his constituents - because they will vote for him even when he is voting against their interests.

-- Harry Holt
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