Very rarely will I bring politics onto this blog, but I was prompted into thinking about the new political landscape in this country after reading this article on the state of the Republican Party following John McCain's defeat. After giving this some thought I'd like to offer you, the readers, my take on the current situation.
I agree with the article that the Republican Party is now in disarray, with little to no clear focus or leadership. I have felt this way throughout the entire campaign season. I am a registered Republican, but lean very much toward the Libertarian (which means I basically disagree with the Republican Party on most social issues). Without citing specific races, I will say that I voted for a good number of Libertarians in this election, and more Libertarians and Democrats combined than Republicans (though I did vote Republican in a few key cases). However, I feel that the Republican Party is way out of touch with the vast majority of Americans, though you wouldn't know it if you live around here. I think they need to find focus, energy, and leadership which they've been lacking since the Reagan/Bush days of the 1980s and early 1990s in my opinion. They keep going back to the same old party leadership over and over again. A look at W's first cabinet appointments proves that. In hindsight, their nomination of Bob Dole in 1996 was just plain ludicrous. And I think the nomination of McCain followed the same pattern (gee, let's find the oldest bastard in the party and run him!). Had it not been for the Clinton scandals, I doubt W would ever have been elected in 2000. What the Republicans need to do now is cultivate the base of relatively young, up and coming governors to motivate, energize, and focus this party. They need to quit spending inordinate amounts of time on bullsh** social issues and focus on their other traditional strengths, small government and fiscal conservatism.
On the Democratic side, Obama has been cautioned to really make changes and not become a second Clinton administration. I believe he will do this. Sure, he will have some former Clinton staffers in his administration (Rahm Emanuel being the first), but that's pretty unavoidable if you think about it. Still, I'm not sure that's a bad thing. We're talking about people who served Clinton when they were in their 30s, and now they are in their 40s and have presumably become wiser with their years and experience. We'll see how that really plays out. Also, Obama says he will work harder towards bipartisanship and reaching out across the aisle. That would be a good thing, but the Republicans have to be receptive to it. That will only happen if there is a drastic overhaul in the Republican leadership. This is another harbinger of the end for the current, old line Republicans.
A few personal notes I'd like to share....the Libertarian gubernatorial candidate in North Carolina, Mike Munger, won a large enough share of the vote that the Libertarian Party is now guaranteed ballot access in the state for eternity. No longer will they have to collect 75,000 signatures just to run candidates. That's one of North Carolina's silly, antiquated rules that needs to go away. Ballot access should be open to all. I would have loved to seen candidates on the ticket from the Constitution and Green Parties, as well as the Libertarian, but until this state changes it's election laws it won't happen. Also, I am continually disappointed in the voters of my home county. They continue to make poor choices (in my opinion) when it comes to voting for local offices such as County Commissioner, Register of Deeds, City Council, etc. I do my research on all the local candidates and try to vote for the ones I feel are most qualified, yet the ones who ultimately get elected are, in my humble opinion, the LEAST qualified. I have lived in this county for two-thirds of my life and cannot figure out why the people here continue to elect such horrible public servants. They complain about the bickering and silly, child-like infighting that takes place, but do nothing to change it because they vote into office the same old idiots. And that's my two cents.