The Drama Of The American Voter
I wonder every now and then what I would do if I were in the fortunate position of having a US passport and were entitled to vote for the elections in 2012.
The answer that I would vote for Romney doesn’t come automatic to me, and whilst I might in such a case end up voting for him I am not persuaded I should do it, let alone I should as a Catholic feel a duty to do so.
I see Romney as the product of a rather hysterical – if extremely democratic, and beautiful to watch – system by which a candidate is selected thinking of what his adversaries will say of his private life and personal circumstances rather than considering what his agenda as a President will be.
Therefore, the choice for many seemed to be not only – or not really – between Gingrich’s robust Catholicism and Romney’s anodyne and flip-flopping attitude, but – all things considered – whether it would be preferable to have your candidate smeared because of his infidelities, or because of his religious ideas and professional past. As a result, we find ourselves with a – undoubtedly, bright and capable as a businessman – candidate who doesn’t drink coffee or alcohol – but is allowed to eat coffee ice cream, apparently ; I give up… – , doesn’t watch TV, believes that Jesus visited the United States and a lot of very strange things with that, and is a flip-flopper like very few at this level before him.
But hey, everyone knows no one is going to nail him with some past fling, so he must be fine.
Now, I am surely not the only one who thinks Romney may be professionally capable, but is also a non-coffee-drinking moral vacuum changing his political convictions according to the advantage they can give him. I think he is consciously flattening his positions on Obama’s ones as long as he thinks he can do so without losing the Republican vote altogether. The reasoning seems to be: “Dear Republican voter, however my positions may stink to you, you will end up voting for me because Obama stinks just a bit more”.
I am not sure we should follow him on this reasoning.
Whilst the comparison between the candidates at hand is a fully legitimate one and I would not criticise the one who decided to vote, obtorto collo, for Romney, I think that there is another legitimate comparison: the one between the candidates these mentality produces, and the ones who would be produced if the “lesser evil” voting behaviour were to be abandoned.
A vote for Romney makes it absolutely impossible to have decent Republican candidates. Not now, not ever. If the principle is accepted that between two candidates one votes for the one who is less bad – Romney is undoubtedly less bad – this means the choice will always be between the liberal candidate and a candidate who is just a bit less bad, namely: merely enough to make him distinguishable. This candidate will then only have to near the liberal candidate as much as he can without being burned to be sure of the votes of all those who choose the “lesser evil”. If it works in 2012, there’s no reason why it should not be tried in 2020 (assuming Romney doesn’t die of excessive consumption of coffee ice cream in the meantime) and beyond.
The choice to skip the vote in 2012 – in the sense of not voting for any of the two – is, on the other hand, a signal sent to the Republicans – both the establishment, and the pavid crowds voting in primaries and caucuses – that if they go on this way they will never ever have a Republican president, because RINOs will not get the Republican vote. Not now, not ever.
A Romney victory would ensure us another eight year of absolute pain, as in 2016 the choice will be between an established flip-flopper like Romney and another liberal madman like, probably, Hillary. If Romney is told to take a hike, perhaps the Republican masses will start to understand that the McCains and Romneys of the world just do not win elections, and in order to win they need a real Republican or can avoid wasting the time.
Mind, it doesn’t have to be a Santorum; Bush was certainly not considered a hardliner in the US (though he always was in Europe; funny people, the Europeans…) , but he won two gubernatorial elections in Texas followed by two Presidential elections, and I dare to say Kerry and Gore were less extreme in many things than Obama is, and therefore the winning of mainstream votes more difficult. In a word, it worked. Compare with 2012, where Perry got out of the race for forgetting a couple of names and having some small blunder in front of the press. If this is the way the Americans select their candidates, it’s no surprise they must now choose between a liberal madman and a flip-flopping Mormon.
In conclusion, I fully understand those who decide to vote Romney after all. But as Romney is perfectly fine with sodomy, was clearly pro-choice until the day before yesterday and would clearly try to keep as much of Obamacare as he can do without openly quarrelling with his Congressmen and Senators, I wonder whether those who vote for him do not in the end simply vote a pale version of Obama, with some improvement thrown in when it was truly necessary (say: his pro-life stance), and probably reneged as soon as he is elected and starts to think about the 2016 campaign (there is videos around of his former pro-“choice” days; scary stuff, and no mistake).
Basically, trying to save the candidate in 2012 automatically locks one in with the worst possible candidate for 2016 and 2020; a candidate who, when President, would systematically try to please the Democrats at every turn, knowing that the obedient Republican sheep vote for him in any way and the only thing he has to do is to attract 10%-15% of the Democratic vote, and Robert is your father’s brother…
No easy decision at all, anyway.
Posted on September 30, 2012, in Catholicism and tagged Barack Hussein Obama, Conservative Catholic, conservative catholicism, Mitt Romney, US Presidential Race 2012. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.