Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Decline-to-Make-up-My-Mind voters

Much is being made – if you count the media and the talking heads – about the fact that California Republicans have barred anyone from voting in their primary who isn’t a registered member of the party.

The Governor says Republicans will lose tens of thousands of votes as a result. He may be right. The media says we are being “exclusionary.” There is even disagreement within the party itself whether this is the right thing to do.

At their core, political parties are founded on principles. The people who join these parties vote for candidates they think will defend and advance these principles as a matter of public policy.

So why, then, would we include people who don’t want to be formally identified with our party to play a role in deciding who will best represent our REPUBLICAN interests?

In my experience, people who identify themselves as Decline to State (or independents) will say they vote for the person, not the party. That would sound idyllic if it wasn’t so wishy-washy.

I can understand how a decline to state voter could get the warm-fuzzies for one candidate over another, regardless of party. But at the end of the day that candidate represents a party founded on principles – and he/she will be expected to champion them.

As REPUBLICANS, we debate among ourselves which candidate will be REPUBLICAN enough to represent us. I don’t like the idea of letting that decision be made in part by a group swayed by a fast talker with a warm handshake. (Disclaimer: These views are my own and don’t represent those of any REPUBLICAN organization.)

No comments: