Mitt Romney won New Hampshire primary decisively, but I’ll let CNN and NPR go through the numbers. I want to talk about his victory speech or at least one part of it.
Today we’re faced with the disappointing record of a failed president. –Mitt Romney
And his supporters CHEERED.
Who cheers for a failed presidency? I can understand cheering for a bill not passing or a specific policy being revoked, but an entire presidency? Isn’t that being happy the US and it’s people are suffering? Now this isn’t a piece to debate the presidency of Obama or about Romney not quieting his supporters joy.
The cheering gets back to my post last week where I voiced my personal struggles of voting against a party or a person, on politics becoming tactics and systems, instead of good people running for office.
The cheering suggests the reason behind 28 state primaries not allowing those without party affiliation or from opposing parties to cast ballots. (I only counted states with closed Republican presidential primaries. I did not include semi-closed, where independents may vote in the primary, which would add 9 states to the list bring it to more than 2/3rds of our states. Of note, many more Democratic presidential primary elections are open.)
Would the Democrats rise up and vote for the weakest candidate? The part of me that I discussed last week full of cynicism and disappointment says: Yes. We must. We must protect the presidency from a party whose values are about money and power and fear.
But another part of me, the political philosophy major, the idealist, the patriot, says: No. A democracy is about the best candidates. We should all want the best. The bi-partisan, the moderate, the person who believes in the country first. In healthy debate. In understanding. In finding common ground. Couldn’t that person be in either party? Or have no party?
Back in 2000, I voted for Nadar. Now before you blame me for the Bush presidency, I voted in Virginia, which Gore had no chance in. I voted for Nadar on principle. Tee principle that a 2-party system isn’t good for our country anymore.
Now Nadar failed to gain the requisite 5% to gain access to the presidential campaign fund for the following presidential election year. But the tea party did succeed in bringing some candidates to national office in 2010 even when the RNC was not backing their candidate. Now I don’t necessarily see a Tea Party candidate nor have many of the Tea Party notables endorsed anyone.
What would it be like to have a Progressive version of the Tea Party? Dennis Kucinich leading? I’m not sure, but it’d be nice to have a candidate who is thinking about issues like I think about issues. Someone who I didn’t need to hear merely promises from but I could trust to make choices based on a similar view of the country and what it needs. I’m a sucker for the ideas of hope and change which is why I canvassed and called and wrote and voted for Obama.
There are many obstacles to having a third or fourth party. And these parties would consist of the more radical wings of the Republican and Democratic parties. However, I think many of us, who find ourselves lost in this election not wanting to cheer someone’s failure but at the same time feeling obligated to endorse someone who can keep our country from heading down a dubious path if only by standing still, would be relieved to find a candidate who we could believe in.
And perhaps with us radicals out-of-the-way, the Democrats and Republicans could find more common ground. The moderates would win easier. The money would drive less of the ability of a candidate to get his or her name and ideas out there because the money would be more divided. Compromise would not be a dirty word.
Perhaps the danger to our country is we only have for and against so we don’t even notice that we are celebrating failure.
PS. I debated whether to include myself in the radical left. I think of myself as a progressive and many of my visions for the country align with the movement; however, I am a firm believers in compromise and common ground. I think that is part of being progressive and perhaps radical but only because our country has moved so far away from compromise. So do we define people by particular issues or by their fundamental belief system? I’m unsure.