Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More Comments On The Electoral Herd Instinct And Jim Gilmore's Withdrawal From The Republican Race

I wrote the below comment on Jim Gilmore’s withdrawal yesterday, and never got around to posting it. But I think it goes at an important point that I have emphasized for a long time. We need to choose who and what we favor, not who we think (looking at others words) “has a chance.” The public does the electing. So, why does the public let a tiny sliver of the public tell them “who has a chance?” When I say that we should choose who and what we favor, people say, “But, everyone won’t do that.” Your mother must have said, If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you do it, too?”

But, it’s even worse than the simple herd instinct. It’s a herd instinct that a decidedly non-representative tiny element of the population leads. It’s like a looooong herd of cows that the less than one percent of the people in media leads by prodding the lead cow with a very coarse and uniformed stick. Unfortunately, the media have pictures and pictures have unrepresentative power with people. As they say, “A picture’s worth a thousand words.”

But still worse, the mindset is a self-fulfilling one: the more people who vote believe there’s no chance, the more there’s no chance. So, a lot of people go that way. I’m not going to do something idiotic because other people do it. I don’t even buy the “Well, it’s better than a Democrat” line. Is a Democrat being elected worse than a Republican Party whose principles are dissipating? Do you ever ask yourself why some things decline regardless of who is elected? Do you ever ask yourself why federal spending grew way faster under a Republican president and a Republican Congress, and neither have done anything to alert the public to its social problems?

We are electing Republicans who are incapable as statesmen to lead the society. Politicians are generally more concerned about politics than progress. I sincerely believe that the net effect would have been more conservative if Al Gore had been elected with a Republican Congress in 2000, even though I think Al Gore is an inept crackpot. A Republican Congress wouldn’t have let most of his goofy ideas through. In fact, even if he proposed the exact same expansions of the education department and entitlements as Bush did, they would have been blocked or dramatically modified, simply because he’s a Democrat. They rolled over for Bush, because he’s a Republican.

I even think that Al Gore would have acted against Iraq after all intelligence here and everywhere else put the information in front of him and the military diplomats warned of the danger. The big difference is that the media wouldn’t have painted it as evil and deceptive. No war for oil. No greedy corporate contractors. 3500 dead in four years would then have been a miraculously low cost! It is a historically low-grade military engagement after all: just a fraction of the cost in lives of any historic military engagement except Reagan’s invasion of that fearsome giant, Grenada. If Gore had done nothing and there'd been another attack, the calls for impeachment would have been more shrill than they are, today.

The Constitution gives the American population the power to elect our leaders. The tiny and clueless contingency of the media have usurped the authority to decide who is “legitimate.” And the public has rolled over with its feet in the air.. I’m not going there. To me, that kind of behavior is a dereliction and a sin. The power belongs to the people and the access to information is ever more available: now barely limited at all. USE YOUR TOOLS AND USE YOUR POWER! The sovereign of a nation are responsible to God for the authority they are given. In America, “We The People” are sovereign. Don’t bury your talent.


Of course, it's good to see the field winnow down a bit as Governor Huckabee can use every breath of the available attention and money that can be found.

However there is something very sobering, though unsurprising, about Gilmore's failure to even get any air at all in the race. And that fact is this: In terms of sobriety and experience that people like to talk about (actually they only talk about it when they want to make a question of it), Jim Gilmore was a more competent and prepared candidate than many others. He was a Virginia governor, a national chairman of the Republican Party, chairman of a congressionally appointed Committee on counter-terrorism. And, he was sober and informed and a more consistent conservative than any of the supposed "top tier." Not to mention that governors have feet-on-the-ground executive experience that congress-people have none of.

Governor Huckabee has captured some attention with his common-sense and his engaging presentation style, which is, as he would explain, largely driven by his conviction about Christian duty, which I think the nation sorely needs to experience.

But, Jim Gilmore and Tommy Thompson are better equipped to be president than most of the others. What makes Fred Thompson formidable in the overestimated but supposedly all-so-important polls? An actor and a one-term Senator PLUS media clamor that he is the "true conservative" that conservatives who are dissatisfied with "Rudy McRomney," as Gimore named them, are supposedly looking for.

But Fred Thompson isn't that at all. I can't speak for his sentiments, but he is philosophically ambiguous. McCain-Feingold, which he championed, is a blatant defiance of the 1ST Amendment to The Constitution. And his dubious history about the right-to-life at the foundation of America is no accident. I agreed with him about Scooter Libby. But some jobs don't require only good feelings. There are plenty of jobs that we are all unprepared for just because we have good intentions.

I've said it a thousand times: Conservatives must stop letting a clueless media that they supposedly disagree with, tell them who their viable candidates are. I want to see this on a popular web-site one day after a major poll or election: "American Voter Tells Media To Stick It In Their Ear!"

Larry Perrault





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