Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Why I'm Voting Republican Tomorrow (and Why You Should, Too)

It will come as no surprise to those of you who read TPS and know me know where I stand ideologically. I am a conservative, which means I favor a minimum of government involvement in our everyday lives. I want low taxes, low government spending, a strong military that encourages peace through strength, enforcement of immigration laws, a robust criminal justice system that fights for the law-abiding among us, and judicial respect for the text of our Constitution. Give me that and a strong cup of coffee every morning, and life would be perfect.

I am a Republican, too, but I am a conservative first, and I registered as a Republican when I turned 18 because the Republican Party is the best political vehicle for my views. Sure, I could have registered as a Conservative Party member, but while I am an ideologue, I am also a pragmatist who likes to be involved – better to light a candle than curse the darkness, if you catch my drift.

Tomorrow morning, I am voting for Republicans. I will do this despite the fact that I live in a state where it will mean absolutely nothing. (Gotta love the Empire State. Nowhere other than New York could a man who was recently found to have robbed the state for which he works of tens of thousands of dollars for personal use have a lead in the polls against his Republican opponent in another statewide race. Well . . . okay, maybe New Jersey.) I do it because I recognize the best chance I have of seeing my goals realized is Republican victory here and elsewhere.

For those of you contemplating voting for Democrats tomorrow, for whatever reason, I encourage you not to. Notwithstanding Dean’s and Pelosi’s election-eve protestations, here is what you can expect from an across-the-board Democrat victory tomorrow, in fairly blunt terms and in no particular order.

Higher Taxes, Guaranteed. This should not be shocking. Combine Democrats’ penchant for indiscriminately raising spending with Republicans’ (unwise, in my opinion) failure to make Bush’s waves of tax cuts permanent, and you get a prescription for hikes in all federal tax brackets. The ignorati out there will no doubt reflexively vomit their DNC talking points and claim that only the wealthiest 1% will feel these hikes, but anyone with at least a handful of neurons bouncing around in his or her skull knows that when it comes to taxes, we are all wealthy enough to pay in the eyes of a Democrat Congress, and we are all vulnerable to the sunset provisions.

War on Terror? Out of Funding. A few months ago, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) stated during a television interview that, were Democrats able to gain control of the House of Representatives, he would use his (all-but-guaranteed) chairmanship of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee to essentially de-fund the U.S. military’s efforts against global terrorism, including from the active theaters of operation in Afghanistan and Iraq. This news set Vietnam-era hippies alight with borderline-orgasmic glee, which should say it all.

I have no doubt that Rangel was serious when he uttered these comments, even though he and the DNC’s heavy hitters have spent considerable political capital trying to sweep Rangel’s words (and sentiments) under the rug. A Democrat victory tomorrow means a weakened U.S. military effort (if not a permanently crippled one), a chance for a relentless enemy to catch its breath, and a great deal of uncertainty for the future (read: those of you living in high-rise buildings might want to consider moving).

Say Adios to Effective Immigration Reform. Any of you who actually think that Democrats will take on serious immigration reform that does not involve (a) adopting an amnesty program, (b) making Spanish the official language, and/or (b) selling parts of Texas back to Mexico are seriously loco.

Bring On the Benchocracy. Senate Republicans have completely failed us this past term with respect to fighting for the president’s originalist and texualist nominees to the federal bench (which is why I am not completely upset about the possibility of Gang of Fourteen members’ losses this election), but it goes without saying that Democrats will make this sorry bunch look like breakneck-speed reformers. Democrats will completely shut down the judicial confirmation process until 2009 if they win control of the Senate. The only people who will get close to an up-or-down vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee will be those who kept a copy of The Communist Manifesto by their nightstand in college.

Bush Impeachment, Just Because. Calls for President Bush’s impeachment will grow louder, and the last two years of Bush’s administration will be squandered. I have no doubt that this will be one of the first objectives of the Democrat agenda – partly because some seek revenge for Clinton’s impeachment, partly because some think it will serve as a fitting bookend for their belief that Bush stole the election from Al Gore, but mostly because others confuse their side's loss of the foreign policy debate with grounds for removal from office. If you find yourself unhappy with the pace of policy reform these days, a Democrat victory will essentially shut things down until our next president is elected – which is, I’m sure, their goal.

There always exists the temptation to bill the current election as the most important election that ever was. To my knowledge, such claims have been made by candidates and their supporters in almost every recent election, right on up through the last one. I will not fall into that trap. I will only go so far as to say that this election is important, perhaps even pivotal, and might very well play a role in the shaping of American history for the next half century or more.

Are Republicans perfect? No. Have they dropped the ball on some serious issues, like fiscal restraint, immigration, and judicial confirmations? Undeniably. But for those of you who align yourselves with conservative ideals or principles, and ultimately want to see them prevail, you are basically fantasizing if you think the Democrat Party is going to carry your ideological torch.

Choose wisely when you pull those levers. Vote Republican (except for DeWine, Chafee, and Kean). Our future literally depends on it.

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