Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; (D&C 98:10)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Against Political Extremes


Wow! This is about the most plain speaking article I have read about the nomination race. I agree with its analysis.

"parties no longer compete to win elections by giving voters the policies voters want. Rather, as coalitions of intense policy demanders, they have their own agendas and aim to get voters to go along."
"political parties are basically groups of people with intense policy preferences who are trying to figure out how much they can get away with. But you can’t get away with anything if you don’t hold office. So the basic work of political parties is figuring out precisely how much of their agenda they need to sacrifice on the altar of electability"
“Voter inattentiveness creates the opportunity for intense minorities to pursue their narrow goals,” the authors write. “But it also creates uncertainty about just what it takes to win an election. Parties work hard to figure out ways to increase the chance that voters will respond positively to them, but basic uncertainty about how the inattentive majority will vote is a persistent feature of electoral politics.”
"With Romney, Republicans worry that they will cede too much to voter preferences."
"So the Republican Party is left with candidates who are too ideological to be elected and a front-runner who isn’t ideological enough to be trusted. Making matters worse, voters are likely to pay particularly close attention to this election. With an economy this bad, there’s no chance that they’ll tune out, as they did in 2000. Then, peace and prosperity lulled the electorate into complacency, and George W. Bush was able to present himself as not all that different from Al Gore. The Republican Party got away with quite a lot in ideology that year without sacrificing electability. This year, they can’t."

These points bring out exactly why I am so fired up about Romney. Both parties really are made up of a coalition of groups that really believe in their issues. If they could, they would pick their champion of their cause to become President.

This election in particular is unusual because of the economic trouble we are in. We have to nominate someone that will have broad appeal to independent voters because it is likely there will be more voters than usual. There is some response to what some feel like extremism of the tea party. There are also indications that a ham sandwich could beat Obama, so we should elect as "conservative" a candidate as we can.

I am against extremes in the issues I am not as passionate about. I am sure that goes for everyone. I really want to get our financial house in order. We cannot mortgage out future on our grandchildren's backs. To me, this is an overriding issue. So when I hear others get passionate about their issue, I often think, "Are you going to sacrifice us getting a Presidency on this point?"

They probably think the same way. The point is that many more people are going to be paying attention this cycle than normal. On both sides and in the middle. I see that as a good thing. I would that more people be involved that normally are. The sane middle.

I see Romney as a pragmatic conservative. Pragmatic because he recognizes what is doable and what is not. He does not waste his time pontificating on a issue he know he won't win politically. He was a governor of a very blue state and that has given him good experience.

I see him as conservative mostly in the area I care about most, finance. He knows how to save troubled companies. He knows sound budgeting principles.

How conservative he is in other areas I am not as sure. To be honest I don't care as much. Maybe I see the reality that only so much change can happen at once. That being true, I would rather spend our political capital getting our spending and taxing right. Save the other political battles for another day.