I’ve been taking some flack from several conservative friends lately. Thus, maybe it’s time I clear up what must be so muddy about that “Independent” part of my “Independent Conservative” political label: I subscribe to no one’s “party.”
The crux of the latest issue with my fellow conservatives is that I have stated plainly and up-front: I will not vote for Carly Fiorina, nor will I vote for Meg Whitman.
I live in Silicon Valley, and have been well aware of both women long before campaign season, and long before either announced their candidacy. What I have seen and heard underwhelms me, and leaves me unenthusiastic.
Ms. Fiorina, despite how I feel about her leadership choices at HP (and you can color me “unhappy” with them), and what I believe to be her stands on some key issues (outsourcing jobs, for one), has still failed to impress me with her stance on life. She can state that she is pro-life, as can I. I can also state I am the Queen of England. But I have no birth certificate to show proof of any royal lineage to British aristocracy. In similar fashion, Ms. Fiorina has little to show on-record (where it matters) that she also holds an absolute pro-life view. I have been emphatic that I will not vote for a candidate that does not clearly espouse life, or can demonstrate it via their record. Thus, openly pro-choice Meg Whitman was never even on my radar, for that reason.
But, for me, this is a deeper issue than “just” abortion, although, for me, that alone is enough. It is indicative of a deeper and more pervasive issue: “Settling.” I am bone-tired of hearing we have to “settle” for Carly Fiorina because she is “the lesser of two evils.” Really? Why would I want to vote for even one “evil” albeit the “lesser” one?
I live in a Blue state. I know this. You know this. I don’t think this is a newsflash that will take anyone by surprise. Thus, change will come slowly. It may not be wrapped up with a pretty bow and delivered to my doorstep post-election, on November 3rd.
I am choosing to focus on long-term change. I am choosing to look at the bigger picture. I am absolutely sick and tired of people I vote for turning “Stepford” on me once my vote sends them to Washington or Sacramento (one word: Ahnuld). They promise me the moon, all with a “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” understanding that it’s “just politics.” It’s not just politics. It’s my life. It affects my family, my children, everything. I believe in a little word called accountability! Why would I say a candidate must be held accountable or else I will “vote them out” and then elect someone just like them? How is that any incentive to change the behavior I abhor? Politicians are currently running scared — and some have chosen not to run again, at all — for this very reason! We have them on the ropes, and can send a very strong, clear message! But, in order to do so, we cannot “settle.”
Yes, we have to take baby steps. But I am not marrying myself to a candidate for two, four, or more years, unless I have conviction that they will represent me as they said they would. Two words: Scott Brown.
Think of it in this way: If the person of your dreams proposed, and you sat talking about your vision of your future together and it was all glossy and rosy and beautiful….but you knew that the minute the ring was on your finger they would change into someone you never knew…who was unfaithful, who was not truthful, who just told you what you wanted to hear…would you marry that person? So, why is that acceptable to do that with candidates? Especially when we have the power to change things?
We have a problem people! This is why the Tea Party is such a huge paradigm shift in American politics today. Abraham Lincoln coined the expression “of the people, by the people, for the people” in his seminal Gettysburg Address. That’s the “hope” and “change” I am banking on. Not some fly-by-night candidate with the “right” letter behind their name on a ballot. It goes back to Dr. King’s statement about “content of character.” I am looking down the road. I am looking forward, not backward, and not really even at the present, though there are some candidates in the “here and now” who espouse what I am talking about: Allen West, Star Parker, Jim DeMint.
I am talking about taking this paradigm shift, and running with it. Fixing the political machine to work as it was envisioned by our Founding Fathers. Settling? That was for land, not people! We are taking action! We are making our voices, our wishes, our wants and our concerns known! I want a say in crafting that! I want a part in backing candidates who are “regular people” who will faithfully represent the will of the people. Not someone who takes my money, kisses my baby, and then follows a prescribed political dance.
So with all due respect to Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman, and with kudos to breaking that glass ceiling, I envision another type of leader. And it’s not “pie in the sky” either. There are some folks out there who are tired of the “typical Washington politics.” Tired enough to “vote the bums out” (though I don’t like that disparaging remark), and tired enough to choose to serve by running for office themselves.
Whatever happens this November here in CA, I am committed to looking for real, true, long-term change. I’m tired of being seduced by rhetoric and waking up next to the “same old, same old.” Aren’t you? It does have to start somewhere. But for me that “somewhere” isn’t “settling” or voting for “lesser.” It starts by holding my leaders accountable, and saying that my vote is no longer going to just anyone. I can be a thermometer, or a thermostat. Being a thermostat takes longer, but it yields the greatest change and is worth working diligently for.
They say the definition of insanity is, “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.” Well, to quote Susan Powter, “Stop the insanity!”