I travel the blogosphere and I’m amazed at the vitriol from the right-wing bench sitters over the Republican Party. I mean I expect vitriol from the Left (Democrats, Socialists, Progressives, Liberals, whatever) but all this crap from the right still surprises me.
My favorite comments are about what the “GOP” did or didn’t do. It’s as if the “GOP” was a person with a mind of its own. While it is true that the Republican Party has a culture and it can exhibit inertia that pushes it around, it is driven by people. When the “Country Club” Republicans (that term pre-dates “RINO”) outnumbered conservatives that inertia drove the Party toward Nelson Rockefeller. When a conservative guerilla movement took over the Party it drifted to Barry Goldwater. Ultimately that movement was reborn as the Reagan Revolution. When it comes to the “GOP” - if you are not part of it – you don’t get to complain about what it does. You see if you aren’t in the boat, you don’t get to steer.
The way this ignorant idea normally manifests itself is stuff like “The GOP picked McCain.” There are actually people out there that think that a few guys got together at the GOP Headquarters on
First Street in and picked John McCain. I suppose all those elections, caucuses, and town halls were just for show? Of the twelve major candidates who began the process, McCain was my twelfth pick. Where were all of those guys who disapproved of McCain when Congressman Duncan Hunter needed a little cash? Where were they when Senator Fred Thompson needed a few votes? The answer is that people weren’t paying attention. Washington, DC
In my experience people never have time to help, but they always seem to be able to find time to complain. But politics is a participation sport. Call the whiners before Election Day and they don’t have time to walk a neighborhood, make some phone calls, or kick in a few bucks to a candidate. However that’s what wins elections. For those that don’t live and breathe politics, surveys show that the most powerful inducements to vote is having someone knock on their door, hand them literature, and ask for their vote. If you can’t walk then reaching out by phone is the next best thing. If you really don’t have any time then write a check to enable a campaign to advertise or keep an office open.
Believe it or not some people show up at the polls not knowing who they are going to vote for. Take the day off and volunteer to help the get out the vote effort or hand out sample ballots at the polls. Many folks know who the top of the ticket is, but might not have any idea who the Republicans are endorsing for School Board. We had people show up in a gubernatorial election that weren’t aware that there were three amendments to
’s constitution on the ballot. Virginia
Of course if you get up off your ass and pitch in – you won’t be able to complain then – would you?