After South Carolina — What is a Newly Uncommitted Voter to Do?

who to support 2016

Well, after Saturday night I’ve been jilted. Maybe you have as well. We are eight days out from the Georgia Republican Presidential Primary and my pick has dropped out. I know others suffered from “Bush Fatigue” and apparently even $100+ million cannot buy you political love, but I liked Jeb(!). Why? Simple. I did not have to agree with him on everything he did as Governor of Florida to respect his conservative reforms to real world problems and willingness to take political risks in doing so.  Besides, he is a decent man.

So be it. No time to mourn at being left at the altar. Scenes of wind-swept frozen fields of Iowa, picturesque snowy New England villages, and political mud wrestling in neighboring South Carolina are behind us. The Georgia primary is now just around the corner. Time to hook up with someone new.

So who among the remaining Republican candidates has the vision, political temperament, and experience to lead the GOP next fall and serve successfully as our nation’s 45th president? You may have your criteria. Here is mine as I look back to past Republican leaders and weigh my choices.

Vision

“If you do not know where you are going, any road will get you there.” Alice in Wonderland

Our nation has been blessed during pivotal moments in our history to have been led by presidents who could see the pathway out of the quagmire of their times. This required the necessary vision to see beyond the next ten feet and to the distant horizon. Who among these remaining candidates can articulate not only what is wrong with America today but how we will solve it and what our country will look like when we do?

For me, I am not interested in someone who only wants to scare us into fearing the dark, locking our doors, drawing our shades, and blaming our neighbors. I want someone who convinces people to turn on a light, step out, and join others to face the dangers before us. I want a candidate who can project an optimistic vision as Teddy Roosevelt did with his Square Deal or Ronald Reagan called for with his Morning in America.

Political Temperament

“This is a simple game. You have to throw the ball. You hit the ball. You catch the ball. You got it?” Bull Durham

Politics is a lot like baseball.  You start with the fundamentals but then have to put it all together as a team on the field.  In the end, you cannot go it alone if you want to successful.  In politics this means having the people skills to convince people to line up behind you.  Otherwise, you’re like that crackpot with too many opinions we all try to avoid at family gatherings. I want someone like Dwight Eisenhower who in times of war and peace recognized and channeled the best in others and inspired them to follow.

Experience

“It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage.” Raiders of the Lost Ark

The presidency is not an entry-level position but the experience necessary to be successful is not judged merely in years in political office or by the number of government positions on one’s resume. If so, Abraham Lincoln’s disastrous predecessor James Buchanan would have been one our greatest presidents instead of the Man from Illinois.

The talents Lincoln possessed were forged in his earlier life moments where his skills were tested and lessons were learned. Collectively, they enabled him as president to hold a delicate coalition together, adjust to changing social landscapes, be willing to make unpopular but necessary tactical changes, recognize and promote the talents of others, and drive his cause to victory.

The Future Not the Past

“What’s behind me, it’s not important.” Gumball Rally

It’s good and necessary to look back and learn from the lessons and embrace the positive values of our country’s past but we cannot live there. Individuals who do so will become frustrated and lost in history books, and societies that cling to the their glorious days gone by soon find themselves as mere exhibits in someone else’s museums.

In their times, detractors thought Lincoln an ignorant back woodsman, T.R. a reckless cowboy, Eisenhower dim, and Reagan a mere B actor.  So who among the 17 11 6 five remaining candidates can rise above their critics and provide the vision, political temperament, and experience to be our next great president? My vote, and others who are still undecided, are up for bid to whoever can provide that answer.

Your thoughts are welcome while I and others ponder our shrinking choices.

75
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
18 Comment threads
57 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
24 Comment authors
TheManUndertheBridgeabella30Dave BearseAndrew C. PopeLea Thrace Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Davo65
Davo65

You’re deceiving yourself with the illusion of choice. Either vote for Trump, vote for
Clinton, or don’t vote at all. Those are the only options that have any consequence.

Calypso
Calypso

Talk about being stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place…

gcp
gcp

I vote issues first, then electability and I don’t vote based on subjective character traits.

Calypso
Calypso

My choice(s): Rubio because he could be elected President.
Kasich because he would make the best President

Indypendant
Indypendant

You oppose a woman’s right to an abortion in case of rape or incest?

Seriously?

Calypso
Calypso

No, I don’t oppose a woman’s right to an abortion for those reasons, nor just about any reason. I think Roe v. Wade is pretty good law.

I’m also not a one-issue voter.

gcp
gcp

President has little control over abortion. The president does appoint supreme ct justices. Rubio would appoint a Scalia-like justice. Such a justice would not rule pro abortion or anti abortion. He would return such power to the states.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

The power is still with the states. See Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Roe never took the power to regulate abortion away from the state, it merely held that abortion prior to viability is protected by due process under the 14th Amendment.

augusta52
augusta52

In other words, the Court made up law in Roe and basically took away states’ abilities to regulate the procedure (though some states were already moving to legalize it the old fashioned way—through the democratic process). Which is why the “culture war” on this issue continues 43 years later.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

The court didn’t “make up law,” it interpreted existing law. I’m sorry, do you not know how the Constitution works?

augusta52
augusta52

Yes, I think I do know how it works—if it is not viewed as a “living, breathing document” that “evolves” with the times. Which is how we got RobertsCare…

The Eiger
The Eiger

If Trump hasn’t been stopped at this point he won’t be stopped. South Carolina was the last possible chance to knock him down. There is talk that Rubio has a very good ground game and lots of good connections to Nevada. Trump didn’t do well in Iowa because of the caucus style voting. He could fall short in Nevada as well, but even if Rubio wins I doubt that gives him enough momentum to do really well on Super Tuesday. A brokered convention is the only way to stop Trump and if that happens we would need Bloomberg to run… Read more »

John Stoj
John Stoj

Everything you wrote leads to the only logical choice for president: Gov. John Kasich

John Konop
John Konop

I do agree the logical choice is Kasich, and said so for awhile……But not sure he plays well within the party. All polls show he would be the best general candidate. His pragmatic view of solving issues is his strength, yet his weakness in the primary.

Saltycracker
Saltycracker

Regardless, the working middle class is going to get their butts kicked.

The Eiger
The Eiger

I have never been a fan of Erick Erickson. In the past I have thought of him as everything that is wrong with conservatives for hire. I think that he has finally seen the light and possibly realized that through the years he has contributed to the frenzy of angry conservatives and thrown red meat into the foaming mouths of his listeners. Now he along with other conservatives for hire have pushed the republican party too far off the cliff and some are realizing it a little too late. With that said, I can not describe Trump any better that… Read more »

John Vestal
John Vestal

“What’s behind me, it’s not important”.

↑ this. Those who have their minds set on attempting to move us back to the 1950s by dressing it up as June Cleaver vacuuming in her pearls are doing us no favors as we look to the future. If you’re that determined to die on that hill, by all means go ahead. Just don’t expect those of us to hang around wasting time…and opportunity…by languishing over you and proffering a “proper burial”. We have constructive things to do.

In the words of that great American, Josey Wales, “Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms.”

Baker
Baker

Listen to Buzz Ed. That’s the only party-expanding option. And, last I checked, part of the point of politics was to make your party a lot bigger than the other. There’s only one candidate at this point who has any hope of doing that.

xdog
xdog

Erickson could be describing the goper base when he writes about nationalist and tribal voters. While he’d probably sneer at being called a member of the establishment, he shares their blinkered view of the source of much of Trump’s appeal.

Among goper choices it’s been either Christie or Kasich for me so I go with the one who’s still in. Not that Kasich will win anywhere March 1. He probably won’t even get any delegates but what the hell, I’m accustomed to voting for losing candidates.

Baker
Baker

@xdog – Regarding Kasich. He has no chance, I really like him too for the most part but those are the facts as you admitted. Throw your support behind Rubio. He may be more conservative than you like but he’s the only one even attempting out of the big three to be inclusive. He wants to broaden appeal. He wants to unite the country, not intentionally piss off half of it.

John Konop
John Konop

Baker,

I think it is over….the real issue is who will Trump pick as VP. A Kasich would help bring the ticket together…..just my 2 cents

The Eiger
The Eiger

“A Kasich would help bring the ticket together” You can put a little miracle whip on a crap sandwich, but it’s still a crap sandwich.

John Konop
John Konop

How do you really feel 🙂

xdog
xdog

“Throw your support behind Rubio.” No way, for the reasons Andrew Pope has laid out. He’s too conservative socially, too bound to big biz nationally, too knee-jerk internationally, for me to get behind. He’ll take any position as long as it polls well. He’s never had an original idea in his life that I can tell, doesn’t show signs that he’s ever really thought about any issue. He’s willing to believe whatever’s in the latest position paper to cross his desk. He’s Ted Cruz without the sword of God and the cynicism. Things are breaking his way now and he’ll… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

I’m sure some folks instinctive reaction will be, “well if a Democrat says he’s afraid of Rubio, that means you should vote for Rubio,” but hear me out. 1) Rubio would be absolutely terrible for the national debt: Rubio’s proposed tax cut would mean a reduction in federal revenue of $6.8 trillion over 10 years. That’s a lot. Rubio is not, however, proposing any real spending cuts. He effectively wants to leave Social Security and Medicare untouched and he wants to increase military spending. 2. The man is going to get us all killed I’m really doubting Rubio’s foreign policy… Read more »

Calypso
Calypso

Some good points, Andrew.

“3. Seriously though, his foreign policy is moronic
Let’s see, he wants to undo President Obama’s normalization of relations with Iran…”

I think you mean Cuba and not Iran, correct?

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Yeah, my bad. Thanks for the catch

augusta52
augusta52

“Would violate women’s constitutional rights?” Huh? Is abortion mentioned in the Constitution? If so, where? As for the Catholic faith, well, contrary to popular belief, the Church does not say the death penalty can never be used. Basically the Church’s position is that it SHOULD NOT be used, but that is not the same as saying it CANNOT be used. The preference these days is not to use the death penalty if the perpetrator can be securely confined. Give the culprit an opportunity to repent—after all, it is a long time in eternity. But that aside, Rubio’s basic problem is… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Abortion is mentioned in the same place as the right to control the upbringing of your children or the right to keep your family unit together. It’s an extentsion of the right of privacy and it’s protected by due process and under the 14th Amendment. “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Like, your realize… Read more »

gcp
gcp

Abortion is a tenth amendment issue and if you asked Scalia, that’s what he would tell you.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

I never said abortion wasn’t properly reserved to the states. Even if it’s reserved to the states, it’s still subject to the 14th Amendment. My mention of Scalia was not that he would support Roe, I mentioned him to point out that even he would acknowledge that just because a right isn’t mentioned expressly in the Constitution doesn’t mean the right doesn’t exist.

augusta52
augusta52

Really? The authors of the 14th Amendment had “right to abortion” in mind? Even regulating it by the trimester approach? Why that is just astounding…thankfully the world’s largest denominations—The Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church—have some issues with that “politically correct” interpretation. I wonder if Harry Blackmun, one of the worst justices ever appointed to the Supreme Court, had 55 million abortions in mind?

Charlie
Charlie

What I like most about this post is the deliberate thought process that puts the criteria and long term ultimate objective first in the deliberate hire our country is about to make. This entire campaign has been hijacked as an exercise in faux reality TV centered around cults of personality. That’s not what makes a good leader, nor does it address actual problems. I’ll try to put up a post this evening with my SC takeaway. The images of the four major campaigns from Saturday night are stark with deep contrast. This is an excellent primer for that. Thanks Ed.

John Konop
John Konop

The real debate is who will be the best candidate to run with Trump. As I posted above I think Kasich would not only help with the rust belt, he would offset the Trump persona……

We are kidding ourselves if we think Rubio, Cruz, Kasich and Carson will form an alliance pre it being enough to stop the Trump train. Lots of bad blood between them all, especially toward Cruz.

Bart
Bart

I’m with you on that John. Trump/Kasich would be a strong ticket going against either the “i try not to lie” dem or the socialist. Trump puts some blue states in play, Kasich would likely lock down Ohio and maybe even help with PA, MI, etc.

Sally Forth
Sally Forth

Plus Kasich brings solid experience to the table, good input for DJT’s stated plans. Could be a working VP like Gore was.

auh2o
auh2o

Like Cheney was…

Sally Forth
Sally Forth

OMG! Let’s pray not! I liked my Gore analogy better.

auh2o
auh2o

I know. I’m just picking on you! 🙂

Calypso
Calypso

Cheney was a straight-shooter. ;-}

Sally Forth
Sally Forth

Uh, yeah. If he asks you to go hunting, RUN!

Bart
Bart

My choice was knocked out after NH making me a free agent choosing between candidates that really don’t inspire me. Here’s how I break it down as SC has eliminated Bush: Rubio – Too religious, inexperienced and seriously out of touch with younger voters. No way he wins in November staying with outdated positions about abortion, gay rights, etc. It’s too bad because I actually had him 2nd until I researched more. Cruz – The one candidate who makes me want to reach thru the TV so I can punch that smirky, Eddie Haskell grin off his face. As with… Read more »

John Konop
John Konop

I think this is a great summary why Trump is winning. Agree or not with every point you make, obviously this is what voters feel “….who will flip the bird to lifelong politicians bought and paid for by special interests. Trump is the only candidate on the GOP side who fills that criteria.”….good post!

Baker
Baker

@John Konop: Reason #849 to not vote for The Hair. http://theresurgent.com/donald-trump-just-another-fascist-with-an-enemies-list/

Glad Erickson came around to how outrageous a butthole the guy is but perhaps if he (or Rush or Levin) hadn’t been playing footsie with Trump fans all summer, we wouldn’t be in the situation we are.

Frankly, no matter who the VP is, I will not vote for him. For a thousand reasons.

Bart
Bart

Baker,

The more EE and his compadres scream and yell against Trump, the more voters he picks up. EE and the rest of the bible thumpers who arrogantly ran the GOP for decades are now facing the wrath of their actions in the form of Trump.

Today’s EE column blames Rubio and Cruz for Trump’s success. He puts out a column a day ranting like a little child against Trump including the one you pasted. How’s that working out?

Calypso
Calypso

TJ-
“EE and the rest of the bible thumpers who arrogantly ran the GOP for decades are now facing the wrath of their actions in the form of Trump.”
I agree with, and understand, the first part of your sentence, but would you please elaborate/clarify the last part: “…now facing the wrath of their actions in the form of Trump.”? Are you saying Trump supporters are lashing out at the religious fundamentalists who have had a stranglehold on the party? If so, what leads you to that point of view?

Thanks.

xdog
xdog

“Today’s EE column blames Rubio and Cruz for Trump’s success.”

I’m surprised. I don’t read or listen to Erickson but I thought group-think on the red-meat right still held that Obama was responsible for Trump.

Baker
Baker

This is all nonsense. No one group ran the GOP. That’s part of the point. Many of the “Bible thumpers” you refer to are supporting Trump because they feel the GOP hasn’t served them well enough. Trump is kind of the Right’s Obama because people are pouring whatever grievance they have with Washington into how they feel about him, regardless if those feelings truly represent what Trump stands for or not. Which is hard to know in the first place because the guy is an endless windbag of bullshit, conspiracy theories and “rantings like a little child” as you called… Read more »

Baker
Baker

Feel free to bleep me there…sorry.

Calypso
Calypso

Trump is a master at throwing the Molotov cocktails and destroying the institution, but we need someone who not only has a plan, but the capability of rebuilding it.

The angry, pissed-off demolition guys are a dime a dozen. We need a knowledgeable architect and a high-quality (re)construction firm.

Benevolus
Benevolus

The Republican Party must be precariously close to fracturing. I mean, since when are Republicans opposed to special interests? Who ARE Republicans if they don’t support special interests? Big oil, Big coal, Big Business in general, NRA, Wall Street, defense industry, evangelicals, nationalists… of course they are bought and paid for- that’s what you wanted! The Tea Party broke it I think. They should have just formed their own party when it became clear that the GOP wasn’t going to be able to reconcile the contradictions. Even now I cannot imagine a President Trump. I just can’t. I really think… Read more »

Bart
Bart

Benevolus, “The Republican Party must be precariously close to fracturing” – It did a while ago exacerbated when Paulheads gained strength over the past 2 presidential election cycles. There was always a split between socons and ficons, but those of us on the ficon side overlooked the social crap to support anybody but the even worse dems. Seems that is not happening anymore which I believe to be good thing. Both parties are addicted to special interests, only difference being who funds them. That’s not what I wanted or obviously not what many voters want based on the rise of… Read more »

Jean
Jean

Not an option for March 1 and also unelectable, but Gary Johnson is looking not too bad at this point 🙂

Lea Thrace
Lea Thrace

I may genuinely sit this one out. First election since I came of voting age that I have not voted in every single office. I have skipped amendments but never an office (I dont think anyway) and certainly never for the office of president. That is kinda heartbreaking for me. But I have not reached the point at which I can in good conscience vote for anyone that is currently in the race.

*sigh*

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Fine post, Mr. Lindsey.

I’ve yet to determine party ballot. That decision is based on the totality of the ballot including down ballot races.

Months ago, after the Bush campaign failed to launch, I thought Rubio the only GOP candidate capable of being nominated and winning office. But the more attention Rubio gets, the worse he is revealed to be. I no longer think he can win office.

Kasich has been my favorite GOP candidate all along.

abella30
abella30

Good post. I haven’t decided which party to vote for in the primary. I’m fairly moderate and I don’t normally vote Republican but I do really like Kaisch. He is more conservative than me but I think he would be a great Republican nominee and could possibly get my vote in the General. (I do more research for the General so I don’t know who I vote for until right before I go to the polls although I’ve voted for Ds over the last several election cycles.). However, I don’t think Kaisch will win the nomination. I’ll probably move to… Read more »

Benevolus
Benevolus

Bernie’s ideas aren’t realistic in the sense that he would get in there and have everything implemented in 6 months. But most of his plans are already in place in other parts of the world. We just have this skewed sense of purpose here in the USA that we’re all here to make more profit for companies and everything else will flow from that. But many of us feel that we are here to make a better life for ourselves and the business world gets to make a profit from that as far as they can and as far as… Read more »

TheManUndertheBridge
TheManUndertheBridge

If the GOP has not alienated more voters than it actually has, Trump will get out the vote. Some on the Left compare him to a Nationalistic pre-war German megalomaniac, while others swoon in his presence. Point is, there are no wallflowers when it comes to either luvvin’ or hating the idea of an egotistic, rich real estate man in the Big Chair. Who isn’t a cult of personality when running for office? Just short of Trump being a Dem plant that will throw the election, we better get our heads around what the electorate is saying. Maybe it is… Read more »

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

I suggested many months ago that conspiracy theorists (not suggesting you are) would say that Trump was in it to demonstrate what’s become of the GOP.

Trump’s rise in the polls after “Now he’s really done it” episodes surprised him. Can he continue them and are they enough to carry it to the Convention?