Right of the Middle
Regardless what the "tried and true" Republicans want to think, they - and the Democrats - did themselves a disservice this last week at the convention. Shout as you want, about the illegality of what the Paul delegates did or did not do, but they are out of the party, and here's why that's a problem.
They are a grassroots group of folks, they're the younger generation that the parties are trying to woo. Last election, some of them ended up going over to Obama, this year, that probably won't happen. But...with the failure of the RNC to even admit that Paul was still "in the race" (he hadn't conceded as of the start of the convention), they decided to make the appearance that there was some type of unity among the Republican caucus, when there wasn't. They ignored the count of Paul delegates, down to even silencing the microphone repeatedly during one State announcing their delegate totals. Whether intentional or not, the bus containing the most vocal dissenting vote for the new rules managed to pass by the convention center 3 times without stopping, and managing to arrive 45 minutes AFTER the vote. This was their failure, and it wasn't even close to a failure that can be rectified.
I'm more than willing to bet that had the game playing not occurred, and the RNC just allowed the votes to go on as needed and not tried to intervene, there would be many Paul supporters who might have conceded their own vote, in the upcoming general election, for Romney. But that will never happen with enough votes to really mean anything. It's a toss-up now, because most of these voters will not be voting for either candidate. They'll pass over to the Libertarians, or they'll write-in Paul. And they will do it in more than just this election, because most of them are in the 18-25 crowd and they will not forget this year, and probably not forgive.
The RNC truly showed its ass, pun intended, not only with the scripted approvals and tacit lip-service given to Paul in the video presentation (but no speech to try and sooth the beast that is his constituency) but also with the candidate that they expect us so vote for in his stead. Yes, Romney has executive level experience, and that is one thing that I've wanted a candidate to have (short of military experience), but I would honestly prefer one who came from the ground up, or even a second or third generation business owner. But his failure is in the fact that he can't even connect with what the younger generations are facing, nor has he even made a real stance that truly differentiates himself from Obama. He has not really elaborated on anything other than appealing the healthcare bill (how he'll disassemble that one is still anyone's guess), which is exactly what happened in the last election when Obama vaguely hinted at the things he wanted to do. And the folks who voted for Obama last time, but were supporting Paul this time, are not going to make that mistake again. They see the lies that are pandering to the people who just want to hear a sound bite, the ones who aren't interested in substance or the real issues. Throw that in with his Veep choice and you've got a good reason to not vote for him. I like Ryan, I like his ideas for the budget, and my retired parents like his ideas for medicare. But during the last 3 years, he's put forth bills that define rape and tried to govern social issues on the national level, as well as pushing an extremely divisive Congress into failing to pass a budget, or create a real exit strategy to get this country back on steady footing. Ron Paul, and 3rd party supporters don't care about those things, because the Federal Government originally existed for the purpose of providing defense for the country borders, solving disputes between the States, and regulating national commerce.
What we don't want to hear are the lies that keep coming out of both parties, nor do we care about this "we have to deal with the hand we're dealt" BS that is a result of the GOP tent getting smaller. If it were about the hand we were dealt, the Congress wouldn't be going on a 2nd year of no budget, with the moderates of both parties exiting stage left. All we're going to have are the extremes of both parties who will continue to get nothing done. Which brings us to the point of why it Obama and Romney are both worthless candidates - No matter who wins, Congress will not have enough pull in either direction to do anything. We also don't care about religious dictates, whether the Catholic Church is appeased, or whether someone's moral compass has been turned around. We want the focus of the government to be on its operation and function within the constraints of the Constitution. Leave the Catholic Church to manage itself, and the moral compasses to the individuals and the communities to which they belong. Keep us safe within our borders and keep the economy running, preferably in a profitable manner.
All that said, I truly hope there are high returns, and a very slim margin of electoral votes for those two. I can't say for sure who is going to win, but I can say that I'd rather see them both lose. While the Richards/Williams election took politics to a new low, I don't know exactly what this election is taking us to, but it's not a positive, yet. It has re-awakened a generation who has grown up with lackluster candidates that encourage us to stay home, and invigorated a new generation who really wants to make a difference. But they're not going to play the "lesser of two evils" game, and telling them they're stupid, ignorant, or ensuring a win for the anti-candidate is not going to get them to come to the table. They understand how the system was supposed to work, and they don't view this as an either/or choice. Because it isn't. Yes, one of the Big 2 is probably going to win. But they aren't the only candidates, and viewing it as an either/or choice helps no one in this country, and it definitely won't help us in the future elections.
Oh, and don't try to maintain the status quo by lying to us about our anti-vote being a vote for Obama. It's not, it's a vote against the both of them and for someone else. We care about the candidates, not the party.
(You can read Freakchylde daily at Freakchylde's Playground)