Sunday, November 16, 2008

two weeks later...

My, but it has been a while.

I'll go ahead and apologize in advance for any typos. I (ironically) broke my "W" key a couple of weeks ago, and while it still works, it takes some effort to use, and sometimes it gets skipped over.

So... how bout that election?

I guess to say that I was surprised about anything would be false. I knew, whether I admitted it or not, that any Republican candidate would have an uphill battle to fight this year. But I really let myself get my hopes up about the North Carolina gubernatorial race. After all of the debates, the interviews, and the endorsements, I was just sure that anyone who had been paying attention to the candidates -- not the parties -- would be voting for Pat McCrory.

I was almost right. Madeline Shoemaker, the grassroots coordinator for the McCrory campaign did the math and found out that McCrory received 1,115,861 votes from non-straight ticket voters, whereas Beverly Perdue only received 857,546. Perdue, who distanced herself as much as possible from Barack Obama during the campaign should be falling all over herself to thank him for that win.

I've always been against straight-ticket voting. This is not something that I am suddenly against this year because of this particular election. I have never voted straight-ticket, and I have never suggested that anyone vote straight-ticket. It encourages uninformed voting, which is something else that I am very much against.

There's no doubt that there was a lot of that going on during this election. Every polling place I went to had Obama workers handing out little yellow cards with instructions on "How the vote for change". Step one was to vote for Barack Obama, step two was to vote straight ticket Democrat, and step three was to vote for a list of liberal judges (as those races are "non-partisan").

Voting straight-ticket Democrat in North Carolina is NOT voting fo change at the state level. Our Democratic governors have done a great job over the years of running our state into the ground. Pat McCrory was change.

The presidential election was Obama's before he even won the primary. Whichever candidate had won the Democratic primary was going to be our next president. We can thank George W. Bush and the rest of the big-government Republicans for that one. As much as I hate to admit it when the far-right is right, the Obama victory should (theoretically) promote change in the Republican Party. The idea of another Ronald Reagan isn't that exciting, but perhaps it's time for a Barry Goldwater?

Likewise, I was going to be happy regardless of who won our Senate race. Elizabeth Dole deserved to lose. Sure, she was going to be another GOP vote in the Senate, but she was nothing more than an opportunist when it came to running in North Carolina. Kay Hagan's victory will give the NC GOP a chance to put a real North Carolinian up against her in 2014.

But Pat McCrory was a victim of bad Republicans and uninformed voting. He ran a positive campaign about the issues, and North Carolinians showed that it pays to go negative (or hire Andy Griffith). I was at the election night party in Charlotte, and aside from the actual act of conceding itself, the most heartbreaking aspect was in Pat McCrory's concession speech when he brought up his positive campaign and appeared to realize, in front of our very eyes, that perhaps refusing to run attack ads had hurt him.

I know that at times I fall back on the Republican cliche attack system (such as the "Respect your president?" sign from the last post), but in all honesty I'm not that person. There are much more important things in politics than party politics. I want North Carolina and the United States to move forward and succeed -- I would never want for things to go horribly wrong just so the person from the other party will look bad or be impeached/voted out of office. I believe that both Barack Obama and Bev Perdue have our country's best interests in mind, which is why they worked so hard to get elected. We simply have different ideas of how to move our country/state forward.

If things really are better off four years from now, I will be the first to admit it. I want to see economic growth, but not at the expense of our country's brightest minds. I will not blindly support a Republican in 2012 simply for the fact that he or she is a Republican. I will look at who I feel will continue to move our country in the right direction. If Bev Perdue is the better candidate, then she will be able to count on my support. Let's face it, if the gubernatorial election had come down to Perdue vs. Fred Smith (McCrory's major opponent in the primary), I very likely would have voted for Libertarian Mike Munger.

I will respect Barack Obama as my president, and I will respect Bev Perdue as my governor. But I will also be watching them closely to make sure that they are not taking advantage of their positions -- just as I do with any leader, regardless of their party.

And you best believe I'll be leading the revolution if ever one is necessary.