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As Long as We Remember...

September 21, 2010

Tough Decisions Still Ahead

Farrell Keough

It is kumbaya time! The primaries are over and we all are supposed to come together to support those who have won! That is how it has always worked and by-gum, we’d better get on board!


The same concept was pushed in 2008 when I wrote about our new president. Funny, Republicans saw the falsehood in that proposition back then, and we’d better see the same thing this year! In short, just because someone has an “R” by their name does not mean they represent our values!


A number of races had excellent results! The candidates for the Frederick Board of County Commissioner and Frederick County Board of Education show a real awaking of the public! We have some great candidates and they should be promoted – whether they are Republican or Democrat, there are some people out there who truly do see the problems and are working hard to come up with the necessary changes.


We have people who want to show true transparency, cut foolish and costly regulations, and stop making politics a career. As the General Election approaches, we will discuss some of these candidates and do everything we can to promote them. We need to promote these people and that will most certainly be a subject for future columns – these are great victories and we applaud these candidates for their hard work!


Of course, a few of the candidates that made it through are not really interested in service, but rather in self-serving motives. We must hold these people accountable!


We can no longer vote for a person simply because they are the “chosen” Republican!


Say, as a hypothetical, a certain state senator or delegate played dirty politics – you know, nasty and false emails, letters, etc. – just to get through the primary, or even the General Election. Like it or not, negative advertizing works! Should we still vote for such a person to represent us? If they do not show integrity before and during the rough and tumble primary, will they somehow magically develop that trait once elected? Of course not!


So, what to do?


Don’t tell anyone this, we will just share it between you and me – heaven knows you don’t want the political strategies to get out to the Regular Jane or Joe. This kind of information is for the powerful political machine people only! If the general public knew about this kind of methodology, that would end their power and give it back to the “we the People.” Imagine how ruinous that would be if the people in charge had to actually listen to the public! That would be like the National Republican leadership accepting Christine O’Donnell as the choice in Delaware! What a foolish concept – they know better than we voters…


So, now that we agree we need to keep this information silent, let’s look at some of the actions and determine what actions we might want to take.


First, question your candidate! You can do it by email, a letter, telephone (if they give you a number), or even by visiting an event they attend – like the Great Frederick Fair! While there are many, many questions you could ask, let me offer two simple questions that should tell you a great deal of information.


“What community organizations have you been involved with?”


If they tell you something like they were active in their church, ask them to tell you specifically what they did. Were they the chairperson of a major event? Did they organize a large group and make a real difference? Or, did they simply show up?


“Have you been able to work with others having an opposing viewpoint and were you able to change their mind or develop a wise compromise?”


We are electing representatives who will work with people having a very different viewpoint than we do. Like it or not, simply voting “No” will not get the job done! We want people who can influence others and develop relationships which will move forward our conservative agenda. This is not a “bring home the bacon” perspective – bringing home the bacon means we all pay for the bacon. This is the art of politics – working with others to influence them, change their mind, or develop a wise compromise which achieves either a necessary relationship or pushes legislation toward a conservative perspective.


Now, the tough decision. What if you find the candidate does not meet the standards we desire? What if the candidate just had good talking points, flashy mailings, or simply said what you wanted to hear but did not actually believe what they said.


Sometimes we have to decide and either under-vote, (not vote for that position) or decide to vote for the other team. Yes, I know, that is anathema! So, let’s discuss it a bit.


An under-vote is basically a statement. While the candidate may still win, they do chart their polls and vote counts! Hence, if 100 votes for Republicans were made in one area, yet this candidate only got 50 votes, she/he will recognize that something is sorely missing with their message in that area. They still get elected, but, the prospect of unseating them in a future vote is evident.


The other option is to vote for the Democrat. This is a tougher decision. Once elected, an incumbent is difficult to unseat. But, consider the sea change occurring this year. If you honestly believe this is simply a short-term reactionary occurrence, don’t try this method! For me, I do not see this sea change as short-term. The public has awakened and we are a formidable force! One election cycle will not end this inertia, especially if little real change occurs.


This will be a tough race for many elected positions – or rather, for those who want to be of service. Please take the time to make an informed decision.


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