If you are paying attention to the Republican primaries, there has been a theme of looking for the true “conservative” candidate.
They say the front runner, Mitt Romney, is too much of a moderate, and that the “base” of the party is looking for someone who is more to the right of center.
Because of that, there has been a number of surges in the primaries and polls, with people such as Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum getting “bumps” in their numbers as each is tabbed as the “conservative choice,” and the candidate the “base” wants.
Here’s the thing, though. Each time one of those candidates bumps, it is followed by a slide and you are once again left with Romney, the moderate, as the front runner for the GOP nomination to square off against President Obama in the November elections.
So, maybe the base should get the message that there are more people looking for a moderate than a one-side-of-the-aisle candidate.
What is the problem with being a moderate? Why is the fact that someone can look at both sides of the issue and sometimes side with the other party a bad thing?
Why has the fact that someone might change their mind become a character trait to be attacked? Circumstances arise all the time causing you to react a certain way, only to get more information later on and then realize that you were wrong in your original thinking. So why would changing your mind when more information presents itself be a bad thing?
For me, the candidate that I would vote for is someone who will put the best interest of the entire body of their constituents first, not someone who is going to toe the party line. That goes with any election at the town, county state and federal levels.
A while ago, I opted out of a party affiliation because I had a couple people ask me what party I belonged. Based on the conversation, I knew it was an attempt to find out which party I aligned myself with in order to try and paint me as a “biased” member of the media. So I decided the best way to solve that problem was not to have a “side.”
Since then, I have come to realize that what I am looking for out of a political candidate truly would probably be described as “independent.”
I have stated before that the problem with government is that it looks like no one is willing to cooperate. When a Republican does reach common ground with a Democrat, each is shunned by their respective parties. Why, because they did the job that they were elected to do?
Each year I get more and more tired of watching a presidential speech, only to see it turn into an afternoon talk show as one side of the room is hootin’ and hollerin’ like the Dog Pound on the Arsenio Hall show (Google it, young ones) while the other half appears to be at the opera. It almost makes me wonder if people are even listening when the President speaks, or if they are just programmed to stand and applaud only because the president is a member of their party. If he is not, they fold their arms and sneer.
The fact is, I fully want a moderate as president. I don’t want someone who will only listen to half the room. Every candidate is going to have a flaw in the eye of someone, but the ability to think freely and make rational, non-partisan decisions should not be a flaw in the mind of anybody.
Keith Lobdell is the Editor of the Valley News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.