Thursday, September 24, 2009

The problem with politics

I just added Lynchburg Tea Party organizer Dana Hale to the links on the right and wanted to bring attention to this letter to the editor she wrote to the Lynchburg News & Advance. The paper actually published it!

As a Republican defector turned Libertarian after the McCain nomination during the last presidential election, I’d like to express exactly what I think is wrong with the current state of both parties.

Specifically I’m addressing the Republican Party, and the frustration that many Americans are feeling with the political system in general. Upon reading the Aug. 30 article in The News & Advance about the GOP run against Rep. Tom Perriello in 2010, it only took me until the third paragraph to become frustrated with the methods by which the local district GOP hopes to choose a candidate. The local district chairman, Tucker Watkins, said he hopes to be able to select a candidate to run against Perriello who has a higher name recognition with voters. Specifically, he said he was thinking of three Republican state senators, Frank Ruff, Steve Newman or Robert Hurt.

Here is where I feel like I speak for many people who are disenfranchised with the current political system: Why someone with higher name identification? Can’t folks who don’t have great and powerful name recognition be trusted to hold a position of power and influence in our Capitol building? Personally, if my party wasn’t represented on a ballot, I’d much rather send someone to Washington on the basis of his personal principles, rather than how much time they have already spent in office or how many yard signs they’ve had up. I think the Republican Party needs to reevaluate its methods, and while I’m not sure Perriello will see another term in Congress, I certainly will not vote for someone to replace him based on that person’s name recognition alone. If our state senators are doing a good job where they are, then let them keep up the good work!

Please don’t insult the intelligence of the folks in the Fifth District by assuming we aren’t capable of researching candidates and voting based on principles and platform. Find out who else is running, investigate the candidate on your own and let the local committees know you support these new faces. As Bradley Rees, GOP Fifth District congressional hopeful says, “Stand on principle or stand aside!” This may be a call his party needs to heed.

I entirely agree about the need for the GOP, both nationally and in Virginia, to do some soul searching. Picking someone just because they already have elected office and are well known isn't the right way to find someone who will stick to true conservative principles. Tucker Watkins isn't the only voter in the 5th District of Virginia. The candidate he backs shouldn't automatically be crowned king.

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