When Republicans Stay Home

“[I]f one thing is clear, it’s that the early-voting states have sent a clear signal in favor of activism over ideology, suggesting that the traditional Republican anti-tax, anti-spending message might not satisfy even some conservatives in a time of economic unease,” writes Peter S. Canellos in yesterday’s Boston Globe.

Leave it to the Globe to fundamentally misunderstand the pit into which the Party of Reagan has followed the advocates of big government.

Yes, when the media-annointed top tier of any field of candidates consists exclusively of big-government paternalists, any election will likely be won by a big-government paternalist.

But the great untold story of this primary season is the low turnout in Republican races. Roughly twice as many Democrats as Republicans participated in the Iowa caucuses. In New Hampshire, the Democrats ran short of ballots; not so the Republicans. Michigan’s hotly contested Republican primary drew only 300,000 or so more voters than its pointless DemocratIC beauty contest.

Republican voters aren’t turning out in droves for bigger government; they’re staying home.

The true test of Republican betrayal isn’t whether voters select a nanny wannabe from field dominated by nanny wannabes; it’s whether they see a field of nanny wannabes and select None of the Above.

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3 thoughts on “When Republicans Stay Home

  1. I have yet to see an elected official who has been proclaimed to be a ‘moderate’ who was actually a fiscal conservative.

    I think we need a candidate who is conservative in foreign policy, economic and social issues. Unfortunately none of the leading candidates are conservative in all three areas … in fact most are not even conservative in even two.

  2. I’ve said it over and over: The evangelical/socon wing the party is dragging down the GOP. The social/fiscal coalition is over. Republicans need to pick one or the other. If they want to win elections, I suggest dumping the socons.

  3. Hi Leslie,

    I am seeing a division here. Reagan was the last Republican candidate to successfully bring both small government and evangelicals into the tent.

    Bush went for the Evangelicals, but has alienated fiscal conservatives. Many fiscal conservatives look back at US fiscal policy over the last 30 years and see only Reagan and Clinton as being on the ball.

    This makes it hard to trust either party. Which is why fiscal conservatives (now called moderates) had to recently have their own mini-convention.

    The tag line of which may well have been “What they hell are we supposed to do now?”

    Going from the world’s largest creditor nation to the world’s largest debtor nation in 8 years is very scary. The reason we have a party system is to help guard against such things.

    I’m not sure people are staying home because they don’t like the current candidates. They are staying home because their faith has been shaken and their trust violated.

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