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Presidential Election 2012

January 22, 2012 - 1:00pm

The following is from my online blog "Thoughts of an Average Man" found at 

http://thoughts-of-an-average-man.blogspot.com/

Only the last paragraph has been changed

As I watch the Republican Presidential primaries play out I can't help but be disturbed by it's course. At the time of this writing, Newt Gingrich pulled a rather surprising upset in South Carolina and now stands to gain more momentum towards the nomination. He is not only surging in most polls, he is surging among evangelicals. This is where it gets puzzling. The mainstream media has successfully convinced America and now apparently Americans of faith, that the personal lives of our leaders are inconsequential to their overall ability to lead.
I am of course speaking of Gingrich's marital past. Are we now saying that marital infidelity and political fidelity are mutually exclusive? I don't buy it and here is why. Marriage is a contract and more importantly, a covenant made with another person before God. In the covenant of marriage, you make a commitment to a person that you esteem above all others, that you put before yourself in all matters, and that when the time comes to choose between him or her and personal gain, you forsake the personal gain. That is the marriage covenant. To treat that covenant so lightly that on TWO occasions, with TWO different spouses, you choose the pleasures of adultery over the commitment to your wife speaks greatly of ones character.
Now apply that same thought process to political decisions. When elected to office, you enter in to a contract with your constituents. It is not a lifetime commitment and the only "skin" you have in the game is that of getting re-elected. If you have treated the covenant to a spouse made before God with such glib disdain, then what loyalty to a mere voter will you have when the tough decisions place you between your constituent and personal gain?
The mainstream media has convinced America that we all make mistakes and that we can all relate to the shortcomings of a Newt Gingrich. I'm sorry, I cannot relate to tossing aside the commitment that I have made to my wife for the pleasures of another woman. I don't think that most Americans can either.
We are at a crossroads in American values. President Obama has damaged this country and if re-elected will release Obama 2.0 and an aggressive version of left wing politics the likes of which our country has not seen. As evidenced in 2008, after the nomination of John McCain, American conservatives seem ready to accept the lesser candidate either in conservative credentials or character in order to secure the election. They appear poised to do so again with either Gingrich or Romney. I for one am not willing to, and American conservatives should not be willing to either. I am all for forgiving repentant people for their transgressions, that does not mean I want them as my President.
Should Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney secure the Republican nomination, I will be leaving the party after 27 years.  Given Newts personal failures and Mitt's wavering on issues most important to family values conservatives, the Republican Party will be asking one of these two to look the American public in the eye and say "Trust me, I have your best interests at heart and not my own."  I don't believe either one of them.

January 5, 2012 - 2:01am

We in the GLOW region (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties) might be in the State of New York, but really, we’re in a vast stretch of territory that extends across the country known as ‘the heartland’.  Although what constitutes this part of the country is very loose, it usually extends from the Rocky Mountains to the uppermidwest and into Central New York and Pennsylvania.  While we share a state and upstate/downstate fairness and cooperation is important to the smooth operation of state government for all of it’s citizens, one could argue that the voters in places like Batavia, LeRoy,Oakfield and even Buffalo and Rochester and it's suburbs have much more in common with people in places like Butler, Pennsylvania (where I volunteered for then Senator Obama’s Presidential campaign in 2008) and the area around Cleveland, Ohio (where I have visited many times) than mid-town Manhattan.  I think that lumping us all together for the purpose of counting electoral votes is absurd given our vast differences with them and commonalities with other locations.

Yet, despite having similar populations, Presidential campaigns spend well into the millions of dollars to win over crucial enclaves in Northeastern Ohio and Western Pennslyvania while completely ignoring our region.  The reason for this?  The Electoral College, a ridiculous and antiquated system put into place hundreds of years ago that has now outgrown it’s purpose, the nation is now spread out in terms of regional balance, and the constant attention paid to swing states over non-swing states does a disservice to the voters in those non-swing states and the smaller swing states.  Here’s an excellent and jaw dropping example, in the State of New Hampshire, which has 4 electoral votes, the Obama and McCain campaign spent roughly 15 million dollars to contest the state while in New York, which had 33 electoral votes, they both spent less than 500 thousand dollars.  If a state with less than ten percent of the total electoral votes of another has campaign expenditures well exceeding 500% of the larger state isn’t ridiculous, I’m not sure what is.

This damages the critical notion that Presidential elections give the President a mandate to govern the entire country.  One could easily argue that the President really only has a mandate from the states of Ohio, Pennslyvania and Florida, since winning 2 out of those 3 states is seen as being absolutely essential to winning for a nominee of either party, while the votes of tens of millions of people from places like Batavia across the country aren’t really that relevant.

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