I was watching the latest Republican Primary debate the other day, and while I’m a political junkie, I know many are not.
I also know most don’t see any reason to pay attention to the primaries, which is dangerous.
There are several reasons to pay attention to the primary season, not least of which is to avoid someone else picking your candidate for you — as happened to the Republican party in 2008.
In the system we currently have, you often have a plethora of candidates vying for the same office — hence the primary elections and the early debates.
For conservatives this is particularly important.
In the last presidential election we had an empty suit in Barack Obama, facing a good man, and war hero, but milquetoast conservative in John McCain.
The conservative base, while respecting McCain’s war record, found him uninspiring at best. Independents took a look at his voting record and policy statements and figured if they were going to get Democrat-lite in McCain, they might as well vote for the real thing — and besides, those blasted Republicans were already spending like drunken Democrats anyway, right?
What a difference a couple of years makes. It’s become clear the empty suit is not just empty, but devoid of all substance, and even more clear conservatives allowed the media to pick our candidate the last time.
If we don’t want more of the same we need to pay close attention to the debates and to the candidates this year.
And there are some exciting candidates, a couple of Establishment types in John Huntsman Jr. and Mitt Romney. Ron Paul is back and as usual has some good ideas in with the whacko ones. My personal favorite Herman Cain is very exciting as a complete political newcomer who has not only never held office but has never even run for office. Rick Perry, the Texas governor who has presided over Texas becoming the 13th largest economy in the world is also an interesting candidate.
Regardless, conservatives need to pay close attention to the primary race. If allowed the media would see to it Huntsman was the candidate and he’s the same Democrat-lite McCain was.
It’s also all part of being part of a healthy political process — something we’ve not had in a while.
So get out there, pay attention and most importantly — vote.