Why I’m Not Voting Straight (R) in November


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Wednesday I received a call on behalf of a Republican campaign asking if I was supporting [X] candidate. When I said, no, it got a little …tense. I keep telling people my ballot will be a colorful amalgamation of decisions. Some Red, some 3rd party and a few skips, but never any Blue. Naturally this upset said representative who told me that I can’t always get what I want and taking my ball and going home is wrong. Oh, and, I’m wasting my vote. A wonderful example of voter outreach and engagement.

Let me tell you why this isn’t working, especially with millennials. You see, Democrats are out in the community telling people what they will do for the community, the state, the country, and we’re over here doing the ‘NO WAY Macarena ‘on the Highway to Hell. Our talking points are:

  • ‘Jason Carter is bad for Georgia’
  • ‘Michelle Nunn has ties to Obama’
  • And my personal favorite, ‘John Barrow used tax dollars to pay for his campaign Facebook page’.

No kidding. They’re liberals. OF COURSE these rhetoric lines are applicable. This shouldn’t be surprising information to anyone. But those aren’t convincing reasons to go vote. Those are just reasons to not do anything on Election Day because Republicans aren’t saying why their candidate is ‘the best’. It seems like all we’ve seen lately are hit pieces on consultants that aren’t on the payroll and a push for Senate Majority. We get it. Those are valid points but we need more substance.  We may not agree with the fact that Democrats are out talking about what voters will get out of voting (D) but at least they’re offering something tangible. We have things to offer too, like limited government, lower taxes and economic freedom.

Also, this “straight slate” thing isn’t working for a lot of people. No Republican can honestly tell me that Perdue and Deal (and everyone from CD-1 to Insurance Commissioner) is exactly the same ‘type’ of Republican and believes all of the same things and therefore, they all deserve the exact same support. Puh-leeze.
There’s a reason that every restaurant doesn’t have a price fix menu. People like choices. Choose an entrée and then the sides you like based on flavor and calories. Even Panera Bread gives you the option of chips, fruit, or bread.

Right now, it doesn’t matter who I’m not voting for in November. What matters is the ‘why’.  With 60 days to go, the GOP has got to offer some answers, some hardline reasons.  The reality is this: On a national level, Republicans have hurt many people too, especially in the eyes of the skeptical millennials and Independents – you know, those folks you’ll need should there be a runoff, and definitely by 2016. And the non-politico types don’t always separate federal and state-level folks (hence the reason we are, rightfully, hammering Obama/Pelosi/Reid ties). People have been burned. It’s no longer acceptable to say ‘If you’re not with us, you’re against us’. Tell me why. Show me why. Give me tangible evidence. Talk about policy. Stop using tag lines. Paint me a beautiful picture flowing with Liberty. Otherwise, I will have no choice but to paint my colorful amalgamation on my ballot on Election Day.

And if not accepting the one-size-fits-all slate makes me ‘not Republican enough’, then so be it. There’s a laundry list of people behind me thinking the exact same thing.  But that will directly contradict the GOP talking head slogan of ‘We have to side with the folks that agree with 70% of the time and not focus on the 30%’. Does my 70% have a seat at the table?

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18 thoughts on “Why I’m Not Voting Straight (R) in November

  1. Chris

    I received a call last week stating that the GOP was opening offices in key areas around Georgia for “the sole purpose of defeating Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn” and, could they count on my help? Rings true to your point.

    Reply
  2. Bill

    “People have been burned. It’s no longer acceptable to say ‘If you’re not with us, you’re against us’. Tell me why. Show me why. Give me tangible evidence. Talk about policy. Stop using tag lines. Paint me a beautiful picture flowing with Liberty. ”

    That’s TOO hard to do. That requires the spin-meisters to reengage what is little left of their thinking minds. They’d rather watch the football game.

    Here, Jessica, you just have yourself a nice plate of re-treaded GOP, rah-rah, rally-up the troops, star-spangled banner rhetoric. Buy it all up while it’s hot! It’s a sure seller this Fall for November 4!

    Reply
  3. eburkedisciple

    Everything you said is absolutely true but I submit your conclusion is wrong. I am very frustrated with my party. I am happy to vote for anyone from any party that articulates a solid conservative, constitutionally faithful, personal responsibility driven and liberty securing agenda. I don’t care which party they come from (though there are a few parties I would want something more than just words to convince me they would vote that way once elected). The sad reality is that the Democrats have so successfully purged their party of any real moderates (note the blue dog caucus) that it is easy to say that a vote for a Democrat is a vote for abortion, the evisceration of the free markets, the destruction of marriage, growing government hegemony over our private lives and a weaker America that is foolish to boycott whoever is running against them.

    I think the proper conclusion is to, as you have done, get more involved and let our voices dominate the conversation. Ensure the mediocre candidates do not get the nomination. Hold our candidates accountable for their promises and their integrity.

    You, our young voters, are our future and I hope you will not entertain the notion of withholding a vote. Every time you have to vote for someone less than you desire I hope it will spur you to get more involved not less involved. You can make a difference. You already have.

    Reply
  4. James Camp

    Yes it is true, all white is good and all black is bad. All Republicans do not swear and are Christians. The truth is this is not true and all anything is not a truth. There is always the exception. Fortunately, every human being has the priviledge of an opionion. When calling for a voters support, the one calling does not have time to go into detail about the good and bad points of a candidate. As a person being called daily, my answer is always the same, yes, yes, yes yes you are right on. Then I do not have to explain anything. i still vote my gut. politics is fun for a little while but sooner or later one sees it for what it is.

    Reply
  5. Bucky Ferguson

    I hope the Republicans can come up with something more than “Vote for us because the Democrats are bad for Georgia!” Give me a plan, an idea, a conservative perspective that is reasoned, well thought out and workable. This will begin to rally voters, but not with the same old song and dance. Republican and conservative are not synonymous.

    Reply
  6. Christian Coomer

    Jessica,

    I appreciate your sentiment. I have done the same thing as a voter because, as most voters will tell you off the cuff, “I vote for the person, not the party.” I won’t get into whether that is actually true for most voters or not. Rather, let me offer validation and specifically respond to why you should vote for at least two Republicans on the ballot in November: Nathan Deal and David Perdue.

    GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL has a record to run on. Regardless of your political stripes, Governor Deal has given most Georgians reasons to vote for him. Frankly, he’s given every kind of conservative enough reasons to be out knocking on doors and working phone banks for him. Let’s start with the simple stuff–shrinking the size and power of state government while balancing our budgets and raising revenues without raising taxes.

    Since 2007, we’ve cut the state work force by some 9,000 positions, a trend that Governor Deal has continued to press forward, even as revenues have been rebounding. He has realigned and reshaped agencies to cut out mid-level bureaucrats so that there could be more service providers on the ground, most recently in child protection agencies.

    To make government more accountable, he pushed through legislation to remove ambiguous laws that DFCS had been manipulating to avoid public scrutiny. To make government less powerful, Governor Deal signed sweeping legislation to scrap segregation-era gun restriction laws; even including a provision that gave up the power of the Governor’s office to take away law-abiding citizens’ guns during a state of emergency. Thanks to Governor Deal’s criminal justice reforms, the prison population is shrinking, county jails that were overcrowded four years ago are now at their lowest occupancy rates in history, and people who have been convicted and served their debt to society are able to get jobs and reenter society with a lower likelihood of recidivism–effectively getting out of the “revolving-door” of the prison system. As a bonus, these reforms have led to savings of over $50,000,000 to tax payers in the last two years. This year, the Governor cut the power of the wildly pro-common core state department of education by sending the largest education funding increase in seven years directly to local school boards with no strings attached. Local elected officials made local decisions about local needs in education because Governor Deal made sure the money went directly to the local boards. All of these changes have made state government less powerful, less expansive, and less expensive.

    Of course, Nathan Deal balanced our budget as required by the constitution of our state; but the amazing part is we’ve actually increased our budget each year based solely on an improving economy and without raising tax rates on Georgians. We have reduced liabilities and shortfalls in our reserves and our obligations to retired state workers. Those changes lead to Georgia being one of only nine states to keep a triple-A bond rating, which also saves taxpayers money. One of the benefits of keeping a sound fiscal ship of state is that businesses looking to expand see an environment ideal for investing. Making Georgia the number one place in the US to do business (which we’ve accomplished according to Site Selection Magazine and CNBC) was Governor Deal’s priority because a solid foundation of economic growth provides increased revenue for the state without raising taxes, reduces dependency on public assistance, and reduces prison populations. All of these factors are synergistic and lead to Georgia being a better place to live.

    Governor Deal has been the proverbial grown-up in the room on issues like the DeKalb County School accreditation crisis, preserving the HOPE grant, standing up against making Georgia a welfare state with the expansion of medicaid under ObamaCare, tax reform (single-handedly preventing the reapplication of sales tax on groceries because it disproportionately effects fixed-income individuals), school choice, and myriad other issues that could fill this page (this is all off the top of my head, so I’m sure I’m leaving out something that would be important to someone).

    On a personal level, despite what his opponents want voters to believe, Nathan Deal is an honest, sincere, and humble person. Though we have seen one attack after another, there has been no misconduct by the Governor and no foundation shown for the allegations made against him. Nathan Deal has earned your vote and as a responsible, informed, intelligent voter, you should have no hesitation in casting your vote for him.

    DAVID PERDUE may not have a political record to run on, and my argument in his favor is certainly thinner, but I will be voting for him for three reasons: 1) the most important vote is the first one; 2) his world view on issues ranging from the judiciary to foreign policy are more closely aligned with my own ; and 3) he is a far superior option to Michelle Nunn.

    1. The first vote is the one for senate president pro-tempore (what Harry Reid is). The president of the senate decides what bills get a vote and who gets on conference committees to iron out disputes between House and Senate versions of bills. Therefore, the first vote is the most important vote. Perdue will be voting for a Republican senate president and ALMOST any Republican senator would be an improvement over Reid. Though Nunn tries to distance herself from any commitment to Reid, it is Reid’s fundraising apparatus that is fueling her campaign and she will kiss the ring if she gets to DC.

    2. I don’t know a lot about many of his policy positions, but I do know from personal conversations with Perdue that he is committed to our allies (read: “Israel”) in a way that Nunn is not. He is also certainly going to support conservative candidates to federal courts–not so with Nunn.

    3. Perdue is superior to Nunn because he IS a political novice. Washington lobbyists do not have their hooks in him. Nunn has probably received more Christmas cards from lobbyists than she has from her own family (that is tongue-in-cheek, but it is also probably literally true). Perdue will have (mostly) paid his own way, giving him a level of independence that is appealing.

    I know there is a libertarian candidate on the ballot, but I don’t even know his or her name. Truthfully, that person will get 4-8 percent and that could be enough for a run-off. While I have no doubt Perdue would win a run-off, the people will not be well-served by a process that leaves us with only one Senator for the first couple of weeks of the next congress.

    If you read this far, thanks for taking the time. I hope this helps you feel better about voting for these two candidates.

    Reply
    1. thePERSPICACIOUSconservative Post author

      Rep. Coomer,
      Thanks for taking the time to write all of this, I did want to respond to a couple of your points as I know you have a slightly different perspective as a floor leader for the Governor.
      I won’t address the “negatives” about Deal as that was not the intent of this article, but from the outside looking in, it seems like the chokehold of his team seems be holding us back more than anything. I will say that I do feel like Governor Deal is conservative enough that you can be successful putting political pressure on him from the outside via media. A great example of this is Delvis Dutton’s HB100 legislation. That was a real win for The People and a blessing to watch from start to finish.
      I did take small offense to this statement: “Nathan Deal has earned your vote and as a responsible, informed, intelligent voter, you should have no hesitation in casting your vote for him.” It implies that not casting for Deal leaves you unintelligent. I think we can both agree I do my research. That’s my point in the article though. We can’t keep criticizing when people don’t stand with us. We have to learn why.
      That being said, the Libertarian candidate for Governor’s name is Andrew Hunt. We seem to continue to gloss over using his name in fear of even 1 vote going to him. The Libertarian candidate for Senate is Amanda Swafford. Coincidentally, she is the only candidate on the ballot who has held elected office before – and a bonus! She understands the 17th amendment. Who would have thought?
      My contention with Perdue is that US Senator is not an entry level position and a pro-Israel stance is not sufficient for me. As a state legislator, you said you don’t know much about his policy issues. In my humble, envelope-licking opinion, I believe your role as a state legislator is first and foremost to assert our state sovereignty. The state legislature is supposed to have a relationship with the folks in DC (really to protect us from them, but Georgia doesn’t know how to nullify and I digress). My point is that David Perdue doesn’t even know about this open line of communication and I personally know enough to be scared. His anti-second amendment comments to the MDJ earlier this year were abysmal and his satisfaction with Dodd-Frank shows me he doesn’t have the slightest clue how it has affected the little people. I’m one of those little people who doesn’t believe “He is superior to Nunn” is a sufficient excuse to cast a vote for an unknown. Perdue paying his own way simply shows me he is trying to purchase an election. I place value in someone funded by the people.
      As a whole, I think you may have missed the direction of my argument, (or maybe you simply did want to tell me why to vote straight (R)), but the original point was to illustrate that on a daily basis, we see constant mudslinging from Perdue, Deal, and the GOP. The things you mentioned may be true, but that’s certainly not in the media. And the positive messages seem to only be going to “hard (R)” folks, not small (l) libertarians and Independents. Your candidates will need them come run-off time (not to mention, Republicanism is rooted in Libertarian values so they shouldn’t be TOO terrifying.) I’m sure you understand that when it’s all negative, we are left with an uniformed voter. My goal as a blogger has always been to educate and inform. I don’t expect people to agree with me, but at least people will know the truth of their options.
      I hope before Election Day, you will at least take the time to see what these candidates are about as both stand for limited government and balancing the budget, both things you say are important to you.
      I know we tend to philosophically disagree on several issues, and I know you have a vested interest in Governor Deal -which I respect- but I hope you can respect that this cycle is having a much different effect on folks than others. It’s about principle, not party. I had the opportunity to work on a Congressional campaign earlier this year which was focused strictly on principle and fact. I suppose it made me set the bar higher when the people I was surrounded by taught me a strong lesson in never compromising on principle. So, I can’t and I won’t.
      Hope you made it this far.

      Reply
      1. Christian Coomer

        Thanks for allowing us to have this discussion on your forum. The issues you’re raising should be aired out and people asking for you to support one candidate or another ought to be able to explain why they believe you should support the candidate. In the following paragraphs I hope to show that I did not miss the point of your essay, that Governor Deal is doing “conservative” even when nobody is looking or reporting it (including a 17th Amendment reference for you), that small “L” libertarians who happen to be Libertarians are probably not thrilled by their candidate for governor, a clarification on my clincher statement for Deal, and a brief reply to whether we disagree philosophically.

        I got the primary point of the essay–which is an explanation of why you’re not voting straight-Republican in the fall. That is why I said up-front that I do not always vote straight Republican, either. I was trying to say that I agree with that particular voting prerogative. The only reason Republicans are in power in Georgia is because people who had been raised to vote straight Democrat woke up to the idea that they were voting for people who had lost their focus on what was in the best interest of their constituents. So, I don’t want to convince you to vote straight-R. Having no disagreement on that point, I just wanted to give you specific reasons to vote for SOME Republicans.

        Governor Deal is not “conservative enough;” he is just conservative. You indicated that media pressure forced the Governor to support aspects of the gun bill, but I don’t recall a single traditional media piece that encouraged any elected official to support any part of the gun bill. There was certainly no media pressure to force the governor to support the language offered by Rep. Dutton. In fact, there was enormous pressure in the other direction. Governor Deal was willing to take the political hit for being the person who signed what traditional media were calling, and still call, the “guns everywhere” bill. Additionally, the governor has been protecting traditional marriage (i.e. the state sovereignty battle du jour), ending state funding for elective abortions, appointing conservative appellate court judges/justices, getting people off public assistance and onto private payrolls, fighting medicaid expansion, and a host of other unsung activities that you aren’t going to read about in the AJC. Not only that, Nathan Deal has picked some of the most conservative members of the General Assembly as his floor leaders, including one Representative who is an original co-sponsors of the most recent resolution to repeal the 17th Amendment (yours truly). Bottom line here: Deal is a real-world conservative.

        Most of what I know about Andrew “Hunt,” the Libertarian candidate for governor, is from his statements in an August 27 AJC article and his facebook posts. He received about $38,000,000 in federal grant money and says that corporations getting billions of dollars in federal grants “helps the state economy”. According to an AJC interview published on September 3, the candidate admitted to legally changing his name from Andrew Lee to Andrew Hunt to gain an association to his wealthy grandfather; sued his own family to take $7,500,000 from them; and claims he may have inherited a “genius gene.” Each reader can draw her own conclusions from his statements.

        I believe you are a responsible, intelligent person and I know you are seeking reliable information. When I made my closing statement about Deal getting your vote, the intent was to acknowledge that you are a responsible, informed, intelligent, voter and to then encourage you to vote for Nathan Deal. That said, I really do believe that if any person, especially a conservative or libertarian, has a mature sense of responsibility to their state and community, has enough raw information that is free from the filter of traditional media and Democrat demagoguery, and has the mental capacity for critical thinking and intellectual honesty, then he or she will come to the conclusion that Nathan Deal should be reelected based on his record, character, and vision. I don’t know whether you will support Nathan Deal or not; but if you don’t support him I will believe it is because people like me failed to get you the useful, necessary information so you could make a truly informed decision (which I’m trying to provide), not because you are irresponsible or unintelligent.

        Finally, I do not know where we might disagree philosophically or politically because, to my memory, we’ve only had one face-to-face conversation. That was a discussion about our AGREEMENT on the provisions of Rep. Dutton’s bill related to prohibiting national guard troops from disarming citizens in a state of emergency. I told you at that meeting at Barnsley Garden that I supported the bill and would work to help get it passed. So, I don’t know if we agree on anything else or not, but I’ve certainly enjoyed this dialogue.

      2. thePERSPICACIOUSconservative Post author

        Thanks. I really don’t want to get into an essay war here – and I disagree with many of the points you made here-
        But the reason I know we disagree philosophically, however, is because I watch how people vote on the House floor.

      3. thePERSPICACIOUSconservative Post author

        I did want to mention one more thing….you seem to be extremely critical of the point that I plan to skip on the ballot. But you yourself have skipped plenty of votes on the house floor while you’re on the floor. You’ve missed quite a few, intentionally or not. Is that not my right? What is the difference?

        In regards to Rep. Dutton’s bill, back in November, a blog WAS in fact written about the language of HB100 and 18 minutes later, the governors office reached out to him to schedule a meeting. This was after multiple years of squashing his bill and stripping the language. I’ve known this for many months and so have you. So let’s use facts when we can.

  7. Kara from Cherokee

    What I see here is another blow hard for Governor Deal. And how tragic that a state representative- one we elected- is so condescending to the people he represents.
    Jessica, you bring up an excellent point about House members skipping votes. I know that Mr. Coomer has personally skipped more votes than the majority of house members elected in 2010. Skipped for what reason? Political gain?

    Reply
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