I keep telling my non-Romney voter friends and non-voters in general that it’s not all about the presidency. We have a Congress that can put a stop to much (even all) that a president proposes. The President can propose and Congress and dispose, if there are enough disposers in Congress.
One thing a presidential election brings out is voters. Off-year elections are great for fattening the House and Senate with political newcomers who appeal to disenchanted voters. Incumbent voters are not usually jazzed about an off-year election. The 2010 “Tea Party” election showed that the wheels of so-called Progressive political advancement can come to a screeching halt.
Presidential elections are different. The perception is more is at stake, so more people go to the polls. The top of the ticket often determines the rest of the ticket. If there’s a surge in voting for the guy at the top, the voter enthusiasm most likely trickles down to the governor, House, and Senate races.
We saw this in 1980. I was watching television at the campaign headquarters of Congressman Larry McDonald (1935–1983)1 of the (then) 7th district of Georgia as the votes came in. It was like the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. One big-name liberal Democrat after another bit the dust. Reagan received 489 Electoral Votes, winning 44 states, while Jimmy Carter picked up 49, winning 6 states and the District of Columbia. Third-Party candidate John Anderson received 6.6 percent of the vote but did not pick up a single Electoral vote.
The Republicans gained 12 seats from the Democrats in the Senate, the largest swing since 1958, and gained control of the Senate, 53–46. The Republicans also picked up 34 House seats.
Let’s say that you could never vote for Mitt Romney. Fine. But don’t stay home. There are important Senate and House races. If Obama wins, these more conservative elected representatives can help existing Senate and House members to stop any of his new programs. Since the House holds the purse strings, the House can stop funding of unconstitutional programs.
If Romney wins, and he pulls a George W. Bush on us, the same tactic can be implemented.
State elections are also important if we are going to get back to the constitutional limited government safeguards built into the Constitution: (1) enumerated powers only and (2) the Tenth Amendment. I’m loving what Texas is doing regarding the UN and “monitoring” our elections. “You don’t have jurisdiction, so it’s best that you stay away.” The New American reports:
“On October 23, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sent a strongly worded letter to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) warning that its representatives could be prosecuted if they violate state law or are found within 100 feet of a polling place. Among the most serious concerns was the fact that the UN partner organization was working with discredited far-left radical groups to supposedly seek out conservative ‘voter suppression’ schemes — mostly state laws aimed at preventing election fraud.”
There’s too much at stake to stay home on election day. Don’t cut of your nose to spite your face.
- Dr. McDonald was aboard KAL Flight 007 on September 1, 1983 when it was shot down by the Soviet Union over the Sea of Japan. All 269 passengers and crew were killed. [↩]