Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The winnowing

The departure of Scott Walker from the presidential race brings us into the next stage of the 2016 presidential contest- the winnowing of the chafe from the wheat.  Winnowing is literally the tossing of grain into the air to seperate the lighter chafe, i.e. filler, from the actual grain that is the goal of the whole exercise.

Walker was my first choice in the field.  As strong a conservative as you can expect, with executive experience from the governor's mansion, and a firm stand against public employee unions that, if executed at a federal level, could break the back of union hegemony in America.

But Walker is now out.  He used his departure to make the point many Republicans have been saying-there are too many GOP (and other) candidates in the field that are distracting the conservative base. While I always tend to support more candidates in a race, the fact is that too many of the candidates overlap too much.  Trump, Fiorina and Carson are competing for the 'vote the bums out' crowd.  Walker, Rubio and Jindal were competing for the center right crowd.  Huckabee, Cruz and Santorum are competing for the social conservative vote.

The question now becomes how supporters of the candidates who drop out will be embraced by the supporters of those still in the race.  In Minnesota, the three top surviving contenders seem to be (in my opinion) Rubio, Rand and Fiorina.  Completely scientific anecdotal polling on my part.  There are now scores of announced Walker supporters in Minnesota without a candidate, and the other campaigns are rightfully competing to secure their support and endorsements.

The question has been raised by my friend Rob Doar about what happens when, as is widely expected, Rand Paul drops out of the race as well.  As Rob points out, far too many libertarian minded conservatives coalesced in 2012 to support libertarian Kurt Bills for the nomination, then disappreared when the meat of the campaign needed to be lifted by strong backs.

The answer is this; Charlie Brown still has to try to kick the football.

When dealing with fellow conservatives, you have to give each one the benefit of the doubt until they prove themselves guilty of your bad judgement.  You can't judge all Paul supporters, or all libertarians, or all of any specific group, by the interactions you had with one member of said group last month or last year.  You have to judge each person by their actions and statements, otherwise you are guilty of treating groups like liberals do-pandering to or writing off whole groups of people based on nothing but perception.

Charlie Brown always believes Lucy when she says she will hold the ball for him.  We fault him for it, but in politics, 'Lucy' is actually a diverse group of people.  Charlie Brown has to look each Lucy in the eye and judge for himself if she seems trustworthy enough to hold the ball for him.


1 comment:

Rob said...

"As Rob points out, far too many libertarian minded conservatives"

i didn't point that out, or single out Libertarian conservatives.

I see the bailing on all but their chosen candidates a huge problem for mn conservatives.

What was on my mind was 2014, It happens at races of all levels. I saw it in last governor, senate, and plenty of state leg races.

It's not a problem the DFL has.

The difference this time is I'm seeing far more "my candidate or bust" things for staunch Rand supporters, which prompted my question.

To be fair, I am seeing much of the same rhetoric from Cruz people, and could ask them the same thing.

I wouldn't expect someone to support someone they have a fundamental policy position with, but on the vast majority of issues, you can find someone else in the field who will advocate for you better than a Democrat.