Wed, March 19, University Club:
Resolved: Don't Vote; You'll Only Encourage Them
Marianne Stebbins David Schilling G. Larry Colson Mark Sanquist
Chairman Secretary Chief Whip Chancellor
“Our principles were high, and very definite. We were not a party; we had no candidates; we had no axes to grind. Our vote laid upon the man we cast it for no obligation of any kind. By our rule we could not ask for office; we could not accept office. When voting, it was our duty to vote for the best man, regardless of his party name. We had no other creed. Vote for the best man--that was creed enough.”
VOTING, THAT SACRED RIGHT, is the method by which We The People give legitimacy to our government. In exchange for the opportunity to vote for the candidate of their choice, the citizenry agrees to allow itself to be governed by those elected. Typically, these elections result in a slight reshuffling of the political landscape – one party gaining in its ranks another losing. However, sometimes the results are quite lopsided. The mid-term federal elections of 2006 illustrate how elected officials respond to a perceived ‘mandate’ from the voters. The Democratic leadership, newly armed with a majority in both the House and Senate, set out to push through legislation to support their party platform and deliver on campaign promises… as they should. That is the way the system works; the winners call the shots. And for the voters who supported them, there is much celebrating.
However, for Conservatives, there has not been much to celebrate. Over the last 20 years, with ‘hold-your-nose-and-pull-the-lever’ support from this group, the Republican Party has churned out, elected, and reelected, candidates that stray ever and ever further from the party platform and the principles of its conservative base. Judging from such recent events as the McCain nomination, the floating of Pawlenty for VP, and the begging by the party for Ramstad to run again, it appears there’s no change in that course. Just as the ‘mandate’ empowered the Democrats to run rampant with their agenda, the Republicans, or for that matter, any other party that deviates from its slated purpose, needs to lose, and lose big. It’s time for conservatives to thumb their nose and not pull the lever.
ON THE OTHER HAND, as the saying goes, “Why cut off your nose to spite your face?” Surely, there many who may disagree on some points with their party’s candidates, but which is worse, your party’s candidate or the opposition’s? To abstain from voting is a vote for those you favor least. And besides, if you are not happy with your party’s selection of a nominee, you must be in the minority, for evidently there were more people who did approve of the selection. So be happy that you have a candidate with at least some chance of winning. Behind the curtain, you will do the right thing.
THE CHAIRMAN, who believes that voting, like a fine wine, is wasted on those who don’t know the difference, has called for a debate to settle the question:
RESOLVED: DON'T VOTE; YOU'LL ONLY ENCOURAGE THEM
The Debate will be held on Wednesday March 19, 2008 at the University Club, 420 Summit Avenue, in Saint Paul. The Chancellor will preside over drinks beginning at seven o'clock p.m. The debate will begin at half past seven. While there is no dress code for attendance, gentlemen who wish to speak must wear a tie; ladies should adhere to a similar sartorial standard. For those gentlemen who arrive tieless yet wish to speak, fret not: the Purveyor of Ties will keep on hand at least one of his quite remarkable ties for just such an eventuality. Questions about debate caucus procedures or about the John Adams Society itself may be directed to the Chairman at (952) 470-8090 or the Secretary at (952) 210-2448.