CommunityPam's House Blend

Looks like Bob Barr, a former congressman from GA (1995 to 2003), and a staunch conservative, cannot bring himself to vote for Bush. That’s pretty bad.

Voting for president used to be so easy, at least for a conservative. There was the Republican candidate. You knew he generally stood for lower taxes, less government spending, giving fewer powers to the government, lower deficits and a zealous regard for individual privacy.

Then, there was the Democrat. You knew he generally stood for higher taxes, more government and deficit spending, and a zealous regard for civil liberties.

Throughout my own presidential voting history, the choices have rarely, if ever, been agonizing. Nixon vs. McGovern? Carter vs. Reagan? Reagan-Mondale? Dukakis, a Massachusetts liberal? Clinton? Al Gore? Ah, the good ol’ days. Each of those races presented clear choices, easily resolved.

Now we have the election of 2004. For the first time in my voting life, the choice in the race for president isn’t so clear And, among true conservatives, I’m not alone.

What’s making the contest so difficult? It’s certainly not that both candidates are so conservative that we have a choice of riches. It’s not even that John Kerry is sort of right wing compared to George W. Bush. The incumbent clearly is the more “conservative” of the two.

But the concerns for many conservative voters — concerns that may cause them not to vote for Mr. Bush on Nov. 2 — fall generally into three categories: fiscal, physical (as in the physical security of our nation) and freedom (as in protecting our civil liberties).

…Bush’s problem is that true conservatives remember their history. They recall that in recent years when the nation enjoyed the fruits of actual conservative fiscal and security policies, a Democrat occupied the White House and Congress was controlled by a Republican majority that actually fought for a substantive conservative agenda.

History’s a troublesome thing for presidents. Even though most voters don’t take much of a historical perspective into the voting booth with them, true conservatives do.

Hmmm. Who’s the Libertarian candidate again?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding