November 8, 2006
As expected, he took (I haven’t checked the totals since last night) 70%+ of the vote. Such is the life of living in a “safe” district. But as I pointed out, I didn’t vote. And yesterday, I sent the below letter to Rep. Price by fax.
All over the country, Republicans got blasted yesterday. There will be a lot of spin about why this occurred. But I think the crucial point is that Republicans didn’t live up to their promises. They managed to placate the religious conservatives, but they forgot that the Republican party has a lot of small-government libertarian types who have been left out in the cold. Some, like me, stayed home. Some, who had Libertarian options on their ballot, voted for them (there was no Libertarian candidate for the House in my District). And some held their noses and voted not for Republicans, but against Democrats.
The question now will be whether the Republicans have learned their lesson. Hopefully, Rep. Price will get a chance to read my letter, and hopefully hundreds and thousands of other voters have sent similar letters. I’ve said before that voting (or not voting) is— by itself— a horrible way to “send a message”. If you voted Democrat, you haven’t taught the Republicans much of a lesson, other than to be more like Democrats. If you voted Libertarian, you may get a little attention. If you didn’t vote, they don’t know why. That’s why I sent the below letter, so my Congressman would know why:
Dear Rep. Price,
Today marks what may be a pivotal election for the country. Republicans are in danger of losing both houses of Congress, and as a libertarian-leaning voter in the 6th District, the last thing I ever want to see is for the Democrats to get elected. However, after considering my options today, Iâ€™ve decided to stay home from the polls. Since I would have voted for you under normal circumstances, I feel I owe you an explanation.
The Republican Party has taken small-government conservatives and libertarians for granted for far too long. With control of both houses of Congress and the Oval Office, we expected to see real reforms, to the Social Security system, perhaps implementing school choice. We were fortunate enough to get tax cuts, but they were coupled with spending increases, paid for with public debt, that will need to be repaid later. As a 28-year-old professional, itâ€™s going to be me footing the bill for the next 30 years. As a reward, we got expanded social programs, far increased federal funding of education (without real reform), and no hope that the government will contract in the future.
Thatâ€™s not the worst part. We have watched as the Republican Party has resorted to demagoguery of popular issues to placate their base, throwing small-government conservatives and libertarians by the wayside. Whether itâ€™s a flag-burning amendment, the attack on online gambling, or the constant worry that somewhere, somehow, gay people may actually be living in loving, monogamous relationships, the Republican Party has been choosing wedge issues to show us exactly what theyâ€™re accomplishing.
It is not my intention to punish you for actions of the Republican Party that occurred before you were elected in 2004, nor is it my intention to punish you for actions of the Party during your incumbency. But several times, youâ€™ve had the choice between toeing the party line, or voting for freedom. Itâ€™s was the pork-filled Transportation Bill, which you rightly criticized and wrongly voted for. It was the Flag Burning Amendment, where you decided that offensive speech was no longer protected by the first Amendment. It was the Internet Gambling Bill (which hypocritically doesnâ€™t apply to horse racing, which I guess is â€œmoralâ€ gambling), where you decided that you can better decide than I whether internet poker is a danger to my family.
I will not be voting for your opponent, Steve Sinton. But as long as you and the Republican Party consistently vote against the interests of small government and personal freedom, I cannot bring myself to vote for you. Perhaps you can keep control of Congress without the support of the libertarians who vote for Republicans. But should Republican control of Congress end today, I hope that this may help explain the cause of that reversal to you and your colleagues.
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