|'Vote for Me, Ed Clark and I will...|
be able to do nothing for you!'
Energy crisis; sky-high gasoline prices (up from $.35/gallon to over $1!); rationing at the pumps on even-odd days; inflation at 12%/year; interest rates at 21%.
And then....the Shah of Iran was overthrown and American hostages were taken for close to a year mostly because of President Carter's inept and weak foreign policy and military stances to that point.
President Obama must have read the Carter playbook, yes?
Former Governor of California Ronald Reagan was running not only to restore the American Dream and prosperity but also to restore America as the world's superpower in both economic and military strength.
Reagan's war-hawkishness was downright scary to many people who could only envision his super strong support for GOP Presidential candidate Barry 'Extremism in the Defense of Liberty Is No Vice' Goldwater in 1964.
The 'Daisy' ad said it all. (click on title link to the blog above to see the video of the ad which ran only 1 time on national TV)
And many young people were scared. Scared of Reagan pushing the nuke button willy-nilly. Scared of never being able to find a job in the moribund economy caused by President Carter's feckless policies.
So what did some people choose to do?
Of course. They voted for 'Ed Clark Libertarian Candidate for President!'
Who was 'Ed Clark Libertarian'?
No one who voted for him knew anything about Ed Clark Libertarian. All they knew was they hated President Carter for his domestic and foreign policy failures and they were terrified Ronald Reagan would push the nuke button on January 21, 1981 after his inauguration if elected and turn Iran into a desert sheet of glass.
A Vote for Ed Clark Libertarian, for them, was a matter of 1) principle and 2) protest against the 2 major political parties in America.
What did it get those who voted for Ed Clark Libertarian?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
They failed to help elect President Reagan who only went on to rejuvenate the American economy in an economic and jobs creation explosion unlike anything America had seen since perhaps WWII when everyone went to work and had to in order to support the war effort. (Official unemployment rates fell during WWII to a minuscule 1.2%).
President Reagan also went on to defeat communism in Russia and Eastern Europe. Ed Clark didn't. 'Nuff said.
Why do we bring this up today of all days?
Simply because there is a movement on the right from normally sentient, sober and serious people to not vote for the Republican Senate Candidate in North Carolina, Thom Tillis who is running against Democrat incumbent US Senator Kay Hagan who was elected in 2008.
Just like the voters for 'Ed Clark Libertarian for President!', these people want to send a message to Washington and Raleigh that their conservative votes:
1) 'can't be taken for granted any longer!';
2) 'we are upset that elected Republicans have not solved all the problems we face!' and
3) 'we are better off keeping people in office who support Barack Obama and Harry Reid so things will REALLY get bad so the next election, we can take over!'
All of those reasons make about as much as sense as voting for Ed Clark for President in 1980.
Anyone has the freedom to not vote, just as they have the freedom to vote, assuming they are legal citizens and legally registered to vote in their election districts.
But what does that really getcha? What does not voting really look like in the 'real world' as opposed to the Land of Oz, let's say?
Not voting for someone because, while you may agree with their general overall philosophy of government, they are not perfectly aligned with you on every single issue reminds us of the following sports analogies, just to make it easier to understand:
1) Your team, Duke, has the ball and Tyus Jones is breaking away to the basket to score an easy layup and put 2 points on the board for the Blue Devils. But you don't like the fact that Tyus has not passed you the ball in the game so far so you run behind him and block the snowbird layup from behind.
The other team, the hated North Carolina Tar Heels, get the carom off the backboard and, being good teammates who like each other immensely, pass the ball quickly down the court and score an easy two points for the Heels.
That is not a 2-point swing, ladies and gentleman. That is a 4-point swing; the 2 pts you didn't get for Duke and the 2 other points that you gave to the Tar Heels by your action.
2) Jim 'Wrong Way' Marshall scoring a safety for the 49ers instead of a TD for the Vikings, 1964. (again, click on the link to the blog post above to view the video)
The laughter of the audience and the sports announcers tell you all you need to know about just how ridiculous this really was.
We could go on and on about how futile it is to waste a vote by not voting or by voting for some fringe candidate who may get 1% of the vote when all is said and done.
If you really want to make a difference, run yourself and try to corral enough of the massive number of registered Unaffiliated Independent voters to get to 50%+1 of the total vote in the next Senate election in 2016 in North Carolina.
However, the majority of the registered Independents in North Carolina at least have done so precisely because they abhor the sort of doctrinaire inflexible stances by those of you on the right who declare you are the Only True Way to Constitutional Conservatism just as they abhor those on the left who declare that they are the Only True Way to Government Control of Everything.
At least they are going to vote next Tuesday and make a difference one way or another.
People who don't vote really don't count. It is their choice to make. Let them learn the error of their ways.
Like the 'Ed Clark Libertarian for President!' voters in 1980. All 10 of them.