A vote for a Democrat or a vote for a Republican doesn't necessarily mean the voter is in support of EVERYTHING that candidate espouses.
Well, yes it is.
We live in a Democratic Republic. Our Founding Fathers knew that We the People did not have time, nor interest, in showing up at the polls every week to vote on every little law, bill, resolution or proclamation that comes up. So they set up a system of government in which We the People would choose those that we feel would best represent our positions to make those decisions on our behalf.
We choose, from a pool of candidates, those that espouse the ideals that we stand behind, believe in, feel is best, etc..... to put up for election to those offices. Just because you know what GOOD that person will do, does not mean you cannot also distance yourself from what kind of BAD that person intends to do on your behalf. If you vote for that person, you are giving them license - you are telling them that if they run on that platform - you agree with that platform - all aspects of it.
This is why getting involved in the pre-primary level is so important, regardless of party. I don't care what letter you have listed on your voter card...but if you do not get involved and look into the entire platform someone is standing on....well... it's the primary that gives you the opportunity to put forth, or prevent, them from being put forward. This is the pool of candidates that you will have to chose from, because after the primaries, it becomes all about the partisanship. D vs. R. (vs. L, G, etc...but let's not kid ourselves here).
Which brings up my second point I plan on making: In electing this person to represent you (that is why it is called the House of REPRESENTATIVES), you must take a look at the good AND the bad in their platform. Why do we have a two party system? Why do we classify ourselves into two basic categories? Because ultimately, (IMHO) there are two ways to decide who to put into office:
The One Who Will Do The Good You Want.
The One Who Will Not Do The Bad You Do Not Want.
When a voter choses to vote for the person who will do the good that the voter wants done, yet ignore the damage that person will also do - and then sit back and say they have no responsibility in the 'bad', it's is foolishness. You elected them in to represent you. You gave them your blessing, with your vote, to make the choices ALL OF THEM that they said they were going to make. To sit back and say "I am pro-life (or pick your topic du-jour) and don't agree with Rep. X on abortion, even though I voted for them" is a failure of you, as a citizen.
It is our duty, our obligation to get involved on some level in the process. It is our duty to vet the candidate of your choice. And then, if they do not pass the primary, to make the next best choice... and to look then at those candidates and ask yourself two very important questions:
"How much good will this person do?"
"How much damage will the person do?"
And then accept what they do, ON YOUR BEHALF, while they are in office, both the good and the bad. You voted for them. You put them in that seat. You gave them the power to do all that they said they were going to do. You take responsibility for your actions, namely, who you voted for. You take responsiblity for the damage those elected officials have done while in office.
This goes for both parties, before you think I am going to do the "all D's are bad and all R's are good".
I vote primarily along Republican lines because as a conservative, (you know, someone who wants to conserve the status quo...i.e. constitutionality, bill of rights, etc) my primary concern is what do I NOT agree on with this candidate. We will never find someone we agree with on 100% of the time. So I look at those items that I consider important, and ignore those that I do not - and when that candidate is elected - accept their votes AS MY OWN on those items.
Anonymous asked why Republicans put so much emphasis on abortion as a topic? Why do Christians put so much emphasis on voting Republican? Because we consider that topic to be very important. Plain and simple. If I choose to elect someone into office that has stated they plan on extending the pro-choice agenda, it means one of two things - I agree with the agenda, and hence choose this person as my representative, or I consider that item to be unimportant to me. So for a Christian to stand up and give credence to a Party that has chosen to stand on the Pro-Choice side of the argument again means one of two things: I agree with the agenda, and hence choose this person as my representative, or I consider that item to be unimportant to me. If you, as a Christian, find abortion to be unimportant - I suggest speaking to your Pastor.
So again, as we move past the local elections, and head full steam to this mid-term election - get involved now. Find your candidate now. Vote in the primaries. Once they are in elected into office, it's too late. (yes, i know you can recall them, but if you have ever looked into the process, it's damn near impossible)
P.S. since it is my blog - and I have the right to at least receive some respect due to the point of commenters - I have changed my settings. No more anonymous. Sorry, but my name goes by my posts. You should have the decency to do as well.