Nothing But Bad Alternatives

The following was written by Harry R. Jackson, Jr. for

Four months ago I was a part of a very high level meeting with the evangelical community’s most influential leaders. We spent an entire day interacting with politicians on the Hill and the current administration’s most trusted advisors. Most of us were shocked that the president had not led the charge to protect marriage more aggressively---after all it was May, 2006. In our view, he had used up a great deal of political capital on social security reform, the unexpected Katrina debacle, the war, and other internal squabbles and fights. Frankly, we wondered if we had been pushed out of the “big tent.” Although our concern was universal, everyone sat quietly, hoping to be proven wrong.

Everything was going fine until one of the speakers said, “The values voters did not make the difference in the 2004 election.” The speaker failed to even thank the folks in the room for their efforts to get out the vote, to get the marriage amendment on the ballots of important swing states, and for their unwavering support of President Bush. I am not sure of the speaker’s true intent. Maybe he meant to say: “the three major issues on the minds of the average voter are: 1) the war in Iraq, 2) gas prices, and 3) the domestic economy.” Such a statement would have been understood by the leaders in the room. By contrast, what we heard in our heads was a condescending voice bellowing, “It’s nice that you supported us, but we could have done it ourselves. We admire your passion, but you don’t know how we play this game in
D.C.” source

Evangelical conservatives have found that they are in the same boat as fiscal conservatives. Based on everything that is happening with the Republican Party, the leaders of the Party know that they have some problems with their base. They also know that their base has nowhere to go. That can be seen on the conservative blogs where any misstep by the GOP is met with a “but the Democrats would be worse” statement.

What this says to the GOP is they can rest assure that they will not be held accountable for their failures at the voting booths. This is evident when James Dobson of Focus on the Family spins the Mark Foley incident by stating, “As it turns out, Mr. Foley has had illicit sex with no one that we know of, and the whole thing turned out to be what some people are now saying was a -- sort of a joke by the boy and some of the other pages.” source

For years black conservatives have argued that by voting for Democrats, black people subject themselves to a political plantation where they are easily exploited. It seems to me that the same thing may be happening to certain sects of the Republican Party. We will see with this next election but it seems to me that political campaigns are getting much easier to run. It’s simply a matter of filling in the following blanks.

1. “But if a ___________ were to take office things would be worse.”

2. “The _________ Party may not be perfect but I’d rather have them in power rather than the __________ Party.”

3. “Anybody but a __________.”

This is how politicians want it. If political choices are narrowed down the point where the alternative is unacceptable, then there is no need to actually follow through on anything. We are getting exactly what accept. Fredrick Douglas said it best:

“Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.”


6 Responses to Nothing But Bad Alternatives

  1. Bullfrog Says:
    First, I am not sure if what Dr. Dobson said can be accurately labeled "spin" unless you know some detail of the now infamous "Mark Foley Debacle" that the rest of us do not. I think maybe you assume too much, but I digress...

    I do agree that voting the party line works for nobody, except the two party system, which doesn't really seem to be serving the voters too well.

    Bush is a disaster on social as well as fiscal issues in my opinion and he definitely has not represented my views well at all on moral issues besides the usual token gesture to give his base false assurance that he is still "fighting the good fight" for morality.

    We would all do better to vote our consciences at election time instead of being loyal to any party ot person who are only loyal to their constituents when it is politically expedient.

    I posted a rant to my blog some time ago asking loyal Bushites to give hard evidence proving the President is a true conservative. Guess what? No takers.
  2. The Best [ Ghostface ] Says:
    To Jay

    It has been a long time since I have read that Douglas quote on a website or blog. The white conservative vote is on the verge on being irrelavant because they have no other oarty to go to and the more non-whites join the republican conseervative party the more the white conservative become insignificant and this scares alot of hwite conservatives soon the republican party will just like the democrats meaning a party that works in the interest of the non-whites more. But you are right Jay there is nowhere to go meaning no other political party that they would like to vote for unless it is the libertarian and socialist party. And If a third party arises due to disatisafaction it will become a party similar to Adolf hitler's Nazi party preaching the same ideology as Hitler's Nazi party meaning hate, racism, religious intolerance etc.

    God post Jay

    By Chance
  3. Bloviating Zeppelin Says:
    But in the end it still gets down to voting for one's perceived lesser of two evils, doesn't it -- because there will never be the ideal candidate nor the ideal party; not for me anyway. But here it comes: I'd still rather. . .

  4. Rashid Z. Muhammad Says:
    I just can't bring myself to vote for the lesser of two evils any more. I voted for Gore in 2000 and felt filthy after leaving the voting booth. Never again.

    My libertarian vote in 2004 ensured me that not only did I vote for a candidate whose platform I almost unformly agreed with, but I also have no culpability in this debacle that is the current Republican administration, nor did I give the impotent Democrats an undeserved endorsement of their horrible leadership, and generally lame rhetoric.
  5. Bullfrog Says:
    I'm with Rashid, if enough people vote their consciences, maybe the 2 dominating parties will be forced to chang their ways.
  6. James Manning Says:
    The problem is with money. Most of the fringe groups do not have the money to attract the type of people that most of us could get behind. I think if we took corporate money out of politics and move towards public financing of elections, things could change.

    I'm at the point now that come '08, if I won't vote if I don't see what I want.