Where Have all the Intellectuals Gone?

14 10 2008

Interesting column by David Brooks on how the Republican party has alienated intellectuals and people from different backgrounds, culminating in the choice of Sarah Palin and her Joe Sixpacksian political/philosophical perspective.  This article partially explains why I, and seemingly every grad student at my church, support Barack Obama, because we have been shown the door by the Republican Party.



4 responses

16 10 2008
Forest Rittgers

David Brooks is one of my favorite columnists and talking heads. Over the years, I’ve watched him morph from being a very dedicated and convincing conservative to a very uncertain one. He has been openly critical of the current administration and of the candidacy of McCain/Patlin. Still, I believe he is a conservative at heart and an effective counter-balance to the more liberal Democrats. What is a Republican to do when faced with the current political Catch-22? I recall not so many years ago when Ross Perot caught the fancy of Republicans who just couldn’t bring themselves to voting again for Bush 41. His folksy, “check under the hood first” populism was a very attractive counterpoint to the eliteism that had captured the Republican party in the form of Bush 41. Never mind that Perot was essentially a a very wealthy crackpot who represented a third party and had no legitimate chance to win. Still, he garnered enough votes to insure victory for Clinton. So, what does a good Republican do when his party wanders off into never-never land? The choices are few: don’t vote, vote for the other guy in protest, hang in there and try to correct the system from within. If you honestly believe in what the other guy stands for, that he will do what he says he will do, that the lack of executive-legislative checks and balances in government operations will be a good thing and that the Republican party is beyond redemption, then your course is clear. If you believe in the core values of the Republican party, still possess healthy and rational idealism, and have the youthful energy to be part of the rebuilding process, your vote even in a losing cause would have merit and demonstrate commitment to your ideals. To not vote at all would be “mugwumpism” (mug on one side of the fence and wump on the other). Just my two cents worth.

16 10 2008

Thanks for the thoughtful response Forest. How many Republicans do you think are going to be voting for Bob Barr? Nowhere near as many as Perot, but I’ve heard from a few friends who are going to do that because they won’t vote for McCain and view Obama as too liberal. This is essentially what I did in the last election, voting for Nader as a way of protesting (I agree it is important as an American citizen to vote and to inform oneself in order to do so). I wasn’t committed to either party, definitely was not going to vote for Bush, and thought Kerry wasn’t a much better option.

I voted for Bush in 2000 (just out of high school) and am a registered Republican, but consider myself a moderate. I voted yesterday (absentee ballot for NY) for Obama and strongly favor him, but haven’t been and will never be opposed to voting for a particular candidate based only on their party affiliation.

17 10 2008
Forest Rittgers

Owen, since your vote was based on personal commitment as opposed to party loyalty, would you mind sharing the factors that led to your decision for Obama?

17 10 2008

I’ll put up a post on it, I’m sure there are a few interested in the answer.

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