As frustrating and irritating and infuriating this election cycle has been, it is the most patriotic election we have had in a lifetime. Living in Ohio, this will be the first primary I get to vote in where my vote will actually count. This will be my first primary where the establishment failed in anointing their chosen candidate without any regard for the voters’ wishes.
I was barely 18 years old when I cast my first ballot for President of the United States. After 8 years of Ronald Reagan, I proudly scribbled in the box for George H. W. Bush. Being more interested in politics than most since that day, I have been sorely disappointed election year after election year as the RNC forced their pre-selected candidates upon the electorate.
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The 1996 election gave us a great war hero, but no one was excited to select Sen. Bob Dole as President. Many speculated Republicans willingly threw that election away and focused on 2000. A Texan at the time, I wasn’t even all that thrilled about George W. Bush, but he was definitely a better choice than Al Gore. In reality, it was during Bush’s second term that the conservative Tea Party movement actually started formulating.
Disappointed with their party’s direction, voters ousted Republicans from the House and the Senate in 2006, giving both chambers back to the Democrats. The sleeping giant was waking up. Then the 2007 push for amnesty by Senators John McCain and Harry Reid, backed by Bush, was thwarted by the American people with a deluge of furious calls to Congress. The bill was stopped, but a movement was started. As much as Democrats what to claim the Tea Party began as pushback by a bunch of racists against Barack Obama, it was actually pushback to the progressive Republican establishment that birthed the revolt that is peaking at this very moment. People were mad and they were starting to fight back.
Even after voters resoundingly rejected McCain’s Gang of 12 bill, establishment manipulated the system in 2008 to force out such formidable candidates as Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Alan Keyes, and Fred Thompson to grant McCain the nomination. Out of nowhere and out of money, McCain wins New Hampshire and was swept in with ease on Super Tuesday. By the time I voted in Ohio it was just a formality. Is it no surprise they tried the exact same tactic again this year to shove Senator Marco Rubio, the 2013 Gang of 8 bill spokesman, on the voters.
In 2012, with Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, and Michelle Bachman all running, establishment thrust Mitt Romney on us, insisting we must accept their candidate for the good of the party. During their first debate, Romney surprisingly took Obama to task on his policies and won. But like any good establishment GOP RINO fearing bad press, Romney snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory and refused to stand up to Obama or the Democrats again.
This year is different. This year the giant is wide awake and the voters are saying, “No”. In fact, they are saying, “Hell, no!” Whether you want Trump or Cruz, Super Tuesday and Super Saturday have shown the establishment is done. One by one, the voters have rejected the establishment hopefuls, even if some of them haven’t realized it yet. With Trump and Cruz in an obvious 2-man race, both of these men represent anti-establishment to the voters. Supporters of both men have a justified anger at the politics-as-usual GOP elites.
As a businessman, Trump symbolizes a complete outsider to his supporters, clean of the politics of Washington. He is seen as tough and demanding. His supporters believe he will stick it to the establishment and make them pay for their political sins. Cruz, though a Senator, has pushed back on the establishment from the moment he took his oath. As Trump likes to point out, no one in Washington likes him. Cruz supporters see that as a one of his best qualities. Trump supporters are throwing the baby out with the bath water, the towel, the soap, the wash tub and the kitchen sink. Cruz supporters acknowledge he has been fighting the fight from the inside and has proven he will stand up to the powers that be. They believe he will dismantle the establishment by repairing Washington with the Constitution.
As Rubio and Gov. John Kasich limp forward, there is no mathematical way for them to win, even if they do capture their own states. Their path to victory is a brokered convention where they believe they can steal the election away from the people. The establishment still thinks they will tell the electorate who the candidate will be. Overwhelming majorities though have said, “It will not be one of you.” And if they try, there will be a revolution.
After Saturday’s results, it occurred to me that this race may go to the very end. And that is a very good thing. I’m excited my vote will be counted along with other states whose people usually don’t even bother showing up to primaries because the die has already been cast.
Love it or hate it, this is America. This is what liberty looks like. This is how a Republic is supposed to be. So stop whining about so many debates. Stop complaining about having to hear candidates explain their policies for the 100th time. This is the process our founding fathers gave us for a reason, so a handful of elitists could not control us and tell us who will be our rulers. We have broken out of the mold. Enjoy the freedom, proudly vote, and for the first time in decades, revel in the fact that your voice is being heard.
But that’s just my 2 cents.