Great Article on the Importance of Being Informed.Submitted by michaelvcowan on Tue, 01/24/2012 - 16:47
The results are in from Saturday’s “First in the South” Republican primary in South Carolina, and what we saw there has caused me to reflect on the importance of staying informed.
Newt Gingrich won South Carolina with about 41% of the vote. As recently as the previous Tuesday, he’d been polling at around 21%. If you remember, he had experienced a surge in his candidacy back in November and early December after some strong debate performances in which he’d especially gotten a chance to attack the moderators. This seems to have been what happened Saturday as well. The former Speaker is at his best when he’s attacking the media and showcasing his rhetorical skills, and the debates last week allowed him the opportunity to do both.
And the voters respond. He is envisioned as being able to out-debate President Obama, he is given sympathy by a Republican electorate that rightly detests the mainstream media, and his record and his actual policy proposals fall by the wayside, which is a shame.
What really prompted this post was seeing a reporter tweet that “SC Exit polls show Gingrich edge with conservatives, Tea Party & religious voters.” I took this to mean: voters who identify themselves as conservatives have either forgiven or forgotten Newt’s bizarre record of aligning himself with liberals on issues like Climate Change and attacking conservatives on issues like Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform proposal; voters who identify themselves as Tea Party members have either forgiven or forgotten Newt’s (somewhat reluctant) support of TARP and his endorsement and praise of RomneyCare; and voters who believe their President should be a strong Christian have forgiven or forgotten Newt’s various personal moral failings.
My point is not necessarily to bash Newt, but to bring up facts about his candidacy that might get overlooked after a rousing media-bashing debate. He may be a great debater (or not), and he may hate the media with a righteous indignation (or not), but his record (especially over the past decade+) should give Republicans pause, and the lack of specifics in his proposals should concern those voters who are naturally suspicious of politicians’ vague promises. And, lastly, his inability to even appear on the ballot in multiple states and his significant lag behind Obama in national polls should probably prevent all but his most loyal supporters from taking his candidacy seriously.
If we are researching these candidates and have a solid understanding of their history and positions, we won’t be so quick to vote for someone based on their Presidential looks or ability to entertain us. Stay motivated and stay informed.