(Not a) Party Guy

I don’t think I’ve mentioned my feelings on this round of Republican primaries yet, and I’m sure that’s been difficult for the American public in general. Consequently, the topic is a good opportunity for me to broaden the bits and pieces I’ve brought up regarding how I feel about politics.

I am not a party guy, or operative, or whatever angrier term one might use. I’m a Republican because I think there are certain things government should manage in return for our tax dollars (national defense, transportation, criminal justice) and certain things they should not (nearly everything else). That we can afford to provide some degree of safety netting in education, retirement, and health care is well and good. That pandering politicians insist these are somehow inalienable rights lends to a sort of socialist scope creep which, in my opinion… sucks. Republicans and Democrats are both guilty of this, but a Republican is at least unlikely to do it constantly (see: Edwards, John, a trial attorney obsessed with income redistribution).

As a conservative 24-year-old with low tolerance for b.s. and relatively weak party ties, I should be all about McCain, right? That seems to be the conventional “wisdom” coming from the big paper and TV news outlets. Thing is, when it comes to the important issues it’s almost impossible to guess where John McCain is going to stand. McCain is assertive about fighting Islamism overseas; he’s for amnesty when it comes to securing the borders. McCain stands for straight talk; somehow he also got his name on pretty terrible campaign finance reform and is prone to the “no tax cuts for the wealthy” line. McCain hates bureaucracy, but hearts the global warming regulations boondoggle.

With Thompson out and Giuliani crashing, Romney looks more and more like my favorite Mormon candidate. Come to think of it, he’s probably my favorite Mormon, too… sorry Senator Reid. There are some questions about Mitt’s credentials, but I was leaning his direction even before the field’s recent narrowing. Given the option between Romney’s waffling and McCain’s downright unpredictability, Romney strikes me as the most reliable conservative in the race. Given the option between McCain and any of the Democratic choices, I’d tick the box for McCain – but we’ll burn that bridge when we get there.

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