An Outsider’s View

I am a Libertarian. I have been voting over 50 years. I am also a recovering Republican, but in my 12 Step Program, I have been unable to proceed beyond Step 8: Making a list of all persons I have harmed by my votes for Republicans (and several Democrats). We have been ruled, not governed, for too long by only two parties, and today even our grandchildrens financial futures are now in doubt. We all get what we deserve when voting or not voting in national elections. The same is true for the Republicans in the 4th District House race on Tuesday.

It would be great if we could vote for candidates A or B or C for their positions on limited state government and personal liberty. We could focus on the long term effects to our state of issues they support. But we don’t, so we vote for sound bites that pass for policy positions, personalities and political connections, all because we want our party to win, not our citizens.

We are in this situation, because we rewarded a man whom we believed had done well in local politics. We promoted him to Tallahassee where he worked hard to bring our share of budget dollars back to us. He was rewarded by his fellow career politicians with the Speakers position, the fatal, last brush with the flame of absolute power. We ask ourselves, How the h__l could this happen!? Well, a majority of those voting each election day rewarded his efforts . . . several times. So, did we get what we deserved?

Fast forward and Republicans can reward the prior electoral successes and political experiences of Craig Barker, Bill Garvie, or Jerry Melvin with promotion to Tallahassee.

Or they can promote a new face, Matt Gaetz, a lawyer-activist who is well-connected. He also is being credited with saving half of the F-35 mission at Eglin, without being critiqued as too late to save the entire mission. Whether his thinking is independent of his dads as he claims, well, that is part of the Republican crapshoot, isnt it?

Finally, they can reward a businessman and budget-activist, Kabe Woods, who founded the Okaloosa Citizens Alliance to bring greater accountability for our tax dollars to our County and local governments. Only outsiders, not experienced elected representatives within the system, seem to be able to do that.

Will it be possible for Republican voters to stop rewarding career politicians and look seriously at new faces on Tuesday? An elected representative brings a tool kit of skills from their education and experiences to their position. Political careerists bring connections. Lawyers bring legal tactics. Business people bring analysis and concern for effective results.

Will Republicans go to the polls, to continue political careers, start a new political career, or bring sense to how our taxes are spent by the state? It is a big responsibility, and only Republicans can do it Tuesday.

Lee Jackson