Ho hum. Another month, another Republican Presidential straw poll.
Want proof about how useless those things are? Consider the straw poll of straw polls, the Ames Straw Poll held in the month of August before what is expected to be a competitive Republican primary and caucus season. (It was not held in 2004, e.g., because President Bush was running for re-election and therefore had no serious primary challengers.) Who won Ames in 2007? 2011? Where did the eventual nominees finish in Ames in 2007 and 2011? That you don’t know right away proves how relevant Ames is to reality, and like I said, Ames is the top dog of all straw polls, so all the rest of them are even more useless.
But then I realized something else. Where are all the Democrat Presidential straw polls? Are there any? I can’t think of any offhand, and certainly none are as “serious” as Ames is on the Republican side. So why are all the Presidential straw polls only on the Republican side? It’s like these panoply of candidate pledges: All Republican, never Democrat. If I had to hazard a guess, the reason there are a lot of Republican straw polls but never any Democrat ones is that I think that at a subconscious level, the typical “serious conservative” Republican voter knows that Republican primaries and caucuses are, especially nowadays, a rigged establishment game. Everyone knows that barring some once in an a several generation anomaly, the Republican nominee in 2016 is going to be Jeb Bush, because name recognition and donors. So all these “serious conservatives” do all these useless meaningless straw polls that “serious conservatives” almost always win in order to grasp at straws to try to ease their troubled subconsciouses which are telling them the truth, so they can at least live in the blissfully ignorant comfort of denial for a little while longer.
One other thing I have to get off my chest about this conference where this straw poll was held. You can’t have family values unless you have families, and you can’t have white families if white people can’t afford to start them, and white people can’t afford to start them thanks in no small part to corporate and ruling class greed. Social conservatives (“religious right”) have done a pretty good job at least addressing and somewhat fighting half the problem, that being the social radicalism of the left, but what is holding them back from really hitting political paydirt and also accomplishing their goals is their being wedded to the Republican Party meaning that they’re hobbled by the opiates of economic libertarian ideology and general all-around Lincolnian egalitarianism, racial and otherwise. How can you denounce the very corporate greed that is helping to ruin the social fabric of the traditional nuclear family structure if libertarian ideology precludes your mind from thinking that it’s bad? Satan’s most clever trick was convincing the world that he didn’t exist, and likewise, evil flourishes when it’s able to pass itself off as some sort of virtue — Libertarianism accomplishes this for greed. I also think that the religious right’s dispensationalism (“stand with Israel”) also hobbles them because it neutralizes their ability to denounce the havoc that Israel’s diaspora causes to their own agenda and goals, because you can’t denounce the chosen people. If Jews do it, then God must want it, because chosen people. Until they break out of those three self-imposed ghettos, all their political energy is going to accrue to the benefit of people, groups and forces that don’t want them to succeed and in fact hate them.
BTW, Mitt Romney won Ames in 2007, and the eventual nominee, John McCain, finished in tenth place. Michele Bachmann won it in 2011, and the eventual nominee, Mitt Romney, finished in seventh place.