Over the past couple of months I’ve exchanged e-mails with a gentleman (let’s call him John) who was a bundler in 2008 for Barack Obama. He’s begged off this time around and is searching for a presidential candidate. He’s Jewish and says that over the years he has shifted back and forth between support for Republican and Democratic candidates. No longer.
Now, it’s not Israel that pushed him over the edge. He told me, “Although I felt Obama has grossly mishandled Israel (perhaps more in form than actual substance), I cannot honestly say that this was a major factor.”
What did it? Well, yesterday we exchanged e-mails again. I asked him whether he was still in the not-Obama camp. He replied: “Funny you should ask, as this question has popped up with increasing frequency among many of my more Democratic orientated friends. . . . in these discussions I keep hearing incredulous variations of ‘You can’t possibly vote’ for ______________ (fill in the blank). My response is, yes . . . actually I really could!!!” So why has he switched. This, he wrote, is what he tells his Democratic friends:
The breadth of government has reached a tipping point from Roosevelt’s efforts in the 30’s to ostensibly attempt to provide a safety net for the most neediest Americans to becoming an economically unsustainable entitlement bazaar that is eroding any remaining collective sense of traditional American self reliance and independence. I have flipped back and forth over the years between which party frightens me the most and clearly I now prefer the deficiencies of the Republicans to the deficiencies of the Democrats. I always fear the extremes of both parties but the Democrats have shifted so far left they they now seem intent on using Western Europe as their economic and social template, which is a disaster without possibility of a solution. Entitlements (and I mean more than just Social Security and Medicare), a corrosive, debilitating, nonsensical tax policy and government overreach are literally sucking the life force out of the underlying vitality and spirit that has made us both remarkable and exceptional in the course of world history and are the primary contributors of our current situation. While there is no certainty that Republicans will succeed in addressing these issues, there is certainty that Democrats will not.
He hasn’t found a candidate yet. But he and many like him, I suspect, are searching. When you hear the Republican candidates speak and debate and review their records, keep in mind that they probably will have every gettable GOP voter. It is “John” and others that they have to appeal to. I’ll try to check back periodically and see how he’s doing in his “not-Obama” search.