Jumping the political aisle? Probably not

In my 29 years here on earth I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a national political climate as polarized as what we see today. With extreme leftists like Sen. Bernie Sanders running for the Democratic nomination and Republican contenders like Sen. Ted Cruz arising from the right-wing tea party movement, I’m welcoming the possibility of President Jim Webb.

According to a Fox News report the former Virginia senator sent a message to supporters last Thursday stating, “after many months of thought, deliberation and discussion, I have decided to seek the office of the Presidency of the United States.”

Since the age of 18, I have only voted for a Democrat once. That vote came after Lorain, Ohio Councilwoman Anne Molnar supported a referendum to repeal a local tax in my former home. I and some of my political compadres led the charge on the referendum in 2008.

I don’t take my voting responsibility lightly, and given my political beliefs I cringe at the thought of casting my vote for a Democrat. However, we have some good ones like Sheriff Graham Atkinson and Register of Deeds Carolyn Comer here in Surry County.

Here in Surry County officials from both parties work well together to ensure government meets the needs of the residents. On the national level, however, that just doesn’t happen. The politics in Washington, D.C., create a divisive atmosphere, and sadly it seems to be the extremists who benefit.

Folks like Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, a relative political newbie, have jettisoned their ways to the top using soundbites and political rhetoric. Often times these tea party candidates talk about what shouldn’t be going on in government, offering few suggestions for bettering America.

Politicians like Cruz waive pocket-sized constitutions around and holler about down-sizing government. Of course, there are other candidates like Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina with no experience in government. Though I was a George W. Bush supporter, I’m not sure we need another Bush in the Whitehouse.

On the political experience matter, I’m particularly interested in Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal. They have experience as governors. As an individual who has both participated in and reported on government, I can assure you that serving in an executive position is much different than serving in the legislature. Normally I like candidates with at least some executive experience.

If an individual like Walker or Jindal is presented as an option in the 2016 general election, I will likely stay true to my party and cast my vote for the guy with an “R” next to his name.

However, if Jim Webb manages to upset Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders I would have to give Webb some thought. Additionally, if Webb is running against a Ted Cruz type Republican or Donald Trump I almost certainly cast my vote for Webb in the general election.

Webb served in the United States Senate for only one term, which ended in 2011. Webb is viewed by most as a moderate or conservative Democrat. The former senator is pro-second amendment and very much in favor of maintaining a strong military.

Though Webb is a moderate, he can’t be mistaken for not having a backbone. While serving as Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan, Webb refused to cut the size of the Navy. The move ultimately led to Webb’s resignation.

After the past seven years of tolerating a president who never served in the armed services, Webb would be a nice change. The former senator is a well-decorated combat veteran, having been awarded two Bronze Star Medals, a Navy Cross and a Silver Star. Webb also earned two Purple Hearts during his service in the Vietnam War.

Webb probably doesn’t have a great shot at knocking off Hillary Clinton and her political and fundraising machine, and Ted Cruz likely won’t come out on top of the field of characters running for the Republican nomination.

Therefore, it seems unlikely that I’ll be jumping the aisle to vote Democrat. With the exception of Webb, I can’t stomach putting another Democrat in our nation’s highest office.

However, if the perfect storm of events should come to fruition — if Ted Cruz or another GOP Loony Toon is on the ballot against Webb — I may find myself hopping the political aisle and voting for the former Virginia senator.

comments powered by Disqus