Friday, November 7, 2008

Introducing The Rational Conservative

John McCain inspired me to get back into politics.

That inspiration came at the very end of his campaign for president. In the closing week of the campaign, with the odds stacked high against him, in his stump speech he urged his supporters to "Get up and fight!"

I looked at the polls that indicated that my state of Virginia would go blue for the first time since 1964.

Get up and fight!

I looked at the certainty that a Democrat would take the Senate seat up for grabs in Virginia, making my state's Senate delegation entirely under Harry Reid's thumb.

Get up and fight!

I looked on as over half of my fellow Americans who cast ballots voted for the candidate who promised to "spread the wealth around".

Get up and fight!

A few weeks earlier, during one of the debates, I watched McCain, the candidate I supported, talk of having the federal government buy up the mortgages, signaling that personal responsibility was no longer in vogue.

Get up and fight!

I watched as the media went to great lengths to dig up dirt on Sarah Palin and on Joe the Plumber but the kid gloves were on when it came to investigating the background of Barak Obama or highlighting the gaffes of Joe Biden.

Get up and fight!

And then I looked at myself. I used to be fairly involved politically, up to date on all of the issues, informed of what was going on in Washington, always ready and willing to attempt to persuade others to consider my point of view.

But then, well, I got complacent. In Richmond, I was in the middle of a solidly Red state with two GOP Senators. Both chambers of the Virginia legislature were Republican. An occasional conservative Democrat in the governor's mansion was hardly a cause for alarm. Republican president? Check. GOP in control of the House and Senate? Check.

So, I tuned out of politics. Not completely, mind you, but my interest devolved to a very superficial level. I was disturbed two years ago when George Allen was "macacaed" out of office and the Republicans lost control of Congress but that was just an unfortunate isolated incident. No reason to get all worked up, I thought.

Then along came 2008.

Looking back at all of this and with McCain's words echoing in my head, I've decided that it's time to get off of the sidelines No longer will I sit back, rooting for the GOP to prevail, letting the other side define the terms of the debate.

Get up and fight!

My blog here, The Rational Conservative (or Raticon for short), is part of my part of the fight. I'm going to introduce my ideas into the arena and highlight the best of what others have to say. In addition, I'll take others to task when I disagree with them, regardless of what side of the political spectrum their thoughts may reside.

I will do more. Next year I will work to support the Republican nominee for governor of Virginia (likely to be Bob McDonnell, a solid conservative). In fact, I'll start that effort right now. I have no campaign fatigue since I didn't do much in this one besides sit back and watch everything go down in flames.

And in elections after that, and in between elections as issues come before the legislatures, I'm going to get up and fight.

I look forward to engaging in conversations with those of you who are of like mind and those of you who have reasonable disagreements.

It's good to be back in the fight.

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