While I'll Be Voting on Dec. 17
On Dec. 17, it will be “déjà vu all over again.” Yet I will go. I will drive to Raleigh, enter our old state Capitol and vote for president. It reminds me of “Gone With the Wind.” No matter how many times I see it, Scarlett still loses Rhett, and the South still loses the war.
You see, I am one of the 538 electors who will go enact a secular passion play called the Electoral College. I know how the play ends. Obama will win. Romney will lose. Why should I go? It seems silly.
Although the Constitution might suggest differently, North Carolina law is clear. If I do not go to Raleigh this month, I will be fined. If I do not vote for the Republican nominee, my vote will not be counted, and I will be replaced by someone who will vote as commanded. All the while, everyone knows that in other state capitals, the vote for Obama will make what I do meaningless.
Yet I am going to vote for Mitt Romney. I am taking my daughter with me to watch me vote. No matter what I do, the candidacy of Mitt Romney will die as it died in November.
Like Billy Pilgrim in the Kurt Vonnegut novel “Slaughterhouse-Five,” I will realize that I have seen my death. I have visited it many times. It always turns out the same. But I go there anyway in order to make a statement about the principles for which I stand.
I believe that Mitt Romney and the Republican Party stood for something important in our election just past. We stood for an America where the individual determined his future. Hard work meant success. And that success was not an excuse for others to covet their neighbor’s possessions.
I will also go to Raleigh because I identify with the trite but upbeat philosophy of “Back to the Future” more than the morose melancholy of Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut’s hero, Billy Pilgrim, is a tribute to fatalism. His is an Obama philosophy that the poor are destined to their fate, and government needs to make them as comfortable as possible in this Earthly hell.
On the other hand, “Back to the Future” reminds us that no one’s future has yet been determined. It is what we make it. That is the philosophy I was told at the age of 11 when Barry Goldwater lost and the hope of a conservative heart suffered its greatest, albeit its most temporary, defeat.
By the time I started my law career, Ronald Reagan proved that those who claimed to have visited the death of conservatism in 1964 were no more accurate than those who expected astronauts to visit the planet Tralfamadore just after they landed on the moon.
I do not know what will happen when I go to Raleigh on Dec. 17. Perhaps I will just be a lemming in the machine of state, confirming what the powers of liberalism have deemed inevitable. But perhaps I will meet our Republican governor of eight or 12 years hence, or the man or woman who will become president in 16 years.
Perhaps he or she will launch a resurgent conservative movement from the ashes of the presidential vote I make in this moment. Or, perhaps my daughter will be so inspired by my participation in our nation’s democracy that she will be that future conservative Republican president. Of course, she will first have to get her driver’s license, something I will not yet let her do.
But I will go to Raleigh because the future of conservatism has not yet been written. My vote in the Electoral College will be my statement that no matter what the odds, I will show up to cast my ballot, for my daughter if not for me and, if not for this moment, then for moments to come.
Robert M. Levy is chairman of the Moore County Republican Party. Contact him at Law52@prodigy.net.
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