Wednesday, March 23, 2005
The answer is a definitive yes. Here is what Jim Geraghty has to say:
You'll recall that I predicted that the Schiavo controversy would only be a big issue to those who were already paying attention to or felt strongly about end-of-life/assisted suicide/living-will issues. I also doubted that any conservative would vote against the GOP over this. [The post then notes a couple of emails from people who disagree, and then concludes:] Okay, there are some folks out there for whom this is a make-or-break issue. But I still have my doubts as to whether there are enough of them to swing any races.
I obviously disagree with Mr. Geraghty. I am an independent, and I have voted for both Democrats and Republicans in the past. I lean generally toward Republican candidates because my libertarianism and conservatism (as in "small government") values tend to outweigh other values in my final decision-making process. The religious right branch of the GOP, and their values, is what keeps me on the fence for the most part. While I feel they have the right to their views and values (and frankly I respect them for holding true to those values) for the most part I don't share them.

So I tend to vote for Republican candidates only because I feel that their positions on libertarianism and small government issues (which I agree with) outweigh their positions on social issues (which for the most part I disagree with). But given what just happened, I cannot rely on that calculus anymore. So I will be left to some extent to vote based on social issues. Certainly I will still favor moderate candidates - but now it is more likely those moderate candidates will be Democrats. And I would be shocked if there aren't many people out there like me who are thinking this exact same thing.

Sure this one specific issue may not swing any races, but in politics it is never one issue that makes a long-term shift in voting patterns. This is just one domino. But it is a domino that will have a long-term effect.
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I am an attorney in Chicago. Politically speaking, I am an indepedent that tends to lean conservative on fiscal issues and progressive on social issues. I try to remain as unbiased and open-minded as possible. Please email or post any comments, and especially criticisms. If something I say is wrong, or you disagree - let me know about it!



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