Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Primary Election Reflections

As an unaffiliated voter in Buncombe County, I am very pleased at how my candidate, Dr. Dan Eichenbaum, performed in the Republican primary. Had the other spoiler candidates withdrawn, I believe the Dr. Dan would have won the contest outright.

Numerically, Dr. Dan came in a surprisingly close second for a candidate with no name recognition and no prior public service. Geographically, Dr. Dan gained the greatest support; having won 8 out of fifteen counties in the district. And he received support from the widest possible ideological spectrum that included conservatives, libertarians, the non-ideological and even some progressives.

It's amazing that most of the six candidates that really had no chance could not afford the front-runners the latitude to court a greater swath of voters in the region. Newman was unliked in his own county. 800 people wanted "Jake" Howard to be our representative. And Kenny West should have been running for pastor instead of considering any serious elective office. Even local Republicans took pains to undermine Eichanbaum's appeal by rudely crashing tea parties criticizing his support base and spreading falsehoods in public forums. I mean, who are these people?

There has been no better political season to make advances for individual rights, limited government and free markets than this one. But they would have none of it. Their pettiness and self-regard would stand in the way of genuinely advancing their values in the political marketplace.

In spite of all of these thoughtless countervailing forces, Dr. Dan edged into such a close second that a run-off election is still in play.

Jeff Miller is a nice enough guy, I suppose, but he has no chance of offering Heath Shuler a significant challenge. Much like Shuler, and most Republicans, Miller has no compass; no underlying integrated political philosophy that informs his public policy views. He, like every typical pol, has to consider and weigh each issue as an isolated, floating phenomenon and clumsily discover his position on it. Whereas, Dr. Dan has the hard-won luxury of simply applying a well-grounded philosophical perspective to any issue that arises. You can readily deduce his position on a range of issues from his philosophy rather than hoping he will get it right more often than a broken clock. This is precisely the quality we should be looking for in a representative of the people: fore-knowledge.

I look forward to working with Dr. Dan in any future flirtation with public office, if he so chooses, and will certainly back him as a friend, supporter and tea party member were a run-off bid secured in the coming weeks.