Yahoo asked Republican and conservative voters in New Jersey and Virginia to react to Tuesday's gubernatorial elections and tell us: What did voters learn about their party's strategies in these races that can be applied to 2014 and beyond? Here's one perspective.
COMMENTARY | As a fiscal conservative and a long-time Republican voter who believes in individual rights and liberty, I was relieved to learn that Democrat Terry McAuliffe beat Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial race. I knew that neither major party candidate would fully represent the principles I believed in, but in this case, the Democrat was the lesser of two evils.
Increasingly, the Republican Party is influenced by the tea party, which is controlled by religious fundamentalists. Cuccinelli is a sterling example of this religious domination, especially controlling a woman's body and depriving gays and lesbians of equal rights.
When the tea party first began spreading revolt, I had high hopes. They seemed to preach a conservative message of limited government and freedom, a message that hearkened back to the principles our nation was founded upon.
In those days, when the conservative message seemed to focus more on small government and personal responsibility, voting Republican was an easy choice. I attended a tea party event here in Richmond. I heard a speaker who promoted the ideals of objectivism: capitalism, individual rights and property rights, with separation of state and economics and state and religion.
I also heard some notes of religious fundamentalism that day, but I hoped that the voices of liberty would drown out the social conservatives. After all, I reasoned, the tea party stood for liberty and limited government, which doesn't mesh with the religiosity of the far right. But I was wrong.
Increasingly, as in the 2013 governor's race, I find myself called upon to choose between financial slavery and personal slavery: The Democrats want to hijack my purse, while the Republicans want to control my personal life. I'd rather give up my money.
I have voted Republican in most eligible elections during my 53 years. But today I voted for the Libertarian candidate, Robert Sarvis. Until the Republican Party can promote both social and economic liberty, I will not be able to give them my support, in 2014 or beyond.
- Politics & Government
- Ken Cuccinelli
- Republican Party