In the most negative campaign ever run by an incumbent President, the 44th President of the United States held on to the White House as half the country went to bed Tuesday night knowing the man they trusted to turn the economy around was still at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
In Liberty County the impact of Barack Obama being at the top of the local voters ballots was not quite so positive for local Democrats. More than three out of every four voters voted for Mitt Romney as Obama set the county record for the lowest percentage vote for any incumbent or for any Democrat or Republican.
For years many of Liberty County voters have said “I vote for the man, not the party”. And for years elected officials thought that they had some great personal magnetism or a brilliant strategy or that voters recognized their special talents and abilities. Some ridiculed local Republican candidates who fared poorly in the polls. But the evidence is in. Local Democrats were beaten every bit as badly as Republicans were just a few years ago. People did not go down the ballot and “vote for the man” as much as some tried to claim.
What does this say to us? First we must point out that KSHN radio after all of these years finally came out with a little campaign of their own to discourage straight ticket voting. It would have been perceived as fair and balanced to have done that when Republicans had a 100 year losing streak! But back to the point – what does it say?
A political candidate’s first decision is choosing the party he or she will run in. To many voters in what is known as the Bible belt, this decision is becoming increasingly important as Democrats have embraced same sex marriage, liberal laws governing abortion, and an attitude of “ask not what you can do for your country, but ask what your country can do for you.”
The same local Democrats that seemed invincible as they held office for years were easily beaten tonight. The party they ran in was a major reason for most of their defeats. Todd Fontenot, Lee Groce, and Phil Fitzgerald, all Democrats, were called an "evil empire" by their fellow Democrat Commissioner Melvin Hunt. But despite Hunt’s efforts to separate himself from the entire stench of recent local scandals around the courthouse, he could not overcome his party affiliation with Obama and his lack of effort to stop what he clearly recognized as “evil”. All of the money wasting and politically partisan game playing were seldom challenged. Connie Henderson working for Democrats and receiving a county check was never made an issue. Bond money and ever rising property appraisals was never an issue. So Melvin is defeated too.
Tonight in this country Barack Obama was re-elected. And now most voters in Texas will have to depend on God and the Republican dominated House of Representatives to protect us from someone who has indicated he thinks he can improve on the outdated ideas in the U.S. Constitution. But also tonight in this county Liberty County has been totally emancipated from more than a century of one party dominance. We are now electing people from a party that polls show are more in line with the values of the people in this area. Now all we have to do is be vigilante and keep from allowing the corrupt from getting a toe hold in this party.