When Georgia Republicans go to the polls during this election season, they cannot complain that they are holding their noses and voting. Holding ones nose and voting is the standard line to suggest that you are not happy with a candidate but are voting for them anyway. In the case of Nathan Deal, a vote reflects leaving ones principles, rhetoric, and beliefs at the door. It is not just holding ones nose, it is violating very basic, newly spawned, conservative principles.

Nathan deal is a career politician who started feeding from the taxpayer trough about 30 years ago. He represents the antithesis of everything the Tea Party and fiscal conservatives say they believe must change. They complain we need new blood to straighten out the corrupt dealings in government. But they are going to vote for Deal who was voted one of 15 most corrupt members of Congress by a nonpartisan group. They are going to vote for Deal who resigned from Congress just before being summoned before the Ethics Committee for financial irregularities. His early resignation to escape a Congressional probe costs his district over $200,000 for a “special” election only months before the actual primary.

Fiscal conservatives are saying they want fiscally responsible people in government. That rhetoric will not stop them from voting for Deal even though Deal served during the Bush II administration and voted a straight party ticket. In other words, he is as guilty as Bush for the financial excesses that sweep our financial system and propelled us into a deep, dark depression. Deal is every bit as responsible as Bush for the massive increase in federal debt during the last decade. Deal has been a very big “pork” dealer during his time in office, bringing home tons of bacon. But fiscal conservatives are going to “forgive” this egregious violation of their principles, suggesting that their “principles” are little more than hollow words meant to fire up the uninformed masses. Either you believe what you say and act on it or you mouth the words and pretend to turn a blind eye. In this case, conservatives will vote for a man that represents everything they say they vehemently oppose – and will do so with their eyes wide open.

Their “forgiveness” will have to cut a broad swath through their alleged political beliefs. Deals finances are an absolute mess. And I mean an absolute mess. Would you co-sign away your entire financial worth for a son-in-law who had previously bankrupted? Whatever happened to conservative tough love? Does caring for your children mean that you hock everything you have for them, especially when they have a history of financial irresponsibility? That really sounds more like codependency than love. It sounds more like poor financial judgment than love. I seriously doubt that most fiscal conservatives would have hocked their financial futures on a risky business proposition just so their child could make a living. I think most fiscal conservatives are smarter than that. However, they lose their right to complain about government financial mismanagement when they willingly vote for a candidate who has aptly demonstrated his inability to make sound financial decisions – both within and outside government.

Finally, conservatives must ask themselves how a career politician can be so challenged by financial disclosure forms. How an alleged fiscal conservative cannot figure out his net worth, especially after three attempts. How a Deal supporter can refigure Deal’s finances and finds millions of dollars of assets Deal was unaware of.  Georgia’s finances are in rotten shape right now. Maybe conservatives figure Deal will hire that accountant and he can find billions of assets the state is unaware of. In any case, fiscal conservatives are voting with their eyes wide open and their principles tucked into their back pocket out of sight.

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Jim Fitzgerald

Jim Fitzgerald

A clinically trained psychologist, Jim had a private practice in Cobb County for almost 30 years. For the last ten years he has been a Professor of Psychology at Goddard College in Plainfield, VT, but lives in the North Georgia Mountains.