Some of the major primaries for the year are winding down. Whether they read my posts or not it seems, thankfully that conservatives are heeding the advice of the Buckley Rule, and the fringe lunatics (who really have nothing to do with the ideals that started the Tea Party but have the nasty habit of calling themselves such) are losing and real conservatives are winning.
I am happy about this for the most part. Undoubtedly some of you aren’t. And here is where you make the choice where you determine whether you are a Tea Party/Republican or an American. What do I mean by that? Well if your Tea Party candidate lost and the person you think is merely an “establishment” Republican won (or vice versa) you have two options: You can support the winner of the primary or can keep your mouth shut. Now you might be saying no there are other options, I could support a third
party candidate or I could vote for no one but make my displeasure with the winner of the primary all to well known. But, no those really aren’t options.
If you support a third party candidate or just make your displeasure known you are in the end only giving the Democratic Party ammunition. This is for two reasons. The first is that, let’s be honest here, people are stupid (think that statement is a little strong remind me who is in the White House again). For a lot of independent voters they hear a critique of a candidate for the Republican party, they won’t hear the caveats, or the reasons why that person isn’t a true conservative, or why you disagree with the candidate on tax policy, or ear marks, or immigration reform…what they’ll remember is that Republicans are stupid, evil and corrupt. Say something today around a voter who doesn’t get into the nuances of policy and you could not just be ensuring a Democrat gets the seat this time and a steady Democratic voter for years to come. We’re conservatives, we’re supposed to be pragmatic and long-term thinkers which means you should know that some people can be swayed that easily. Don’t give Democrats the ammunition to win voters for the long term.
The other reason is that it should be all to clear that “I vote for the person, not the party” is not exactly logical. The House and Senate aren’t run by people they’re run by parties. And even if you don’t like the House or Senate candidate that won the primary, even if you think Boehner and McConnell are too liberal for your tastes…ask if you want Reid and Pelosi in charge. The rule of Harry Reid shows that no matter how much you may not like an individual candidate, the Republicans need control of both Houses if we’re even going to get a vote on legislation. As long as we’re dealing with liberals who will block legislation from even getting a vote, the person doesn’t really matter that much…because it is the head of the party that determines what comes to the floor. Now would McConnell let liberal bills come to the floor? Yes. Because unlike the utterly corrupt Harry Reid he actually believes bills should get an up or down vote…but as long as Reid holds power no conservative bill will ever get a vote, and the person you vote for will never matter. To think otherwise is just naïve.
So you have only two options that will not help Democrats. Support the nominee or keep quiet. Put up or shut up. Anything else only helps the Democrats.
So am I saying that you should compromise your principles? No, but there are ways to focus your principles in a way that doesn’t shoot them in the foot for the overall picture.
Make a different race your primary focus. Don’t like the Senate candidate, then put your efforts into the House race. Don’t like the House candidate, put your efforts into a state position candidate. Still don’t like anyone…okay statistics say that there has to be someone there, but we’ll ignore that…then focus on issues: school choice, reducing state red tape, licensing for profession, state taxes. Something (I won’t say anything as I keep pointing out, social issues don’t help anyone in the long run. Focus on conservative economics, society will be conservative socially, focus on conservative social issues and the Democrats win). Just don’t spend your time working indirectly as a Democrat operative.
Now there are caveats. If there is a third party candidate who is more likely to pull votes from the Democratic candidate than from the Republican, be my guest and support them, but do so hitting the Democratic candidate. I just can’t think of a race where that would be the case.
And yes there are candidates whom you should never support, and whom criticism of is more than valid. For instance if there was a Republican candidate for the Senate who was caught taking bribes, has spent his entire career trying to revoke the first Amendment, works with the Democrats to advocate Democratic policy at every turn, supporting arming al-Qaeda, and who has never supported the free market (in other words the treasonous John McCain) yes, feel free to condemn them. Only an idiot would really believe that such a traitorous piece of shit was a conservative (and such an idiot is voting Democrat no matter what). And feel free to condemn anyone dumb enough to support such vile filth. But the John McCain’s, Rick Santorum’s, Todd Akin’s and other such idiots who make Benedict Arnold look like a sainted patriot by comparison are the extreme exception not the rule. So unless you’re sure the Founding Fathers wouldn’t have hesitated to shoot the idiot, keep your mouth shut.
But aside from these rare cases you need to see the long term and support the nominee or not actively oppose them. No other options exist that actually further the purpose of conservatism.