It’s been a fast and tumultuous week. A lot has been thrown at conservatives this week and we haven’t had much time to respond. But, now that John McCain has nearly wrapped up the nomination for the Republican party, Americans are left with three options.
1.) Vote for McCain.
2.) Stay home.
3.) Vote third party.
It remains to be seen if McCain will offer the VP to Huckabee. It seems inevitable that he’ll have to in order win in the south. If so, what does voting for McCain/Huckabee look like for a conservative?
Michelle Malkin and Joe Carter have both put forward compelling reasons to vote for McCain/_____ in November and have made their arguments without violating the two big voting no-no’s for most social conservatives. That is, don’t vote simply as a “settle-for” or to “prevent-_____” in any election. Instead, vote on conservative values.
1. Wake up to the Voter-Based Reality — We may not like it–we absolutely won’t like it–but there are three facts that we conservatives must acknowledge:
a. We are stuck with the Republican Party — If we want to have a say in the political process we have to use one of the two dominant parties as our primary vehicle. Today, that is the GOP. Leave the talk of rallying around or starting a third party to the cranks and purists.
b. Conservatives do not dominant the GOP — Despite our numbers we do not control the GOP. We did once and can again, but it will take a great deal of time and effort. We must be both proactive and patient if we are to return to our former status.
c. John McCain will be the GOP nominee — Talk of a brokered convention is an intriguing fantasy but it won’t happen. Come November, McCain will be the Republican nominee.
2. We must unite in order to fight another day — If you want to teach the GOP a lesson, then the most significant action you can take is to refuse to vote for McCain. Likewise, if you want to harm the conservative movement then refuse to vote for McCain. But if, like me, you believe that conservatism is more important than Republicanism, then we must unite–tentatively and with trepidation–behind the party’s nominee.
3. Unite sooner, rather than later — Hugh Hewitt has been a vocal supporter of Mitt Romney and a vehement critic of John McCain. But he has taken the lead in reminding us that we must remain united. Earlier this week he wrote, “There are seven reasons for anyone to support the eventual nominee no matter who it is: The war and six Supreme Court justices over the age of 68.” Hugh is absolutely right. Faced with this reality, we need to take steps now to rally our forces and ensure that the GOP controls the White House.
2. Our conservative elite must be conservative, not just Republican — Conservatism and Republicanism are not synonymous, a fact that too many of our elite pundits appear to have forgotten. A prime example is the infatuation with Rudy Giuliani by the Manhatten-DC elites.
Spend less time blogging about GOP politics and more time writing about conservative principles. And we need to unify around a coherent set of broad-based conservative principles.
“Quo vadis,” conservatives? It’s the ancient, apocryphal question the apostle Peter asked Jesus while fleeing persecution in Rome. Where are you going? Where do we go from here?
The contest for the GOP presidential nomination is over. The conservative movement is not. Sen. John McCain’s campaign resurrection and Super Tuesday victory leave a diverse group on the Right—from the libertarian Club for Growth to First Amendment defenders to immigration enforcement proponents—dispirited. But the failure to nominate a true Republican unifier does not spell ideological defeat.
On Wednesday, wielding his olive branch like a schoolmarm’s ruler, Sen. McCain told conservatives to “calm down.” My advice is exactly the opposite: Get fired up.
Some on the Right advise their readers and listeners to vote Democrat or sit home. My advice is exactly the opposite: Get off the couch and walk the walk for conservative candidates and officeholders who need all the help they can get defending free markets, free minds, and secure borders—no matter who takes the White House in November.
Dissatisfied with the flawed crop of GOP candidates who lacked the energy, organizational skills, and ideological strength to carry the conservative banner and ignite your passions? Then pay attention to the next generation of Republican state legislators who do vote consistently to lower your taxes, uphold the sanctity of life, defend marriage, and cut government spending. Support their re-election bids. Reward them for standing with you instead of their Democrat opponents and the liberal media.
Twenty-six years ago at the Conservative Political Action Conference, President Reagan rallied conservatives:
“We must ask ourselves tonight how we can forge and wield a popular majority from one end of this country to the other, a majority united on basic, positive goals with a platform broad enough and deep enough to endure long into the future, far beyond the lifespan of any single issue or personality.”
Get involved. Don’t calm down. Get fired up.
Be sure read the whole thing. Malkin discusses practical and easy ideas conservatives can participate in, no matter what your hot button conservative issue is.
The point is, we all have one…Or a half dozen. Since conservatism takes priority over Republicanism, voting for a candidate who is in a position to help conservatism makes sense. While there are still many unknowns in this race, we can still get fired up about conservatism.