As I’ve been scanning the world of conservatives on Twitter and seeing things pop up on facebook, there have been some disturbing things coming from people who claim to stand firm in their conservative values. All over I have been hearing people say things to the effect of, “Well, Romney isn’t conservative enough so I’m not going to vote for anyone this election.” That statement is almost as insulting and absurd as saying that we could fix our energy problems by keeping our car tires properly inflated. There is so much more at stake.
I have done my best to explain to people that not supporting Romney automatically equates to support for Obama. I have seen this pop up so much that I can’t address everyone, so here I am stepping up to my soap box.
Here is an exchange I had on twitter recently:
@PPLvI Saying no to Mitt does NOT equal yes to Obama, & I refuse to debase my beliefs by voting for either.
I understand this user’s frustration. The candidate that he thought was best for the country was not chosen by the people and so he finds excuses for it and passes blame. I know how that feels because four years ago I felt the same way as people didn’t catch the vision of Romney as I thought they should. Now I’m happy because the candidate I support is also the candidate that has more support than any other; Romney is even polling above Obama these days. But there comes a time when you have to put your personal pride behind you and vote for the guy that is going to do the most good for the country, even if you feel he is simply the lesser of two evils.
Four years ago, I didn’t like McCain all that much but I knew that things would be better with him than Obama, so I supported him. Me sitting on my hands and complaining about how nobody seems to see the world quite like I do wasn’t helping anyone. Trying to convince people that Romney was best all along, even after McCain was selected to be the nominee would have only hurt McCain and would have gotten me no where. Four years from now if you want to be able to look back and say, “I told you so,” that’s fine. But you don’t have to sabotage the current candidate to do it.
First off, Romney will be the Republican nominee. If you don’t believe that then we have more serious problems than I thought. Second, the race between Romney and Obama in the Fall is not going to be an easy one. Obama has the home field advantage as the incumbent so Romney is already fighting an uphill battle. What is going to help the least is people taking some ideological stand in protest of “the establishment.” Because, I hate to break it to you, but we live in a two party system. As long as the American political system remains winner-take-all in nature, there can only be two major parties. There aren’t many “laws” in political science, but that’s one of them.
Obama represents one of those parties, Romney the other. You may not like either candidate; that’s fine, you are entitled to your opinion and vetting our candidates is a part of the process. But to say that you simply won’t participate is damaging to your party. In this case, if you are a republican and choosing to protest and not vote for Romney, then you are giving that much more of an edge to the Obama campaign. By choosing to not support Romney, you are making it that much easier for Obama to win. If you are okay with that, if you can sleep well knowing that you contributed to the success of the Obama campaign, then fine, continue your protest and sit at home grumbling. But in general, all republicans, regardless of how they feel about Romney, agree that four more years with Obama is the worst thing for the country right now. And if you want your republican choice to run as an independent then you are effectively handing over the election to Obama, and that’s just the way it is.
So, leave your Gingrich, Paul, Santorum, or Cain bumper stickers on your car if you want, but leave room on your lawn for a Romney sign because if you don’t then you are just as responsible for Obama’s reelection as the people who actually voted for him.
“But I’m sick and tired of the republican establishment picking my candidate!” you may say. First, the establishment didn’t pick your candidate. The millions of intelligent people who voted for Romney over your guy in the primaries did. So if you’re still bent out of shape, write nasty letters to the GOP, register as an independent, leave the party if you want, but don’t make the country suffer for four more years of Obama’s failed leadership because you want to prove a point. It’s not worth it. These are our futures and our children’s futures that you are gambling with.
So swallow your pride, think of the children, do your civic duty and vote for the candidate that will put us in a better place in the four years ahead of us. Because if you don’t, someone else will.