If you’re not with us, you’re against us

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:

@RaisedOnReagan: The @GOP will continue to shove #RINOs like @MittRomney down our throats until Conservatives stand & say “no more”. Well, no more!#noMitt

@PPLvI: @RaisedOnReagan at this point if you don’t support #Romney, you support #Obama. It’s as simple as that.

@PPLvI: @RaisedOnReagan #noMitt = #yesBarack

@RaisedonReagan: @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.

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3 thoughts on “If you’re not with us, you’re against us

      • Thanks for that Michelle, now here is my rebuttal to that 🙂

        The article you sent me is summed up in this paragraph then goes on to explain in further detail, but so people can just read here, that paragraph says: “These “lesser of two evils” arguments fail for at least two important reasons: first, as an individual voter you have almost no chance of casting the deciding vote in an election; and second, your vote is more than just a tally mark in favor of your candidate—it is a powerful expression of your political will.”

        I have a serious problem with the first issue that they bring up, and less for the second but I’ll still address it.

        I think it is kind of silly to say, “one vote doesn’t count so don’t worry about giving the election to the worse of the evils” Sure ONE vote may not ever decide an election, but thousands of people with that ONE vote mindset can and may very well decide this election. It’s like saying, “I can throw this trash on the ground. I’m only one person so it won’t matter.” But again, if thousands of people have the same mindset, then you have issues. I think it kind of insulting that this author would diminish the power of one vote, but that’s all I’ll say about that.

        I have a little more sympathy towards the second point. The purpose of an election is to tell our elected officials how we feel and how we want our country to be run. That’s why we vote in a primary so that the party which we are a member of can pick the candidate who reflects the desire of a majority of the party members. If people don’t like how the party does it, then leave the party. Unfortunately, like I mentioned earlier, there is simply no room for a 3rd party to be successful in American Politics. Our system just isn’t set up for that. I stand firm in my belief that a 3rd party candidate will never be elected president as long as we have a simple majority, winner-take-all system. The roll 3rd parties play in American politics is to give special light to an issue that the 3rd party feels is not given enough attention by the main 2 parties.

        This is when a decision needs to be made. How far are people willing to go to prove a point. Since that article you sent me was written by a Paul supporter I’ll use Paul as my example (and because this is most applicable to him). If Ron Paul ran under some 3rd party a few things would happen.

        First: Romney would be forced to cater to the libertarians who would leave him to vote for Paul. But that’s a good thing right? That means we win right? Well…depends on your definition to success. Because while it would convince Romney to cater to the libertarians, Obama would be able to sit easy while Romney struggles. Obama would not cater to the libertarians because he would not be losing his supporters to the same extent Romney would. In the end, Romney will be unsuccessful in convincing the Paul supporters to vote for him while at the same time appealing to a broad enough electorate to defeat Obama, and Obama would win.

        Some libertarians would say “fine, let the country suffer and see what a big mistake they made by not supporting Ron Paul.” And there’s not much I can say to those people except that Republicans have been saying the exact same thing about the country voting in Obama four years ago and it doesn’t look like we’ve convinced the left that Obama’s a failure even though we’re convinced he is.

        Or we have another option. Keep your strong libertarian ideals, do your best at all levels of government to vote libertarians in. You are far more likely to elect a 3rd party candidate or libertarian leaning republican into state legislatures or even into the House of Reps than into the White House. Keep spreading your message to convince people that it’s the right way to go. Start by focusing on small changes to gradually convince the public that you’ve been right all along. But for this presidential election, elect the lesser of two evils (I just say that because I know that lots of Ron Paul supporters would say Romney is an evil even though I disagree :] ). If you don’t then the worse of the two evils will get elected and not only will you not be any better off, but worse.

        So Michelle, that’s my response to that article 🙂 Thanks for sharing it with me.

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