Waiting for the Perfect Conservative? You’re the Problem


There are a number of hopeful signs when it comes to putting Republicans in charge of the Senate this November, but we’ve been in this position before. Unfortunately, we could be just as wrong about our prospects this year as we have in the past. There’s an irritating and disheartening group of conservative voters who will simply stay home if they don’t get exactly the candidates they want. This group of…let’s call them uncompromising conservatives…won’t bother going to the polls unless their perfect candidate is up for election. There are some very good reasons to stay adamant in your opinions, but this kind of unyielding stoicism should go by the wayside on election day.

Otherwise, you get what we got in 2012. That was our election to lose. Mitt Romney had Obama on the ropes, pointing out with flawless effectiveness the differences between his approach to governance and that of his opponent. He brought experience in both the private and public sectors, and he was a faith-driven man whose principles could have stood right next to Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry. But because he was perceived as slightly too moderate, slightly too compromising, and slightly too Mormon, a lot of would-be Republican voters stayed home. I would love to quiz those conservatives who chose to abstain in 2012 and ask them one question: Do you not think we would have been better off with a so-so Republican president than with another four years of Obama?

There’s the other view as well. The other conservatives who don’t bother are those who think it’s a waste of time. Electing someone else isn’t going to change anything about the larger evils of American government in the 21st century, these people say. On a rational note, they’re probably right. Romney wasn’t going to significantly shrink the federal government anymore than Bush, Bush the 1st, or Reagan. Would he have put some policies in place to reverse our reckless spending? Maybe. One thing was certain, though: Obama wasn’t going to do it. And he hasn’t.

One thing is true: your vote in any national election is insignificant to the point of worthlessness. There will never come a time when your vote is the deciding factor. Therefore, the attitude of “well, if I stay home, it won’t make a difference” is easily supportable. However, that’s not the point of voting. While your one vote may not make a difference in any one election, politicians pay very close attention to the numbers. It’s all-or-nothing when it comes to the outcome, but there is a huge difference between a landslide mandate and a squeak-through victory. And all those little votes add up to big changes.

America didn’t change into a harbor for the worst progressive ideas overnight. It’s happened slowly, with those expanding programs worming their way insidiously into our lives over a period of years. If we’re to turn back the tide, it will also be done slowly. Moving the country back to the right will take time, like working on any big project. We get to the “perfect” conservatives by going through a few so-so conservatives first. To be a part of that, you gotta vote.

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