“Hmpph! If my candidate doesn’t win then I’m NOT VOTING!” When you are driven by 110% emotion and anger, who needs an ounce of logic and a second of research? Pragmatism is so overrated to those who are driven by their passions instead of a reasonable thought process. Such has been my recent experience with a certain demographic of Republicans who I knew would raise their heads during the silly season called the Republican Primary.
I responded to what I considered to be one of the most asinine tweets Sunday on Twitter and it set off a firestorm of comments- both from people who agreed and disagreed with me- and has continued on for the last couple of days. Unfortunately, this frustrating and irresponsible message is often led by people with large conservative audiences on social media and picked up by the equally angry bobble-head followers because if someone they “follow” has a large number of followers, than they must certainly be an expert and there is no need for self thought or personal rationalization, right? Wrong. By the way, these are often the same people who have rallied around Donald Trump for one issue and couldn’t tell you what his stances are on a couple dozen other equally important ones. But, naively assume he must be conservative because that’s “what he says.” I wrote on that several years ago here– but it’s still relevant today.
This mental smallness corresponded with a piece that I wrote awhile back, Losing Elections: 5 Ways NOT To Behave During A Republican Primary and it’s worth reposting my third point again and I will reiterate that this also applies when you feel that “your candidate” is being treated unfairly:
3. Work the primary season frothing at the mouth in support of your candidate only to watch them drop out halfway through and, as a result, throw yourself on the ground in a political tantrum. Obviously, for those who must sub-consciously like to watch Democrats win, this means your next step must be to immediately and loudly (through every social media status available to you) withdraw your partnership and support of the Republican party. It’s the equivalent of taking your marbles and going home because you got knocked out before the game was over.
This show of an adult political temper tantrum doesn’t make you look strong and defiant while standing on your principles- outside of the few mulish people who absurdly do it with you. To the rest of us it makes you look ludicrous, short-sighted, and foolish.
Understand me very clearly when I assure you that I fully understand the frustration that the Right often feels in regards to the Republican party. Especially the disgruntlement that comes from those of us on the far right of whom I’m very much apart. But I also understand it stems from living in a world of ideology which often doesn’t completely align with realism or realistic governing, which means that our ideology must never be abandoned but it must also be tempered with pragmatism, wisdom, and foresight.
This ridiculous notion that we should cut off our nose to spite our face is childish, dramatic, and quite honestly, nothing short of stupid. While I assure you that I also feel an equal distaste for certain candidates, I’m not so foolish and blind to the fact that a Hillary Clinton presidency would be far worse than anything that even the most objectionable Republican candidate would offer. This infuriating sentiment that any conservative voter would be “punishing the GOP” by staying at home in childish hysterics or by handing their vote to the Democrats by voting third party only looks courageous and defiant to you and the few others who senselessly join you.
We have handed over historic elections that came with far reaching and dramatically devastating consequences over the last 8 years because of the petulant and emotional political tantrums that people like this throw. And then for the following 8 years we’ve listened to these same people whine and moan on social media about the legislation that has been crammed down America’s throats- largely because THEY were derelict in their duties to get to the voting booths due to the fact that they were too busy writhing on the floors in a symbol of some sort of “punishment to the GOP.”
All of these flame throwers are so eager to blame the GOP for the nominee that we end up with- instead of the voters. The GOP doesn’t hold a coronation. Sure, the “establishment” (and heck, we’ll all be called establishment if we hang around long enough) rallies behind their favorites– as do the Tea Party and the other factors of the Republican Party. It’s all apart of the game and we have a system in place, a democracy designed by our Founding Fathers, to elect these candidates. And each factor that can influence enough votes for their candidate wins the primary. But it’s the VOTERS who decided– NOT the GOP. And for those who want to blame the states being stacked early and determining the winner….let me bust that bubble and inform you that states like Iowa and South Carolina have some of the most conservative, evangelical primary voters in the country and states like New Hampshire lean far more libertarian than anything. The fact of the matter is– each of you has a favorite or two. I certainly do. But at the end of the day, only one candidate wins and if my guy loses- it means that the majority of VOTERS disagreed with me.
As for voting for a third party, we can look back in recent history and see how that worked out for us. Those who used their votes to protest ushered in Ross Perot and gave us a President Bill Clinton. We still haven’t recovered from that debacle and it’s been twenty years! Further, now we are forced to deal with Hillary who would most likely be completely irrelevant right now without that Bill “win” many years ago. That was a far reaching and more damaging consequence than any of those short sighted protest voters ever imagined.
So, yeah…go ahead and shove that fork painfully through your own eyeball, shoot yourself through your own foot, and slice that nose right off your own face. That’ll teach ’em. Oh, and when a Hillary presidency turns into a reality, we better never hear a peep of complaint from you over the next 8 years. Suck it up and receive your medicine- you’ll find out real fast why a distasteful Republican candidate was preferable over Hillary any day.
The rest of us will bust our tails working for “our guys” in the primary -doing our best to influence and win voters for our candidate. And if we fail, because other voters disagreed with us for various reasons, we will rally at the end and do our best to win this election and save our country from another far more disastrous Clinton presidency! Because God help us if she wins the White House.