Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A strategy for more conservatism

Frustration with the Republican party's lack of conservatism has been boiling over lately and a lot has been written on the topic. One of the more disturbing ideas tossed about is for conservatives to just stay home on election day. Doing that accomplishes nothing. Literally. If you are frustrated, and i know you are, read this conservative strategy by Jim Geraghty. I'm not going to excerpt it because the entire piece needs to be read. Go. Now.

Back? Good. I'll briefly address the options he presents.
1. Boiled down, this is what Chris had said either in a post or the comments at the Badger Blog Alliance recently. Vote for the person, not the party. If you don't like a Republican incumbent, vote for his opponent in the primary. You do not need to defeat an incumbent in a primary to send a message. If an incumbent expects to win a primary with 90% of the vote, and they only win with 65% of the vote, then a strong message has been sent. If that person choose's to ignore it, he or she will feel the consequences in either the general election or the next time their seat is up for grabs.

2. Can't stand the candidates in a given race? Leave that race blank or write someone in. By voting in other races, you still exert your influence over the political whole. Leaving a race blank or writing in a candidate may not send a direct message to an incumbent RINO because it isn't a widely used strategy by American voters. The more it is done, the more influential the tactic will become.

3. Politics is pragmatic. I like very pure conservatives because they apply rightward pressure on politics, but you will find darn few elected officials that are pure conservatives on every issue. The reason for that is elected officials have to: A) Compromise to get what they want passed in most cases, and B) Need to appeal to more than just conservatives to win elections. You don't have to like that fact, but it is a fact. Deal with it.

I would add one thing. Staying home is defeatist. So is voting straight ticket Libertarian or Democrat, although to a lesser degree. If you want a more conservative Republican party, apply direct pressure to the wound, don't cut the arms and legs off to solve the problem.

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