We are constantly being told that the 2016 election is the worst in a generation. This is true. Our choices are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; two detestable human beings and candidates for the most powerful office in the world.
As conservatives, we are accustomed to holding our nose and voting for the “lesser of two evils.” In my lifetime, it was McCain, Romney, and George W. Bush. I wasn’t excited about any of these men, but I voted for them because the alternative was unacceptable (Gore, Kerry, Obama) and I truly believe that these men, though not conservative, were willing to work with us in some capacity.
All of the aforementioned men held positions I did not like on certain issues, but they at least gave lip-service to the Republican platform and had a core set of beliefs. McCain was a hawk; Romney was a businessman who had a decent view of foreign affairs; and Bush invaded Iraq and Afghanistan which were popular wars at that time.
However, it is becoming evident to me how voting for the lesser of two evils has led us to where we are now. One choice will always be worse than the other. Drowning kills you slowly and may be more painful than getting shot in the head, but they both result in death.
At what point do we say, “enough?” At what point do we stand up and say, “I will not have blood on my hands?” Some will argue, you are voting by not voting and are therefore complicit in the destruction of the country if Hillary wins.
That argument, in my opinion, fails. Sometimes, in order for change to occur, destruction must arrive at our doorstep. The Republican Party has been so out of touch with the American people that they no longer hear our voices. We gave them the House in 2010, the Senate in 2012 and yet they have played the same game.
By voting the lesser of two evils, we have assured the Party that we shall back them no matter what because of fear, not principle. They have been conditioned to ignore our vote, our wishes and our voices. That is what happens when convenience trumps principle (pun not intended).
Imagine this: The November election comes around and Donald Trump loses badly, as well as many Republicans in the House and Senate lose their seats. That would be a painful outcome for us and the country. However, as painful as it would be in the short term, it could be a powerful wake-up call to the Republican leadership to remember we hold the power, not them.
That outcome would decimate the Republican ranks, cause chaos, and would put the Party in turmoil. That is desperately needed today. It would show that we, as a whole, disapprove of the nominee, their leadership, and their policies. Finally, it would serve as a shot across the bow that we shall not support the Party for the Party’s sake. I am an American, not a Republican and if they don’t adhere to our principles than they will go the way of the Whig Party.
There is a strong case to be made for standing on principle and not the Party. Placing your belief in a Party is misguided, because they change based on leadership and power. Paul Ryan, though a Party leader, is the Speaker of the House. A job far greater than the Party. His responsibility is to the nation, not to be a Party guy and support whatever nominee we come up with.
That’s the problem with Party loyalty. When the Party leaves its founding principles, you are stuck defending the Party while it is leaving its core ideals. Eventually, you are left with nothing more than an empty shell. There is little that differentiates us from the Democratic Party at the moment in act and I do not believe fear is a good reason to vote for someone.
I will no longer vote on convenience, but on principle. I pray most of the country does so in November. Maybe, just maybe, we can send the most powerful message to the Republican Party we ever have by delivering a loss of biblical proportions that will cause them to shake with fear of ever nominating a Trump-like or liberal figure again.
We can only hope.