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Friday Ramblings: Should we be trading our principles for electability?

We’ve been hearing a great deal about which Republican candidate is the most electable.  The pundits have all but anointed Mitt Romney as the most electable candidate in the field even though he has a less than stellar conservative record.  These were the same so-called experts who claimed Ronald Reagan was too divisive, too conservative making him unelectable.  We can see how that worked out.  The current mindset appears to be a beat Obama at all cost and because of this mindset, electability has been thrust to forefront in how we should view our candidates; principle has taken a back seat. But what exactly does electability mean and should we trading off a principled candidate for one who is view by the so-called experts as electable?  Is compromising our principles to put forth a candidate who on the surface appears more electable really the way forward for the conservative movement? I say absolutely not.

I found a very good article (Electability vs Principles) that touches on this topic.

Below is an excerpt from the article.

When the only thing that matters is getting re-elected, lying and cheating and general wrong-doing don’t matter either. When you lose your principles you lose your way. Let’s face it:  There has not been a conservative Presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan.   Election after election, voters have been sold that “electability” is the most important thing a candidate must have…

Voters have been force fed “read my lips” and “centralist” and “moderate” and  “compassionate” until we’ve puked up nothing that even resembles Conservatism or the Idea of America. The results are that Republicans are almost indistinguishable from Democrats.

You can read the entire article here>>

How many times have we seen this played out over and over again?  From George W. Bush running as a “compassionate conservative” to John McCain running as a centrist who was suppose to have strong crossover appeal we have paid a heavy price in terms of advancing true conservatism.  We have bought into this crazy notion that electability is all that should matter and it’s killing us.  The truth is the reason an inexperienced junior Senator from Illinois won in 2008 was because we didn’t give the electorate a clear alternative to liberalism.  Instead we gave the electorate a candidate who walked and talked like a Democrat.  We now see how costly that was and yet we are walking down the same road to defeat when we look to a candidate who is more electable than principled.  You know what they say about insanity; it’s doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.  This is where we are folks.  We’re getting talked into do the same thing over again and my fear is we will end up with the same results; an Obama second term.

With the exception of John Huntsman, Mitt Romney is the least conservative candidate in the field and in our gut we all know this.  This is why his poll numbers are not really moving one way or another.  He has maintained in the 20 percent range since the beginning.  He is the candidate the establishment supports and the one the left would like to see matched against Obama.  The left understands that a more conservative candidate would have a better chance beating Obama than a watered down conservative.  This battle to pick our candidate has been fought before and conservatism has lost ground each time we put forth a centrist or moderate.   This is why the MSM attacked Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, and Herman Cain.  This is why they’re giving Mitt Romney a free pass for now.  He is their path to getting Obama reelected.

When are we going to wake up and stop playing their game?  When are we going to stop falling into this electability trap and start nominating a candidate who is grounded in principle?  This much is true, it had better be soon because Iowa is right around the corner and too much is riding on 2012.  We can’t afford another 4 years of Obama and a true conservative has the best chance to unseat him. I know this.  You know this. And so does the left.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!

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  • LD Jackson November 25, 2011 at 4:26 AM

    Electability is a trap we need to avoid. Past history should teach us all that, yet we go right along, with nary a clue, for the most part.
    LD Jackson recently posted..Shop With Us and Avoid Black FridayMy Profile

  • Steve Dennis November 25, 2011 at 7:37 AM

    John, I couldn’t agree with you more. The media is thrusting Mitt Romney on us because he is the least conservative and they use the term electability to convince us that he should be the nominee. I believe there is also a second reason why the media wants Romney as the nominee besides the fact they think it will get Obama reelected–it is also their backup plan in case the Republican nominee does beat Obama. They want the least conservative candidate possible in case he becomes president.
    We need to stop falling into this media trap, I had hoped we learned our lesson after 2008 but I am not sure we have if Romney wins. It is also troubling that the establishment Republicans seem to be behind him as well.
    Steve Dennis recently posted..Happy ThanksgivingMy Profile

    • John Carey November 25, 2011 at 9:33 PM

      If we ever hope to take the party back, it’s going to take one delegate at a time. Make no mistake the establishment will not relinquish their hold on the party without a fight. The left will continue to paint true conservatives as radical and extreme in their attempt to paint it as out of the mainstream of politics. This is a complete lie. In fact progressives are far more radical and out of the mainstream of what America is about.
      John Carey recently posted..Friday Ramblings: Should we be trading our principles for electability?My Profile

  • Silverfiddle November 25, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    I plead guilty to being an ABO, Anybody But Obama. I am also disappointed in the GOP field. I like Herman Cain, but he’s not ready for prime time. A serious presidential candidate hires people to coach him on stuff so he isn’t a deer in the headlights every time someone asks him a question.

    Ron Paul is the only true and principled conservative up there, but he’s been labeled a kook, and he seems to be a kook magnet, so once again, I will hold my nose and vote for whoever has the R after their name.
    Silverfiddle recently posted..Crapitalism’s Axis of EvilMy Profile

    • John Carey November 25, 2011 at 9:38 PM

      Ron Paul’s message scares the hell out of both the left and right because it’s foundation is liberty. Liberty is the antithesis of statism and the groups at the helm of both major political parties are statists. This is why Ron Paul’s message is ignored or made out to be extreme or just plain kooky. When you control the MSM you have an opportunity to direct the national conversation and this is what the left has been doing for years.
      John Carey recently posted..Friday Ramblings: Should we be trading our principles for electability?My Profile

  • 5etester November 26, 2011 at 5:38 AM

    If you set aside principle after the nominee is named to choose the lesser of two evils candidate, did you ever really have principle?

    Probably the question is who has more remorse. Those that vote lesser of two evils and hope to try again in 4 years for a conservative or those that still stand on principle in the general election and likely install the greater of two evils candidate?

    I fall into the latter category because I’ll vote Constitution Party which can’t win and takes votes away from the GOP.I have a clear conscience in that I stayed on principle for my vote but I still have remorse because I know I help put people like Obama in the White House.

    I don’t know that there is a good answer to your question. Throw away your principle and what do you have left? Throw away elections and what will be left of our country?
    5etester recently posted..The power of prayerMy Profile

    • John Carey November 26, 2011 at 2:43 PM

      The last part of your comment is the conundrum we face my friend;

      “I don’t know that there is a good answer to your question. Throw away your principle and what do you have left? Throw away elections and what will be left of our country?”

      I believe you must always stand on principle to the best of your ability but even great men like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson found that sometimes they had to compromise their principles to a point to advance the cause of liberty. Not all the founders bought into the idea of self governing. And still some believed we should have a king all together. Men like Patrick Henry believed the constitution gave too much power to a federal government while stripping the powers from the states and yet in the end he found common ground with fellow Virginians James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.

      This is what I believe we must do in regards to the candidates. We need to look at each with a critical eye to determine the kind of conservatism they embrace. Is it a conservatism that wants to conserve the institutions and traditions that have made America great or is it a conservatism to looks to the government for the answers. Mitt Romney is not conservative. John Huntsman is not conservative. Newt Gingrich is more conservative than both however he too has embraced big government solutions. Ron Paul is conservative, but his conservatism is one that is being rejected by many contemporary conservatives who believe in promoting the ideals of America through war.

      So where does this leave us? It leaves us with a battle that must first be fought within the conservative movement itself. A battle to restore true conservatism and reject the watered down version being offered by the neo-cons and RINOs running the party. It’s a battle we must fight so that liberty and the constitution is promoted and reestablished. If we choose the path of least resistance and continue to nominate these phony conservatives, then in the end we will lose conservatism all together and statists will forever have their boots on our throats. That’s how high the stakes are my friend.
      John Carey recently posted..Friday Ramblings: Should we be trading our principles for electability?My Profile

      • theCL November 26, 2011 at 11:50 PM

        Here comes the curmudgeon …

        I don’t know that there is a good answer to your question. Throw away your principle and what do you have left? Throw away elections and what will be left of our country?

        Yes, there is a good answer. Thank God our forefather’s didn’t find the question so difficult. The only way to throw away an election is to support someone/something you oppose. Look, disagreement is something you have when any or more people walk into a room. Radically opposing ideologies is something altogether different. Think 1776. Are you a patriot, or a Tory? Which side does a given candidate best represent?

        Seriously. Our forefathers put their lives on the line in the name of liberty. Are we such metrosexual pansies that we’re afraid to “wrongly” cast our statistically insignificant single vote?

        Compromise means a reciprocal modification of demands has been made between two or more parties. Compromise does not mean folding your principles. Example: I want to eliminate the income tax, but I agree with John (who wants to raise it) on a 10% flat income tax instead. I moved it in my direction and John held his ground by keeping it from being eliminated. Neither of us folded on our principles.

        On the other hand, to agree with Big Government, er, “compassionate” conservative “active” government, I’m required to fold on my principles 100%.

        Newt Gingrich is more conservative than both however he too has embraced big government solutions.

        See my latest post where I argue that Newt is a radical progressive.

        I’m conservative the way my grandfather’s generation understood it. Let me tell you, they hated FDR 10,000x more than today’s conservatives hate Barack Obama. My grandparents came from Germany, so they had the, uh, benefit, of seeing it all before. Their lessons are ingrained in me deeply. Any who …

        The conservative was born out of fierce opposition to, and hatred of, the fascist FDR. Not intimidated by political correctness, they didn’t hesitate to call him a that either. Yet, so-called “conservative” Newt wishes to carve FDR’s graven image into Mt. Rushmore?

        Historically speaking, that’s a far greater insult than if he recommended carving Obama’s face onto it instead. In other words, it’ a big middle finger to the conservative movement.

        The progressive Newt also said that “The American challenge in leading the world is compounded by our Constitution … either we’re going to have to rethink our Constitution, or we’re going to have to rethink our process of decision-making.”

        Be careful what you’re “compromising,” because it just may be a deal with the devil instead.
        theCL recently posted..‘Conservative’ Newt’s New DealMy Profile

        • John Carey November 27, 2011 at 12:25 AM

          I agree CL and well said. There really isn’t much room for compromise in my heart because I already know who the true conservative is in the race. I cannot stomach voting for a Romney or Gingrich. I worded my comment poorly. Thanks for pointing my nose in the right direction.
          John Carey recently posted..Friday Ramblings: Should we be trading our principles for electability?My Profile

  • Reaganite Republican November 26, 2011 at 8:24 AM

    I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching on this issue

    Electability IS imperative, imho… this country CANNOT afford any more Obama.

    That said, I don’t buy the narrative from GOP old guard and pro-Obama media that only Romney is electable… that’s rubbish.

    Early polls showing others not competitive with Obama are largely meaningless, that can all change overnight once the GOP picks a nominee and goes after Obama 100%- none of them have that bad of negatives.

    If you believe in their message AND ability to wage a successful campaign, that’s all you need in a nominee. You put that plan in motion and you can lead the polls, not follow them.

    It comes down to not only whether you think we should be brave and attempt to sell America an unabashed conservative platform as THE way to go (vs feel apologetic about being a conservative and think we need to have a squishy pick like Mitt).

    Selecting a moderate nominee because super-early polls say that’s most popular now is like asking your 4 yr old to pick out his own food at the grocery store, imo

    Reagan did things that were at times unpopular (like 1981 military buildup) but was always principled but more importantly focused laser-like on WHAT WORKS- tax cuts, strong defense, low regulatory burden, etc… he got results in all spheres, as WE MUST… this country’s back is truly against the wall now.

    THAT is what I want for 2012… and I don’t really care if Mitt offends the slimmest x-section of American at this point, we HAVE to go with WHAT WORKS… the country teeters on the edge of fiscal peril and faces numerous security challenges at home and abroad. We need a candidate with a plan to address all this to take the ball and run with it… Barack Obama is a terrible president, and we have no excuse for not kicking his butt all up and down the field, frankly.

    Does anybody really think a team of Boehner and Mittens would be willing to deliver a hard enough yank on the steering wheel to right our listing ship? Me neither- so what good does it do us to elect Romney president? It’s not like an “R” next to his name automatically solves all our problems, we need a competent, committed, and principled CONSERVATIVE to save this country… nothing else will do it

    jnho
    Reaganite Republican recently posted..KNOW YOUR ENEMY! ‘Miss Venezuela (and Miss World) 2011’ Ivian SarcosMy Profile

    • John Carey November 26, 2011 at 2:56 PM

      Great comment RR! It was well thought out and delivered. I agree with everything you are saying here.

      I believe they are so eager to get these polls out about who would match up best against Obama is so they influence who we choose in our primaries. We need to ignore the polls and go with who we believe is the most conservative. As simple as that sounds, it is not. Especially when you have the MSM and RINOs who are part of the establishment weighing in with their opinions and attacks. People are easily manipulated because for the most part they remain uninformed.
      John Carey recently posted..Friday Ramblings: Should we be trading our principles for electability?My Profile

      • Reaganite Republican November 28, 2011 at 12:39 PM

        Exactly… and in my mind, Obama’s shifted reality and the whole country’s thinking to the left a bit, thus it will take a solid conservative jolt just to get us back to a normal, productive, safe, and happy US of A… whereas a Romney would just flop around in the middle somewhere, probably
        Reaganite Republican recently posted..The Obama Economic RecordMy Profile

    • theCL November 27, 2011 at 12:15 AM

      We need a candidate with a plan to address all this to take the ball and run with it…

      There’s only one candidate willing to do it, with a plan that will work to boot – Ron Paul.

      The decision conservatives have to make is between liberty at home and spreading democracy abroad. No candidate offers both, because they each require radically different governing philosophies. That’s where we’re at today. It’s Jefferson or Wilson. There is no middle ground. And for a lot of people, it’s going to be a difficult choice to make.

      Patriot or Tory? Liberty or Loyalist? It’s long past time to take a stand.
      theCL recently posted..‘Conservative’ Newt’s New DealMy Profile

  • Robo-Love: Link It Forward November 28, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    […] Should we be trading our principles for electability? – Sentry Journal […]

  • Kurt Dowdle December 13, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    I found this site looking for comments from 1979-1980 about Reagan’s status of being unelectable. I am old enough to remember those debates vividly. Want to know how to vote in this election? Study the 1980 election.