Sunday, May 02, 2004

voting Republican

Timothy P. Carney has a great article on the Toomey/Specter race. He manages to express something I've been trying to get at for a while now:
This race had been billed as a battle between the conservatives and the liberals within the Republican party. That characterization ignores the glaring facts of Santorum and Bush.
This was instead a battle between the establishment and the grassroots.
I knew a lot of conservative Republicans back in 2000. Not one of them was excited about Bush. There was a strong feeling that the Republican party leadership had simply selected Bush and that we didn't have any real choice. McCain was certainly no choice for conservatives.

This is why I'm so suspicious of the thinking that we should vote for Bush just because the alternative is so much worse. There is a battle going on for control of the Republican party, and currently the conservatives are behind. The large majority of Republicans are conservatives and they should be in charge. But the elites have a strangle-hold on the organization and the funding. Thankfully the elites no longer have a strangle-hold on the sources of information, so I'm hoping that they can be defeated. But we will never defeat them as long as we keep going along with their selections. Conservative Republicans need to stand up and take control of the party and refuse to support or vote for non-conservatives.

The purpose of the party should be to advance our principles, not to keep our nominees in power. I've been taking the wrong strategy up to now. I've been simply refusing to vote (or register) Republican until they became more conservative (I haven't voted in a presidential election since I voted for Reagan), but that strategy is futile. I'm going to register as Republican and start attending the planning meetings they have every month. Groan. But someone has to do it. I encourage all you conservatives who are frustrated with the Republicans to do the same.

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