Tomorrow is primary day in Pennsylvania. Some of my conservative friends are voting their conscience. Some are voting to choose the GOP nominee. And sometimes, people are trying hard to do both. Herein, a word on conscience, a very misunderstood word, and on the sometimes apparent conflict between conscience and reality. And another word (after my first column on this subject Friday) on how I will vote tomorrow and why.
I toured the Battleship North Carolina this past weekend in Wilmington, North Carolina. The size of the ship and most especially the size and weight of the ordinance fired from her mighty sixteen inch guns are indeed, most impressive.
But what many who tour this ship forget is that America did not win World War II because of the rightness of our cause, the size of the North Carolina and her powerful sixteen inch guns, the quality and number of weapons and men we deployed in the conflict.
America also won World War II because we had allies who fought with us.
Without those allies- and that includes the evil Soviet Union - America would most certainly have lost and Nazi Germany and the Axis Powers would have most likely won. What shape would this planet be in, had America's leaders not compromised their principles at that time, to ally with other countries that we had differences with?
I hope you will see where I am leading with that point. If we vote for the perfect candidate instead of the candidate who has the best chance to win the nomination AND who we find closest to our views, then most often, we are going to do the same thing as if we had not voted: we will have no influence in choosing the GOP nominee.
And if we have forfeited our choice of who the GOP nominee is going to be, then we are faced AGAIN with that same choice in the general election. That is, we can again, throw our vote away by voting for a candidate with no hope of winning, instead of choosing between two candidates in a close race, which one better represents our views.
A few years ago, facing a similar situation, someone I admire very much wrote about this very subject. Chuck Muth said if you lived in a state where your vote could make the difference in who won that presidential primary, then compromise and vote for the more conservative choice against the more liberal.
But if you lived in a state where in that matchup, the more liberal candidate was going to win by a wide margin, then your vote won't help decide that outcome so, why not go ahead and vote your conscience and choose the candidate who is THE VERY CLOSEST to your conservative views, and never mind that he might finish with 2% of the vote.
I rather like Chuck Muth's formula for the thinking conservative voter in a GOP primary and highly recommend it in PA and anywhere, and everywhere, and all the time. It is exactly the reason that I voted for Sam Rohrer for Governor on a write in vote - knowing that the more liberal GOP candidate Corbett was going to win without my help and block a Democrat win and a total disaster for Pennsylvania.
We do sometimes need to compromise and fight the next battle, NEXT time, the future battle, IN THE FUTURE.
It is better than America won World War II and deal with the Soviet Union, LATER.
It is better that we helped the Afghans kick the Soviets out of Afghanistan and deal with that one part of the coalition which did the least but hated America the most, the Taliban - LATER.
In both the case of the Soviet Union and the Taliban we did a really LOUSY job of "dealing with them later" and should have done the work EARLIER when it was cheaper, easier and less expensive.
But that doesn't change the principle here: we should compromise and vote to make a difference when we can, and when we cannot, then we thinking conservatives should vote our conscience without any compromise.
And then, there's what Morton Blackwell, founder of the Leadership Institute, called the "Sir Galahad Principle." It is the formula for us conservatives to lose more often than we win.
Very simply and in my own words, the Sir Galahad Principle says: if your heart is pure and you love God so you think you and your candidate will always win, WAKE UP. It isn't true!!! You must also out-organize your opponent including raise more money than you are doing now, recruit more volunteers, and do all of the things which help determine who wins and who loses an election.
Too often, I see Sir Galahad in many of those running for office and in those casting their ballots, thinking that our cause is right and so that should be enough.
Just a few days ago I exchanged views with one lovely lady who exactly told me that - she believed God would prevail and her candidate would win.
I would never be upset with such a person but would only pray that they come to an understanding: God decided your candidate would not have money or volunteers because of the way that they ran their campaign.
Put another way: God created us with free will, and the ability to choose our own path. While He is a God of mercy, He is also a God of justice who very often simply allows us to choose and then to be stuck with the consequence of what we chose.
If a candidate doesn't have money or volunteers perhaps it is because people who volunteer to help in campaigns and who donate, didn't buy what he was selling?
Perhaps the candidate without money and volunteers, is facing the consequence of how he or his campiagn management, organized their campaign?
And the corollary to this is: perhaps the candidate who has more money and more volunteers, has them because God willed it that way - the one who put more work and talent forward, got more results?
Perhaps God really meant for us to read the story of the talents and remember that what we are is God's gift to us but what we become - and that includes the results of a political campaign - is our gift back to God?
So, God is already in this mix. He gave us free will. He gave us His promise in the story of the talents that our effort and talent does indeed produce results and we will be rewarded on those results.
Now it is up to you and me and it is no use blaming everything on God. He has a plan, He has a purpose and tomorrow is your turn to look at your choices and to decide.
God does not choose everything for us, because He left us with free will. We have a choice, and that choice includes the choice of what is wrong, as well as what is right.
So it isn't enough to think you have found Sir Galahad and now you will vote for them in a GOP primary.
Doing that very often, simply leaves to OTHERS the choice of your GOP nominee.
And, if you follow that same logic you will then have to do a WRITE IN VOTE in the general election and AGAIN leave to everyone else, to choose who your Congressman will be.
But doesn't that send a message, you may be thinking?
Sure it does.
It sends a message to other people how to win the primary and the general election.
It sends a message that Christian conservatives will throw their vote away and not be a factor, and not need to be taken seriously.
It sends a message that when elected officials talk to conservative and Christian cause leaders they are dealing with leaders who cannot deliver the goods and so do not need to be taken seriously.
I am very serious about issues such as The Women's Right to Know legislation which is stalled in the Pennsylvania legislature because 40 Republicans withdrew their sponsorship after it had been changed in committee from the original proposal.
I do not care how they work it out - the GOP controls the State House of Representatives, the State Senate and the Governor's Mansion.
The GOP majority has no excuse. Pennsylvania should have a law the same as 23 other states do, which requires Planned Parenthood to slow down just a moment and before you rush that expectant mother into that abortion, you must first show her the ultra sound image of her baby.
Planned Parenthood and their abortion-mill supporters cannot stand the idea that a few women out of every hundred may see that ultra sound image of their own flesh and blood baby and say "I'm not going to kill my baby today!" The rush-to-abort crowd is scared that a few babies will be allowed to live and so, they went all out to defeat The Women's Right to Know Bill.
There are many issues at stake and which are part of the debate but this is one which many of us regard as a "core" issue that alone may decide our vote.
And there's two candidates here in south central PA with the same 12% of the vote favoring them, about the same amount of money raised (about $200,000 ea.), the same generally good conservative credentials and they both want my vote tomorrow in the GOP primary.
But one of them told Father Sam Houser and Pastor Ken Gibson, looking them straight in the eye two weeks ago in Father Houser's Church conference room, "I'm 100% pro-life." And that candidate then said in a candidate survey from ACTION of PA (Americans for Christian Traditions in our Nation) that he is NOT in favor of making abortion illegal. Two days from his meeting with the two men of the cloth, that one candidate listed the conditions under which he favored abortion.
So while there are many good things to say about State Rep. Scott Perry, one cannot truthfully say "he is 100% pro-life."
If you want to do any message sending I can tell you that tomorrow you can hire Rep. Scott Perry as your messenger and send him back to the GOP leadership of the House of Representatives with the message: we'd better get results with HR 1070 or an acceptable alternative because these Christian-conservatives are going to vote us out if we don't.
I do respect people who will vote for Ted Waga for Congress, as I said before. But Ted Waga is an example of the Sir Galahad principle. His less than $5,000 raised for this race simply cannot complete with the $200,000 raised by the two frontrunners and his 2% standing in the polls isn't going to catapult him at the last moment into a serious alternative to Scott Perry.
I have heard people say - including Ted Waga himself - that "money should not decide the issue."
This view goes further sometimes - and belligerently says "you cannot buy the election."
One of the people who I didn't mention as having influenced me to endorse Chris Reilly had his name come up anyway - Scott Wagner of Penn Waste. His name is in the York Daily Record as being one of the larger donors to Chris Reilly. I didn't want to be sidetracked but this is an important point.
A successful businessman knows about the Sir Galahad principle. Ask Scott Wagner.
There are in fact, three things you need for business success. You need capital. You need labor. And you need the entrepreneur with the idea and with the management ability to put it all together.
If you are a Marxist of course you only think you need the labor. And, Marxists really hate "the rich" and they will send to the Gulag, all of the entrepreneurs.
So if you want to run for office you need a credible business plan to show the same thing you would need to show a businessman to get him to invest in your business. You need to show a plan for attracting and using capital, labor (volunteers) and your ideas into a winning venture. Or else he will decline to invest.
Now, if you say your idea ALONE should get him interested in investing in your venture you are either a Marxist or a very seriously under-educated freedom advocate.
Those who just want to attack the people who are better organized and better funded by saying "money should not buy elections" are attacking the entire idea of capital in a free society. They just haven't got a clue.
That is a very popular view over at Occupy Wall Street and among the radical left. It was and is the primary argument used to defend ObamaCare - money should not decide who gets healthcare.
That is also the argument that socialists always use to promote revolution - overthrow the establishment and the "monied interests."
How much money and how many volunteers we have is mostly a product of what our issues are and how well organized we are - including how far in advance we begin organizing. If we have a favorite candidate without money and volunteers then we'd best learn a lesson out of that for next time, and stop blaming it on God.
If you want to run for office and you want to approach Scott Wagner or any other "high dollar donor" to get a large check, you need to show that you are going to speak out on the issues they care about, in a way that will persuade and attract converts, that you have some capital and a good plan to attract more capital and more volunteers, and that you are well organized.
And if you have never organized your own business, political campaign or your own non-profit or political venture you are going to have a real difficult time persuading someone who HAS done any of these things successfully, that you are a good bet to invest his time, or his money, or his good name, or all of these, in your campaign.
That's why I said this past Friday morning that I am voting for York County Commissioner, conservative, 100% right-to-life candidate Chris Reilly for the 4th Congressional district GOP nomination and hope you will too. I'm with Scott Wagner, Pastor Ken Gibson and other thoughtful Christian-conservatives who want to be sure we get the best possible candidate we can for this open seat, and that we send someone against the Democrat nominee who has the best chance to win, and someone who will go to Washington, DC and be taken seriously fighting for our issues.
And, if I were a campaign advisor to Scott Perry, that is what I would fear the most - that Christian conservatives would all follow the lead of Pastor Ken Gibson of ACTION of PA and vote for Chris Reilly.
If I were an adviser to Scott Perry I would be hoping that Christian conservatives would instead vote "your conscience" for Ted Waga. Every vote for Ted Waga is a vote that might have gone to Chris Reilly and thereby defeated Scott Perry.
So, if you see primary results where Scott Perry is the winner by a few percentage points, and you voted for Ted Waga, you have your conscience and Scott Perry will have the victory, and I will be voting along with most other conservatives here in south central PA for Scott Perry in the general election.
I sure hope enough people understand that INFORMED conscience is different than simply voting your conscience.
On the other hand, I'm voting for Rick Santorum because, to put it plainly, WHY THE HECK NOT - nobody else is stepping forward to show they have a shot at beating Mitt Romney in the PA primary so I'm voting my conscience and for Sir Galahad. Just as I most likely would have voted for Ted Waga if Scott Perry was the clear frontrunner with no chance of being overtaken by a more conservative, more pro-life alternative.
I'm voting for Sam Rohrer for U.S. Senate but for the reasons I stipulated in detail on Friday, the very much more liberal Steve Welch is so awful in my mind, that ANY of the other candidates who appear to have a better chance of defeating him tomorrow, could attract my vote to switch to them. And if I learn about that in time I will post a last minute message here, and if not I'll simply vote for Sam Rohrer.
Another of those TERRIBLE choices as a Republican is Planned Parenthood's favorite GOP State Senator in Pennsylvania, Pat Vance. This one's a very easy choice. If you claim to be a conservative and you are voting for her then you are either very misinformed or you are outright lying about being a conservative. Andy Shaw is the only choice you have in that primary for State Senate and I only wish that I lived in his district so that I could get a double vote: two for the price of one - yes for Andy Shaw and NO to Pat Vance.
And for State House of delegates I said I will vote for Seth Grove who is not only a hard working conservative but who has no challenger who has ever articulated any conservative philosophy for me to read, but has instead echoed the "anti-establishment" complaints employed by the radical left for the past few dozen years and by Occupy Wall Street more recently.
"Vote your conscience" sounds great but is a half truth. It is the justification of murderers and baby-killers at abortion mills. It was the justification of those who supported Adolf Hitler's campaign to exterminate Jews and those who support the modern day Holocaust against Israel.
"Vote your conscience" is only complete when you have an informed conscience - the ability to use the gift our God created us with, a mind capable of discerning right from wrong, capable of determining the consequences of our action.
I hope my friends who vote in Pennsylvania will consider my advice today and vote to make a difference tomorrow, anywhere that they can by having their actions decided by an informed conscience. And I hope that my words and thoughts prayerfully offered up here will help advise you in that process. God bless you, God bless America and my friends outside Pennsylvania, please pray for the best outcome possible tomorrow, and those who champion our views, those who have helped them, whether they win or they lose tomorrow, will stay in the war, because tomorrow is but one battle among many to come.
To quote from this past Friday's article, "So I'm voting for Rick Santorum for President. Either Sam Rohrer for Senator or any other candidate who can stop Steve Welch according to the latest polls 10 minutes before I cast my vote for the GOP nominee for U.S. Senator on Tuesday. For Chris Reilly for Congress. I wish I could vote for Andy Shaw for State Senator in the district further away near Harrisburg. And for Rep. Seth Grove."
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