The 11th Commandment, Conservatives, and Moderates.
“Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” -President Ronald Reagan.
President Reagan never spoke poorly about any Republican. He was always loyal to the party, no matter how poorly some of the more liberal Republicans treated President Reagan, he was always civil and even heaped praise on them and their leadership. When President Ford won the Republican nomination in 1976, then Governor Reagan not only supported the President, but he campaigned for him. Reagan knew that this was between Conservatives and Liberals in the GOP was killing the party. President Reagan surrendered 100% loyalty to moderate Republican candidates so that when he was eventually nominated in 1980, he got their enthusiastic support.
Conservatives are often much more offended when we don’t get our candidate for President, because we’re often the ones much more enthusiastic about the process than moderates. But we have got to support Republican candidates, even if we disagree with them 20 or even 30% of the time, because in the end we live in a two party system and the Republican Party as a brand has to be strong just as much as Conservatism as a brand needs to be strong.
If Republicans are smart and if we want to survive we will embrace the 11th Commandment, and if Conservatives are smart we will appoint the right candidates (by sending in our money for their campaigns) with the honor, integrity, and credibility to spread our message instead of whining when the GOP puts up a moderate Republican presidential candidate.