Why conservatives should not blindly endorse Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee.
1. Mitt Romney is not a Conservative. He does not deserve the designation as the conservative candidate.
2. If conservatives endorse Romney, even reluctantly, he will take the mantle of conservatism and drag it through the mud for his own edification and advancement. He will propose non-conservative measures in the name of conservatism and twist conservative principles to serve his personal quest for the Presidency. As the standard bearer, he will bring dishonor and disrepute upon conservatism and those who supported him will be complicit in his actions. He will damage the conservative image in the eyes of the general electorate.
3. The electoral strategy of establishment Republicans and Mitt Romney depends upon the dutiful support of conservatives once the primaries are over. He will run as a conservative in name only. He will then, if elected [big if], govern as a conservative in name only. Since many conservatives have sworn to support him regardless, why would he bother to move toward a more conservative position? In pledging to blindly support the Republican nominee, conservatives have made themselves irrelevant beyond the primaries.
4. The Republican establishment will continue to support and nominate liberal Republicans as long as conservatives blindly pledge their allegiance to the eventual nominee. In past years, conservatives have made themselves irrelevant by adopting the “any Republican in the general election” mantra. We can all remember the stellar performance of John McCain. Ironically, when these stellar liberal Republicans lose, conservatives receive the blame and conservatism takes a hit.
5. The Republican establishment and their liberal candidates are taking the country down the same path as the Obama administration. We may go a little slower and by a slightly different route but the destination is still the same.
What should conservatives do if Mitt Romney wins the nomination?
1. Oppose Mitt Romney. The fact that Romney has won the primary does not mean that he has earned the conservative vote. Until he has earned that vote, conservatives should remain in opposition to his candidacy.
2. To earn conservative support, Romney should announce conservative nominees for his cabinet positions. He should also develop and campaign on a conservative political and legislative agenda – not the current fluff he has advanced. He should work with the current House of Representative to initiate legislation intended to repeal Obamacare and make the election a referendum on that repeal. He should take the lead on current political issues and offer conservative solutions to those issues. If Romney wants to convince conservatives that he will govern conservatively, then he needs to be the conservative leader now.
3. Until Mitt Romney earns the conservative vote, conservatives must oppose Mitt Romney.
4. If Mitt Romney does nothing to earn the conservative vote, conservatives must oppose Mitt Romney. I would rather die on principle than bow the knee to the Republican establishment and lose with Mitt Romney. For too many years, conservatives have had to accept the establishment big government liberal – pretend he is a conservative – and then see conservatism betrayed.
5. Conservatism – not another liberal Republican – is the answer to the problems that face America. Romney has not demonstrated that he will govern any differently than Obama. He marches in lockstep with the President on issues of global warming, healthcare, and regulation.
6. It is my earnest wish that Mitt Romney not become the Republican nominee. If he does become the Republican candidate, then the Republicans will lose to Obama in 2012. If conservatives endorse Romney and give him sanction, then it may be a defeat from which conservatism will need a lot of time to recover.
7. If conservatism oppose Mitt Romney and he loses the general election, it will not be the fault of the conservatives. It will be the fault of the Republican establishment who continues to give us Democratic-lite candidates.
In the Election of 1800, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied for the Presidency. [The U.S. still had to work the kinks out of its electoral system.] The election went to the Federalist controlled House of Representatives where Burr actively campaigned for the nomination. Alexander Hamilton held great sway over the Federalists and swung their voters toward Jefferson. Although Hamilton disagreed vehemently with Jefferson, he had a greater distrust for Aaron Burr – a man he saw as a blatant opportunist who would do anything, say anything, to get elected. Mitt Romney reminds me of Aaron Burr.
A Pre-Rebuttal to the Attacks Sure to Follow
1. The post is not an endorsement for a third party.
2. The post does not preclude conservatives from taking over the GOP from within.
3. I will not respond to those attacking the fact that Mitt Romney is not a conservative. We have covered that ground pretty thoroughly. See the RedState Archive.
4. The primary question the post addresses: What do conservatives do if Mitt Romney is the nominee? Thoughts along those lines are welcome.