We’ve been through a number of primaries recently, winding down to the last of them and heading right into the general election. Some of the races have been more contentious than others. Several have been played out here on the stage at Redstate, including strong voices, and the site’s own preferences. This post is not about the candidates - who won, who lost, who is right or who is wrong.
I love reading and participating at RedState; there isn’t another site like it on the Internet. A year ago, after returning from the RS Gathering, I wrote a post called “Welcome to the Neighborhood.” It was my second effort venturing into the waters of diary-writing. Though shy and reserved, I pay attention to people, everyone here to me is important. Reading what most of you post or write in diaries is enjoyable. So much is revealed.
I wasn’t here for the 2008 primary battles, but I’ve heard quite a bit about them, and they are not cheerful tales. Words like rancor, animosity, and enmity are still resounding through the halls of RedState. The battles were so heated that when we finally had our GOP nominee for president, the behaviors of the winners and losers, I understand, caused some wonderful long-time members here to leave RS, never to return. Then there were, and still are the battles that rage around Sarah, and this post is not about her, but only to use her as an example for my main point.
We all have candidates we support. Most of us here are on the same page with each other's and the site's preferences. We get visitors and regular members who are not. But ultimately, once a candidate is the nominee, we have to find a way to get it together. Get it together by respecting that a candidate may have lost, but does that make them a bad person? No. Maybe they were a poor candidate, or they really are not good for our party and conservative goals, but I have a hard time seeing people attacked on a personal level. Ultimately, what we see is a candidate's supporters attacking each other, on a personal basis. Art Chance had a post recently; he wrote it out of his passion for his candidate. Maybe through some misunderstanding regarding whether his candidate was perceived to be “trying to steal the election” or along that line, he responded. When I first saw it, I thought "Oh no. This is going to get people going." Alaska politics are almost the most inflammatory subject around here, and long ago, it made sense to stay out of the Sarah diaries. But, if I entered them, I tried very hard to focus on the issue, not the person making the remark. In return, I always received courteous acceptance on the part of the poster, because they saw that I wasn’t attacking them but just disagreeing with their position. People should be able to have opposing viewpoints without meltdown occurring. When the poster is put on the defensive personally, it leaves no choice but for them to come back at the commenter. This is not about any one person, this is about the way one has good and reasonable debate, without destroying the individuals involved in the discussion.
My title, “When a Candidate Loses" or "Dignity and Honor” has to do with this concern - that when there is only one nominee, those that did not get the nod, have to be brought on board, to help the nominee win - against the Democrats, against Obama, Pelosi and Reid and their Socialist agenda. How can we do that if we are stomping and dancing on the corpses of the other candidates and their supporters? How do we expect those supporters to turn around and stand up for the one we need to get to DC? If we leave a candidate and their supporters without honor and dignity....then we have not lived up to the principles that we so often speak of eloquently here at RedState.
This is not meant to be preachy, but only to express concern and an approach: keep in mind that disagreements can happen, but there's no need to fire cannons, when a a squirt gun will do. Think about every person here who expresses their opinion as doing a beautiful job of exemplifying that wonderful First Amendment. People that we make into enemies today will not become friendly acquaintances tomorrow.
Now I have a hurricane to get ready for, Hurricane Earl is heading my way, so it reminds me to always try to keep all of these things in perspective.