The election process is marching forward, with no clearer picture of who the Republican nominee will be than when the selections first topped out at 17.

Yes, we’re down to a battle between two candidates.

Oh, and John Kasich is there, too.

The path to the nomination, however, has become quite treacherous, with some of the dirtiest tricks and outright mud-slinging the process has endured since 1972’s Democrat primary.

Because the vote remained split between so many candidates and for so long, at this juncture, there is a strong possibility that a contested convention is in the works. The gilded toad leads the race in states won and delegate count, but he’s far from the requisite 1,237. Ted Cruz, on the other hand, has an amazing ground game and is sweeping up delegates for himself.

Oh, and John Kasich is there, too.

For eight long, depressing years our nation has labored under an administration that has thumbed its nose at personal liberty, states right, the rule of law, and anything that remotely could be construed as a celebration of American exceptionalism. Victories have been few, while disappointments have been plentiful. People have been crying out for a savior.

My faith tells me that the only savior for this world was revealed over 2,000 years ago and no manmade system of government has all the answers. Until the time comes that society can live in that perfect peace, we look to men to be stewards of government.

I get being passionate about a candidate, especially when there is so much at stake. To paraphrase my favored candidate, the mission matters more than the man. The mission of saving the conservative movement, thereby saving our nation must come first.

With that in mind, I find it necessary to speak up and tear down some altars. Some of you won’t like it. Some will read all kinds of motives into my words. It doesn’t matter. You need to hear it.

There have been several movements that have caught my attention that need addressing. Look at this as a form of intervention.

The “Only Marco” movement was born after Senator Marco Rubio announced the suspension of his campaign last month. It was a disappointing turn for a youthful, likeable candidate with broad base appeal.

I voted for Rubio in North Carolina. Of those candidates left, I truly believed he was the better choice.

That’s “better” choice. Not only choice.

There’s even a website dedicated to getting Rubio back into the race. The number one goal stated is to keep Trump AND Cruz from getting the nomination.

How far the Only Marco people are willing to go to make that happen remains to be seen, but from various social media postings, they seem overly-emotional and adamant that only Marco Rubio qualifies as president and only Marco Rubio can save this nation. Anyone suggesting that they move forward and focus on the task of getting through the primary and playing with the hand we’ve been dealt is treated as a heretic and brought up on charges of blasphemy.

Senator Rubio is a patriot and a good man. He left the race when it became obvious that he would not win the nomination. He stepped aside to let the process play out. Some say he should have left sooner. I’m not one of those people.

When you consider everything, the idea that those who supported him would actively work against any remaining conservative option, simply because that option isn’t Marco Rubio is reckless emotionalism that will ruin us, as a nation.

I’m not saying you have to like it. I’m not saying it will be a simple and easy process. What I am saying is that our nation will not survive pockets of loyalists to separate candidates, each pulling in a different direction.

The goal is to fix the nation, not seat a king. A true conservative knows that and respects the process.

Speaking of kings and true conservatives: Trump.

He’s none of those things.

His psychotic fans, however, seem to have abandoned any sense of what our nation is and let their anger lead them into a cult of personality that has wrought so much damage over this primary season, that we may never fully recover.

The Branch Trumpidian movement has dredged up the most vile, dank, and wretched aspects of human nature. Trump has made it acceptable to be buffoonish, dull witted, and ignorant of every rational and reasoned step of governance.

Trump knows nothing. His followers know less and are proud of the fact. There is no depth they won’t strive to reach. Just when you think they’ve hit the bottom, they claw their way deeper.

They rely on cheap slogans as policy and scream for bigger government, while adamantly insisting that they are the true conservatives. Anyone who tries to counter their idiocy with facts is shouted down, accused of being in bed with the Clintons or worse yet – the GOP “establishment.”

We’ll put aside the fact that their icon, Trump, has a long history of supporting Clinton and other far left candidates, as well as a penchant for backing liberal policies, even today.

These people have stooped so low as to threaten those who oppose their candidate, in any way, with violence. Surrogates for Trump have made not-so-thinly-veiled threats against delegates. They, like most of the “Only Marco” people insist that they’ll not vote if they can’t vote for their guy, as an option.

The bottom line, for both the “Only Marco” people and the cretins riding the ill-fated “Trump train”: We need to win the general election. If it’s not your guy that ends up as candidate, your staying home, based on emotion, or sour grapes, is a dereliction of your duty as a citizen.

It’s ok to be upset. I’m still upset over my guy’s exit.

It’s not ok to let your nation burn to soothe your hurt feelings. Your loyalty should be to your country, rather than your candidate.

For Rubio followers, he’s young. If he so chooses, he can try again in the future.

Trumpkins, I don’t expect your reaction to this to be any different than what anybody who opposes the hay-haired mountebank has had to deal with, but I’ll ask that you at least try to grasp the concept of maturity and respecting the process.

To us all, let the process play out. If it goes brokered, that is not “stealing” the election. It is a part of the system put into place to assure that we have a candidate to run in the general. If a third party candidate comes forward and offers a more conservative option than what we may end up with, again, that’s also a built in part of our system that gives us choice.

Either way, the conservative movement and the good of our nation must come first.