Anticipating the same outcome before doing the same activity is not prophesy. Expecting a different outcome when doing the same thing over and over is insanity. This sums up what is going on with a contingent of Virginia’s Republicans during this General Election Cycle.
Hope is not a strategy, but I get the feeling that many Republicans are content to chalk up an occasional win of a statewide General Election to luck. We get lucky every once in a while. The blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut.
What I cannot determine is the cause of such serendipitous behavior. Is it political naiveté? Republican voters, in some parts of the state, are unfamiliar with the way politics actually work and therefore prone to make amateur assumptions, foster electoral mistakes, and set themselves up for unintended political consequences.
The other alternative and I am sure we have all heard this, is the perennial excuse that Republicans are the stupid party. Now don’t take offense with that statement. I’m not talking about the individual Republican being a stupid person. Historically, the party has been known to make some really bone headed decisions and when actions are eventually discovered, one has to wonder what our leadership was thinking when those activities were given the go-ahead and funding. That is not the case here, since the problem I am describing is a small but significant group of individual voters.
So what is it that keeps us from winning Elections? And when we do, it hinges on dumb luck for the most part and not a focused, direct, and organized campaign of conservative solutions to issues with candidates that are principled and consistent with their votes.
I’m talking about the mistaken direction our voting has taken over the last 8 to 10 years where a segment of our Republican base voters come away from a hard primary/convention nominating process with a negative attitude about the winning candidate. Their reasoning goes something like this; “since my candidate did not win the nomination, I will show how disappointed I am by not supporting the winning Republican candidate”.
The reasoning goes something like, “The newly nominated candidate is not as conservative or moderate a candidate as I would want, so I will stay home on Election Day. That will show the party that they have to give me the respect I deserve because their imperfect candidate cannot win without me and my cohorts.”
Maybe some examples are in order:
- Ed Gillespie’s campaign for Senate against Warner where a set of conservatives and/or evangelicals, stayed home and the Republican Senate Campaign Committee did not fully fund Ed’s campaign. Even with those strong head winds, Ed came very close to defeating Warner. If Ed had won, we would have probably dodged Obamacare. Naiveté or stupidity?
- Cuccinelli’s race against McAuliffe for Governor. Besides lack of support by the Republican Governor’s Association, a large contingent of Republican Establishment types (remember Bill Bolling and Boyd Marcus) did not want to support Cuccinelli, for doing so would reward the upstart TEA Parties with even greater influence. So not only did we lose the Governorship, but we also lost the Office of Lt. Governor and the Attorney General’s office. Naiveté or stupidity?
- Most recently, the 2016 Presidential Election brought this absurd exercise to its ultimate conclusion with Virginia giving all of its electors to Hillary Clinton. Many Establishment types and the rabid #NeverTrumpers decided to sit out the 2016 Election. Not only that, but many of our Senate and House districts, that went for Hillary, are now under assault by Democrats because of perceived weakness of Republicans in those same districts. Naiveté or stupidity?
Naiveté is possible to correct. I saw this first hand when the TEA Party movement was in its infancy. Collectively we had a very pristine view of how politics was supposed to work. Boy was that a painful learning curve. Stupidity, on the other hand, is easy to overcome, but is still a painful process.
The first painful step is to realize that your personal decision to withdraw from the campaign this year will have many negative consequences for Virginia. Any candidate may not be your ultimate, perfect embodiment of a Conservative, but take a look at a comparison between Ed and Ralph Northam here, courtesy of Rob Bell’s article in the Fairfax Free Citizen. Ignoring this election will saddle Virginia not only with a Socialist Democrat as our Governor, but he will fill his top positions in his administration with like-minded Democrats and this will be highly detrimental to the Commonwealth.
Withholding your vote and participation in this election will not only give Virginia four more years of a Socialist Democrat administration where we have seen 200,000 felons voting, our reciprocal concealed carry permits being restricted, and many good conservative bills passed by our House and Senate being vetoed by McAuliffe.
Another problem you are gifting to the Democrats is a continuation of non-citizens voting in our elections that were found by the Virginia Voters Alliance and Public Interest Legal Foundation. Virginia’s voter rolls are at an all-time low level of integrity. This will only get worse if Northam and Herring win this election.
There is an adage that says “you can’t fix stupid.” Collectively we can by collectively supporting the Republican ticket both statewide and our local House Elections. Don’t let the Democrats win by Republicans being the stupid party.