An Honest Question For All Conservatives
I’ve been reading a lot of blogs recently–more than previously, as befits the start of the 2012 election season–and I’m seeing something in both the articles and the comments that quite honestly has me scared.
There seems to be a growing sense of “my candidate or no candidate” (close cousin to “my way or the highway”) creeping in… and in some online spaces, not exactly creeping.
There are, as of the time of this writing, no less than fifteen candidates for the GOP nomination. In alphabetical order, the ones I’m counting are (the numbers are merely for counting purposes, and do not indicate any sort of ranking system):
- Bachmann, Michele
- Cain, Herman
- Gingrich, Newt
- Huntsman Jr., Jon
- Johnson, Gary
- Karger, Fred
- Martin, Andy
- McCotter, Thaddeus
- McMillan, Jimmy
- Paul, Ron
- Perry, Rick
- Roemer, Buddy
- Romney, Mitt
- Santorum, Rick
- Sharkey, Jonathon
Given that there can only be one GOP nominee, the big question is, what will the supporters of the other 14 do if their preferred candidate is not the one who wins the nomination? This is a very serious question, because if enough people sit out the general election because their preferred candidate doesn’t win the primary, Obama will be the winner. It’s really that simple.
Admittedly, some of the names on that list above really don’t have all that many supporters. (Fred Karger? Who’s that? Or for that matter, Jonathon Sharkey?) But some of the bigger names–and some of those that are flitting around the edges but haven’t officially tossed their hats in the ring–have quite large followings, and those followers are getting more and more vociferous online, at least as far as I can see. A few might even have enough supporters scattered throughout the battleground states to actually tilt the election to or from Obama. So what do these supporters do? Do they deliberately withhold their votes from the GOP candidate and let Obama win? Or do they bite the bullet and vote for a candidate who may not be perfect in their eyes, but who is still far and away better than four more years of Obama (not really a high bar, given the performance of The Won so far).
That’s my question to all of you, especially the most dedicated and vocal supporters of the various candidates. Will you put your candidate first, or the nation first?
(The order of the possible answers are randomized each time the page loads so as to avoid any appearance of bias.)