The answer seems easy, right? If you’re a principled voter, you. . . vote your principles. Duh.
Well, some in the GOP would have principled voters abandon their principles for pragmatism. They would argue that any principles that do not meet their pragmatic criteria and get their guy elected are actually a lack of principle. Why? Because the only principle worth having is winning. Take Reince Priebus for example.
This past Sunday on Face the Nation, the GOP Chairman sought to villainize principled Republicans. In the age of Populist Republicanism, there is no room for the Republican governed by anything other than other Republicans. The narrative argues that any Republicans not towing the line are completely devoid of virtue.
2016 Primary Candidates
There are several candidates from the GOP primaries who still have not bowed the knee and kissed the ring of Herr Trump. Priebus argues, “Those people need to get on board. And if they’re thinking they’re going to run again someday, you know, I think that we’re going to evaluate the process of the nomination process, and I don’t think it’s going to be that easy for them.” He later says he is not making a threat, but his words are pretty plain.
He also uses the tired argument that these candidates pledged their support for the eventual candidate and must honor the pledge. He neglects to mention the fact that Trump was the only candidate in the first debate to refuse to pledge his support for the eventual candidate. Only as the North Carolina primary drew near, a primary in which support for the eventual candidate is mandated under a draconian rule, did Trump finally pledge his support. Of course, after he won that primary, he retracted his pledge only to publicly shame others for retracting theirs.
In short Priebus, and other brown shirts, want to shame candidates who are not bound in any way to the current GOP ticket into being more virtuous than the man at the top of the ticket. This is hypocrisy at its height. Want to win principled voters? This is not the way to do it.
The Voters Themselves
Of course, there’s the issue of the voters themselves. There is plenty of shame to go around. Why heap it only on the primary candidates who have the gumption to stand when everyone else is kneeling. The assumption is that the conservative voters’ votes are the rightful property of the GOP candidate until they are robbed of it by. . . well, the evil conservative voters. Yeah. #Logic right? Consider this video from Alfonzo Rachel:
Having convinced themselves that principle is not all that important in the grand scheme of things. Therefore, we must vote for a Democrat calling himself a Republican to stop the Democrat actually being honest about being a Democrat. Don’t get it twisted; principled conservatives don’t want Hillary. However, given the choice between four years of Hillary with an emboldened, unified conservatism to counter her in 2020 and eight years of Trump and the death of conservatism as we know it, some are compelled to pull that lever. That’s not me.
Then, there’s the issue of what’s happening to the Republican Party. When no one is willing or (apparently) able to make the case for Trump to principled conservatives, and the default tactic is to shame them into voting for him and demonize the candidates they championed in the primaries right before their eyes, principled conservatives justifiably believe themselves to be abandoned by the GOP. In fact, many Millennial and Gen X conservatives are not all that sure the GOP ever cared for them to be in the tent to begin with.
For those of us familiar with history, we recognize that shaming is not merely a Leftist tactic. It’s a fascist tactic. Thus, when major figures like Priebus, Hannity, and others start shaming people into getting in line, it only solidifies our resolve to not join up with the rising regime. There are precious few Sophie Scholls left in the world, but principled conservatives in present day America are up for the challenge. We are not at all inspired to support Trump’s new brand of National Socialism (Nazism) over Clinton’s equally evil Global Socialism (Communism).