Since my last post, I have been deluged in email, on Facebook, and via Twitter, as well as in comments here. Those comments have roughly fallen into three groups, and they are: 1.) Full support. 2.) Screaming insults. 3.) A mix of support and disapproval with an added note of disappointment. I appreciate those described by the first, ignore those composed of the second, and will now address my remarks to those described by the third. In particular, I have been told that I should have expected the GOP establishment to seize power(and I did,) and that by refusal to support Romney, I am effectively taking my ball and going home at precisely that time in which my support is needed most. One poster actually suggested that if Obama should win in November, it will be my fault. Mine! One last time, I am going to address the sheer depravity of that sentiment, and I am going to be blunt about it. You may wish to accuse me of being too inflexible, but if so, we’re going to examine that charge in light of the facts, under the microscope of logic.
It has been charged that refusing to support Mitt Romney is tantamount to a support of Barack Obama. Apart from being a bold-faced, mathematical lie, this is done as a matter of bullying. If I vote for Romney, he gains one vote, and if I vote for Obama, he gains one vote, but if I vote for neither, it is a zero-zero proposition. None for, but also none against. Put another way, in order to believe that Romney starts out at a “plus one” with my vote, one must first presume that my vote belongs to Mitt Romney and the Republican Party, but that is an arrogantly faulty presumption. My vote belongs to me. That’s the math and the fact of the matter, but having dealt with this aspect, let us talk about the other, much more monstrous argument. There is a clear desire on the part of some to prod me into support by virtue of my love for my country. It has been stated often, and in approximately the following form:
“If you love America as you claim, you would vote to save her from Barack Obama even if it means accepting a terrible candidate like Mitt Romney.”
Apart from the desperation implied by such a lame attempt at emotional appeals to my patriotism, there is the implicit logical fallacy demonstrated by the switching of contexts. This is offered in the context of my love for the country, rather than the love of the country as expressed by the Republican Party’s choice of Mitt Romney. In short, what I am being told is that since I love the country more than the GOP establishment does, I ought to abandon my principles in order to support their candidate. I wish for my readers to consider the philosophically suicidal entrapment entailed in this proposition: I should abandon my principles, principles that give rise to my love of country, in order to support a candidate who demonstrates a less than thorough love of those same principles.
This argument is frequently attended by dire but vague warnings about the consequences of my decision. These warnings sound suspiciously like the warnings conservatives have been issuing for some time, but now they’re being turned against conservatives as a bludgeon with which to hammer us into support of Mitt Romney. The warnings consist of what Barack Obama will do to the country in an unfettered second term, but what none of them will acknowledge is what Mitt Romney is apt to do to the country in an unfettered first term. In fact, the Rules Committee maneuvers on Tuesday at the convention should serve as some indicator of what form that will take, and it consists almost entirely of “What dissent? Dissent? I hear none,” issuing forth from the despotic intent of John Boehner as he hammered away with his gavel, dismissing the minority report on rules with a vengeful finality.
With those gavel blows, what I recognized, finally and irrevocably, was that the Republican Party is no less corrupt in its methodologies or intentions than the Democrats. The party’s establishment is no less committed to having things their way by every foul trick on the planet than any Marxist we’ve ever witnessed. What this instance had proved to me is that at the end of the line, there is no effective difference between them, excepting only the nature of the flocks each is attempting to herd, respectively. I would have preferred it had been otherwise, and one might have hoped that seeing the state of things erupting in the convention, Romney himself might have interceded to stop the nonsense, but no, he did not, and some suggest, perhaps could not. Either way, the effect of this power grab was to nullify the meaning of the convention as well as the meaning of the party.
What good is a political party that does not serve my long-held convictions, except occasionally and only by accident? I have listened intently to those who have argued these last months that I should give Mitt Romney a chance, but when it came to it, when he should have been willing to give the party a chance, he did not, instead rigging things in his favor for the future. One must then ask the question I had been pondering as Boehner swung the gavel, shedding no tears for the abominable despotism his actions exemplified: If a man seeks an office but creates a set of rules under which it will be more difficult to challenge him in the future, what is his motive?
The only answer is that Mitt Romney wishes to rule without restraints. He does not wish to be confined by a base that will make trouble for him if he fails to live up to the promises he has made. He does not wish to be held to account, or to even have his arm twisted when it comes to such things as appointments or executive orders, or even such bills as he may sign into law. It is understandable that a politician would not wish to be accountable to people who had not supported him, but the truly baffling aspect of this case is that Romney does not wish to be accountable to people whose support he expects to garner in the coming election. Once one considers the explicit meaning of this action, there really is no method by which to resolve it without concluding that Mitt Romney intends to govern not only in disregard of conservatives, but in contempt of them.
For opposing this, there are those who would label me a traitor should I withhold my vote from Mitt Romney in November. It is at this point that I must say that while all must be free to do as their conscience dictates, I would ask those who wield this label to consider who it is that is committing a treason, and who is being faithful. If one can become convicted of the notion that Mitt Romney’s actions express an ill intention toward conservatism, and if conservatism is the vital life-sustaining philosophy of our great nation, what must be the end result of Mitt Romney’s administration, if he wishes to govern without respect to those principles?
That is a question you ought to answer before you descend upon me with your charges of treason. If the purpose of the conservative movement is to advance the philosophy of non-conservatives, then I will depart this movement for some other, or for my own. I have no intention of surrendering my beliefs to a party of nothing. If that offends you, you are free to depart. I will not be cudgelled by scurrilous accusations about my commitment to this country and its future simply because I will not support Mitt Romney. If you’re of a mind to cast these accusations, I’d suggest you consider instead your flexible, fungible standards in the cause of expediency before you begin to pummel me or others of similar mind. There is plenty of room under the big tent of the RNC convention, and what the Rules Committee made clear is that they’re going to keep it that way.
Note to readers: As I mentioned earlier in the month, I will be out of town over the next week and I may not have time to post. Thank you for your patience as I attend to some family business.