Where it all counts...
I don’t like Mitt Romney very much, as I don’t think he’s at all conservative in the full sense of the word. I find myself fully agreeing with him only around one-third of the time. Naturally, as I’ve explained all along, this is why we conservatives were prohibited from selecting an actual conservative candidate, or one with at least reasonably solid conservative views. The pages of this blog are replete with my criticisms of Romney, both on specific issues and in particular contexts, as well as in a general philosophical sense. If you have any confusion, feel free to do a category search on the menu at right and select the category “Mitt Romney.” With that in mind, I would like to talk to you a bit about another character whose category is at least as extensive, and who is infinitely worse: Barack Hussein Obama. There is no doubt that while I have some trepidation about Romney’s willingness to fight for constitutional principles, Obama will demolish, shred, and burn it. I do not claim this as some exercise in epic hyperbole, and my long-time readers will know it is absolutely true: If Obama wins on Tuesday, by any means, our nation is finished. If you believe too easily that you’re willing to undergo all that such a calamity entails, read no further and exit this blog, because you’re either a terminal patient or somebody with no respect for the reality of such an event.
First, I want you to know that when I went into the polling place, I skipped the Presidential question. I ticked right through the remainder of the ballot, knowing that I wanted Ted Cruz to prevail, and knowing the other offices on the ballot, who it is that I would support in those offices of local concern. After completing the whole ballot, I went back to the Presidential position, being the only one remaining to consider. I stood there for what seemed like an eternity. I looked at the names on the ballot, and I thought about what would happen if I stood firmly in my intention to let Mitt Romney rise or fall without my help. I knew that being in Texas, even without my vote, Mitt Romney was likely to win. I knew that my vote would be of little consequence, thus affording me the escape clause if I decided to leave the Presidential section unmarked. The problem is that I have readers in every place in this wondrous country, and while as a practical matter, it mattered little whether I would make a selection, my readers would want to know.
I leaned a bit against the writing surface of the voting booth. I rubbed my brow as I realized the full measure of what is at stake in this election. Sure, we’ve discussed it at length, but this was the first time I had really personalized it. Romney? Obama? Other? None? On this basis, I immediately ignored Obama and the other “third party” entries. Whatever my final choice, I knew that I would never vote for Obama, and that the non-Romney alternatives were merely a protest that equated to voting for none of them. No, the question was really Romney, or none. As I stood there pondering my choice, I began to turn our country’s recent past over in my mind, and I began to think about this from a highly personal point of view.
If I were not to make any selection, what would it mean? No, it was more important to place the appropriate pressure on my decision, and since I came of age in Ohio, much of my family still residing there, it was proper to think of this as though I were in that context. After all, for many of my readers, that is the choice, whether they’re in Ohio or other states where this contest will be decided, they haven’t the luxury of knowing that either their state is so thoroughly blue or red as to make their one abstention irrelevant. I began to think about the matter as if the whole question rested on my shoulders, and when I did, something odd happened. I realized that somebody would win. Withholding my vote from Mitt Romney would not make some other imagined candidate appear on the ballot. More, knowing the intentions of Barack Obama as I do, I began to think what would happen if he wins.
My farm would be a goner. It will be difficult for our farm to survive as an entity for another year in this economy. When we bought horses and began to breed and raise them, we had no idea that the bottom would drop out of that industry within two years’ time, and that other economic forces, namely the prices of petroleum, and feeds and hay would escalate to heights previously unknown. We are bleeding money, and with no change, no chance exists that does not end with horses going to slaughter buyers at a government-coerced auction. My daughter, now nearly twenty-three, along with her husband, have decided to forgo children indefinitely, being unwilling to bring children into the world with which we are now confronted. They would rather be childless than to raise a kid into serfdom, and they refuse to be sucked into the welfare mentality that permits so many to procreate without pausing to consider those facts. If Barack Obama is re-elected, the country will die, my farm among its many victims, and the possibility of grandchildren with it.
Every day brings more bad news on the economic front, though the media would have us believe otherwise in their pursuit of a second Obama term. There will never be any chance of justice on the matter of Benghazi, and there will be no chance that we will know liberty again. Ronald Reagan was right about many things, and one of them was this:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
At least I will be free from telling my child’s children, since there won’t be any, but as I stood there pondering my choice, it seemed at last like slim consolation. I thought about a lifetime of hard, dedicated work, but not only mine. My wife’s, my brothers, and all our forebears who had made the glorious expanse of my life possible. I thought about the slow, skulking death of a nation, culminating in a rapid dissolution into anarchy and tyranny. I wondered how long I would hold out. I wondered how much stamina those like me would have, and whether it would be enough. I wondered at the thought of my wife and I, no longer in the condition of our youth, trying to stave off all that such a scenario would imply. I thought about the wisdom of my position to date, and my resolution not to vote for Mitt Romney.
After all, as veterans will know, one thing the military teaches you is that if all else fails, you must figure out how to survive, and how to live to fight another day. Pointless but seemingly heroic acts of single-handedly charging a vastly superior enemy are really acts of suicide, so that unless there is something tangible to be gained for one’s cause, one should never consider it. In turn, that begged the question behind my furrowed brow: What is my cause? Will it be served by the immolation of our country? That was the proposition before me, and for a long time, I began to argue with myself:
“What’s the matter, Mark? Chickening out?”
“No, of course not. I’m doing the harder thing: I’m standing on principle.”
“Principle? The principles that become meaningless the moment Barack Obama is unleashed and unrestrained in a second term? Those principles? Who will honor them? The souls of the grandchildren your daughter will never bear forth into the wretched world the left is creating?”
“Somebody. Somehow. Some day.”
“Somehow? It’s a sad day that you resort to that plea.”
”America will rise again.”
As I pondered Ronald Reagan’s words again, it struck me that though I have read them, repeated them, and heard them spoken a thousand times, I had always grasped the first part, but never fully the severity of the second. Standing there looking down at my ballot, the presidential section unmarked, I wondered about the truth of the matter: How do I restore a country by yielding it completely to those who wish it destroyed? It is preposterous to suggest otherwise, because in that moment, I saw with clarity that a little chance is better than none. A small opportunity, and a tiny window are greater than their absence. I’ve already pledged to you that with your help, I will fight the GOP establishment, come what may, but that is only relevant if we’re not already fighting for our basic survival, and if Barack Obama prevails, that will be our situation.
You are free to call me a “chicken,” or to say that “Mark folded” when the going got tough, but after all, what the in Hell are we fighting for anyway? A tactical retreat is preferable to a massacre. With those words in mind, I looked again one long last time at the ballot, and slid it close to me on the writing surface, and marked “Romney.” I turned away from the booth, depositing the ballot in the slot in the ballot box with a satisfied grimace. That may not be the ending you had expected. It wasn’t the ending I expected when I walked into the polling place, until I realized this really could be the end. I apologize to those readers who believe I have abandoned them, and I will not damn any for doing as I have done, but in the end, history may damn all those who don’t. In the name of all in this world that you may still love, and in the name of all that remains of our potential, go vote, and do what your conscience demands. I cannot damn my own life, never mind my daughter’s, to the world a second Obama term would usher in. Damn me if you must. If Obama is re-elected, Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s misappropriation of scripture is certain to come true.