I’ve Made Up My Mind

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.”

Will it?”

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.



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36 Responses to I’ve Made Up My Mind

  1. Glenn Briggs says:

    Mark, in my view, you are right on every point you’ve so clearly spelled out here. I wore my “Game On” tea shirt to the Fitness Center today. I’ll never give up opposing all those Sarah defined in her Indianola speech as our enemies. I’m surrounded by Liberals where I live most of each month, but for the few days each month that I get to “visit” my legal address, I am surrounded by Conservatives and that’s where I vote. In that, the “live to fight another day” viewpoint makes so much good sense! Thank you for being who you are and what you do!

  2. carl says:

    some may think that loosing freedom under another Obama term would be painful, it would not. you would hardly feel a thing, oh here and there you would notice something amiss, but the change would be slow and unnoticed by many. Look at the coal industry, they are taking it on the chin right now, and it does not effect me at all, YET. See my turn has not come yet areas of my life have not been hit yet. so under another Obama term it may be one or two years before you feel it oh but make no mistake you will not escape it. Say what? you will not put with it. Well so far Obama has been tooling right along, the only thing standing in his way now is Romney and this pesky election he has to get through, but if he comes out of this with a second term, don`t worry you are on his radar.

  3. RogueRose says:

    There is something so serious and sacred about the voting booth. The truth is the outcome does rest on the shoulders of every individual citizen. Thanks for your honesty Mark. Live to fight another day is honorable. Starting Nov 7th, we’ve got a lot of work to do together.

  4. Adrienne says:

    Good for you! You did what was right even though it was a bit painful. I’m thinking that Romney as president will surprise us all.

  5. C Bartlett says:

    I feel your pain, Mark. Did exactly the same thing except I came to the same decision a couple of months ago – mostly because of my kids. I have 3 (+ 2 spouses) also in their 20’s and one very new grandchild. Their future is foremost in my prayers. My almost-80-year-old mother made the statement last week – “we all might manage to survive another 4 years of Obama but your kids would have to live with a liberal Supreme Court for the rest of their lives.” It is unlikely that Romney’s legacy will be anything close to impressive but there is no way it will be as destructive as the alternative. I always taught my children that not voting was not an option. They did not earn the right to complain if they didn’t vote. Glad you earned the right – we want you out there holding those Republicans feet to the fire with your excellent writing!

  6. Reb in Texas says:

    At this point in time, my friend, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I’m laughing – because I came to the same dang conclusion last week when I voted (had to vote early since I serve as an Election Judge at a polling place on Tues) – and I already have 2 grandkids (4 & 5). Yet, I’m crying also – because I greatly fear what ALL will not be done in the next 4 years, even with a win by Romney. Soooo – We The People (led by such stalwarts as you Mark) MUST continue to be ever vigilant and fight as mightily as we can…as I am sure Sarah will continue. May God have mercy on US……..and guide US to a brighter future.

    Thanks for a great post – again!!

  7. Kara says:

    Bravo Mark! I believe your vote for Romney was absolutely correct. As you said, “A small opportunity, and a tiny window are greater than their absence.” With Romney you and other patriots across the country retain the opportunity to champion tea party/conservative/constitutional principles. Leaving the Presidential vote blank is essentially a vote for Obama. A second term of Obama would eviscerate what’s left of the freedoms that you and other like minded patriots cherish. At least with Romney we have a small window of opportunity instead of it being slammed and nailed shut.

  8. soggy says:

    Hope you didn’t write this during that ‘eternity’ in the voting booth….;-) You may recall me hoping the Libertarians would rise up and become a viable alternative and answer my votimg dilemma…….offered it as a suggestion for you long ago. Well, that was easy for me, now that they aren’t viable…….so it’s Mitt, just to pray Obama is yesterday’s news on the 7th.

  9. NAY NAY says:

    You waste too much time pondering the obvious….quit being a p**** and be a man. I have no doubt Romney is the business man with great judgement that we need at this moment and with the uber-conservative Paul Ryan at the helm to navigate the bills thru congress, I have no doubt that Romney will be like Reagan in that he will get what he wants 75% of the time. There was NOBODY on that ballot other than Romney, to vote for, and if you would have left it blank, you are no conservative. You would be just another panty waist trying to make a point that nobody cares about….I am a Brietbart conservative, the punk section of the Conservative movement. If you are not in the trenches fighting with the Republican, then you are the enemy. #WAR

    Edited for profanity

    • TheresaAK says:

      Romney did not like Reagan…I knew Reagan, and Romney is NO President Ronald Reagan…

      You do Brietbart no good by slamming a Patriot Brietbart admired…..

      In fact, you come off as the many who, in these types of posts, are actually trying to agitate just enough to want us to not vote for Romney…

      We see this all the time…

      The only reason we are going to vote Romney, is not for Romney, but AGAINST obama.

      There will be another candidate in the future to vote FOR……

      Your “Severely Conservative” Romney will not move to the Right….once elected, unless we force him to.

  10. Melodie says:

    Mark, I am thankful for your decision , and more thankful that you shared it with us. I totally agree with your train of thought. I respect you.

  11. tjomac says:

    I admire you for your honesty…and I pray that all those who have vowed to hold Romney’s feet to the fire will remember their vow if he wins. I have seen many things in the GOP recently that are disheartening and I fear that Romney will not be the answer we all wanted, but if people stay engaged we might be able to hold on for a true conservative down the road. There have been many distortions of the truth told in support of Romney, my hope is that if he is our President we are able to hold him accountable for his actions. I have been a life long Republican, but I am not happy with my party.

  12. stevethird says:

    Thank you Mark. I think you did the right thing. You are not alone, my friend. If you think you are conflicted about this, imagine how Sarah must have felt given all the trouble the romnoids have caused her for the last four years. Funny how the mind works. I find that even though I still don’t like the guy, my distaste for him has diminished just enough to allow me to vote for him, and even get a, R/R bumper sticker, and yard sign. I might even go down to the HQ and make a few calls. For me the question became “how will I feel if Hussein wins and I abstain”.. I live in NH, and my vote really matters, if only to serve as a counterweight to the many Brain-dead lefty goo-goo dingbats I encounter as I fight my way through the blizzard of lies. A very few votes will make the difference in NH, and NH could make the difference for all of us. I will be a motivated voter on Tuesday. Carry on, Mark. Tactical retreat….live to fight…..we will have much to discuss after 11/7, when Governor Sarah Palin of the great state of Alaska becomes a contender again!

  13. JohnInFlorida says:

    The air may stink … one may want to vomit … but at least there’s air!

    Room to breathe … that’s what we’re buying by voting for Romney/Ryan.

    Oh my! … What a lot of work remains!

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Enforce the 10th, repeal the 17th and may God (still be willing to) bless America!

  14. rickc says:

    A vote for Romney equals freedom preserved. A vote for Obama equals USA in chains .

  15. ShawnNJ ✓Swamp Drainer says:


    As one who fought alongside you for Newt Gingrich we have to remove Obama from
    the White House.

    That was and is the main goal.

    After knowing all we do about Romney it is hard to make the choice to vote for
    him. However as a business owner in an industry that Obama has destroyed I
    would vote for anyone to get him out of our White House with his freeloading

    I have always respected your thoughts and Ideas during this election cycle and
    prayed that you wouldn’t waste this important moment in history without voting
    to remove the most evil President this Country will ever see again.

    I have always believed in working for what you receive in life. I have never
    believed in everyday is Christmas, I never believed in taking from others and I
    sure do not believe that for me working 16 to 18 hour days 7 days a week that
    what I have made for myself and family is yours for the taking.

    I made up my mind a while ago to vote for Romney knowing all I do for the reasons
    I just mentioned.

    I live in NJ and we were just slammed with a storm that destroyed my town that
    I love. Many of us will have to rebuild and my heart goes out to all of them.

    However I have watched with disdain an American Hater destroy a Country I love
    in less than 4 years and now it’s time to start to rebuild the destruction caused
    by this Freeloading President and the only way to do that is by throwing him
    out of our House.

    If that is voting for Mitt Romney then so be it. Like Newt Gingrich mentioned
    many times that the Country will change the day after the election. People will
    have a sense of relief and business will start to renew knowing there is something
    to work for again.

    Americans has been through many
    tough times before but I have never experienced what we have been through these
    past 4 years and never want to see it again.

    Voting for Romney is the right
    choice for all of us at this time. However let’s not sit by and watch to see
    what happens. I believe the fight has just started. The establishment needs to
    know we have not gone away. There needs to be many changes with the way they
    run our Country and we need to fight them so they understand we will not allow
    them to disregard us any longer.

    Again thank you Mark for making
    the right choice for America in its time of need.

    • the unit says:

      ShawnNJ…I was able to vote in FL prior to Sandy. Don’t know it you could up your way. But you are voting if not early. Do it, don’t stand down. Thank goodness I got to vote early as storm and suffering by your folks, NJ and all around has activated my PTSD from Katrina, not to make excuses…but most there will not recover, FEMA won’t cut it and insurance won’t cover it. Saving America for our kids and grands is the whole point. Vet…duty comes first…constitutional as always.

  16. the unit says:

    Yes! Not the time to “stand down.”

  17. Kathie says:

    Mark, you did what the founders intended: you weighed the options and voted according to your conscience. On Tuesday, I’ll vote according to my conscience. That’s what makes a republic. No apologies necessary.

  18. the unit says:

    NYPD blowing up ‘damaged munitions’ on Ellis Island. Wet with salt water. I experienced that with some ammo. Wash off later. Takes a little work. Had a lawnmower washed out of shop, spent 21 days overturned in yard before had a chance to see about. Washed off, drained oil and replace, started on two pulls…still working since 2005. Bullets do too. Yes, blow up as taxpayers will buy more. Somebody elses work and money, why work?

  19. TheresaAK says:

    I call you an American who loves America…I believe many of us have come to the same conclusion.

    But Mark, know this, when we elect Romney, much to our chagrin, we will RISE AGAIN.

    We will take back our RIGHTS as WE THE PEOPLE, and go after the RINOs and the CORRUPTOCRATS….

    If we do not, we deserve everything we will get….

    God is in control…..Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
    Proverbs 3: 5 &6

    I commend you Mark and look forward to your future posts…

  20. I’m proud of you for seeing through the fog. Yes, we must keep our eyes focused on what small glimmer of hope may remain in this great country and pray that it will once again demonstrate its greatness to all of mankind.

  21. Grace Kirby says:

    It takes an adult to make the tough decisions. Bravo for doing the mature thing. I too supported Gingrich; however, I am not about to crawl into a closet and whine because he did not get selected. I’d rather stand up and fight; and with a President Romney, we will have a chance. If every voter makes a decision based on your painful process, we wil rise up to fight another day. God Bless you.

  22. Judy Masserano says:

    You are not a hypocrite, nor a traitor. Your decision was well-thought out and made a lot of sense. As your namesake, Mark Levin, says, this does not end on Tuesday. If elected, we hold Romney accountable & stay on him for the duration, fighting for conservatism…i.e. our Constitution.

  23. the unit says:

    Suppose Obama loses come Nov. 7. Could it be possible for couple of Supremes to decide to retire while he is still in office? How quick could appointments and confirmation be made? Hopefully that’s very far-fetched.

  24. StandProudNow says:

    Thank you, Mark.

  25. Conservative Pup says:

    “…because in that moment, I saw with clarity that a little chance is better than none.”

    And the truly courageous, the truly strong, always fight for and grab that “little chance.” That’s what the brave and the wise do. Heroes. They never walk away from a ‘little chance’ no matter how imperfect it may be. Thank you Mark, for being one of those heroes and a true patriot.

  26. Phil Arnold says:

    Thank you, Mark, for sharing this with us. I have struggled with the same concerns myself because of my intense fear of empowering the GOPe. Knowing that you have come to this conclusion helps me to accept my own decision to vote for Romney.

  27. Leta Griffin says:

    My husband and I knew you would end up voting for Romney. It’s the only common sense thing to do if we want to get rid of Obama. We voted a couple of weeks ago here in AZ and needless to say it was for Romney. We don’t care for or trust him, but we sure don’t want Obama.

  28. Margaret Gasper says:

    The bottom line is this: while Obama willingly and callously ignored one million Tea Partiers descending on Washington, DC in protest, Romney as President would not (and I believe could not).That realization enabled me to choose to vote for Romney without regret. However, the fight for smaller, smarter, and more fiscally responsible government begins anew on November 7. Should Governor Romney be victorious, he should not expect us to go quietly back to our corners. “We’re here, we’re clear; get used to it.” – SP, 4-16-11

  29. meloryscott says:

    You and Sarah Palin I trust. I know why you did what you did. No explanations necessary. But it was again a very good article to read. God bless you.

  30. Mary Beth Frey says:

    Mark, your post has brought tears to my eyes. I, too, had decided awhile ago that although Romney was not my first choice, he is the ONLY choice we have today. I pray everyday for our country and for all of us who are in despair over the predicament in which we have allowed our country to be placed. I pray that America has learned from these last four horrendous years and that the lessons learned will not be forgotten as we grow to be a people who are deserving of what was given to us by our forefathers and a loving God.

  31. deb54 says:

    Never ever apologize for doing what you believe is right. If your readers can’t accept what you did then it’s their burden to bear, not yours.

    I was a die-hard Newtster until the Tampa convention when it was clear who our nominee was going to be. Then I switched gears and defended Romney, even stopped with calling him Mittens for more respect. My feeling is if I thought Newt was the smartest man to be president, then why wouldn’t I follow his lead and believe him when he asked us all to support Romney. He, too, knows what is at stake just like the rest of us.

    The choice is very clear. The guy who has *&#$ this country BIG time or the guy who has a record and history of fixing these very problems we have today. Tomorrow will be a new day in America. Make your vote count!

  32. dl says:

    I did the same thing in the voting booth…. Skipped the presidential box and filled in the rest, came back to the presidential box and looked at the “write in” box (thought about writing in Newt), but marked Romney – not for Romney but against O. For months, I said I would NEVER vote for Romney, and I live in Texas, which would go Red without my vote – or would it? I didn’t want to leave anything to chance – this election is too important. There are many who do not want to vote for either candidate and IMO, that is why the election is so close. My vote is against O and FOR love of country. “For love of country” is a good thing Romney is saying to people at his rallies, and I hope people take that part of what Romney said to heart. IMO, it is life or death for America. I’m with you, Mark, and I believe Newt is right that O must go!

  33. LibertyLvr says:

    You did the right thing, Mark. The only thing someone who loves what America is CAN do. I understand all you went through. If we defeat Obama and what he stands for now we will have opportunities to fight the other battles. Thank you for your vote for LIBERTY.