During the run-up to the special election in Georgia’s Sixth District, one of the complaints I heard leveled against the Republican field (eleven contenders strong) echoed not-so-strangely familiar, in that conservative voters didn’t like that the Republicans were attacking each other as well as Pajama Boy Ossoff in their ads. This had the effect of turning off some Republican voters from the field entirely–it probably didn’t make them go do something insane like vote for Ossoff (although I can’t discount that possibility given how many NeverTrumpers proudly claimed they were ready to vote for Dr. Pantsuit) but between that and the knowledge that this district was more than likely safe for the GOP I’m sure it influenced some voters to just stay home. We saw similar complaints regarding the vast field of Republican primary candidates last spring, although the existence of candidate Trump kind of helped concentrate the criticisms in one place, and saw some of this in the eventual vote results as well, with the GOP overall doing considerably better than President Trump did in terms of sheer numbers.
Looking at the nonsense the left has been using as excuses in the months since the election, you can see pretty easily why this happens and why it is subtly but definitely encouraged by both the Democrats and the dinosaur media. One way or another, the Democrats will unite behind a candidate, that candidate will pretend to not be a flaming communist liberal, and if elected that candidate will fall in line and do as he is told, which will mean he will be a flaming communist liberal. This happened in the Democratic presidential primary where Dr. Pantsuit had token competitors to make her look tough but had to cheat to finish off Crazy Bernie, it happened in Georgia 6 with the party getting behind Pajama Boy, and it happens in every race where a Republican is involved. Republicans don’t work this way. At times it feels like it would be nice if we did, but we don’t. Our candidates tend to fall into two categories: the establishment type RINO “centrists” and “moderates,” and the Tea Party-type conservatives who actually believe in what the GOP is kind of supposed to stand for. When it comes right down to it, ideology generally isn’t the deciding factor. Name recognition is. This is why it’s hard to primary entrenched establishment leftists even in the GOP–Susan Collins has been in the Senate since the 1990s, for example, and she only got her seat because the incumbent (a Democrat, George Mitchell) retired. She may be useless for anything but raw numbers but seniority and incumbency keep her coming back, and she’s just one example. The point is, somehow people get the idea that arguing and debating among your own party (or even highlighting critical flaws in your fellow Republicans) is a bad thing and they ought to not like it, and when the chips are down the Democrats pull together on the surface even if they have to kneecap someone behind the scenes, while the Republicans dogfight to the end, especially if the final contenders include a real conservative and an establishment squish. This is what happened in the presidential primary, for example, with the added element of the completely unknown variable (Trump) up against the conservative (Cruz) and the RINO (Kasich). People get sick of it and sometimes even hold grudges.
On top of that, there’s always this idea that is usually trumpeted by “independents” (which basically means “I can’t be bothered to pay attention until two weeks before the election”) that voting along party lines is somehow bad and stupid. Lots of empty heads who don’t understand the concept of a party platform like to claim they “look at a candidate as a person” and “consider the issues” and other such dreck that sounds all lofty and insightful but is really the biggest cop-out in modern politics. You notice you never get Democrat or Democrat-leaning voters giving that spiel either, at least not with any degree of believability–I once had a Democrat friend tell me that he would have considered voting for John McCain over Whatshisname if McCain had not been so “incendiary and divisive” (translation: conservative and Republican) in his campaign. I managed to suppress the urge to call baloney on him. For Democrats it’s apparently okay to vote along party lines for party reasons, but it’s bad when Republicans just look for the R in the general election, and God help you if you’re an “independent” and just look to party affiliation. I have to grant that an R is not as reliable a measure of what to expect as a D is, but the corollary to that is if you’re not in favor of D, you need to be voting R. Spare me your “principles” and your “protest vote” and the like, if you don’t want what you know the Democrats are about, then for God’s sake vote to stop them. I’ll acknowledge that a protest vote does have value in that it increases the overall pool of votes, meaning the winner has to get more votes in in order to receive over 50% of the total, but still, that cuts both ways.
So what does this have to do with voting in general? If you’re a Democrat, nothing at all–you’re reading this and either nodding your head or lying to yourself. But if you’re a Republican or a conservative or even a libertarian and you ever considered voting for Gary Johnson or Evan McMullin or sitting out an election you knew was likely to be close because you were less than happy with the Republican candidate, then seriously, you need to grow the hell up. The simple rule is you vote your conscience in the primary and you vote your party in the general, period. Do not give me this self-righteous nonsense about how the candidate didn’t “earn your vote.” He doesn’t have to. You’re voting for someone to represent YOUR interests, and whether you like it or not, not voting is the same as voting. Believe me, I’m as disappointed in the modern Republican party as anyone else, but it’s the only hope we’ve got, and throwing elections because we don’t like party infighting or we don’t think we got the best candidate we could is not going to “teach the establishment a lesson.” If anything, the lesson they’ll take away is that even their weak-willed half-baked cowardly pseudoconservatism is “too extreme” and they need to moderate and suck up to the Democrats even more, and continue to not understand that that might get them a smile and a pat on the head but it won’t get anyone’s vote. Also, don’t give me this line about how “it doesn’t matter how I vote, [insert state here] will go blue anyway.” The margins in several states that went blue were razor thin (tighter than the states where Jill Stein demanded her infamous recounts) and more than a few borderline NeverTrumpers justified their votes for con men and losers like Johnson and McMullin with the excuse that their vote didn’t matter anyway. Well, not only is that a big part of how we got stuck with the “Dr. Pantsuit won the popular vote” line, but as long as we’re convinced that California will never go red again, then California will never go red again.
Being an adult means realizing that you have to make choices sometimes that you do not like making. You might not want to have no other options besides “bad” and “less bad” but tough bananas cupcake, that’s how the world works sometimes. These self-righteous and high-minded excuses for not voting for your party or not voting at all might make you feel enlightened and superior but in reality, sorry, they make you an immature idiot who is throwing away a priceless right for contrived and outright silly reasons. I don’t care if you don’t like the squabbling. I don’t care if you think President Trump grabbed someone by the p-word. I don’t care if you don’t feel like no candidate “deserves” your vote–the guys who fought and died and risked everything to give you that vote say suck it up, buttercup, WE deserve for YOU to respect the sacrifice we made, get your behind out there, and stop these people. I have never claimed that everyone needs to vote, but if you know enough to know better (i.e. you are not a Democrat), you need to vote, and you need to vote Republican, and if you don’t like the choice you have then next time you need to do something about that a little further ahead of time instead of crying about it at the voting booth.