Conservatives (which is becoming an increasingly murky term) are almost unanimous, if they are honest, in their agreement that their cause is currently dead in the water. The reasons are complex, but a few might be possible to identify.
First of all, they have a president who is sometimes called "far-right" by his enemies, but which less-government citizens know better. This is a man who has never wielded his veto pen to stop runaway spending by a Congress controlled by his own party -- spending that would make LBJ and his Great Society welfare state envious. This president has increased the power of the federal government with a tyrannical No Child Left Behind Act (it's Ted Kennedy's brainchild), where the feds are now a bull-in-the-china-shop in the area of one of the most hallowed premises of American democracy: local control of education.
This is a man who actually signed the McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform Act saying, "It's probably unconstitutional," creating the biggest threat of freedom of speech and press since the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. Someone must have forgotten to remind this president that his oath of office compels him to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." But, he instead abdicated his sacred duty and turned it over to the despotic gurus of the Supreme Court, a court still firmly in control by the liberal consensus by which both major parties subscribe.
He has increased the power of the police state while waging a war overseas, a war which arguably is wrong on both constitutional and moral grounds.
This guy's a conservative?
Then we have Lisa Murkowski, a Republican with a decidedly liberal voting record during her tenure in the state Legislature, and who as a U.S. Senator voted in favor of a resolution accepting Roe v. Wade as "rightly decided." Notwithstanding the local bishop's weak excuses on her behalf, this is a Catholic pro-abortion politician.
So, now we come to Alaskan Republicans' conundrum: Who the hell to vote for? Principled third-party candidates exist, but the stock answer is usually, "OK, I know that X is a better candidate, but they have no chance of winning. If I vote for them, it will only help the Democrats to win, and they're worse. I can't waste my vote."
This is the conventional wisdom, to be sure, but it is wrong. Continuing to vote for wrong-headed Republicans is the real "wasted vote," and I will attempt to demonstrate why.
Ask yourself, fellow conservatives, which is better: short-term gain versus long-term loss, or short-term loss versus long-term gain? Most people would admit that, however painful it might be, the latter option is the better.
Unless and until Republicans are punished for acting like socialist, more-government Democrats, we are going to continue being given the same sordid options. What the fake two-party system now offers us is this: The Democrats and Republicans are both speeding toward a cliff in pickup trucks, the Democrats at 110 mph and the Republicans at 55, with the voters riding in back. So, the "thoughtful" Republican voter jumps from the back of the Democratic pickup onto the Republican one, knowing full well that this option is only delaying the calamity that awaits on the horizon.
As for me, I'm going to jump the truck, bounce and roll a bit, pick myself up and walk in the opposite direction. And if the jump kills me, well, I'd rather be dead than fall down a cliff into the black pit of slavery.
There isn't a conservative I know that doesn't admit that if we all did this, two things would happen: Either the Republican truck would turn around and head the other direction, or a different car will come along and take us to where we want to go -- to the freedom side of the cliff.
That is why I am voting for Jerry Sanders for the U.S. Senate and Michael A. Peroutka for president.
A long journey, my friends, begins with one simple jump from the pickup.
Robert M. Bird
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