Mercifully Wisconsin‘s fashionably late primary is over. If you are a Johnson, Kleefisch, or Ribble supporter you are probably on an emotional high right now. But what if you are a Westlake, Davis, or Roth supporter? Do you pick up your ball and go home or do you vote for what has been dubbed the dreaded “lesser of two evils?”
I’m not sure “lesser of two evils” is even a good way to describe the situation of deciding whether or not to vote for someone that doesn’t meet our expectations, but I’ll run with it. Our goals should be to move the government at all levels towards the ideals of limited government and free-markets. To do this, we should push for the candidate(s) during the primary that has values most closely aligned with those ideals. Once the primary is over however, the reality is that there are only two candidates left. Of those two we need to select one (the remaining one that most closely holds our values) and support them. Sitting out a crucial race because we are disappointed with who is left standing is not a viable option. The liberals/progressives understand this and consistently rally around whoever their candidate has been. They aren’t always happy with their candidates, but they support them and they have been able, over a period of decades, to move the country left even though we are a nation of center/right people. That is how Barack Obama got elected and how the Democrats took both the House and Senate.
The bottom line is: If you don’t vote for the perceived lesser of two evils, the greater of two evils will always win and the result is greater evil. Period.
This is not selling out your values or conscience, and calling it “lesser of two evils” is just childish and melodramatic. You are simply doing the best you can with the candidates and system we presently have. We do this everyday in our lives at work and in our personal relationships. We can work to change the game though.
The lack of good candidates in the general election is not the problem itself but rather a symptom. We need to put more emphasis on the primary in each race which is the true cause of that predicament. A lethargic population and lack of candidates who are qualified, experienced, motivated to run, funded, and supported is the root cause. We need to seek out and groom good candidates, and then support them to change this situation. In this way in future elections we can feel good about the men and women we seek to put in office. (Source: Ben Froland)
Some excellent points made by Ben regarding the need for being sensible. And that’s what it comes down to after a primary election battle. Not every battle is going to end the way one wants. When it doesn’t end as desired it’s natural to feel down and out, to take the time to lick your wounds. But then common sense needs to prevail in order to accomplish the long-term goal of “real” change. The worst thing that could happen for the conservative movement in Wisconsin and across the country would be if people “took their ball and went home” when the outcome in a primary race isn’t in their favor.
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