I was recently sent this article, “Time for Ron Paul Fans to Support the Constitution”. The article is well written and lays out the main arguments why Ron Paul supporters and Libertarians should rally behind Mitt Romney. Unfortunately, this same argument comes out every in every election. And every election we hear the same thing from this group of voters that I refer to as Conservative Puritans, “The Republican candidate is not Conservative enough. Why should I compromise my standards?”
In this response from the Puritans they have keyed in on the single most important term in our political environment – Compromise.
Do I expect the Conservative Puritans to compromise their standards and principles? No, I absolutely do not expect that. But I do expect them to strike a compromise in their vote. The problem is that they do not hold the majority in national politics. Yeah, I know there are a lot of them but they don’t have a majority. We’ve seen that year in and year out in every single election. The Puritans only comprise around 1 – 2% of the Conservative voters nationwide. Unfortunately, that is not enough to further their agenda — yet. I do think the Puritans are making some headway but they’re not there yet.
There are around 312,000,000 people in the United States today. For the sake of argument let’s say Conservatives (as a whole) make up 52% of the population (I don’t know the actual numbers; however, I theorize that Conservatives make up the majority of the population), so that’s 162,240,000. Let’s assume that Puritans make up 2% of that population, that’s 3,244,800. Now the bulk of that number is concentrated in the south and Midwest of the United States.
A major obstacle that the Puritans have is that their flavor of Conservatism isn’t the same as all Conservatives. This is actually a problem for Conservatives across the board. For example I have some great Conservative friends in the New England regions. Their Conservatism is nowhere near the same as Conservatives here in Texas who are far more Libertarian leaning than they would like to admit. Nevertheless, their Conservatism and my Conservatism have some pretty important similarities. There are enough similarities that I would never presume to strip them of their Conservative label. In fact, these similarities are so important that if anything I would be willing to prioritize my principles and reach out to my New England Conservative friends for a compromise. We find common ground. We have a common goal. Together we can find a path to victory.
More importantly, however, is that by compromising with my New England Conservative friends I have gained some influence on them. I can now continue to talk to them and begin to persuade them towards some of my Conservative principles and vice-versa. Now we are working together and we are gaining. Is it perfect? I doubt either one of us would feel that way. But we are gaining and we are both advancing our agendas.
The single greatest the Puritan Conservatives have is their “My way or the highway” approach. The Puritans refuse to compromise even on the smallest detail. They refuse to lose a battle to win the war; by doing so their numbers either remain static or shrink. They are unable to gain influence with any other Conservative group to advance their agenda and as such they remain isolated in their little pocket of 3 Million voters. The cold hard reality is that 3 Million voters aren’t going to affect policy anywhere.
But there is a more sinister dynamic at play here. My philosophy of seeking a compromise as demonstrated that I don’t want to leave any Conservative or American behind. I know Conservatism will save and preserve our nation. I’m willing to compromise so that all Americans can gain from Conservative principles. The Puritans, however, would just as soon leave me bleeding on the road than to seek a compromise to help as all.
We can argue all day long about the accuracy of the polls; however, let’s assume that the polls are just as close as they appear. I think it’s around 49% Obama to 48% Romney. Let’s assume that Romney can pick up 1% of the undecided voters so that we are now at a dead heat. Now if the Puritans either don’t vote or cast their vote for another candidate with no chance of winning Romney loses and we are now subjected to four more years of radical Socialist policies. I honestly think this spells the end of our nation. However, if the Puritans will decide to find a compromise with other Conservatives we win 49% to 51%. Is it perfect? No, but we have stopped the rapid decline of our nation and we now have a chance to begin recovering and restoring our position as a world leader.
And with that scenario you now see why the Puritans don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of affecting policy but nevertheless, are the single most powerful Conservative political arm. And the Puritans are choosing to use their strength sitting on the sidelines pouting and sticking their tongues out at the rest of us. That’s sad.
Finally, let’s thank God our Founding Fathers had the wisdom to seek compromise instead of sticking to their beliefs. Without compromise we wouldn’t be having this discussion because we wouldn’t have ever formed the United States of America in the first place.
Former HCRP Precinct Chair