The general election is no time for conservatives to show discontent
By Frank Salvato
There is a great deal of talk about Conservatives either not showing up at the polls on November 7th or showing up to cast a protest vote for a third party candidate. Both of these actions are bad for the Conservative cause and horrific for the country. Those who choose to abandon the Republican candidates by executing either of these options will be directly responsible for seating a Speaker of the House named Pelosi and perhaps a Senate Majority Leader named Reid.
I'll be the first one to admit that there is a lot to condemn about the performance of many Republicans that were elected to the 109th Congress.
While House Republicans stood firm on border security first, their Senate counterparts waffled, choosing instead to tie immigration reform and border security together. It wasn't until citizen outrage was thunderous that they moved forward on the issue. This action reeked of politics over national security. In a post-September 11th world, Americans – and especially we Conservatives – have a legitimate right to be angry about their cavalier attitude toward securing our borders. There is no good reason to have these two issues married at the hip and ignoring that fact places the populace in harms way.
Then there is the spending-abuse issue. Maybe having control of both houses of Congress and the White House has the same deleterious effect on politicians that smoking crack has on a crack addict, but to liken Congress's addiction to over-spending to that of a drunken sailor is to insult the drunken sailor! The Republican majority in both houses should be ashamed of their fiscal irresponsibility and should be brought to task for their financial mismanagement. No matter how well the economy is performing and no matter how rich the tax receipts become, there is never an excuse for a "bridge to nowhere" or a "tea museum" built with federal revenues derived from the labors of the American taxpayer.
Another pathetic display emanating from the right side of the aisle was the GOP majority's helpless performance in confirming judicial nominees. How is it that a loud-mouthed, devious, obstructionist minority of quasi-Socialists can effectively neuter a Conservative majority in the Senate? As I stated previously, the Republican majority in the Senate should have used the nuclear option, confirmed all the nominees and then rearmed the nuclear option to return the number of votes required for confirmation to its original number. Those in the majority can do such things when faced with an obstinate group of political ne'er-do-wells if they have a leader.
I could go on and on but the point is made; the Republican controlled 109th Congress has performed poorly and we should all be glad that it's moment is about to end.
So, yes, Conservatives have every right to be disenchanted with many incumbents whose names are on November's ballot. But we stand at a moment in time where we have to make a choice: do we want to vote intelligently or do we want to vote to give power back to the Democrats?
Republicans and Conservatives do not execute their politics the same way that Democrats, quasi-Socialists, Secular-Progressives and Liberals do. Where those on the left side of the aisle have the luxury of being dogmatic about "change" and "revolution," especially during elections, Conservatives and Republicans must be relied upon for their dedication to sanity, the rule of law and stability. That is the balance that needs to exist for our government to operate at peak performance, as funny as that may sound.
During the primaries political parties are shielded from the consequences of the General Election's "finality." Republicans and Democrats alike can argue amongst themselves, even go to political war with one another and still limit the effects of their disagreements on the government as a whole. But all of that changes when it comes to the General Elections.
In the General Elections the majority party cannot mimic those in the minority party for the simple fact that the majority is trying to retain power while the minority party is trying to acquire power. It is for this reason that Republicans and Conservatives must confine their votes of outrage and protest, their calls for "change," their dismay with their slated candidates to the Primary Elections. This is especially true for the up-coming November 7th General Election.
Using the luxury of hindsight we stand witness to the consequences that "protest voting," "voting for change" and voter apathy afforded the United States just fourteen years ago. During Bill and Hillary Clinton's two terms – a time span when Democrats and Liberals reigned in Washington DC. The Gorelick Wall was constructed forbidding intelligence sharing between intelligence and law enforcement agencies, a critical element that led to the slaughter of over 3000 people on September 11, 2001. Nuclear material was literally given to North Korea's Kim Jong-il, a "good faith measure" that dramatically advanced the nuclear threat we face today. China acquired US defense and military technology under the guise of cooperation in the area of space exploration. Al Qaeda and Hezbollah were emboldened by the lack of response to deadly attacks on Americans and American interests around the world. And the US intelligence community was gutted to the point that human intelligence capabilities with regard to the biggest threat facing our country – terrorism – were practically non-existent.
Unless we want to "feel the pain" of returning to a "feel-good 90's" style of government, Conservatives and Republicans can ill-afford to participate in casting votes of protest or outrage this election. In fact, with our country firmly ensconced in a battle for its survival with an ideological foe that wants to see the end of the United States and Western Civilization, we had better pray for a huge Conservative voter turn out on November 7, 2006.
Frank Salvato is the managing editor for The New Media Journal. He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education initiative. His pieces are regularly featured in over 100 publications both nationally and internationally. He has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, and is a regular guest on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network, as well as an occasional guest on numerous radio shows coast to coast. He recently partnered in producing the first-ever symposium on the threat of radical Islamist terrorism in Washington, DC. His pieces have been recognized by the House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright © 2006 Frank Salvato