Back when my dad and his older brother were kids, there was a day when his older brother was as sick as a dog. That was the day my dad chose to beat the stuffing out of him. Of course, he paid for it the next day, but it was worth it!
The PP informs us that he is busy this week. So I’ll take advantage of his distraction to comment on a recent little essay of his, addressed to a hypothetical Republican.
Now, speaking for myself, I’m a natural born cynic. And although my conversion to the faith some thirty years ago has given me cause to rethink and renounce many of my previous beliefs, I’ve never had the slightest occasion to recant my cynicism. Indubitable cynicism is a wonderful vaccine against disillusionment and doubt. If cynicism were a verb, I would say “Cynico, ergo sum.”
I share the PP’s criticisms of the Bush administration. However, I’m not disappointed. I’ve not suffered a memory lapse—although if I were suffering from political amnesia I don’t suppose I’d remember it, right? I’ve not been whipped into a frenzy. I’m not running scared.
No, I don’t feel silly. No, the GOP isn’t playing me like a piano. My piano lid is locked and bolted. No, I don’t support big gov’t as long as it’s in Republican hands. No, I don’t take a particularly positive view of the national party.
N/A. None of the above. Zippo!
I voted for Bush in 2000 because the choice was between Bush and Gore, and Bush was better than Gore. I voted for Bush in 2004 because the choice was between Bush and Kerry, and Bush was better than Kerry.
My philosophy is not to vote for the best candidate, but to vote for the best electable candidate. There’s no point in voting otherwise, although there’s sometimes a point in sitting out an election. What the point of voting for a loser? Either vote for a winner, or don’t vote.
For me, the choice is between better and worse. It’s as simple as that. I play the hand that providence has dealt me. I calibrate my cynicism to providence.
It’s quite true that Christians have nowhere else to go. Who would ee vote for? Petruka? Remember him? I don’t either? That would be a feel good vote, but nothing more.
If third parties could work, they would work. If third party candidates could win, they would win. They lose because they don’t have the votes.
Yes, I know, that’s a tautology. Nothing very profound. But tautologies do have the singular virtue being true. Trivial, but true—fatally and irrefutably true.
Now, there are times when the cost of winning is higher than the cost of losing. The PP brings up Giuliani. I’d sit that one out.
You can compromise to the point there it isn’t a choice between better and worse. You can compromise to the point where you become a clone of the opposition.
In that case, it sends a good message to the party bosses that you are prepared to draw a line in the sand. Some loses are tactical losses. But you don’t win by losing every time.
A vote for the GOP is not a vote for big government. Yes, Bush is a big government guy. But that’s not why I’m voted for him. That’s an incidental evil of voting for him. I cast my vote for Bush for other reasons. Unfortunately, big government is the price one pays for a Bush administration.
I don’t like the tab anymore than the PP. But if Bush spends like a Democratic, so would a Democrat. Yet a Democrat would be hostile to my values across-the-board, whereas Bush is generally sympathetic. And, at worst, voting for Bush is an act of damage control.
I’ve heard it said that both parties are headed over the cliff, just at different speeds. To begin with, this isn’t true. They aren’t going in the same direction on all issues.
But even so, there’s something to be said for buying yourself some lead time. For setting up some roadblocks on the expressway to destruction.
This isn’t about winning, in the sense of forcing the God-haters into absolute surrender. That’s not going to happen. This isn’t about winning the war. This isn’t about winning every fight and skirmish.
This is about winning just enough battles so that we survive and stay in the game and keep the cause of the gospel alive to pass on to another generation.
There’s a lot to criticize in Bush, but, you know, he’s the one who ran and won. Many of his critics have never run for national office, much less won their bid for high office. Better candidates have run—and lost.
We can’t expect the other guy to do it all for us, to agree with us all the time, to do what we would do were we him his position, because we’re not in his position, and he’s not us.
If a better viable candidate runs, I’ll vote for the better viable candidate. But we can’t leave it all to the other guy, tell the other guy what we want, tell the other guy what to do, and expect him to do our bidding everytime.
You know the old saying that if you want something done right, you've gotta do it yourself. But if you’re going to delegate the task to a second-party, and there are perfectly good reasons for doing so, then you have to settle for less. The only question is, how much less?
Finally, we really are making progress, you know. Take the dust-up over judicial nominees. When Reagan nominated Bork, the liberal establishment simply crushed him. He lost, and lost by a wide margin.
When Bush nominated Roberts, the liberal establishment was absolutely impotent to prevent his confirmation. He won, and won by a wide margin.
Why are the liberals so fanatical about the courts? Because that’s all they’ve got left. They’ve got this toehold on power. Just one frost-bitten toehold on power.
Why are liberal lawmakers so dependent on the judicial branch of government? Why don’t they pass a federal law banning school prayer? Because they don’t have the votes. Why don’t they pass a federal law legalizing abortion on demand? Because they don’t have the votes. Why don’t they pass a federal law legalizing homosexual sodomy? Because they don’t have the votes?
They don’t have popular support for their agenda. That’s why they’re so angry and insecure and iron-fisted. They’re the ones running scared.
Well, cowardice has its consolations. But I’ll have to skip town next week to dodge falling rocks from the PP’s crushing reply. And if the Turkoman decides to pile on as well, I guess I’ll have to go into the witness protection program.
Either that or rent a room in Jus Divinum’s Tuscan villa. That’s his winter residence, you know. His summer home is a charming chalet overlooking Lake Lucerne. Did I ever tell about you about the time he was entertaining The Donald? Well, that’s another story.