Before getting to the meat of this post I just want to say that I’m incredibly proud of Marco Rubio and his campaign. I believe in Marco, and I saw how humble, passionate, and decent he was. In a better world a man of good character, such as Marco, would have an easier path to the White House. Unfortunately in today’s world, the rejection of the angry masses is a badge of honor.
I think the featured image (GIF) explains my mood on Wednesday. Who’s with me?
Now, to the post:
“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
– Benjamin Franklin
You guys may be shocked to hear this [sarcasm], but I’m a rather stubborn person. From the time I was little I made choices and came to conclusions independently (to the displeasure of some) and, while I listened to others, if I didn’t agree I didn’t concede – regardless of their title (I owe a few pastors apologies). Oftentimes it wasn’t even concerning moral issues; if everyone dressed their Barbie in pink, but I didn’t like pink, I wasn’t going to put my Barbie in pink. Not out of defiance, but simply because – in my opinion – Barbie looked better in yellow.
Now, I wasn’t obnoxious (to the best of my recollection), but more quiet and observant. My family moved around a lot, I frequently met new people and friends, and always stayed away from the crowd mentality. I wasn’t a loner, per se, but I was never a troublemaker, never grounded, sent to my room, etc., and spent most of my time in my head and really never felt the need to conform. By the time I was old enough to really grasp reality, getting in trouble wasn’t simply “wrong,” it was just illogical, pointless, and I didn’t really have a rebellious bone in my body. I’m not saying that’s always a good thing, but that it has always been my mentality. I was the teenager who had to have my book and headphones taken before being told, “Listen, stay out until curfew, go have fun with your friends!” Yes, fellow millennials, I was a nerd before it was cool.
I was asked during a show on Wednesday evening (listen here) why people like to run their political opinions past me, and my spur of the moment poor answer was, “Well, because I’m opinionated,” and I really wanted to say, “I have no idea why some people want to hear my random ramblings.” The truth – in my opinion – is that I don’t really pledge allegiance to anyone. If I don’t agree with a popular individual on an issue, it causes me zero regret to say as such. If I agree with someone unpopular on an issue, it causes me no shame to declare it. From Rand Paul to Steven Colbert, no one is above reproach, nor below a compliment.
Except Lena Dunham.
The point: I’m not bound by an editor who filters my content, I’m not limited in topics. I think my small readership appreciates the fact that I’m not dedicated to any particular camp. I keep it clean, but I’m filter free. I am bound only by my principles, which dictate my politics. Today I find myself bringing up a topic that many of my followers will not appreciate, many may even call me a “traitor to the conservative movement,” but I hope that even if they don’t find themselves on the agreeing side, they respect the fact that I chose to share my stance as opposed to pandering for clicks. I could have easily written a moving article on unity that would have gained me readership and views.
Heads up: I didn’t.
When Marco dropped out last week I watched a lot of my friends jump on Team Cruz, and many sent me messages wanting to know if I planned to do the same. My reply was, “I don’t know what to do, to be quite honest.” Some were astonished! “But we’re talking about the future of Conservatism!” they proclaimed. For many it was easy, just a simple flip. For others it was painful, but in their eyes necessary. They may strongly dislike the senator from Texas, but they’re going to do what’s right for the republic, darn it!
I wasn’t ready to make a decision, I applied the 48 hour rule. I take 48 hours to fight with myself, I give every logical argument I can think of against both sides. I berate my decision, and I let every thought go to war. Sometimes the prevailing opinion emerges from the battle unscathed, sometimes it emerges bruised and burdened, but victorious. This decision fell into the latter camp.
I am on team #NeverTrump, with zero reservations.
I am on team #NeverHillary, with zero reservations.
I am on team #NeverBernie, with zero reservations.
And right now, I cannot support Cruz, either.
According to Ben this makes me a child, foolish, anti-conservative, and without even knowing my name, he has assumed that my reasoning isn’t good enough. That’s his choice, and I don’t bemoan his feelings on the issue; however flippant and misguided they might be, those are his opinions.
John Quincy Adams once said, “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone,” and when I thought about Cruz during my 48 hour mental version of the Napoleonic Wars, I could never escape the fact that a vote for him was a vote against my core principles. I was never on team #OnlyMarco – as many would have you believe – and there are many issues where I allow for give, but there is one that I simply do not:
Ted Cruz has frequently dodged the subject, as he did in this interview with Duke Machado, but as of late he has made his opinion clear:
Every time I gave myself an excuse, one question kept coming back to the surface: If he won the presidency and did exactly what he has said he would do – if families were displaced, children’s lives destroyed, lives ripped apart – could I sleep at night knowing I put my stamp of approval on his presidency, knowing what he said he’d do?
On Wednesday night I was a guest on Duke’s show, and we discussed the issue. My friend, the brilliant Carolyn, made a few tweets about kids brought here as children, people that Ted has said need to go.
(DISCLAIMER: My opinions on Cruz are mine, and I do not presume to speak for Carolyn.)
She then went into more detail on Facebook:
It was a real “aha” moment for me. I was a college senior myself, doing an internship at a station in South Dakota. I’ll never forget sitting down with this very bright, intelligent 18 yr old who described to me how she couldn’t apply for financial aid, couldn’t get into college because she had only recently discovered she had been brought to the US illegally as an infant. She NEVER knew. Her parents had stable jobs, were respectable members of the community–she was shocked.
You just can’t tell me that in our party, in our society, people like that are to be dismissed and deported. I just can’t get behind that.
I think the much larger, more pressing and realistic issue is controlling the border. Talking about rounding up 12mil+ people for one big “We showed them!” stunt is like patting yourself on the back for mopping the blood up off the floor before applying the tourniquet to your severed limb. We cannot simply treat the symptoms without curing the disease–and then claim victory.
These stories aren’t rare:
During the South Carolina debate, Cruz was asked about a list of DACA recipients, “You would have a list. Would you use it?” Ted Cruz dodged the question while railing against the Gang of Eight… again.
Like a broken record.
I spent months upon months listening to Cruz and his supporters tell me that “Ted Cruz follows through on what he says he’ll do!” Shockingly, their attempt to convert me had the opposite effect, it was instead the death knell of any chance I had of supporting him – I just didn’t know it at the time. If what they incessantly repeat is true, then I am to believe that he will follow through with his deportation plans. If I voted for him and, God forbid, someone was killed, kids were instantly thrown into poverty, young women thrown into desperate professions, etc., (repercussions that have followed every other mass repatriation attempt) my name would be tattooed on his rise to the White House. Worse yet, I will have put my name there after acknowledging that he made his plans known, and told me that he always follows through with whatever he says he’ll do.
I can’t do that.
I assure you, I’ve thought of the variables: Supreme Court appointment(s), Benghazi, abortion rights, Socialism, health care, poverty increase, foreign policy (or lack thereof), Planned Parenthood, ISIS, gun rights, etc., etc., etc., blow by blow I went through the scenarios. The conclusion I’ve come to is that, sadly, the top four candidates for president of the United States each threaten the livelihood of some faction of innocent human beings.
As my fellow Collision writer eloquently pointed out: “The intruder who has taken the family hostage and insisted I name the first family member, apart from myself, to be executed will NOT get an answer. And nobody can convince me I’ve chosen by default.”
If Hillary represents continued funding for Planned Parenthood, and Ted Cruz represents the innocent child who will be swept away in the tidal wave of a police state level repatriation, I can’t vote for either and be consistently pro-life.
So let’s discuss some of the replies:
“But I would have supported Rubio if he was the one left in the race!”
Good. I’m glad to hear that, and not surprised. Rubio’s policies were sensible, and he wasn’t advocating for mass deportation, carpet bombing, war crimes, socialism, or continued funding for Planned Parenthood like the current front-runners of both parties. He wanted to fix the immigration system, and right the wrong in a logical set of steps, but said flat out that mass deportation is not a sensible solution. And as I’ve said before, in order to mass deport in any successful and remotely compassionate way whatsoever would require the government to grow in ways Obama can only dream of. Plus, if you really get into the logistics, we’re talking about the need for internment camps. I’m not being a foil wearing fool, that’s just the facts. If you want it done in under 15 years, it won’t be done morally.
“You’re being a spoiled brat!”
Trust me when I say that it would be much easier to go on social media and join my friends in their Cruz accolades. Those praising him, supporting him, etc., are receiving the proverbial cold water spritz in the desert. Here I am without one candidate who represents what I believe to be the core values of compassion, decency, and sensibility that made America the country it is. In reference to Benjamin Franklin’s point, we have become corrupt and vicious, and now have more need of masters. The four leaders in the race represent an angry faction in want of overwhelming power, and they do not represent me.
If calling me a “spoiled brat” releases you from the self-appointed responsibility of countering my arguments you took on when you made the choice to respond, then so be it. Whatever makes you feel better. However, your opinion of me doesn’t negate my point, it only strengthens my resolve.
“Choose the lesser evil or you’re not a conservative.”
Continuously picking the lesser of two evils has given us a popularity contest. By always choosing the lesser evil, we are simply breeding politicians who have discovered the art of effective evil. They don’t have to be good, they just have to be less evil than the other choice. Their evil just has to be more convincing, appealing, and less offensive. If we go by the standards of those screaming “choose the lesser evil,” isn’t the #NeverTrump crew – of which I’m a part – saying that Hillary is the “lesser evil“? And if that’s the case, they shouldn’t just abstain from voting for Trump, they should cast their vote in her favor, right? However, we don’t say that, because Hillary and Trump both violate our moral code. Nevertheless, that same group – of which I’m a part – is now demanding that I violate my moral code and be taken to the city square and thrown in the proverbial pillory of conservatism because I won’t violate my moral code.
So I guess what’s good for the goose is subjective for the gander.
If I take the immigration issue off the table, I’d still have a lot of lesser evil to embrace, including the poor character he’s had on display throughout his campaign. As well as questionable theology, flippant response to foreign policy questions, and his bromance with Trump – all of which would rank at the top of my list. However, I could probably find a way to crawl to the polls.
At some point a line must be drawn. I drew that line, and he crossed it. Oddly, the one thing that pushed me over the line was a stance born of a merciless big government ideology inconsistent with conservatism. So – in short – I’m not a conservative because I don’t support their candidate’s anti-conservative position.
“I see you care about illegals more than the livelihood of citizens!”
Considering millions of illegals were children brought here without the power to disobey their parents and crawl back across the border (and may not even be eligible for citizenship IF they went through the right channels), and the fact that I’ve repeatedly said we should deport criminally minded illegals, reform the system, etc., I just suggest we care about illegals and citizens… Because, you know, we claim to be more morally sound than other countries. How about we reform the system to be less of a burden on tax payers, tighten up border security, and complain about how government funds have been used to study obese lesbians and cow flatulence, and stop using our economy as an excuse to take a child that was raised here, throw them over the border to the wolves, and then deny them reentry when they try to come back home?
Just a thought.
“Cruz is our chance to get a Reagan Conservative in the White House!“
Alright, here’s your homework:
- Research the middle ground/left leaning conservatives Reagan used within his administration.
- Listen to every word Reagan ever said about illegal immigrants.
- Listen to every word Reagan ever said.
If on Monday you still think Reagan and Cruz are even remotely similar, I recommend a good cult detox program.
“You’re being selfish!”
I’m not the one who supported a candidate that had the second lowest favorability rating among general voters. I’m also not the one supporting a man who intends to displace innocent children just to keep you happy. I’m also not the one cheering over the term “carpet bomb.” I’m also not the one who spent the last year complaining about a bill on immigration that never passed, so that I could prop up a candidate who never tried.
“Oh yeah?! Well, Marco supports Cruz, and other conservatives you like have endorsed him too!”
That’s the worst way to convince me on something. I’m not connected to any politician at the hip. Does Paul Ryan carry weight with me? Of course. Does Rubio? Of course. Trey Gowdy? Tim Scott? Nikki Haley? Yes, yes, yes. However, while I take their opinions under consideration, they do not make the final call. Unless God himself descends from the heavens and endorses your candidate, no endorsement is going to sway me when my discrepancy is this voluminous.
“When Hillary puts a radical into the Supreme Court, it will be your fault!”
For months now, I’ve been telling Cruz supporters, “Listen, guys… other than on immigration, Rubio and Cruz are not worlds apart. However, Rubio has more female support, more Hispanic support, more young supporters, etc., and that’s why he consistently polls better against Hillary. We need those demographics to win, and he’s our best hope.”
Do you know how they’d reply?
Wait for it.
“I’m going to vote for the candidate I align with the most, the most principled. If we don’t win, at least I know that I supported a Constitutionalist like Cruz.”
So what you’re saying is that when you vote your conscience, knowing that Hillary will probably beat your candidate, it’s okay. But when I refuse to vote against my conscience, knowing that Hillary will probably win, I’m a spoiled brat and it’s all my fault.
Listen, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s always going to be the fault of whatever they deem the GOP establishment. I get that, I’ve accepted it. The remaining members of the Tea Party, or the self-proclaimed “real conservatives,” are like the parent who has an obnoxious child, and when the teacher says he impaled the class pet, exposed himself on the playground, and tried to stab the class helper – in kindergarten – they blame it on the school instead of their horrible parenting.
People like that are unreasonable.
People like that disregard the moral stance of other’s while touting their immovable moral stance.
People like that scream about establishment conformity while demanding establishment conformity.
People like that break into your house, hold your principles hostage, and demand that you choose which one they execute.
I won’t pick.
I’m done with an anti-establishment establishment that is hell bent on demanding that I conform to them. I’m done listening to you whine. I’m done listening to you complain about Congress “doing nothing.” I’m done pretending like you mean any of your anti-Trump rhetoric considering you held off on holding him accountable – for his all out assault on our principles – until your golden boy was no longer in the fallout zone playing the role of Trump’s algae eater.
Let it fracture the party.
Let the riots and anger towards the “establishment” commence.
Bring on the contested convention or the third party, because I’m ready for war.