I appreciate the concern, but the logical extension of this kind of thinking is that we all have to become mini political operatives, always engaging first in strategic political calculations and never voting our hearts. Such is the formula for sacrificing one's dreams and aspirations; such is the avenue toward fatalistic resignation, compromise and settling for less without even trying to push for your real goals; such is the formula for guaranteeing that we never elect another Ronald Reagan conservative.
I am the first to say that once the GOP nominee is chosen, we must unite around the candidate to defeat Barack Obama. Until then, I refuse to surrender to pressure to abandon my passion for true, reliable conservatism, especially from those whose idea of electability is highly debatable and from others whose assessment is hopelessly skewed by their own preferences.
In this volatile season, dark horses have skyrocketed to lead the field, and some might have remained there but for alleged scandals or other factors. I don't believe that the science of electability is as certain as those promoting it would have us believe. We can't even agree on whether the key is wooing the center or igniting the base. It is complex and fluid and largely unknowable. Even current polls hypothetically matching Obama against different candidates tell us very little, because the Democratic attack machine has yet to unleash its $1 billion assault on, say, Mitt Romney.
I reject the conventional wisdom that Rick Santorum could not win the general election, because I believe he represents the best contrast to Obama and is the least vulnerable to attack, among other reasons. I have varying concerns about the other candidates, but I respect their respective supporters and realize that some of them even believe their candidate is the most conservative of the group, though I disagree. I will support whoever emerges as the Republican nominee, but I do not apologize for supporting Rick Santorum.