Last week, I wrote an article in which I argued that unless the Republican Party begins to take stock of the ever growing discontent among its conservative base, it will, deservedly, be a loser in perpetuity.
Among the overwhelmingly positive responses, I also received some criticisms.
(1) There’s no such thing as “the perfect” candidate.
Disenchanted conservatives are the last people who need to be reminded of the fact that perfect politicians, like perfect specimens of anything, simply aren’t to be found in this world. But so what?
The disenchanted don’t seek perfection. What they seek are candidates who are conservative. Imperfection they expect; gross imperfection they reject.
(2) We must choose “the lesser” of two “evils.”
While I’m unaware of them, perhaps there are some ethical traditions in the world that command their adherents to consciously select evil—even if the evil in question isn’t as evil as the alternative(s). But the ethical tradition to which most conservatives subscribe is Christianity. According to the latter, it is never, ever permissible to deliberately commit an act—any act—of evil.
Again, it isn’t “imperfection” per se that repels disenchanted conservatives, but intolerable imperfections that give rise to their repulsion. The “lesser of two evils,” being still an evil, is, obviously, intolerably imperfect. As such, it should repel decent people everywhere.
(3) By not voting for Republicans, conservatives, in effect, vote for Democrats.
To this criticism, two replies are in the coming.
First of all, when the Republicans raising this criticism are those politicians and pundits who persist in their support of just those policies, like his foreign policy, say, that resulted in our last (Republican) president leaving the office with a 30% approval rating while his nemeses assumed command of both houses of Congress and the White House, it sounds more than a bit hypocritical, for it is they who have provided their opponents with more than enough support.
Yet no one is blinder in this respect than those Republicans who endorse amnesty, a policy that is sure to establish Democrat supremacy from this point onward.
Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Jack blogs at Beliefnet.com: At the Intersection of Faith & Culture. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or friend him on facebook. You can also follow him on twitter.
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