Rachel Alexander

The other thing the “true conservatives” held against Parker is that he was listed as endorsing McCain for Senate in 2010. The McCain machine plays fast and loose with how it obtains endorsements, and will put down the name of anyone who was simply a delegate to the Republican convention as an endorser. When J.D. Hayworth entered the race to run against McCain for Senate, Parker attempted to remove the endorsement, but the McCain machine turned a deaf ear - even after Parker showed up at a J.D. Hayworth for Senate fundraiser!

Consequently, the “true conservatives” did little to help Parker in the general election. There was little activity in the blogosphere and social media by conservatives supporting him. The only Republican candidate in the race with name recognition, he had the best chance of any Republican in the slightly Democratic-leaning district. Parker is a charismatic, genuinely principled conservative who rose from the ghettos of Los Angeles to serve in high-level posts under both Presidents Bush. He lost the race by only 4%.

That wasn't the only Arizona Congressional race Republicans lost due to purists. Republicans went from holding five out of eight Arizona Congressional seats down to only four of nine. In two of those races, the Republican candidates had very close races but were snubbed by “true conservatives.” Martha McSally, America's first female fighter pilot, lost her race against former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' chief of staff Ron Barber by an incredibly close 49.9% to 50.1%. Iraqi war veteran Jonathan Paton lost to Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick by 3%.

The losing Republican Congressional candidates were all pro-life, pro-gun, and are considered more conservative than McCain. Paton ran in a Democratic-leaning district, which became even more heavily Democratic with a 9-point voter registration edge after the seat was redistricted last year. Even so, because he was the strongest candidate coming out of the Republican primary, his race was viewed as a tossup going into the general election.

The “true conservatives” hold Republican candidates to a standard that few could live up to. They expect Republican candidates to go beyond adherence to the party platform, and follow their dictates about who they may and may not associate with. They hold any minor indiscretion in a political candidate's past against him or her, even if that candidate has since become more conservative over the years. Heaven help us if that candidate has a spouse who ever contributed to an odd cause or candidate!

The “true conservatives” want Republican political candidates to make far out public statements on the issues and denounce other Republicans. Yet that kind of talk is what ultimately causes Republicans to lose races. The left and its allies in the complicit liberal media have figured out how to successfully ridicule and portray Republicans who make brash statements as extremists.

As long as a Republican candidate has conservative principles, he or she should not be required to commit political suicide by pleasing a few “true conservatives” with statements better left to talk show hosts. Ann Coulter can get away with making shocking political statements, but former Virginia Governor George Allen, former Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, and former Indiana Congressman Richard Mourdock cannot.

Using the standards of the “true conservatives” today, Ronald Reagan would have never secured the Republican Party nomination. Reagan used to be a Democrat and signed the most liberal abortion rights bill in the country after becoming Governor of California. He also signed a bill making community college education virtually free. As president, he never cut social spending. Yet he is looked up to by “true conservatives” as their number one hero.

The so-called “true conservatives” hold Republican candidates to a standard that virtually no one but Jesus could adhere to. Oh wait, the Pharisees and Sadducees didn't think even Jesus lived up to high enough standards.

Rachel Alexander

Rachel Alexander is the editor of the Intellectual Conservative. She also serves as senior editor of The Stream.