11th Commandment Be Damned
Republicans are raised with Ronald Reagan’s “11th Commandment,” that being Republicans should never speak poorly of other Republicans. Well, folks, the commandments in my Bible ends at 10 (cue the Spinal Tap video), and Reagan was just plain wrong on this one (cue the lightning strike).
First of all, the very idea of putting party ahead principle smacks of both Stalinist totalitarianism and Orwellian though control. I am an American before I am a Republican. I happen to agree with vast majority of the Republican Party’s ideas, and that’s why I joined the party. It is, however, only a means to an end. I belong to the party because it fits with my beliefs, and not the other way around. When the party or the party’s candidate diverges from my principles, I follow the path of my principles.
Silencing legitimate criticism of a candidate does no one any good. An embarrassing candidate is a lightning rod for the opposition, and taints the party’s good candidates. We see that all the time, especially in presidential or gubernatorial elections where the top of the ticket is unpopular and drags down all the party’s candidates. As such, it is far better to cull the heard of these inferior candidates, and even possibly lose an election or two, than suffer with a buffoon year after year, election after election. The party and the electorate are far better off in the long run,
I readily admit that I have filled in the oval for the candidate with the R following his name despite some misgivings. I did so not because the party told me to but because I believed that, despite the candidate’s shortcomings, it was still the better alternative. On the other hand, a candidate may be so despicable that party affiliation must take a back seat. Unfortunately, I feel that is the situation with several local races, and I, for one, will not abdicate my responsibility as an American voter and support these clearly inferior candidates nor ignore obvious evidence of their unfitness for office.
So don’t be surprised if in the coming weeks you see some painfully blunt assessments of these candidates. And one in particular.