So it comes down to this…
Don is going to “No Vote” and Justin is going to hold his nose and color in the Whitehouse arrow. I admire them for their ideological courage and consistency and for their honest explanations of why they’re doing what they’re doing.
Immediately after the primary, I was resigned toward the “pragmatic” solution of holding my own nose and voting for Chafee.
I’m as idealistic as the next conservative, but also recognize that there is a time for idealism and a time for pragmatism. For two years, I’ve attempted to rebut the pragmatic reasons for supporting Senator Chafee in the primary–he’s more electable and he can vouchsafe a GOP controlled (and thus more conservative) U.S. Senate–by offering arguments rooted in conservative beliefs.
For me, the primary is the best time to argue over the ideas that should undergird a political party and in this primary I tried to convince Rhode Island Republicans the value of maintaining conservative ideals against practical politics. In the end, I was unsuccessful. It was a spirited debate, but ideas lost and pragmatism won. It’s disappointing, but now pragmatism will simply have to be enough.
That last “will” should have been a “may.” Two months later, and I’m not so sure. Yes, it’s a sad commentary on the choices, but how does a conservative weigh short term objectives versus hoped-for long term goals? After all, if Whitehouse does win, what are the chances he’ll ever be voted out in incumbent-loving li’l Rhody?
Or does it really just come down to punishing one whom you feel has served you poorly (Chafee) by either not voting for him (a swing of the electoral hammer) or the exponential act of voting for his opponent (a swing of the electoral sledgehammer)?
So what am I going to do? For the first time in my voting life, I actually don’t know who I’m voting for before election day. It could be a long night.