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If it is McCain, I Will Vote for Him, However…

Yes, I will vote for John McCain if he wins the GOP nomination. I will vote for McCain even if he picks Mike Huckabee as his running mate. If we must have another compassionate conservative in the executive branch, the best thing to do is stuff him in the drawer of the vice president’s office to minimize any harm he can do.

However, though the frontrunner he may be, McCain has not sealed the nomination yet, and still I stand by Mitt Romney. Admittedly, Romney is on the ropes and the outlook is not good, but I will support him until the end of the nomination process. I was attracted to conservatism by its ideas and principles and its arguments for them. In my mind, Romney is the candidate who best embodies those principles. He is not the perfect candidate, but he captures full spectrum conservatism more than McCain and certainly more so than Huckabee.

McCain and Huckabee supporters may beg to differ, but I remain un-persuaded that either of them embody or fully support the true limited government, free market principles of conservatism. True Romney has changed positions on several issues, but National Review’s endorsement of Romney cautioned us not too overstate how much he has changed and it is important that he now stands on the right side of those issues.

Kathryn Jean Lopez’s defense of conservative support for Romney takes us back to first principles and is instructive as to why McCain is not the best choice for conservatives.

I often give talks to high-school groups about conservatism. I tell them conservatism is a temperament. It’s a philosophy. It’s a movement. But at its heart, it’s a temperament…

Senator McCain has served our nation valiantly, both on the battlefield and off. But he’s also sponsored and led on legislation that calls into question his conservative temperament. Some conservatives suffering from Bush fatigue may think that it is wise to settle early — that they’d rather not be disappointed again — they’d rather know early on, say, that amnesty will be par for the course, and at least now they’re
prepared.

But I would rather stand on principle than settle today. That’s why Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin and Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham and all the rest are standing where they are today. And I don’t think that constitutes “derangement.” I think that’s good citizenship. I think that’s how you keep ideas central, and keep ideas politically viable — whether you win or lose a given race.

Like Lopez, I am going to stand and fight on those conservative principles in this primary, win or lose.

crossposted on The Main Adversary






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