Boy, has this been an interesting primary. None of these candidates are overly deserving of adoration, but I sure keep running into people who will defend them to the death, even if that “death” is the death of a “friendship”.
Sure you hear tales of “Palinistas” or “Ron Paulbots”, but even Rick Perry and Mitt Romney have developed ardent supporters. You have to understand the situation this often puts me in. I talk about politics. A lot. If I have four people in the room, and each one is very much in support of one of the candidates I just mentioned, any conversation I engage in has potential to p*ss off 3/4 of the people in the room. Now, how can that not be frustrating? …really?
And it’s not just those politicians’ supporters, either. There’s a new crop coming up around Rick Santorum, and there used to be a strong following for Michele Bachmann too, so this whole primary has been….. draining.
I’m not the only one experiencing it, but I am one of the few who are willing to speak on it, so here I am, speaking on it.
We’ve got to man up, people. There’s a movie from ten years ago, called “Training Day” with Denzel Washington. (the movie that scored him his Oscar) In it, there’s a scene where he says, “Do you want to go to jail, or do you want to go home?” It’s a question repeated by another character later in the movie, and both times, it refers to making a tough decision. That line has always stuck with me, and over time, I’ve come up with a variation of my own that I use when I’m discussing unpopular topics with coworkers, family, or friends. “Do you want to win, or do you want to go home?”
In my mind, life (often) does not work out according to plan, and the difference between success and failure comes down to your ability to adapt. If your favorite candidate has made an ass of themselves, you can either put your head in the sand (go home) or you can reassess what your stance is on this candidate and possibly find a new one. (win)
You don’t even have to find a new one, but you certainly can’t be mad at your fellow conservatives for pointing out their flaws. This is an important election, and we can’t just run “anybody” against Obama, no matter how convinced you are that might just work. (it won’t)
So, do you want to win, or do you want to go home?
If you want to win, then you need to be honest about the flaws your candidate has. You also have to be willing to put your support behind another candidate, if the one you’ve been in favor of turns out to not be viable. Remember, the definition of “winning” is for Obama to be unemployed come 2013, not necessarily for “your guy” to get the nomination.
If you want to go home, then block people on Twitter who make fun of your candidate, unfriend people on Facebook who disagree with you, and be an all-around passive aggressive person. This is a free country, and you have the right to do these things, but don’t be surprised, if Barack Obama is still your president when the dust settles on the ground.
For what it’s worth, I’m not the arbiter of who is and who is not “viable” in this election. I’m not here to decide that for you. What I am doing, however, is saying that we cannot be crybabies and throw hissy fits when someone pokes fun at our candidate or provides evidence of their failings. We need to elect the best candidate, and that’s going to require some vetting. (and at times it might be unpleasant)
If we’re willing to be honest with ourselves and work with each other, we have a really good shot at winning… and for Obama to go home.