This wonderful event confirms the rightness of the tough decision not to vote for McCain
As the returns came in tonight, I couldn’t help thinking that this string of improbable election results—Christie in New Jersey, the Virginia clean sweep, Brown—in addition to the widespread Tea Party protests, have been powerful confirmation of what you said more than a year ago, and what I was thinking when I refused to vote for John McCain. Obama has galvanized and revived American conservatives in a way that no liberal Republican president ever could. I think it’s pretty well beyond serious dispute that if John McCain were president, we’d already have amnesty and none of those federal and local seats would have gone to a Republican. Moreover, people have coalesced around fierce opposition to a President whose leftist agenda and sheer, brazen contempt for the American people has awakened real panic and outrage.
This is more or less exactly what you said you were hoping for, though I realize that all is not won and that genuine conservatism is still very nearly dead in America. Your “bring it on” approach to Obama was something like Gandalf’s plan to send the Ring right into the stronghold of the Enemy, there to be consumed by the flames of his own wickedness—and to send it in the hands of the meek. He said that it was a hopeless plan, but that in the final instance, they must simply do without hope, if necessary, and simply abandon themselves to Providence. Well, I think Providence has been with us this week—I can comprehend this turn of events in no other way. In order to deal Obama this defeat, it was necessary for a Republican to win Ted Kennedy’s seat. Inconceivable, as a famous Sicilian once said.
However that might be, it’s astonishing how thoroughly Obama’s incompetence, arrogance, lack of substance, and radicalism have been repudiated. It’s worth savoring, if only for a night.
Thank you for this. I appreciate your reminding us of this, and showing the meaning of tonight’s event in the context of the agonizing decision in November ‘08.
Sage McLaughlin replies:
I’m glad to do it, Larry. I read a lot of commentary from more “wonkish” conservatives and Republican water-bearers. Practically all of them pulled the lever for McCain. None of them saw this night coming, and while you didn’t exactly see it either, you at least saw the larger dynamic at play. You deserve a lot of credit for that.
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You advised us in 2008 to vote on our principles (but I didn’t) and let the chips fall as they may. One can only compromise so much before one becomes meaningless. It is remarkable that this guy is not a McCain/Bush/Lindsay clone but a real conservative (see this). This is not only a repudiation of Obama but also the NEOCONS and other assorted Republican FRAUDS.
That seat, held for nearly half a century by Sen. Kennedy, the liberal lion of the Senate, will now be held for the next two years by a Republican who has said he supports waterboarding as an interrogation technique for terrorism suspects; opposes a federal cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions; and opposes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants unless they leave the country.
Rick U. writes:
Is this sweet or what??? I wasn’t following VFR during the last Presidential election, but I didn’t vote for President—I left it blank—because only bad and worst were running. Either way, I never imagined tonight’s events possible. So let’s hope this is a beginning of true conservative up swell.
One quick thought on traditionalism, this election proves that Americans, by and large, still repudiate being lied to.
I am still in shock, I did not really dare believe this would happen. All I can think of is “Thank God.” Or maybe “Hooray”!
I must confess that as someone who worked very hard in politics for over ten years starting in 1994, I believe in working within the party structure to bring about change and that I did vote for McCain.
I thought the risk of an Obama Presidency too high. I also was not sure that the people or the Republican party would get the right message from an Obama victory. I am still not convinced that the Republican party has got the message, but it appears the people do, or many of them anyway. My hat is off to you and your conviction that Obama had to beat out McCain. I think you are 100 percent right in that this victory would not have happened if McCain was President.
Not in one hundred years. You were right in your position, and right in your prediction, and I am very glad you were.
But we must not lose sight of the fact that the moment we drop out of the picture and stop the pressure on the Republican party and its candidates, they will go back to their old ways. We, the conservative base, must understand that self government means just that. Look at the level of participation by the base in this victory. We can not go back to life as usual. We must work every day to move the Republican Party and its candidates to the right. We did it in ‘94, but we thought the job was done, and we dropped out. The job is never done, the fight begins anew each morning. We must treat each day as a new battle. The best thing we can do for our families is leave them a decent country to live in.
Regards and congratulations, Ferg
David Levin writes:
I missed this and other threads at amnation.com … until now!
Sage wrote an excellent piece.
And I agree with you that my decision and other conservatives’ decision not to vote for McCain has now been proved right, though I certainly didn’t need “validation” on Election Day 2008, nor do I need it now. I know you didn’t use the word “validation”; you call it “rightness”.
I take issue with you only in one area: it wasn’t “an agonizing decision” for this conservative. Had he picked Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) or Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) both of whom are strong “law and order” conservatives (a euphemism I think for anti-Invasion conservatives), I still wouldn’t have voted for him because McCain was the issue for me, not Palin or some other VP. While Obama is surely 180 degrees from conservatives on nearly every issue and his close friendship with killers of policemen and other Communists is disgusting, McCain actually HATES conservatives from the bottom of his soul. You mentioned that under President McCain, we’d have had Amnesty for millions of illegals. Possibly. That we’ll never know. I know other conservatives who didn’t “agonize” over their decision. Perhaps we’re in a tiny minority. I voted for a man who more than anyone I’ve ever voted for in my adult lifetime was and is very close to me on nearly every issue. That man is Dr. Chuck Baldwin and if he runs again, he’ll get my vote again. My vote would never have gone to McCain so one cannot count it as “a protest vote”; I vote policy over party every time. [LA replies: As I explain in the November 2008 entry, “My vote,” an easy decision in summer 2008 became an agonizing decision in the weeks leading up to the election, as the full extent of Obama’s leftism began to become clearer, partly as a result of Stanley Kurtz’s investigative articles.]
I disagree with Ferg when he says “We did it in ‘94, but we thought the job was done, and we dropped out.” I didn’t “drop out”. I was becoming active then. I had just joined the Republican Party. The reason The Contract With America failed was Newt Gingrich was allowed to be the Speaker of the House, a man who was a disgrace (his book deal, his treatment of his first wife, the fact that he allowed others in the House to take the heat for shutting down the Govt.) and someone who pushed NAFTA thru the House for Bill Clinton, one of the most devastating acts against the American people—the Invasion by millions of Mexican nationals who couldn’t make a living anymore in Mexico, an invasion that continues today. Maybe Ferg means that other conservatives in the House “dropped out,” I don’t know.
David Levin writes:
Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 19, 2010 10:57 PM | Send
Maybe Ferg means that other conservatives in the House “dropped out,” I don’t know.
I was a very active member of the conservative movement that made the election of 1994 a reality. Not only was I active in many ways in specific campaigns, but I was active in the Republican Party of Mn. I was a delegate or alternate to every convention and State Central Committee between 1994 and 2004. There was a large core of conservative delegates that transformed our party into one with a very strong conservative platform, and a requirement that every candidate that was endorsed by a convention must adhere to the platform as a condition of endorsement and support. Many of my colleagues ran for office and succeeded in getting elected.
However over the ten year period the vast majority of them stopped being active in the party, stopped being active in election campaigns, stopped contributing to conservative candidates, and just in general gave up and dropped out. Their reasons were always along the line of having family commitments, job commitments, or they were tired of politics, they just could not make enough money in public service, or they were disappointed by the failures of Republican Party leadership.
Yes, there were disappointments, yes it was time consuming and hard work, yes the money was poor compared to some private jobs, and yes, I got tired of it too. But I kept going until I was the only one sitting at “our” table at my local convention, and could not get elected to party positions because there were no other real conservatives in attendance. The election of 1994 was not the victory we thought it was. It was more akin to the victory of the British at El Alemain. Not the end, nor even the beginning of the end, but perhaps the end of the beginning. The war wasn’t over, had just started in some ways. And the most important family obligation we have is to leave our children with a decent country to live in. This is what I meant by “dropping out.” It happened all over the country, and all over the country conservatives started losing elections. Self government requires that we do it ourselves. My parents taught me that the most important job of citizenship, indeed the only one that really matters, is to pass this country on to our posterity as strong, and as free, as it was passed on to us. If we fail in that, we have failed in everything, and that is why we can not “drop out” and go back to our jobs and families. Self governance is our most important job, and our most important “quality family time.”