To The Daily Sun,
Yesterday afternoon while cleaning my garage of junk so I could get my car in out of the season's first snow, my mind was wandering and I started to think about the term "moderate Republican" and what it might mean.
My first thought was that it might be a Republican who was temperamentally willing to reach across the aisle, as they say, to others with diametrically opposed political beliefs to reach a compromise on important issues to get some legislation passed. Anything, as long as it passed with some bipartisan support.
Then, I thought of the term that a legislator must "go along to get along." I have always heard that is one of the first things new legislators must learn.
So, I took a deep breath and with the renewed oxygen in my brain I started really thinking about this issue. What does it really mean?
I thought back to the "moderate Republicans" our party nominated for president in the more recent past and wondered how well their moderation served them in their race for the presidency. Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney came to mind. Some others also crossed my synapses irrespective of the offices for which they ran: Scott Brown, Bill Weld. All of them fine, decent men who only wanted the best for our country, but why did they not succeed with the electorate?
In my analysis, I concluded that they did not attain higher office because they were willing to compromise their principles in order to get legislation passed or to obtain nomination for higher office. In other words, they were willing to "go along to get along."
It seems to me that the American people are sick and tired of voting for what they believe to be a principled politician with whose political philosophy they mostly, but may not entirely agree, but end up getting someone whose willingness to compromise on issues, big and small, makes their so-called principles worthless.
We have seen the result of the rebellious nature of our people when they have simply had enough. They elected people like Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.
And then I thought about the term "big government conservative," as exemplified by George W. Bush. Some would equate a big government conservative with a compassionate conservative, but I do not believe they are the same animal.
One can be a true conservative, yet be compassionate about his or her fellowman, without betraying one's conservative limited government principles. But a "big government conservative" is, in my view, sort of like a "moderate Republican." An oxymoron in its own terms. With abject apologies to our military who served our country in the intelligence community, the "moderate Republicans" and "big government conservatives" are like the old joke about "military intelligence."
So, my advice is that if you hear someone described as, or who describes themselves as, a moderate Republican or a "big government conservative," run and hide your wallet and your principles.
Elections do, in fact, have consequences.