Stephen Bainbridge, another Fred supporter, argues the case for sitting the rest of this one out. He’s right: all the other candidates have flaws, which is why those of us who smartly supported Fred weren’t on their sides. Romney is too plastic to win. Rudy is dead in the water and hasn’t done enough to get social conservatives on his side. Mike Huckabee is dumber than a box of rocks and has gone out of his way to offend fiscal conservatives. That leaves John McCain, who is at best an inconsistent conservative and has offended both wings of the Republican coalition from time to time.
Fred should stay in the race as long as he can. We need a consistent conservative in their to keep the others in line and remind the party what we’re really fighting for. His speech in South Carolina, though clearly one presaging his exit, reminded me of why I supported Fred in the first place. He finally found his campaign style—several months too late to win, but that’s politics. Now, the race is about principle rather than winning.
At the end of the day, we have an obligation based on our deepest principles to ensure that someone like Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama does not become President of the United States. We are in a long war against an implacable enemy. The next President will likely shape the Supreme Court by appointing new Justices. We need a Supreme Court that does not rule based on their own social inclinations justified only by the flimsiest constitutional rationales. We need an economy that can compete in the 21st Century, not one that is mired in protectionism, regulation and excessive taxation. We need a government that reflects the moral will of the people, not one that strives to undermine the family—the very mortar that holds this society together.
Sitting out just isn’t an option, and someone like John McCain who is right 82.3% of the time (according to the American Conservative Union) is a better choice than someone who is actively hostile to all our shared principles.