I will NOT automatically vote for the guy with an "R" next to his name in 2012. Will you?

Recently, a fellow redstate.com diarist wrote an article titled, “I will vote for the Republican nominee in the 2012 Presidential Election.  Will you?”

NO, I won’t. 

My vote is not guaranteed to any idiot running for president because he has an “R” behind his name.  The reason why is because I am:

First, a Christian,

Second, an American,

Third, a conservative, &

FOURTH, a Republican. 

The Republican comes last. 

I am a Christian conservative.  Christian conservatives weren’t pulled into politics by the moral majority in the late 70’s, so that they could be exploited by whoever won the republican nomination.  They were pulled in so that they could make a difference on issues that mattered like abortion, spending and putting the country back on track.  Take those issues away and I don’t stand with you.

As an American I fear for the future of my country.  As a Christian I know that God is in control and directs the hearts of kings.  If republicans fail to nominate a candidate that reflects my values I am under no obligation to throw my support behind them.   

The republican party is a vessel that acts as the glue that holds together a coalition of people with similar values attempting to reach a common goal.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  If we nominate a big spender to lead our party, we spit in the face of our fiscal conservative brothers and sisters in the coalition.  If we nominate a pro-abort, we step on the toes of our social conservative allies.  If we nominate a candidate weak on defense we turn our back on foreign policy hawks that have joined our coalition.  We are in this together.  We as conservatives cannot seriously embrace a candidate that leaves are political allies out in the cold and just expect them to fall in line.  We owe them more than that. 

This isn’t a call not to compromise.  A political coalition requires everyone to compromise, but that coalition shouldn’t ask us to sell our souls for short term political gain.

Whether you like it or not, evangelical votes are not guaranteed in the next election and many of us will NEVER vote for Romney.  This loss of grassroots, homeschooler and evangelical support will end with him losing Pennsylvania and Ohio, giving them both to Obama.

But, this doesn’t have to happen.  Fellow republicans can respect other members of the coalition by finding a consensus candidate, not a hold-my-nose-and-vote-for-him candidate. 

But isn’t not voting for Romney just a vote for Obama?

No.  It’s not.  It wasn’t until very recently that evangelicals even voted en masse.  If republicans don’t want to nominate a conservative with values that appeal to evangelicals, then they will get their John McCain/Bob Dole candidate and they will reap the electoral benefits of that moderate. . . They will most certainly lose.  At the end of the day, republicans can only blame themselves. 

There are few things worst than Obama winning a second term.  But putting a moderate Republican in the White House that tarnishes conservatism, betrays the base, does not fight for life, doesn’t fight to the death to repeal Obamacare, sacrifices the free market to save it, continues a frivolous nation-building policy will only serve to see-saw republicans in and out of office, rather than present permanent conservative majorities that pull both parties to the right and gives republicans much needed consistency in government. 

If a moderate republican can even beat Obama (and he can’t), the long term tarnish of conservatism only leads huge congressional losses akin to 2006 and 2008.  We are better off with a tea party House and Senate holding the line against Obama for four more years, than the republican government of 2005.  We can’t sacrifice conservatism to save it.  Watching America slowly drift in the wrong direction shouldn’t be an alternative that we willingly embrace.  We should be marching forward and if I have to wait four more years, then I will dedicate my time and treasure to local candidates that deserve my help. 

But conservatives WILL win together.

We still have conservative candidates.  We have Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachamann and maybe even Jon Huntsman or Herman Cain.  These candidates could create a consensus, unite the base and set the people in the middle on fire with enthusiasm.  

Romney can’t.  In the past few years he has been ANTI second amendment rights, ANTI marriage, ANTI life, ANTI freedom in the healthcare marketplace.  As governor he created no jobs, no economy and has left Massachusetts sattled with debt. 

Let me be clear, if I don’t vote for Romney that does not make me a bad conservative, it makes me the only conservative.   I don’t care if any liberal tells me he is now conservative, I vote my values and those people’s records do not reflect that.  Likewise, a liberal Massachusetts governor does not reflect my values.   

Conservatives have to demand that a candidate have more than an “R” next to his name come November 2012.  If the “R” and the “lesser of two evils” argument is the best you can do, as a Christian, I can’t in good conscience support your nominee.

After today’s state elections, please join me in getting a conservative candidate that we can all agree on.