Splitting the Conservative Vote. Is it worth the Risk?
by Mike Spears
Candidate, U.S. Senate
Some conservatives have expressed concern about my entry into the U.S. Senate race as an Independent candidate. I have fielded several passionate scoldings for running as an Independent, rather than as a Republican.
Generally, their argument contends that as an Independent conservative I will split the vote in the general election November 2. Therefore, some think I should run as a Republican, letting conservative voters chose the conservative they want in the primary election. This would eliminate a split between conservative voters, giving Democrat Charlie Melancon a better chance of winning.
I have not made this decision to run for U.S. Senate without great consideration. Splitting the conservative vote was a concern, something I seriously considered before making the decision. I do not want to see Charlie Melancon elected. I believe his election would be bad for this country.
On the other hand, what’s bad for this country is the disregard and revision of the Constitution, blatant corruption in Washington, irresponsible spending and fiscal policy and a general lack of integrity and honor.
The most concerning of these issues is the attack on the Constitution. Nobody is defending the Constitution, in either party. Last week a Federal judge ruled the National Day of Prayer, unconstitutional. This is an attack on the Constitution.
Where is Senator Vitter, or any of the other Republicans in Congress on this issue? Our Congressmen must defend the Constitution at all costs. It is the foundation, the wellspring of our liberties and freedom. Today, its the National Day of Prayer. Tomorrow it may be the right to private property or the right to bear arms.
Nobody in Washington is defending the Constitution. Why? In my opinion, it’s because it doesn’t get votes. It doesn’t please special interests. And it provides for greater power in Washington.
Those who have criticized me for running as an Independent conservative have not considered is this: If I were to run as a Republican in a primary, I’d not have the benefit of support from the left.
We expect to draw votes from the Melancon camp as well as the Vitter camp. There are many Americans on the left who will call themselves members of the Tea Party. There are many who are unhappy with the direction of this country, who align with our principles and who will align with our campaign.
What’s worse, if I ran as a Republican, I would be aligning myself with a party that’s deviated wildly from conservative principles, one that’s lost its way. I’m a constitutional conservative. I’m not sure how to describe the conservative principles of today’s Republicans or the Republicans of the last decade. What I am sure about, is they don’t align with my own.
Before closing, let me pose this one challenge. It’s the same challenge I myself had to face when wrestling with the prospect of splitting the conservative vote. Are you willing to take a risk to make meaningful change, real reform in Washington?
What if I decided not to run, to leave the future of our country in the hands of Senator Vitter? What if I decided that fundamental reforms in Congress were not worth the risk that a Democrat might take this race. What if I decided that restoring the American Dream was not worth the risk. And what if in November, the battle between Melancon and Vitter became so vile, that voters again faced an election where they’d rather not vote for either candidate.
My conclusion? It is worth the risk. Yes, you can count on the conservative Senator Vitter to vote the right way, along party lines. But I ask you, is he FIGHTING for the right things? Is he a guardian of the Constitution? Is he pushing back on secularists who want to remove God from our government?
Is he fighting for this country, or is he just voting the right way?
Yes. Tea Parties have been courting Senator Vitter. He’s been the only conservative choice, and a sure pick for conservatives against Melancon. Especially considering the behavior of the Democratic controlled U.S. House and Senate, most of us will cling to anyone on the right.
Given a second conservative candidate, it will be interesting to see how members of the Tea Party reconsider their position and realign themselves as conservatives.
For another perspective on how Americans are realigning themselves politically, see today’s USA Today story “Frustrated voters cut ties with Dems, GOP.” Find it on the web at http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/2010-04-20-independents_N.htm