Conservative Idealists vs. the Status Quo

The height of negative politics in the two-party system is not slinging the muck raked up by opposition researchers, or even voting for the lesser of two evils, but rather voting against the greater of two evils. The fragmentation of the GOP's former national coalition has many partisan Republicans wading into these muddy waters. Riehl World View considers the possibility of a third party base arising out of the tea party movement and is not pleased with what he foresees. It would, he states:
weaken any remaining conservative to moderate wing of the Democrat Party, while putting the Republicans into exile politically, perhaps for decades, if not forever . . . [and, morevoer] . . . It is simply not a viable option because of the current aggressive liberal agenda.
I always find it somewhat comical when duopolists argue against third party agitation on the basis of the fact that it would weaken the duopoly parties, as if that were not a legitimate aim and goal of political activism. Unlike Mr. Riehl, however, many principled conservatives have come to the realization that the duopoly parties simply do not represent their interests, and have disabused themselves of the fantasy that they ever will.

Religious conservatives provide a case in point today. In an article for Catholic Culture on the question of politics for the refocusing of the pro-life movement, Jeff Mirus asks what the best way forward is for the pro-life movement, and does not shy away from the prospect of third party activism even in the face of a difficult uphill struggle: "A budding political party available in the right place and the right time just might do far more good than a continuation of the same old tactics." In a similar vein, Kellene Bishop at LDS Freedom challenges her readers to swear off lesser-of-two-evils politicking and to uphold the bible and the constitution:
holding to our principles and voting for better leadership than we have now will split the Conservative ticket and allow a puppet of the adversary to be elected, but it will also show other Believers that they, too, can hold strong to their principles and cast a better vote. The fight must begin with us, though the minority.
Meanwhile, the conservative political pundit and curmudgeonly old man Cal Thomas engages in a rearguard action against moderate young Republicans, which holds equally for the latter's idealist counterparts, such as Ms. Bishop:
Dissing the past is a quality found mostly in arrogant youth who think they know more than anyone who has ever lived and believe only they are sufficiently enlightened enough to tell the rest of us how and what to think.
Clinging to the past, of course, is a quality found mostly in bitter seniors confounded by the march of history. As if responding to Thomas, a young conservative editorializes:
as an 18-year-old new voter with a passion for politics, I can say that the winds are not in Republican sails for my generation . . . what can Republicans offer us? The only exciting Republican I've seen is Ron Paul, a leader given so little serious thought he's barely even in the party. Well I can assure you that if John McCain or Sarah Palin is the next big Republican answer, I'll take my chances on a third party.

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