The electability question is a liberal media con. It is posed only when discussing Republicans. And it is posed often. The purpose of the question is to cast doubt on conservative candidates and, ultimately, keep them out of office.
And, tragically, it works.
The electability meme doesn’t merely haunt Republican office seekers. It has slithered into the minds of Republican voters, leading them to be unnaturally anxious when conservative candidates take strong stands. The result of this anxiety is manifest. We either lose (see: Bob Dole, John McCain, etc.) or elect callow, mealy-mouthed imps (see: the hordes of GOP congressmen who think compromise is a cardinal virtue). In short, the electability con has been a destructive, weakening force in the conservative movement for generations. And, as dupes, Republicans continually harm themselves.
The 2010 tea party wave crushed the spirit of the Democrats. It was their biggest loss in 70 years. A more limited government was clearly the will of the people. For a few trembling months, the lame-duck Dems and a dispirited President Obama thought the world was ending because fiscal restraint was coming to town. All of the political winds were at Republican backs. Then, John Boehner insisted that he wasn’t in charge. And the capitulations of our just-elected electables soon followed.
That’s the worst part of the electable meme. It’s hard to root for weak candidates. Conservatives love America. And our country wasn’t founded and built by mealy-mouths and second-guessers. America was founded by ass-kickers, men and women who took hard stands, come hell or high water. That’s the type of candidate we want, the type they call “unelectable.” And here’s the kicker: the last one we nominated won 49 states and was re-elected in 1984.
If conservatives can learn anything from Barack Obama, it’s this: Anyone is electable.
Yates Walker is a conservative activist and writer. Before becoming involved in politics, he served honorably as a paratrooper and a medic in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. He can be reached at email@example.com.