By Scott Tibbs, January 4, 2004
Republicans in Name Only Part II: The H-T misses the point
Follow-up to Republicans in Name Only: The Herald-Times offers another in its long line of editorials about why the parties should nominate "moderates" in local elections, because moderates are allegedly more electable. The H-T warns against challenging more "electable" moderates in favor of the ideologically pure.
The H-T, once again, displays a fundamental misunderstanding of why many people are involved in politics to begin with. To be blunt, it's not about winning! Many politically-minded people are active because of a pet issue (or set of issues) they believe in strongly. For some Republicans, low taxes are prominent. For other Republicans, a candidate must defend human life on the abortion issue. On the Democratic side, protection of the environment is a prominent issue.
Of course, winning is important. You can't implement your agenda if you don't win. Sometimes, you have to settle for a candidate who is less than perfect in order to defeat someone from the other party that you really want to keep out of office. I understand I will not agree with every Republican on every issue, and I understand that sometimes compromises are required. But I don't vote to make sure members of the Republican "country club" get elected. I vote to support limited government and individual liberty. If that means supporting a conservative over a moderate in a primary election, that's what I will do.
Finally, using Jerry Bales as an example of a "moderate" Republican sho should not have been challenged ignores one simple thing: Jerry Bales, who was defeated in 1998 when Republican primary voters chose Jeff Ellington, was not just ideologically incompatible with conservative Republicans. He was a supporter of local Democrats like Mark Kruzan. This is why no one was surprised when Bales endorsed Kruzan when he ran for Mayor last year.