When it comes right down to it I suppose I would need to be called a purist. This was not always the case as evidenced by my habit of voting for the (R) for many years based on some naive assumptions.
I was raised by conservative parents who held it in their hearts that Republicans were more careful with money. I was one of those dummy conservatives in college that didn't have the sense to shut up about my beliefs, so conservatism and being a Republican run deep with me.
Things changes a few years ago when it was decided by the major political parties that I had no choice but to support a big wasteful government regardless of which major party I supported. My opinions were discounted by the big Rs such as Lott, Stevens, Delay, and Bush.
Now I have to contemplate as a voter several things that I used to take for granted.
First, do I want to be associated with big government Republicans when their current makeup is, generally speaking, only slightly less progressive than their Democrat counterparts, or should I vote for and speak out in support of what I believe? Secondly, I wonder if there isn't some value to a conservative uprising that lets establishment Republicans know that there is an electoral consequence for talking conservative in an election and then legislating/governing like the second political coming of William Delano Milliken.
I know we've had these debates before and I'm not certain that much ever gets settled for me. I will agree with what gopartyreptile said, if the conservative wing of the party wants to affect elections it should send someone forward. The problem is, of course, that the GOP establishment has soured so many conservatives on the party that there is some deep seeded resentment and distrust. In just the past few years look at what happened to Arlen Specter. We had a good conservative running against the old fossil but the GOP establishment supported the liberal Specter. Another troubling development was the savaging that Sarah Palin received by established Republicans during the election, and even by John McCain's own campaign staff after the elections. While I often hear conservatives attacked for taking sides in the purity wars, I seldom hear many apologies from the moderates for doing the same thing. The NY 23 race just helps cement this distrust for me...what Republican in their right mind would support Dede Scozzafava? (Oh yea, Newt and the establishment NY GOP.)
The Republican Party and many of its individual candidates, and excuse me if I'm overstating things a bit here, stand for a lot less than they used to. Is there a better way to nudge the party back on its proper course than through principled voting and targeted campaign contributions?
I am simply to the point that I can no longer tolerate watching our various governments bloat themselves on the taxes of citizens, expand their powers at every turn, and drive this country toward the brink of economic and cultural collapse.
Sooner or later, I feel, we have to make a stand.
Sorry for being so long winded. What was this thread about again?