Maybe the Only Way Conservatives Can Win is to Hide Their Views
In the Virginia Governor’s race this fall, the only election race that matters this year the Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli is an extremist. He wants to put adulterers in jail, wants to tell doctors what they can and cannot say to women patients and is avidly against basic rights for the gay and lesbian community. He is the personification of the extreme social positions of Conservatives. And according to the polls, he is losing.
So now the self appointed right wing political adviser Jennifer Rubin, masquerading as an opinion columnist for the Washington Post is telling Mr. Cuccinelli to abandon his beliefs and campaign on economic issues.
Knowing that social extremism was going to be a principle line of attack from McAuliffe, Cuccinelli should have been crystal clear from the get-go:
new or different laws on these issues of conscience. He will focus on jobs and
budget issues. Had he been saying that for months he could have at this point
in the race honestly said that McAuliffe is the only one talking about divisive
social issues. Cuccinelli committed the cardinal error of politics: He let his
opponent define him before he defined himself. Virginia
One debate performance when most voters are turned off and already annoyed with both candidates is unlikely to change the trajectory of the race. However, there is over a month left. If Cuccinelli spends the final weeks of the campaign stressing a no-nonsense, bread and butter agenda and an aversion to Washington-style histrionics, some of those centrist voters might come back to him. It might not work. Nevertheless, if he doesn’t do something different he’ll surely lose the race.
Now all politicians try to fool voters by hiding or running away from their extremist views, but Conservatives are the ones who say they are morally committed to what they believe and so have a moral commitment to run on those views. Except, as Ms. Rubin notes, those views tend to lose elections where voters actually decide on a candidate’s merits as opposed to blindly voting for the Party.
So her advice is that the only way Mr. Cuccinelli can win is to hide his true feelings, hide what he really thinks and pretend to be something he is not. That something he is not is that he is not a believer in effective government and a government that does not use its powers to inflict its social behavior preferences on an unwilling populace. The lesson for Virginians is clear. Vote for Mr. Cuccinelli because you really believe he will not use the power of state government to interfere in your private lives and you deserve what you will get.