By Terri Koyne -
These days I consider myself a “Platform Republican." Why? Why not a conservative, you may ask? Simply because the term “conservative” doesn’t have the same meaning it used to have. Today the word has been hijacked and twisted and is used to mislead many “old-time conservatives” like myself.
When someone used to say they were a conservative, it meant the whole package – socially and fiscally. Smaller government, pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, lower taxes, personal responsibility, strong national defense, and a sense of pride in our country and what it stood for. Today when someone touts that they are conservative, you have to play twenty questions to pin them down to find out what exactly they mean by “conservative”. It reminds me a lot of watching Clinton being questioned about the word “is."
Recently I had a conversation with someone about the governor’s race. Like me, they are a Platform Republican. This friend had confided in me that if Rauner was to win the primary election, they could not vote for him in the general election. They went on to explain to me why; giving me a list of reasons why they just couldn’t hold their nose and vote for this candidate. It is a list I have heard quite often from many. Actually, it is very similar to the list I have made myself. This friend stated that they wanted to be a “good Republican," but they just couldn’t put aside their convictions to cast a vote for someone who didn’t line up with their values.
I explained to this person that IF Rauner actually lined up with the core principles of Republican Party platform and they refused to vote for him, I would have to question their Republican credentials. IF Rauner had not supported so many corrupt Democrats with his vast fortune, I would have to question their motives. IF the Rauners hadn’t given so much of their hard earned money to groups such as Emily’s List, Personal PAC, and raised millions of dollars to help bring Stand With Children and thus Common Core to Illinois, I would honestly have to question their sincerity. But since I understood and agreed with their list of reasons, I was in no position to challenge their refusal to vote for the candidate just because there was an “R” after their name.
I understood why this person was hesitant to share their opinions with me. I am also reading and hearing the constant shouting of “Oh, so if you don’t get your way, you are going to take your marbles and go home!” or “You’re not a REAL republican if you don’t support whoever wins the primary!” The silliest one being spewed at us is “If you don’t vote for Rauner, you are voting for Quinn!"
Well, I beg to differ on all the above and the rest of the childish and ugly accusations being hurled at me and others like me. I've got news for you all; no one is voting for Quinn unless they color in that little oval next to his name, period. I also believe that a candidate that doesn’t uphold the core values of our Party’s platform is not entitled to my vote - as a Republican.
Some people do not understand the difference between "principled" and "pettiness." I will never fault a person for refusing to vote for a candidate because of their principles, their core values. I am, however, disappointed in those that seem to have compromised their principles and tried to justify doing so to push for a win for the sake of winning. All this condescending, intellectual, self-superior drabble being spewed at those standing firm by their convictions has been disheartening, but has no way weakened my resolve.
Pettiness is a completely different issue. For a person to refuse to vote for a candidate simply because “their guy” lost in the primary, that is pettiness. To hold back a vote for someone because they didn’t shake your hand at an event or forgot to send you a thank you note for walking in a parade for them, that is pettiness. But not voting for someone that doesn’t hold the same values as you do, or because they support something that you cannot in good conscience go along with, that is principled.
There are other races on the Republican ballot where I am personally and actively supporting one candidate over another. In one race, I simply think one guy is a better candidate for the general elections and in all honestly, I personally do not care for the other candidate’s personality. In another, I am supporting one candidate because he has proven himself to me and has earned my trust and respect. The other candidate in this race has run a disgraceful campaign, in my opinion.
Since all the candidates in these particular races line up with my core values, if my candidate loses the primary, I will vote for the other candidate in the general, without hesitation. Now there is one other race, similar to the governor’s race, where I am supporting one candidate over another because of my principles. One lines up with my values and the other does not. I also feel that the candidate I am supporting is overwhelmingly more qualified for the office to boot. In that race, just like the governor’s race, if my candidate loses in the Primary, I will not vote for the other in November.
Principled verses pettiness ... get it?
Terri Koyne is the Republican Chairman for Macoupin County.