Originally Published: October 24, 2017 6:01 a.m.
November’s off-year Virginia governor’s race is what conservatives would have faced in 2016 if Trump had done a Hillary as he descended the escalator for his announcement and wound up in A Place for Mom instead of the Oval Office.
Our nominee would have been a bland, white, country club Republican who talked lukewarm Tea Party. A nominee that would have looked just like “Establishment Ed” Gillespie, the caretaker conservative running as the Republican in Virginia.
These off-year elections are supposed to send a message to Washington and specifically the White House. If a Democrat wins nationally and Virginia elects a Republican the following year, the result is supposed to mean voters are angry because Democrats went too far.
Conservative voters dissatisfied with the nominee are given a binary choice by party leadership: Hold your nose and support some housebroken Republican or be personally responsible for electing the Democrat.
This hobbling choice is not limited to Virginia. Conservatives nationwide regularly confront this dilemma as yet another cocktail conservative holds their vote hostage to the Democrat alternative.
After years of just following orders my nose is as pinched as Ichabod Crane’s and I’m tired of it. This year instead of sending a message to the White House, where one of the Javanka twins would no doubt intercept it, I want to move the targeting solution about 3 miles from Pennsylvania Ave. to the Republican National Committee.
Instead of an interparty message, I want conservatives to deliver an intraparty message.
Ed Gillespie is a perfect example of a candidate that feels genuine conservatives are good enough to help him win, but not good enough to influence policy once he’s in office. It would have been difficult to find a candidate more out-of-step with the conservatives than Establishment Ed.
The National Review recently endorsed Gillespie and they unintentionally damned him with faint praise. According to those Never Trumpers, Ed deserves our vote because:
• He joined the Bush White House when George W was low on friends
• A Gillespie win will send a message
• Ed wants to cut taxes
• Gillespie wants someone to open more charter schools
Big deal. For conservatives, the most important issue in Virginia is transportation: Base voters want new roads for a speedy trip in to work and new enforcement for a speedy trip back to Central America for illegals.
Naturally, Enervating Ed is on the wrong side of both parts. He doesn’t mention roads and Giveaway Gillespie supported the failed Gang of Eight bill. He’s part of the Delusion Caucus that’s convinced surrendering to Democrat demands to import more voters will someone result in GOP victories.
As befits a former lobbyist who made a living torturing innocent words, Gillespie assures conservatives he didn’t support “amnesty” for illegals, he only supports “legalization.” So, let me explain to Gillespie — who only speaks conservative-as-a-second-language — any result allowing illegal aliens to remain in the US is AMNESTY, regardless of how you try to focus group your way out of it.
Ed’s idea of tough-minded leadership on illegals is keeping a lid on how many other benefits the pinata holds.
The Washington Post reports that Gillespie is so concerned about conservatism potentially rubbing off on him that he promised business donors that he won’t champion any cultural issues from the governor’s office. This failure to grasp that politics is downstream of culture is why Ed and his cronies are long run losers.
It also appears that groveling doesn’t sell particularly well. The candidate of the rich is trailing the Democrat in fundraising by a two-to-one margin.
Conservatives next year are faced with a president who is ready to betray his promises on ending DACA for younger invaders and Virginia voters this year have a gubernatorial candidate who is just as soft on the rule of law.
My advice is don’t allow your vote to be held hostage by placeholder Republicans. When my family goes to vote in November we will be sending a message to the RNC in the only manner they can understand. We will be voting for write-in candidates for every spot on the ballot. And it’s going to be the same write-in each time.
For the first name, we will write DACA and for the last name Betrayal. We will no longer go-along-to-get-ignored. The only way Republican leadership will pay attention to the base it relies on for victory is when the victories stop.
My advice for Virginia voters is write in “Senor DACA Betrayal: and take a photo of your ballot. Send the picture to your state Republican Party and another copy to the RNC. Let’s show them voters are angry because the GOP hasn’t gone far enough.
Michael Shannon is a commentator and public relations consultant, and is the author of “A Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.