The following article was written Beau Sullivan, friend not only in the conservative fight, but personal friend as well. President Ronald Reagan, who had one of the country’s finest conservative voices, had many memorable quotations. One of his classic quotations involved his 80/20 philosophy: The person that agrees with you 80% of the time is a friend and ally—not a 20% traitor, or enemy. This, in my eyes, has been a major issue in the Republican Party over the last two presidential elections.In the 2008 presidential campaign, Senator John McCain claimed victory in the Republican Primaries only to lose to then Senator Obama. McCain struggled with conservative voters, which quite possibly hurt him in the presidential election. McCain, who was considered a moderate at best, struggled to ignite the conservative base. Fast forward four years and you may ask yourself are we re-living history?
Enter Governor Mitt Romney, who claimed victory in the 2012 Republican Primaries. Romney has been viewed as a moderate by voters and a Massachusetts liberal by former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. Romney was elected as the 70th Governor of Massachusetts in 2003. Romney was elected to a state which had large Democratic majorities in both houses of the Massachusetts state legislature. With such large majorities, Romney would struggle in his time as governor. Romney, along with the state legislature, would make substantial cuts over the years, and while Romney vetoed many bills during his term, these bills would be overridden by the democratically controlled legislature. Although Romney attempted to move conservatism forward in Massachusetts, his biggest pitfall was “Romneycare.”
Conservative voters, including myself, have been harsh on the governor for “Romneycare.” Other voters have struggled with the governor’s flip flopping, including his flip flop on abortion. I am one who believes that Romney flip flopped on issues, and implemented “Romneycare,” because of the state’s democratically controlled legislature. Romney was not able to pass conservative legislation. In order to keep his job, Romney had to essentially “give in” to the liberals in the state. Even though there are glaring holes in Romney’s past, including “Romneycare,” one cannot expect a perfect past from a politician.
Using President Reagan’s 80/20 philosophy, Romney should not be burned at the stake from conservatives for one or two poor decisions. President Reagan allowed amnesty and increased military spending, two decisions not considered conservative. Although Romney may not be the perfect conservative candidate, he may be the best individual for the job this election cycle.