Whether you like Ted Cruz or are like Rep. Peter King who threatened to jump off a bridge if Cruz gets the nomination, I hope we agree on the following: elections are brutal by themselves, and having 15 candidates go at each other’s throats to win the nomination could lead to further division in the Republican Party.
I have a proposition for all Republican candidates who are going to run. All of the candidates, or at least the strongest ones, should have a meeting with each other. They should agree that while they will each fight to the end to win the nomination, they should do so without splitting the Republican Party. People have to remember that after the primaries, there is the general election. If all of the energy is spent on destroying another candidate during the first few months, then difficulties in the general election will ensue.
Almost every candidate has a specific wing of Republicans under their belt, whether it’s the establishment, Tea Party, or libertarian. When a candidate goes after another candidate’s beliefs, they are also attacking the beliefs of the constituents following the opposing candidate. The people running need a set amount of voters for the primaries, but much more for the general. If a candidate wins the primaries, but loses half of the vote within the Republican Party because they bash their views, then Hillary Clinton or Martin O’Malley will win.
The people running have the advantage to unite the Republican Party through the way they campaign. If they all decide to run on their own records, their qualifications, and their motivating speeches instead of running off of what the other people have not done, then we have the potential of not only having a primary without a bloodbath, but also a united party that wins the general election in a landslide. In my view, it is better to vote for someone because they have gained respect than to vote against someone because they have not.
If not all candidates unite, then at least two should. Two of the people I think might go the farthest via polling and how they have garnered support thus far are Rand Paul and Scott Walker. If these two people teamed up, then they could mesmerize the entire party, and possibly even some Democrats. It is important to remember that at the end, only one person wins. Whether there are 32 candidates or 2, we only have one President at a time.
Even if the primaries are a bloodbath, we need to also remember that our vote does make a difference in the general elections too. One politician might get your vote in the primaries, but a different candidate might come out on top. Try not to view the general election as a vote for a lesser of the two evils if your candidate isn’t the nominee. Somehow, that candidate got to where they are. Attack ads can be extremely misleading. Words can be taken out of context. But when it gets down to each election, look for the facts, instead of opinion. And most importantly make sure you get out to vote!
Follow Rebekah Swieringa on Twitter at @pondertherandom.