Peggy Noonan, Reagan’s much vaunted word smith, had an excellent editorial in the Wall Street Journal this past Friday, The Trouble with Loyalty. Noonan explains, far more clearly than I ever could, why principle is important, and why that should color our decisions at the ballot box.
We were marking a birthday. I was seated next to a politically experienced businessman, an acquaintance of many years. He kept talking about the presidential race. I asked who he's supporting. He was surprised I had to ask.
"Hillary," he said. I nodded.
"Tell me why," I said. "I've known her for years," he said. "I'm a loyal person."
I waited for him to say more. But he didn't.
"Your reason for backing her is that you're loyal?"
"Yes," he said. As if that were enough.
I was puzzled. You're loyal. So what? You have a virtue, good. But that doesn't mean the person you're loyal to should be my president. That's not enough. [Emphasis added]
I believe in loyalty, I just believe loyalty must be placed upon principle, not personality. I have loyalty toward candidates, only in so far as they respect, represent and vote for the principles that are important.
I will not vote for or support candidates that are not pro-life, pro-gun, anti-tax, pro-traditional small government conservatives. My vote is important, as is the time I volunteer and the money I give to on candidates.
To honor the sacrifices of those who protect my right to vote freely, I can’t waste my vote on someone who does represent what I believe are the ideals and principles that make this country great.