October 22, 2016

552 words 3 mins read

Why Are Some Missouri Conservatives Putting Position Before Interest?

Let’s play a little thought experiment.

Suppose you read that a scientific study proved dark blue socks look best with a gray suit. Then someone known for his remarkable sense of style shows up wearing purple striped socks with a gray suit. What would you do?

Before you answer that, consider this.

You’ve probably heard that a handful of conservative activists are supporting the Democrat running for governor. Those misguided conservatives think the GOP nominee isn’t conservative enough. So they’re supporting someone who isn’t conservative at all. They’re literally working against 90 percent of their own agenda.

I know all those activists. Their hearts are in the right place. Where they’ve put their brains is another matter.

Those activists want candidates like Eric Greitens to agree with them on everything. By everything, I mean critical issues like the best toppings for pizza, the best time of day to shower, and what color socks to wear with a gray suit. A Republican who deviates from their strict list becomes Enemy Numero Uno.

A few of those folks want Eric Greitens to lose because Eric wears the wrong color socks with gray suits. Eric didn’t support a bill in the Missouri legislature last year. Neither did I. My reasons for opposing SJR39 were different from Eric’s, and I like my reasons better than his.

Those pro-Democrat conservative activists, however, not only supported SJR39, they’re willing to sacrifice Right to Work and many other important issues on the altar of perfection. In their narrow minds, a candidate is either perfect or perfectly unacceptable. They live in a Boolean bubble, and they lose a lot.

Those pro-Democrat conservative activists are willing to see more abortions, more anti-police violence, and more economic stagnation for Missouri because Eric Greitens and I disagreed with one point on their very long list of positions. Psychologists will tell you that those activists get a lot of joy out of punishing people, and they’ll take great joy in punishing everyone in Missouri for nominating a guy they don’t like.

Those activists put their positions ahead of their interest and yours, which is also known as cutting off your nose to spite your face.

[Learn how to negotiate better by sorting out positions and interests.]

If you’re like them, you’d vilify that guy with a great sense of style for wearing the wrong socks with a gray suit. You might even disavow anyone who wears gray suits just to prove how committed you are to your positions. Good for you. Your friends will probably respect you for it.

I disavow cutting off your nose to spite your face because sacrificing the greater good for a single position that didn’t matter is akin to doing the Devil’s work. I try not to do the Devil’s work.

Do you?

P.S. SJR39 was meaningless. It was a statement of principle with no teeth. Missouri has too many real problems to waste time with “sense of the Senate” silliness. If the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right and that ministers must perform those ceremonies, state law won’t matter. If you’re worried about this issue, vote for Trump. He’ll choose Supreme Court justices who apply the law well. Don’t waste your energy on helping elect a governor who disagrees with you on nearly everything.