How far are we willing to take the “principles over election results” argument? For some, this far:
Here’s my most candid admission: I don’t care if Constitutionalists / classical liberals / fiscal conservatives lose the next 10 elections — provided they stick to their principles. The media and the reality on the ground can only fool the electorate for so long — and a break in the action where conservatives are out of power takes away the left’s ability to lay blame at the feet of the right for every ill it creates and perpetuates.
The next 10 elections? Why not the next 20? Or 30? Or 100?
I’m all for sticking to principles. But my governing principles are rooted in the Constitution. Which is interpreted by a Supreme Court. Whose nominees are chosen by the President.
When we lose elections, the Constitution gets rewritten.
So let’s play out this scenario of losing the next ten elections. We would lose:
2010 — Congressional election lost to Democrats
2012 — Presidential election. 4 more years of Obama!
2014 — Congressional election lost to Democrats
2016 — Obama replaced by a Democrat
2018 — Congressional election lost to Democrats
2020 — Obama’s Democrat replacement re-elected
2022 — Congressional election lost to Democrats
2024 — Yet another Democrat elected president
2026 — Congressional election lost to Democrats
2028 — Democrat re-elected president
That Democrat would be in office until at least 2032 — 22 years from now.
Chief Justice Roberts would be 77. Justice Alito would be 81. Justice Thomas would be 84. Justices Scalia and Kennedy would be 96 — or, more likely, dead or retired. Justice Stevens lasted until he was almost 90. That was unusual.
Realistically, the best possible scenario is that conservatives would be outnumbered, 6-3. And we would not get the majority back for decades. We’d all be dead before we saw conservatives in the majority again.
And — just as the current conservative majority is bound by Roe v. Wade and a host of Warren court precedents — the precedents set by the early 21st Century Court would last for generations.
This matters. Think about the cases that we have barely pulled off 5-4. Preserving the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. Banning partial-birth abortion. Allowing corporations to engage in political speech through donations. The list goes on and on.
What good is the Second Amendment, for example, if the Supreme Court is going to write it out of the Constititution?
We can’t afford to lose a generation’s worth of presidential elections, just for the satisfaction of saying we never voted for candidates who didn’t share our principles to the nth degree.
If we take that view, we’ll lose our Constitution, forever. We’re close enough to losing it as it is.