The primary is days away as I write this. Many have exhausted themselves in non-stop battle to get their candidate elected to the general election. There are some truths and traditions to examine when it comes to the politics of Maine.
Most historians agree that in the last fifty years or so a disturbing pattern has developed in our State. The voting populace has proven to be much more conservative than the politicians that represent them. How then, in a representative form of government, can this pattern emerge?
While conservatives have the numbers to consistently win the majority, they lack the unity to truly effect change. One of the defining strengths of many conservatives is their dogged adherence to truth and principle. But this strength at times, yes it seems at the most crucial times, becomes the Achilles that brings another frustrating setback to the march towards consistent prominence. So fundamentally attached to a certain nuance of the conservative standards, factions easily develop and splinter into various corners and, during elections, never the twain or twenty shall meet.
Governor LePage was the one strong leader, who seemed to bring them together over the divides of their several beliefs. Now it seems, perhaps, the divides are yawning open again. Moderates and liberals may regain their hold on power and conservatives could once again squalor in sectarian apathy.
Liberals have long trumpeted their belief that the end justifies the means and have implemented this to great effect. Conservatives believe the means is just as important as the end. One cannot be compromised to facilitate the other. Unfortunately, within this strict approach to representation there has steadily crept an aversion to compromise. Holding the ground and defending an issue against the onslaught of liberalism has now evolved into staking your territory and fighting with anyone who comes near. This has resulted in the near death of unity within the conservative ranks.
The one consistency amongst Maine conservatives is the attack of any front-runner, who dares call himself conservative. Should a conservative candidate emerge from the pack and push to the fore, it seems every conservative leader in Maine is bound by blind rage to lacerate, eviscerate, castigate and in all ways mitigate the demise of his or her candidacy. This all in an effort to prove themselves much more the conservative than the sad representation, who had the audacity to give themselves the hallowed title of conservative. The public preening of one’s own conservative narcissism has had a painful debilitating effect on Maine’s political landscape.
Whatever the outcome of this primary, the numbers showed that the front-runner race between a conservative and a moderate should not have even been close. But old alliances, petty grievances, and downright dirty politics, have made this, perhaps, another chapter in the saga of missed opportunities. Our founding fathers showed us the wisdom of true compromise. My fellow conservatives, win, lose or draw, it is imperative that we find and learn that lost art our forefathers perfected of finding our unified voice for the sake of our posterity. Let’s not miss opportunity!