Tacking conservative’s social sails to win the White House

Presidential elections are like sailing in that the White House is basically located upwind. To get there requires some tacking. Right wing conservatives need to tack and move moderate to take the White House.

Sailing Upwind: Image Lisa M. Ruth - All Rights reserved

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2015 –  Intolerance cost you the White House in 2012.  Are you going to make the same mistake again in 2016?  Yes, you, right-wing conservative. In your perfect world, we understand that all gay people would be cured and that nobody would want an abortion.

But do you have to ruin it for us loyal fiscal conservatives who lean moderate on social issues?  Do you want to ruin it for the entire country, for that matter?

Most of us want the whole enchilada in life, but isn’t a combination plate sometimes preferable to no dinner at all?  Be honest with yourself:  The White House creates the menu and you order off it.  You might get a few morsels if you control both houses of Congress, but these tidbits will not fill you up.

To Republicans: Feel free to sling mud

Most of the time, actually all the time really, you are told what to eat by the White House. Do you need more evidence than the impending Iranian Treaty that you didn’t foil to remind you of this phenomenon or Obamacare, ouch, for that matter?

Without the White House you are basically an amoeba with a gay cousin who will always be invited to Thanksgiving.  And do you need reminding too that you have a sister whom you still love in spite of the fact she had an abortion? Are you going to disown your mother when you find out she had pre-marital sex in college?

Of course not. Life is not perfect as you imagine or wish it.

Compromise is part of life. Do you put yourself in detention or fast when your wife wants Olive Garden and you want Five Guys Burgers? Of course not.  You obediently go to Olive Garden, right?  But now, some of the power slips to you. You eat lots of bread, drink two glasses of wine and order spaghetti…..with meatballs.

With the first bite of the meat ball you forget all about Five Guys, and your wife is kind of neutered from saying anything about your cholesterol.

Right-wing conservatives, if you like to eat meatballs, you’ll love the White House. If you occupy the Oval Office, you not only get to slurp your spaghetti, more important, you get to make the decisions reminding Putin that his economy and military are one 10th the size of yours.

If you are the decider of who sleeps in the Lincoln Bedroom, you also get to decide about inviting the ayatollahs to the negotiating table and whether to treat them as equals.  There are  countless more indignities we’ve all suffered through over the past six and a half years as a result of the right wing’s maniacal and myopic devotion to overturning a law supported by a majority of Americans that has been in effect for over 40 years.

Sailing provides further illumination of how of things work in the real world. In sailing, you deal with what nature delivers you.  Rule number one, you don’t sail into the wind. It is not possible. You tack. You sail back and forth at angles slightly against the wind and you eventually arrive at your destination.

It is not a straight line.

Finally, the Republicans get it right!

A straight line in sailing will not ever get you to your destination if it is upwind. Presidential elections are like sailing in that the White House is basically located upwind.  To get there requires some tacking.

In election sailing, no matter how you wish it otherwise, both parties have a guaranteed 40 percent, if not 45 percent, wind at their back that cancels each other out.  No matter how many confidential emails Hillary sent and received on her private server, presidential candidates in the general election from both parties are left vying for the remaining 10 percent of a swirling and mercurial wind that can blow in any direction. However, among this 10 percent is a majority that tacks slightly left on social issues.

Convince them, as Obama so cunningly and unapologetically did in 2012, that his opponent would turn back the clock on women’s issues, a euphemism for abortion, and be left on the Potomac wistfully looking at the White House.

To our national peril, right-wing conservatives loathe abortion more than they love their country. They detest tolerance more than they abhor the notion of potentially arming sworn enemies with acquiring the means of annihilation.  They would rather sail into the rocks on an empty stomach than adopt Bill Clinton’s reasonable stance that calls for abortion to be rare, safe and legal.

With all the damage currently being done to the economy and to our global standing, not to mention the lives of everyday Americans, I’m confounded by right-wing conservatives that would prefer four more years of Obamaism to a socially moderate and more electable Republican.

I understand you have your principles.  That’s great, to a point.

But not occupying the White House is like being a third-string quarterback in the NFL. You know the guy. He stands on the sideline all season with the headphones and playbook looking consequential but also trying not to look obvious about hoping the two guys in front of him get injured. And when his team wins the Super Bowl, even though he didn’t play a single down all season, he has to look as excited as Tom Brady, which, of course, he is not.

Right-wing conservatives, you’re in it for the long term, but playing third-string quarterback with an empty stomach on a windy day has immediate and profound consequences.

In addition to getting left off the guest list for the annual Easter egg hunt on the South Lawn, when you don’t occupy the White House, you are a spectator. Is it worth it?

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