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The end of campaigning is to govern

Politics is the art and strategy of winning an election, just as there is an art and strategy to winning a football game. It takes physical and mental endurance to stand up to opponents. It’s not for the weak or the faint of heart. Though football is rough, and injuries occur, there are regulations and rules that must be followed for fair competition. If a player was to violate a rule intentionally or mistakenly, officials will enforce a penalty.

But who throws a flag in campaign activities? The Federal Elections Commission regulates campaign financing, but they do not settle disputes regarding underhanded tactics that deliberately deceive voters. I sense today there are voices on the hard Left and Right that manipulate people with anger, fear, and lies.

Good candidates who faithfully want to represent the people they are called to serve are urged to abandon their principles for pragmatic voter turnout efforts. The end justifies the means. Victory at all costs, including distorting the facts for personal ambition and gain.

I believe this catabolic toxic energy weakens our political debate and strains the moral fabric that holds our union together. Polarizing hype in our political discourse makes legislators hesitant to legislate. They want to avoid unfair criticisms to common good solutions. America suffers in the process.

Remember, the end game of campaigning is to govern. Political parties want wins, but people want results. Concrete policy positions must be stated on a campaign website to inform the voter how the candidate will approach the issue. But an openness to discuss nuanced complexed issues should not be perceived as a sign of weak and ineffective leadership.

In other words, you can fully support and fund law enforcement while reforming our policing and justice system. You can secure the border to stop the flow of illegal immigration while sensibly finding solutions to undocumented families and workers in this country. You can immediately return America to energy independence while investing in cleaner renewable sources over the next 20-30 years. You can teach students to be kind, respectful and have a fuller understanding of our nation’s history, without indoctrinating them with radical gender and divisive racial ideology.

We need a clear positive vision for this country rooted in our conservative values. Victory without that vision may produce a 51% majority on election day, but a 40% approval rating months later. I reject the idea that our political discourse must be driven by passion over reason. James Madison warned us that uncivil times and men would damage our enduring hope of freedom. I believe the evidence that conservative policies benefit our nation should be persuasive enough to win over voters.


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