As readers of my columns would know, Mitt Romney was not my first choice for Republican nominee. This was because of his not-so-conservative record as Massachusetts Governor, his poor understanding of taxes, and Romneycare—in short many of the characteristics of a RINO, or Republican In Name Only. My first choice was the first-rate conservative Michele Bachmann, and after she dropped out it was Newt Gingrich, who also has fine record of conservative plans and conservative achievements.

Compared to what?
When assessing candidates, we should always make it clear that it’s a matter of comparison to the actual alternatives, not to an imaginary perfect candidate—or with a defeated superior candidate. And as conservative columnists like Ann Coulter like to point out, in 2008, many liked Romney as a conservative alternative to McCain, with ample justification. I have also given Romney credit where it’s due, e.g. as an outstanding businessman, who turned around struggling companies and made them very profitable, with 100,000 new jobs following.

Thus, even in my most critical article, I made it very clear that if Romney were to win the Republican nomination, Patriots should vote for him—and indeed for the Republican nominee every year. And the most important reason by far is this: Romney Is Not Obama! This is because another four years of the Church-hating Marxist-in-Chief, aka President Downgrade, would be a disaster for this country.

Events since then have supported this. In particular, Obama’s increasingly dictatorial rule with an end-run around Congress if they disagree with him. (Here I was thinking that on July 4, we celebrate replacing rule of kings with rule of law.)
Executive order to withhold documents likely to incriminate his corrupt Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder is in contempt of Congress for refusing to submit such documents relating to the botched Fast and Furious operation that cost innocent American (and Mexican) lives in a crude White House attempt at gun control.
Unilaterally suspending deportations of illegal immigrants. He even admitted last year, “With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations [of immigrants brought here illegally as children] through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed.” (March 28, 2011). These laws have not changed, but now Obama just refuses to support them. Imagine the outcry, law professor John Yoo pointed out, if a Republican President submitted a bill abolishing capital gains tax [a good idea actually], but Congress rejected it. However, the President then ordered the IRS to stop collecting capital gains taxes and decreed that there wouldn’t be any penalty for refusing to pay them. This is blatant anti-Constitutional usurpation of power.
• Although Congress refused to impose taxes on carbon dioxide (CO2), Obama, the darling of the radical ecofascists, has encouraged the unelected human-hating, job-killing EPA bureaucracy to impose its own regulations.
Obama unilaterally killed the Keystone Pipeline to appease the same ecofascists, although this project would have created 20,000 real jobs during construction and 600,000 permanent jobs later, and added $770 billion to our GDP, and of course made gas cheaper. But he actually wants more expensive gas—he handpicked Stephen Chu as energy secretary after he said he wanted “to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”

However, there is a fairly large group of “vote my conscience” types who disagree. In this column, I will argue that a vote for Romney is the far better way to achieve the conservative aims that Patriots want—and this should therefore be the real conscience vote.

Better the devil you know?
Instead of trite sayings, that’s the whole problem! We do know what Obama will do. He has said so in his books, and even louder by his actions, as shown above. Obama wants to transform America into the Union of Secular Socialist Republics. He will appoint more radical judges in the mold of that racist Latina Sotomayor and the radical Kagan, which could entrench leftism for decades. He will continue with his abortion extremism, including supporting abortion of girl babies and even infanticide. And Obama was caught on open microphone telling Russian President Medvedev that, “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”

On the other hand, Romney will not want to annoy the people who voted for him too much, because he will want to win another term. So as Matt Barber points out in Christians should vote for Romney: Obama’s secular policies must be countered at the ballot box:

“Indeed, political self-preservation will provide Mr. Romney a strong incentive to honor his pro-life, pro-family conservative rhetoric. Most important, it significantly increases the chances that he will appoint originalist judges to the Supreme Court as promised.”

Another term of Obama will energize the Conservative movement?
More likely, it will discourage conservatives, and embolden Obama and his Democrat minions that he has a definite mandate for an even further leftward lurch.

Sending a message?

But as always, what message will be received? That radical leftism wins elections? What if the Republican establishment act on this message that they need to drift more left? Or as Ann Coulter put it, “To whom? And what message? That we’re morons? Message received!”

An even more misguided version of the same theme is on the lines of, “I showed those hypocrite Republicans. America deserves another 4 years of Obama for not supporting [name your favorite].” I fail to see how it’s patriotic to want the country to be wrecked because your favorite candidate didn’t win the nomination. No, that is just childish petulance—combined with grandiosity that they are in a position to sit in judgment on this nation.

We shouldn’t vote for a Mormon?
Well, we are not voting for Pastor-in-Chief but Commander-in-Chief. He is hardly going to use the Presidency to force people to believe in Mormonism. But Obama is certainly using the office to fight against Catholics and Lutherans. Also, America has elected the deist Thomas Jefferson and four Unitarians—John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Millard Fillmore, William Howard Taft—but none of them forced Christians to repudiate the Trinity.

Christian philosopher Dr Norman Geisler reminds us that we live in the real world with only Romney and Obama as candidates. He argues convincingly that Romney is much better for many reasons: competence, character, judicial appointments, pro-life issues, and patriotism.

Out of two evils, reject both?
But our voting system doesn’t give us a chance to do that. Rather, we vote only for a candidate, not against one. So our actual vote is an expression of preference, not endorsement.

Or what if the trite saying was “… chose neither evil”? Once again, a non-vote (or third party vote, but I repeat myself), is not saying “neither”, but “either”! That is, “I am not voting, so whatever the rest of you decide is OK by me.” As the classic saying goes, Qui tacet consentire videtur (“he who is silent is taken to agree”). Only votes count—not non-votes!

And I would remind readers of the (probably apocryphal) quote by conservative 19th-century British statesman Edmund Burke (who supported American independence): “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

It’s hard to improve on Matt Barber:

“It’s simple: A Christian nonvote is a vote for Mr. Obama in that it fails to affirmatively cancel out an Obama vote. Furthermore, any Christian who votes for Mr. Obama will get to take that up with God. This leaves us with our third and final choice: Christians must vote for Mitt Romney. A second Obama term is simply unacceptable. We won’t survive it.”