Many of us have been screaming for many years about the politicians who talk a big game while campaigning and then, when they get elected, they set aside all of their principles and promises and fold into the Washington establishment mindset and processes. We then scream bloody murder.
Many of these politicians really do have good intentions when they first run for office. They are just like us, in fact. They are sick and tired of the status quo, the lies, the broken promises, and they are going to go and fight the good fight. And we believe them. The wave election in 2010, spurred by the Tea Party movement, is evidence of that.
Then they get to Washington.
After all of the celebrations and the swearing in ceremonies, one of the first things that happens with new representatives is that they are called into the Party leader’s office for a little “Welcome to Washington” chat.
This is where they are informed that “despite everything you may have promised your constituents, if you want to survive and prosper here, you will do as we ask you to do and vote the way we expect you to vote. Sure, you can go your own way if you want to, but do not expect any good committee assignments or any help in your reelection bid.” Of course, I’m paraphrasing, but that’s about the gist of it.
In other words, they are told that they must “Go Along to Get Along“.
Principles? Standing up for what you believe in? Calling out those in Washington who are lying to us?
Ha! See where that gets you!
Sen. Ted Cruz has learned this lesson. He ignored the leaders during his first term and went Lone Wolf on them. And they chewed him up for it. During his campaign for President, I heard from many “good conservatives” that part of Cruz’s problem was that even nobody in the Senate liked him, so he must not be a very good guy. What? So we’re going to complain about politicians who “Go Along to Get Along” and then not support a guy like Cruz because nobody likes him precisely because he was NOT doing that?
Instead of choosing someone who was finally displaying the characteristics (not afraid to stand up and fight the establishment) of what we’ve been begging for, many “conservatives” trashed him and went with a guy who supported all of the “Go Along to Get Along” establishment politicians his entire life.
So now we sadly see Sen. Cruz playing the game, getting in line, “Going Along to Get Along”.
Why would Cruz succumb to it? Because the lesson he learned was that the “Go Along to Get Along” game is not just coming from the politicians we’re all complaining about. He realized that it’s actually the people (aka the voters) who are also doing it. And, ironically, it’s the very people who are so loud about accusing the politicians of doing it.
You see, “Go Along to Get Along” is the same thing as “It’s a Binary Choice“. It’s the same thing as “Support the Nominee No Matter Who It Is“. It’s the same thing as “Don’t Speak Bad About Our President Because It Helps the Other Side“. They are all essentially just a version of “Go Along to Get Along”.
The “Binary Choice”? This was Reince Preibus calling the reluctant Republican voters into his office and saying, “Look, you need to ‘come home’ to the Party. We need to put a strong, cohesive front forward. It’s time to go along to get along.” And most Republican voters did just that.
“Support the Nominee No Matter Who It Is”? The Republican Party applied EXTREME pressure on Sen. Cruz when he was indicating he would not publicly back Trump. In other words, “Sen. Cruz, it’s time to ‘Go Along to Get Along'”. And most Republican voters agreed with that and trashed Sen. Cruz for his Convention speech, which was actually a great conservative message, but the only important thing for the crowd at the Convention and other Republicans at home was the fact that he left out the words “I endorse Donald Trump” and had the gall to advise, “Vote your conscious”.
“Don’t Speak Bad About Our President Because It Helps the Other Side”? Example after example can be shown where conservative critics of President Trump (most often referred to as Never Trumpers) have been told to keep their comments to themselves. The latest example is the purging at RedState. In other words, the Never Trumpers are being told to “Go Along to Get Along”. And most Republicans are on board with that and are constantly disparaging the Never Trumpers, as if they are the problem. The same way other Senators and many Republicans were disparaging Sen. Cruz for his stands against the establishment, as if he was the problem.
Most Republicans, at the time of the election, knew who Trump was and knew that he was a terrible candidate for President. Yet the delegates at the Convention were dancing and celebrating and smiling and acting as if we were nominating the likes of George Washington or Ronald Reagan. They knew, not even so deep down, that Trump is/was a train wreck waiting to happen. But instead of thwarting the powers that be, they decided to “Go Along to Get Along”.
The very same thing they excoriate the politicians for doing in Congress.
But it was a “Binary Choice”, they exclaim.
Really? Why was it a “Binary Choice”? And don’t those politicians, when sitting down in the leader’s office, also have a “Binary Choice”, if that’s the game you want to play?
It’s only a “Binary Choice” because not enough people are willing to stand up and say, “Enough!”
Many always make statements like, “If only we had 100 Ted Cruz’s or Mike Lee’s in the Senate, things would be great”. In other words, if only more Senators had stood with Ted Cruz when he made his various stands agains the establishment, maybe we could have been rid of McConnell and better things would happen in the Senate. If only more Senators and Representatives recognized that the ultimatum they are given in the leader’s office really isn’t “Binary”. They can all make a stand together and create another option.
Likewise with the election. If every one of the Republican voters who said that Trump was a terrible candidate and they would have rather had Cruz or someone else, but agreed it was a “Binary Choice”, had actually stood with the Never Trumpers and told the RNC, “Enough! we’re not going to support this terrible candidate that has been thrust upon us!” then the RNC would have recognized there was a problem and other options would have opened up. The same can be said on the left, by the way.
Instead, the voters, just like the politicians they complain about, decided to go the “Go Along to Get Along” route. The result is that nothing changes. We’re going to be presented with continued terrible (and worsening, if imaginable) “Binary Choices” going forward.
Where will the people draw the line, if not with Trump vs. Hillary?