The New York Times has a prime example of voters approaching elections the wrong way:
Senator John McCain has long aroused almost unanimous opposition from the leaders of the right. Accusing him of crimes against conservative orthodoxy like voting against a big tax cut and opposing a federal ban on same-sex marriage, conservative activists have agitated for months to thwart his Republican presidential primary campaign.
That, however, was before he emerged this week as the party’s front-runner.
Since his victory in the Florida primary, the growing possibility that Mr. McCain may carry the Republican banner in November is causing anguish to the right. Some, including James C. Dobson and Rush Limbaugh, say it is far too late for forgiveness.
But others, faced with the prospect of either a Democrat sitting in the White House or a Republican elected without them, are beginning to look at Mr. McCain’s record in a new light.
Once the parties have chosen their nominees (meaning not yet) it is important for voters who lean toward one party or another to look at the candidate for their chosen party and decided if that candidate represents them enough to earn their vote. The problem in the above example is that this should not be happening before the nominee is chosen. During the primary elections is the nest time to go vote your conscience. That is the time to speak up and cast your vote for someone you can support. If the eventual nominee was not someone you could support in the primaries then it is time to take another look and decide if they might be “good enough.”
Settling for good enough too early is what leads to elections where 60% of voters feel like they are choosing the lesser of two evils when they go to the ballot box.
I don’t have to hate John McCain (and I don’t) to oppose him in the primary election. He does not represent me close enough to earn my primary vote. That does not mean that I could not vote for him in November if he is the nominee (that depends on who his opponent is) but my vote is wasted if I give up now. If I vote for the front runner in the primary contest when only 10% of the delegates have been awarded merely because they are the front runner then I am guilty of letting other people choose how I will vote. If I am not going to choose how I vote then I have no business participating in the political process.