Perfection or Off With His Head!

Something that crops up every election is the demand by conservatives for perfection in those running for office. Quite a few noisy people allow a candidate precisely zero clarifications, zero mistakes, zero course corrections, zero flubs, and zero room for humanity. So inflexible are these sort, that they look for opportunities to snipe candidates instead of extending them the grace and the mercy that they themselves would desire if the roles were reversed. I can think of two political candidates whom exemplify this meaner-than-thou approach to politics: Sarah Palin and Dr. Ben Carson.

The merits of each of these candidates I leave to others, but the same depressing engagement has stricken them both. I say this — are our candidates humans? If we were electing robots, then we could simply evaluate the code and then flame one another ceaselessly because it produced the wrong results or because it was cryptic. What good comes of expecting perfection from other people, anyways? How much does it advance conservativism when the base demands not allegiance to principle, but perfect elocution, perfect presence, and no room for learning? I don’t think this helps us at all. It certainly makes our enemies gleeful to see us gloating over ordinary events and growing pains.

If you disagree with someone, that is fine. You don’t have to like their deportment or their hair style. However, demanding that every candidate fit into a box so narrow that is labeled only “personal wish list” that specifies not only allegiance but also the exact words that a candidate must say — at what point do we just call people like that “creepy” and move on? You can be petty until you die, but the actions of being petty do not help conservativism. All they do is show the sickly deformed nature of your own will, and that you are a tantrum-thrower, who would wield the tantrum-thrower’s veto if you could.

Enough of those who demand perfection in others; I wonder often if they are in fact wolves in sheep’s clothing.

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