That’s the sum of it. If you can’t bring yourself to vote for the offerings in your primary, or if the eventual nominee is somebody you can’t stomach, don’t sit out, and don’t vote for the Democrat. Write in Fred Thompson’s name.
By doing so, you send a message that can’t be mistaken or spun. It is a message that says:
“I am a Republican who wanted to vote for a conservative GOP candidate, but wasn’t able to do so. I can’t vote for a Democrat, but I can’t vote for any of the Republicans, either. So I’m writing in the name of the candidate I wish I could have voted for, because he is the kind of candidate I could support.”
They have to learn that if they want conservative votes, they have to nominate candidates conservatives would want to vote for.
This strategy is the only one that offers any hope of changing the leftward move of the GOP in the future. Sitting out won’t do it – they can spin the reasons why you sat out. Voting Democrat won’t do it, they can spin it that the GOP candidates weren’t liberal enough. Even voting “None of the Above” won’t do it, because that doesn’t specify what you want instead of none of the above.
I’m pretty sure that if this notion starts to get traction, Fred Thompson will publicly oppose it. Don’t worry, and don’t listen to him. This isn’t really about Fred Thompson. It’s about the future of the Republican party. Fred ran because he hoped to influence that, but he failed. Now it’s time for the rest of us to take a crack at it.
So remember: Just write in Fred Thompson’s name when it comes time to cast your vote. (There’s nothing stopping you from writing it in for other offices, either).
And ignore all the squalling that you have to vote GOP because it is marginally less evil than the Democrats. Given the rate of decay we’re seeing now, even that won’t be true (if it really is even now) in a couple more election cycles.
UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers!