There are many people going around in the Republican party today saying they’ll vote for Hillary, form a third party, stay home or otherwise not support the winner of the Republican primary this year if it doesn’t go their way. Robert Heinlein, in his work on grassroots politics, “Take Back Your Government” has a few choice words for you:
It is not legitimate to vote in the Republican primary in the summer, turn around and vote for the Democratic ticket in the fall.
When you accepted a voice in the selection of a particular party’s candidates you contracted with the other members of that party to abide by the outcome.
The principle is formalized in a caucus. The caucus is a device used to bind a group to unanimous action and is used both for programs for the selection of candidates. If works like this: A group of people with something in common get together for the purpose of a political action. Some member moves to caucus. This is a motion of procedure; no issue of candidate is as yet before the group. If the motion carries the group as a whole is bound to act unanimously to carry out the will of the majority.
Pretty rough on the minority? Wait a moment-anyone who at this point decides that he is not willing to bind himself gets up and walks out. He has been deprived of none of his rights as a free citizen, but he has decided of his own free will not to work with this group.
You may still have misgivings. You may still feel, quite honestly, that you want to be free to pick up your ballot in November with an unlimited choice to split the ticket any way you like for the men you believe to be the most able. Well, no one will stop you. But an adult is never free in that sense. He is bound by his conscience, his sense of responsibility, and his commitments to other people. If you have taken an adult part in the preliminary democratic processes which led up to that ballot in your hand then you already have obligations and are morally bound to carry them out.
If you’re not comfortable giving your vote to the winner of your party’s primary, its time to leave that party. You are a free adult who is capable of making decisions.
The reasoning for this is simple. If you vote in a primary and vote for the opposing party in the general, you’ve proven you’re an untrustworthy ally, not just to people you abandoned, but to all people who see.
An excellent work on grassroots politics that still holds up today, give Robert Heinlein’s work: “Take Back Your Government” a read today.