Dr. James Dobson, President of Focus on the Family, made the following statement today regarding the state of the election (Hat tip: World on the Web):

"I am deeply disappointed the Republican Party seems poised to select a nominee who did not support a Constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage, voted for embryonic stem-cell research to kill nascent human beings, opposed tax cuts that ended the marriage penalty, has little regard for freedom of speech, organized the Gang of 14 to preserve filibusters in judicial hearings, and has a legendary temper and often uses foul and obscene language.

"I am convinced Sen. McCain is not a conservative, and in fact, has gone out of his way to stick his thumb in the eyes of those who are. He has sounded at times more like a member of the other party. McCain actually considered leaving the GOP caucus in 2001, and approached John Kerry about being Kerry’s running mate in 2004.  McCain also said publicly that Hillary Clinton would make a good president. Given these and many other concerns, a spoonful of sugar does NOT make the medicine go down.  I cannot, and will not, vote for Sen. John McCain, as a matter of conscience.

"But what a sad and melancholy decision this is for me and many other conservatives. Should Sen. McCain capture the nomination as many assume, I believe this general election will offer the worst choices for president in my lifetime. I certainly can’t vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama based on their virulently anti-family policy positions. If these are the nominees in November, I simply will not cast a ballot for president for the first time in my life. These decisions are my personal views and do not represent the organization with which I am affiliated. They do reflect my deeply held convictions about the institution of
the family, about moral and spiritual beliefs, and about the welfare of our country."

While I respect Dr. Dobson, I believe he is wrong to simply sit out the election because of who is going to be the Republican nominee. I agree that Senator McCain is not my first, second or even third choice for President. But if he is the nominee in November, I’ll vote for him not because he holds the same positions that I do on most issues (he doesn’t) but that he is far better than anybody the Democrats nominate due to fundamental differences on big issues. I also believe that McCain’s moral character is superior to that of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. In the final analysis, character matters more than issues.

The Republican Party seems determined to abandon its conservative principles and focus on selecting a candidate who is most electable. Each party makes such a decision at its own peril. But the fact that one’s political party of preference is not selecting who you might be rooting for in the election as their nominee does not relieve you of the responsibility to exercise your right to vote. That right has been paid for with the blood of hundreds of thousands of Americans. I cannot imagine staying at home on Election Day because my candidate is not in the race. We each should vote regardless of what the results might be. It’s not only our right Americans but it is also our duty.