With both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich now out of the race, the controlled and manipulated Republican primary process is basically over, with the official crowning of Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate all that's left. What will conservative voters do? Should they fall in line and vote for the "Etch-a-Sketch" candidate?

Ted Lacksonen penned an important essay entitled "Voting for Romney (D-Mass.): The Worst Mistake a Conservative Could Make," which is posted at both The Country Thinker (his blog) and Political Realities. Every potential Republican voter should click over and read it. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Okay, assuming you've now read "Voting for Romney (D-Mass.): The Worst Mistake a Conservative Could Make" (you did, right?), let's examine some of the standard objections as expressed in the comments to the essay.

If your [Gary Johnson] protest vote will only help elect Obama it is not much of a protest vote, is it?

Why is voting for Gary Johnson (or in my case Ron Paul) necessarily a "protest" vote?

Hey, I'm all for protest. America was born of protest. It's subservience that tries my patience. But in a country founded on liberty, is it really such a stretch to accept that Johnson and Paul supporters aren't voting in protest, but actually FOR something? After all, when I voted in the Michigan primary for Paul, I wasn't voting against something. On the contrary, I was voting FOR liberty.

It's hardly a secret that conservatives aren't thrilled with Romney, and they shouldn't be. Yet the drumbeat to vote for him grows louder by the day. Why? "Anybody but Obama!" In other words, in protest of Barack Obama.

But what does a vote for Romney stand in protest of, other than simply Barack Obama the man? After all, Romney has proven beyond a shadow of doubt that he represents nothing but more of the same (old s---). So what are you so willing to betray your principles for? As Vox Day asks, "What is the real difference between President Goldman Sachs and President Bain Capital, after all? Is there a significant difference between Obamacare and Romneycare?"

Albert Einstein famously defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." If you want to change the government, then you have to change the way you vote. Supporting Republicans over and over again isn't going to change a thing.

At least the GOP (most of them) doesn't believe in murdering innocents in the womb, who have committed no crimes and don't attack our constitutional right to religious liberty – HHS mandate.

Republicans may sling a lot of pro-life rhetoric, but their track-record tells a different story altogether. The Republican Party supports abortion. Mitt Romney has proven he's consistently pro-abortion too. The GOP as a safe haven for the unborn is a disgusting illusion.

How do you answer those of us who are concerned about potential Obama Supreme Court appointments?

Let's face it, Republican-appointed Supreme Court Justices are highly overrated. To begin with, it was Nixon-appointee Harry Blackmun who wrote the decision in Roe v. Wade that nullified all state abortion laws. John Paul Stevens became known as "the senior leader of [the Supreme Court's] liberal wing." And just recently, supposedly "conservative" justices gave their "blessing to strip-search people stopped for minor offenses."

Republicans may have appointed 12 of the last 15 justices, but "the court's rulings have remained left of the center of general public opinion on most … of the biggest issues." Gov. Mitt Romney's judicial track-record is no better. Perhaps even worse. As Liberty Counsel Action Vice President Matt Barber points out, "Many of Romney's appointments were not only liberal, not only Democrats, but were radical counter-constitutionalists … he appointed a number of very liberal, if not radical, 'living, breathing'-minded judges to the bench."

Sorry, but … A vote for anyone but Romney is a vote for Obama.

That simply isn't true. Only a vote for Obama is a vote for Obama. In fact I'd go further by pointing out that there is no against vote, because you can't vote "nay." You may protest President Obama by voting for Romney, but always remember that you are still voting for something, not against. In the case of Mitt Romney, you're voting for "the Barack Obama of the GOP."

There used to be a time when self-sufficient Americans expected politicians to earn their vote. I must have missed the memo. When did we decide it would be better to act as serfs who owe their allegiance to "the Party?" Btw, how's that strategery working out?

In my view, if Repubs clean up Senate seats some things will change for the better. Romney may be soft enough to be led by Congress.

Do you really want to put your faith in the Republican Congressional "leadership" who brought you No Child Left Behind, Sarbanes-Oxley, TARP, stimulus, corporate bailouts, and the Patriot Act (and that's just a short-list of GOP Big Government programs too). Are you sure that's wise?

Is it at all realistic, seriously, to expect the same Congressional "leadership" who helped Obama raise the debt-ceiling keep the Massachusetts Liberal in check?

C'mon, you don't really believe the Congressional "leadership" who brought you Medicare Part D is suddenly going to team up with President "Individual Mandate" Romney to overturn ObamaCare, do you?

"Compliant Conservatives"

They said that I should lose my ideals and begin to believe in the methods of practical politicians. Now, I have not lost my ideals in the least; my faith in fundamentals is exactly what it always was. What I have lost is my childlike faith in practical politics. -- G.K. Chesterton

In a recent article entitled "Compliant Americans," Walter Williams observes that "Americans, unlike Americans of yesteryear, have become timid and, as such, come to accept all manner of intrusive governmental acts." The same can be said about the majority of people who make-up the conservative movement too.

Because conservatives are so willingly compliant and happy to suffer more Big Government in order to "Sock It to the Left!," the bigger, more intrusive and more expensive government gets. There's no two ways about it. By compliantly supporting Establishment Republican candidates, conservative voters actively participate in creating the kind of government they claim to be against.

This is, of course, exactly what the Establishment wants - "compliant conservatives" - which you faithfully deliver. Thanks to your willing compliance, the Establishment can confidently run whomever "moderate" (read progressive) candidate they choose. Meaning they have no reason whatsoever to change their ways. I mean, why would they? Why would Republicans follow through on their empty rhetoric to limit government when they know full-well you'll vote for them anyway?

Plain and simple. A vote for Romney is a vote for Big Government (and approval of the "GOP's War On Traditional Conservatism").

One last comment I'd like to address is this one …

How are [Ron Paul supporters] going to behave in an election where Romney is the nominee?

I can only speak for myself, but if I were you, I wouldn't bank on any Paul supporters selling their souls for Romney. I certainly won't. And this blog won't be any friendlier to Romney than it is to Obama, both of whom I despise because they represent everything wrong with our country.

As for all of you "compliant conservatives," who choose "electability" over principle, don't think it is lost on us that you take us for granted. We know you mock us, we hear your ridicule, we're well aware of your efforts to marginalize us … and we don't care. We won't be shamed into voting for another pathetic Establishment "me-too" candidate. We certainly won't be suckered into supporting the Republican Party's cheap date.

A lot of you may think this is out of spite, or because "my guy" didn't win. It's not. Just wander through the archives of this blog and you'll quickly realize Romney's ideas about the role of government are radically different than mine. Funny thing is, I believe that Romney's ideas about the role of government are radically different than most rank and file conservatives too. So why sell yourselves out in the name of the Republican power brokers? I certainly won't.

But the rationalizations for selling your soul have already begun, haven't they? According to conventional wisdom, it's time to put our "principles aside and vote for Romney." But then why have principles at all?

Principles are those attributes of character that advise our affairs both individually and with others. It is their timeless and universal relevance that makes these rules and guidelines principles in the first place. It is in difficult times, when push comes to shove, that principles provide the wisdom needed most. Ease and expediency reflects a lack of principle. After all, have you ever heard of the virtue of "fair-weather" principles?

If you're afraid to stand your ground now, then when?

But hey, go ahead and vote for President Obamney ... just please, stop whining about Big Government. You voted for it. You only have yourself to blame.

Ted's on a roll. Make sure to also read: