Thursday, September 3, 2009

In search of true conservatives...

Hendersonville Times-News Editorial Reprint
Published: Sunday, December 7, 2008

Once again the T-N editor, a recognized champion of Republican conservative values, has made a public effort to illuminate my failings as a congressional candidate. Less I fail in my perceived mission of giving this gentleman and others on-going heartburn, I am grateful for the opportunity to respond.

The bill came due this election for a Republican Party habitually swapping principle for power. Mirroring countrywide failures, every North Carolina Republican congressional candidate running against an incumbent lost. The highest vote getter spent contributions of a half million plus in his Raleigh district and earned 37% of the vote.

I passed on party and lobbyist money, relied on an all volunteer staff, raised less than a hundred thousand dollars, and came in second with 36% of the vote in 15 counties. I hate to intrude on those enjoying our campaign's perceived failings, but without the machinations of a number of county party organizations, including Henderson, we would have easily had the top vote percentage among Republican challengers in N.C.

I do not know if I will do it again, but I do know that I will not change a thing if I do. That firm eye on true Republican principles will remain. My marriage to the word conservative will not be softened, spun, or polished to suit anyone's concept of political correctness or expedience. I will not side step the issues to nurse special interests or pander to get elected. I will not try to buy my election with other people's money.

The American Dream is in jeopardy and it is not a time for timidity or joining the ranks of what Christian psychiatrist Scott Peck called, "The People of the Lie."

Our campaign spent a lot of leather and rubber hitting every county in WNC with enthusiasm. I met many good and well intended people. Using the Biblical measurement of actions over words, a surprising few were principle driven conservatives.

My conservative filter is simple - caution with other people's money, values, liberties and lives. It is that simple, but it is certainly not that easy.

Next to the path of a true Christian, being a conservative is one of most demanding undertakings in the human experience. Unlike the easy accommodations, relativism, and hollow promises of liberalism, there is a necessary discipline, firmness, and dedication that is not for the faint of heart.

Jesus upheld a conservative value system, and we remember what he suffered for his refusal to be practical over principled.

No true conservative would find comfort in earmarks and other forms of Washington's community and corporate welfare program. Conservatives are interested in making people bigger and government smaller and recognize a liberty robbing handout when they see one.

It is easy to see how a conservative would not soft pedal on the legalized murder of our children. Where, however, are those conservatives with the courage to fight the importation of an illegal exploited work force; decimation of our spiritual liberties; a ballooning drug problem; and a dysfunctional education system that is murdering our culture?

A prioritization of safety over liberty is the way that many betray the authenticity of their conservative credentials. Those who would embrace FISA and the Patriot and Homeland Security acts without vigilant pause are students of convenience over conservatism. A dedication to protecting the country may feel conservative, but it is real only if one works to preserve what that country is about.

True conservatives resist the absurdities of misguided foreign entanglements and undeclared wars that kill our youth, rob our resources, and confuse our people.

I do not believe we should betray the sacrifice of so many by arrogantly leaving Iraq with indifference to the outcome. Nonetheless, we went there with matching arrogance and a real conservative would have immediately howled at the nonsense packaged and sold to us by Colin Powell and George Bush - the same 'conservatives' who respectively helped insure the election of the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate to the presidency.

In these four filters one can find the measure of a true conservative and, for me, what is the hopeful future of the Republican Party and America.

That same Bible which holds us accountable for what we do offers a timely message for conservatives and Republicans who are busy scratching their heads and pointing their fingers. "Be hot or cold or I will spit you out."

In spite of the best efforts of Mr. Moss and a host of party orchestrators, 121,000 voters still understood the message.

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