I love a good party and may be known as a party girl. Discovering a set of beautiful inlayed chopsticks led to a full themed oriental dinner party. Roasting sticks on clearance at Lowe’s and a gourmet S’mores night began a neighborhood fall tradition. Hearing a great local band and we now have a stage ready for outdoor concerts. Parties are my thing.
However when it comes to political parties, for years I wanted to be an independent. How I voted, or for which candidate I felt best portrayed the needs of the community had nothing to do with party affiliation. In complete honesty, I mostly lined up with the conservative party and have worked phone banks for the GOP’s Presidential elections for almost every one since Reagan. Sometimes holding my nose, sometimes wincing of the choices I was left with, and unfortunately at times, trying to make sure the lesser of two evils prevailed. I want to stand with the “principle before party” mantra’ and I am more than willing to stand up and speak out against the leaders in my party who are doing something I see as unconstitutional or growing our government. “The” party has greatly disappointed me over the past season. I even stepped back from serious volunteering when the state GOP made a decision to endorse a candidate before the primaries, an attempt to override the people’s voice. It was an unnecessary move that created skepticism and distrust, contributing to an increasing civil war within the party. I’ve never been afraid to vote for the out-side candidate or door-knock for someone who I think would make the truest conservative decisions while in office.
One of my biggest irritations with many of the right-side-of-the-aisle legislators, who serve currently, is their lack of being truly interested in limiting our government. Government’s growth since Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal has blurred the lines for some of our young leaders who just assume it’s their job to fix something. I admit that bleeding-heart issues can tug at my heart. I hear the heartbreaking stories that drive us to want change, but I stop and ask myself, “Is this something the government should be responsible for?” One of my favorite State Representatives, affectionately known as “Representative No” has been a great example of someone who stands firm as an ideologue! He quickly sends out a legislative report when he votes NO on what seems to be a great conservative piece of legislation. Usually, it’s the way it is written and the amendments added that tend to make it unconstitutional. Sometimes he feels it’s too watered down and doesn’t represent the best intent of the writer. His colleagues criticize him, but he stands firm and principled. During the past US Senate election I found myself in support of someone with whom I had little in common with, he stretched many of my traditional ideas, but really pushed for a government who led well by ruling less! I want to hold firm to this same honorable ideals. I know we are not going to agree on every issue. I have watched men and women who I think represent me well, debate over issues with such force that the outside world may think they were serving in opposite parties. I’ve also seen “teammates” become enemies and it makes it awkward to champion for issues from their own platform. I hear the ardent pleas of some who feel the only way to serve well is to be willing to compromise, and I’ve been in meetings where a point-of-view is so strong that the ears to listen (or even consider another option) become clogged with passionate debates. I have met politicians that genuinely want to serve their community and those who are in it for self-gain, and those who are both! Politics is messy but our Founders knew there needed to be some sort of order to protect all citizens and make this a truly great country.
So why am I so passionate at the moment about circling the wagons within the conservative party? Unifying above strict ideology? We are at a serous crossroads in this country. No longer are there rational differences that allow a moderate compromise. No longer are there middle-of-the-road concepts of the governments role in keeping our freedoms as they should be. It’s not just liberal and conservative, right and left. We are in a time when the left want to remove the constraints of our constitution and totally redefine America. There is no longer just a difference between what it means to be limited; there is a real sense that the left wants to control everything through an unlimited and bigger government. That is frightening!
Historians differ on the idea that Ross Perot was the reason George HW Bush didn’t win his 2nd term in the 1992 presidential election. But a decade later, we are in no place to take that same chance. According to our Congressmen in DC, the “fringe” new socialists are far from the exception. The liberal side of the aisle is espousing radical laws, changing rules of conduct and is hell-bent on changing the make-up of our government. There is no loyalty to our constitution and no loyalty to the will of the people. They think they know best and they are ready to take American freedoms to the grave. We are not in a place to debate issues and ideas for solutions, because if you don’t agree you will be labeled with horrific names and shut down. We must be unified as a party and refuse to blink.
I am not saying we shouldn’t be vigilant on vetting our candidates! I’m not saying we should not point out a specific problem or call a legislator (or our President) out when they make a gross mistake. But the constant vague complaints and groans and disparaging remarks have got to stop! We cannot take our tenuous control of the Senate for granted. We cannot lose another House seat in Washington. We cannot lose our super majority in our own state either. Especially with our Initiative Petition process, that makes our states constitution vulnerable to a simple majority vote. We are about to be gerrymandered with “fair” maps, we are about to destroy business growth with a mandated minimum wage and we are going to face a candidate for Governor who will turn our conservative state into a progressive cousin of the east and west coast.
Yes, you can accuse me of being a Party girl. As discouraged as I can be over the inner workings of the party on the right, I have made a consciences decision to support the candidates within the GOP. Even with all its faults, with confusion over what it means to be a conservative, it is the side that aligns closer to my principles and ideas. I will look for Liberty minded candidates and encourage them to run. But this is the season to hold fast to any leads we can hold. Anything close to middle ground is better than the alternative, this is the time for circling our wagons; the opponents are prepared to burn us down!