Daily Archives: January 29, 2010

BEWARE Conservatives, Thoroughly vet your candidates!

With all the euphoria that has resulted from the recent Senate victory in Massachusetts conservatives are acting like a 6 yr. old with a sugar rush. I am as happy as anyone with Scott Brown’s victory but I am not ready to anoint him the savior of the conservative movement – nor should anyone else. Clearly, he was the best choice in that race but what do we really know about his policy positions? Recently, I have heard people say that maybe he could be a presidential candidate in the near future. Maybe he could, but for all we know he might be more like Olympia Snowe than Ronald Reagan. 

My point is this. There are many people with political ambitions who will come out of the woodwork and try to ride the “conservative wave” to get elected. As responsible citizens it is our duty to thoroughly vet these people the same way an employer would a job applicant. After all, they are applying for the job of representing us. Therefore, we need to know where they come from, what they have done and what kind of experience they bring to the job. Yet most importantly, we need to understand the content of their character, their values and their beliefs. Do their words, match their life story? 

I am not suggesting that candidates need to be perfect, nobody is perfect. We all have made mistakes but – have we learned from them, have we corrected the problem, have we grown? Political leaders are people too. We should not place them on a pedestal. That said, the unknown candidates, the new names and the old ones all deserve a reasonable level of scrutiny. They are going to represent you and shape the policies that will determine the direction of our country. It is a pretty important job.

Successful, intelligent and ethical individuals who have lived a “normal” life and made common mistakes shy away from throwing their hat in the ring. The personal sacrifices that they and their families must make are often too steep a price to pay for the privilege of serving ones’ country, state or community.

Ironically, character is often what is most lacking in today’s political leaders. Yet the very mistakes, trials and tribulations that become the subject of scrutiny are often the life changing experiences that build character and moral fiber. 

Then of course, there are the games, compromises and the abandonment of values that seems to be a requirement of “getting anything done.”  True leaders do not abandon their values.

Today’s politicians have become largely a collection of “actors’ playing the part of leaders. They have self serving agendas that are equally split between their personal goals and repaying debts to those who supported their candidacy. Most are career politicians who have made a job out of “public service”. We don’t need politicians – we need leaders!

So how do we change this trend? How do we get real leaders and statesmen to get involved in government again? Let’s start electing real people with character, ethics, morals and flaws, who were forged in the real world under fire.

We need:

  • principled men and women who are willing to represent the values of their constituents and do what’s best for their country, their state or community
  • true leaders that will not mortgage our future for short term victories or sell their values to the highest bidder in exchange for support on an item they want
  • leaders who have common sense, love their country and believe in the American dream

These are the things a thorough vetting process will uncover. We need to avoid the embarrassment of trotting out candidates with a closet full of skeletons if we are going to win back the hearts and minds of the American people. Just think about how you felt as this and previous administrations rolled out clown after clown who didn’t pay their taxes, had in appropriate relationships with lobbyists, etc., etc. 

Plus it is easy to see where pretty words and soaring rhetoric has got us. In 2008, if people had done their homework we might not have the mess we do right now. (By the way I am not saying McCain would have been much better.) There was information everywhere that would have predicted that President Obama was a progressive not a centrist democrat. However, all the evidence was overlooked because the country “wanted change they could believe in”. These were empty words carefully scripted to inspire a belief in the coming utopia rather than deal with the reality of our national problems. There were no concrete plans or explanations on how they would actually fix the problems just promises of better days for all. 

This is no longer about democrats or republicans, both are political machines more interested in their goals for power than in solving the nation’s issues or following the Constitution. This is about leaders, national values, freedom, liberty and security. Being a conservative is not about being against liberals or progressives. Being a conservative should be about subscribing to a set of values and living those values. As a result this will often place us at odds with liberals and progressives ideologically. 

Conservatives also need to take a hard look at the old guard of the Republican Party as well. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, and Colin Powell are “progressives” masquerading as Republicans or conservatives. Others who deserve additional scrutiny are Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich. Some of these suddenly resurgent old guards have been on the wrong side of multiple issues proving they are not real conservatives. These people are proof that party labels no longer mean much. Do not be fooled – a Republican victory in 2010 is not a guarantee of a return to a more Constitutional based approach to government or conservative values. We must vet every candidate, find out what is behind their words and evaluate their past actions. 

Wake up Conservatives, it is far too early to claim victory or start counting the seats we will win back. Now is the time to carefully choose our candidates and build the platform agenda for the future of America.

 Restore the Republic, Reject the Agenda of the Progressive Left!

“Come forward, then, and give us the aid of your talents and the weight of your character towards the new establishment of republicanism.” –Thomas Jefferson to Robert Livingston, 1800.