Category Archives: Conservative

Vaccines & Measles: Science, Liberty and Political Lunacy

This is a topic I really wish I never had to discuss and I think there are about a million more relevant than this given the choices, in my opinion, are so clear. Yet after an email exchange with a friend I came to realize there are a couple of important political questions here as well as substantiation of that old question, once again, so it’s time to give this some thought. To make this a little easier let’s look at the three main dimensions of the augment: The Science, Personal Liberty and Political Lunacy (Let’s include media coverage under lunacy):

Vaccines & Measles: Science, Liberty and Political Lunacy

The Science: A One Sided Debate

While I will acknowledge there are some who will vigorously disagree with on this point, rarely has there been a scientific question where the argument is so one sided. Vaccines have saved quite literally billions of lives, mostly in the last century and there is likely no other single medical advancement which has been as impactful to humanity (maybe antibiotics). Given I didn’t get past second year anatomy and physiology in collage I will leave the scientific points to those with letters behind their name, but the medical evidence is near unanimous, and not narrowly, that vaccines reduce illness due to major diseases and there is quite simply no quantitative studies which have been subject to repeatability and critique to support major dangers of taking the vaccine. The worst case is in some cases there is a statistically small chance of getting the underlying condition but in these cases those chances are well below the chances of contracting the condition without the vaccine. My advice to readers is think for yourself, read reliable studies and information and avoid the “junk science” that is pervasive on the internet.

So much for being nice to the scientific community as much of the anti-vaccine feelings can be directly traced to the total failure of the scientific community to make its case. Newsflash, we live in a democracy not a science worshiping totalitarian world. You need to make the case to the people and win their trust no matter how much contempt you seem to have for people (more on this later). In recent weeks I can’t count the number of times I have seen network health/science correspondents and/or TV Doctors say, essentially “get vaccinated because we tell you to”. What makes this totally aggravating is they have the science overwhelmingly on their side. The real skill of science in the media is to distill often complex data and arguments into a persuasive and understandable case without being contemptuous of the people themselves. My best advice if you are even giving just a little consideration to not vaccinating your children (and yes getting adult boosters) is talk to your family physician who we assume you trust (if Obamacare still lets you see them) and have a serious talk with them. This decision is truly one of life and death and if made wrong has Darwin Award written all over it.

Personal Liberty: No Exception to the Sanctity of the Person

Part of the debate in recent weeks has been as to when the state should force people to be vaccinated, my reply is NEVER. Nothing is more values to the very concepts of American Freedom and Liberty as the sanctity of the individuals very body from state intrusion barring the most compelling circumstances (vaccines don’t even come close here). This is a simple bright line test, much as free speech, and the true test is standing up for this right when you think the individual is being an idiot. That being said, choice comes with consequences and those choosing not to vaccinate their children should bear those costs without all the wining. Just as the state can compel an individual to wear eye glasses if they want a diver’s license, States should require vaccines in order to enter any public school. Don’t want to vaccinate your kids, enjoy home schooling all the way through high school. As for private schools and colleges and universities, as private institutions they have the choice of rules to set for attendance and given the enormous litigation risk, I doubt many would allow entry to unvaccinated. As a conservative core to my views is the concept of individual rights and individual responsibility; this is one case where the accountability for your actions lands squarely on you the individual.

Now a lawyer friend responded to this argument when I made it, and I paraphrase “well if your unvaccinated Johnny gives my vaccinated (not all vaccines take) sally the (insert horrible medical condition here) then I should be able to make a civil claim for damages. As I said every choice has consequences and leaving aside the potential difficulty of proving direct person to person causation even at the lower standard of more likely than not, let the jury decide. As I said under science, the onus is on the scientific and medical community to make this case and on that they have failed. Yet just because you have a right, it most certainly does not mean you should exercise that right.

The Political Circus: Lunacy, Lies and our Culture of Celebrity

This is a story made for the 24 hour news cycle and the media is milking it for all its worth. Additionally those on the left and their tools in the media have been quick to blame the conservative Neanderthals. But facts are an inconvenient thing. That noted medical expert and outspoken vaccine opponent Jenny McCarthy based on her time on The View and disclosed political contributions is a Democrat. Indeed the Hollywierd crowd is the source of much of the misinformation on the subject. Now in her defense much of the anti vaccine fear comes from the skyrocketing rates of Autism. The failure to research the causes of this may be the biggest failing of environmental science in the last 3 decades. But if you are getting your medical advice from a TV/Radio host whose leading resume line is former Playboy Playmate then well, you live with the consequences. Now I would hope that GOP presidential contenders would have a better answer to this ambush question than Gov. Chris Christie (pander babble). Rand Paul gave a well thought out replay, as he usually does and while I do not totally agree, it is well conceived. The rest, do some thinking, the reporters from TMZ, MSNBC and the National whatever are lurking in wait!

To all others, please do the smart thing, the right thing and get your kids vaccinated and to us adult, have a conversation with your doctor at your next annual physical about your own vaccination status.

Useful Links:

The Mayo Clinic – Childhood vaccines: Tough questions, straight answers

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/vaccines/art-20048334

The Centers for Disease Control – Measles: Make Sure Your Child Is Protected with MMR Vaccine

http://www.cdc.gov/features/measles/index.html

For a more conservative perspective:

http://www.conservapedia.com/Vaccine

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Filed under Conservative, Liberty, Science

Convictions, Conscience and Political Activism

Those who know me or have read this blog in the past know for the last few years I have, for the most part, gone quiet and withdrawn from the fight.  While getting a little older adds perspective it should also result in your questioning how your beliefs interact with your fellow citizens and more broadly society as a whole. I have never wavered in my core conservative believes. I believe in the individual rights and personal responsibility of the citizen. I believe in a government limited in scope to only those core responsibilities necessary for a free and just society. I believe in the defense of our freedom and those around the world who stand with us in the defense of liberty. What was shaken was my belief in the “conservative” movement and indeed the Republican Party is the internal dramatics which seem bent on self destruction. The 2012 election cycle was a disaster for conservatives and Republicans alike (I believe the two are inseparable), yet I reached the painful conclusion in the waning days of the 2012 campaign that the impending defeat was self inflicted. That the Republican Party with the weight of the conservative movement could not defeat the Obama-Reid-Pelosi Democrats made me question if those groups truly represented my view.

“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”                                                                                                                                                                                   Senator Barry Goldwater, Republican National Convention, 1964

Like many conservatives of my age, my views were rooted in the 1964 campaign of Senator Barry Goldwater, who lost that election just 6 weeks before my birth. Those views were crystallized during my teenage years as the Reagan-Thatcher conservative wave redefined western culture and politics while defeating, at least in the short term, the forces of evil that threatened the very existence of individual liberty. I believe in simplicity for it is that which can adapt to the unforeseen and provide direction in times of crisis. Conservatism is simply limited government, personal freedom and responsibility as well as the defense of those values against all those who seek to defeat them. For me, that is the test I apply to any political question. However in the early part of this century that direction seemed to be lost within the conservative movement and most certainly in our elected represent ivies.

At the elected level Republicans took on the character of “Big Government Conservatives”, a fundamental contradiction of terms that defies reason or logic. However of greater concern the conservative movement began to be dominated by those who sought to used government power to achieve their parochial agendas rather than to limit government’s interference in the ability of the individual to achieve those most basic of American values: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. I grew up in an age where conservative leaders were “happy warriors”, driving forward an agenda to improve the lives of people by improving mutual prosperity while limiting government interference in the lives of the citizen. We earnestly believed that our policies represented the best path for the largest number of people while still protecting those who needed a hand up.  By the middle of the last decade some claiming the mantle of leadership of the conservative movement had become decidedly nasty. Indeed many were advocating government activism to advance their respective special interest agenda at the very expense of the liberty of the individual.

The election of 2008 seemed to erase those issues as we were reminded that conservatives and Republicans of differing perspectives were not the political foes, the most left wing President and congressional majority in the history of the Republic were. The rise of the tea party movement, the most effective grass roots effort sense the Sons of Liberty in the 1770’s, united the right and in 2010 resulted in the largest congressional reversal in a century. For a time it seemed like order had been restored and rational conservatism was again in the majority of the body politic. Then came the 2012 GOP presidential campaign and the gates of the asylum were opened as one of the most internally destructive political races in memory resulted in the election of the politically weakest incumbent Presidents in a century (Yes, Jimmy Carter was politically weaker – his own party was fatally divided – but in the wake of Obamacare this incumbent should have been doomed).  For me it was late summer of 2012, convention season, when I first realized that the damage was done and like a freight train rumbling down the tracks toward a washed out bridge, the GOP nominee was headed to defeat. To be honest, there were many contributing factors leading to Mitt Romney’s loss, but in my opinion the divisive and indeed hateful soundtrack of the 2012 primary campaign resulted in the eventual outcome.  Political fratricide is so illogical and irrational that it borders on the insane. Thus my crisis of conscience and belief began.

“Purity in martyrdom is for suicide bombers. King Pyrrhus is remembered, but his nation disappeared. Winston Churchill set aside his lifetime loathing of Communism in order to fight World War II. Challenged as a hypocrite, he said that when the safety of Britain was at stake, his “conscience became a good girl.” We are at such a moment. I for one have no interest in standing in the wreckage of our Republic saying “I told you so” or “You should’ve done it my way.” “                                    Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, CPAC 2011, February 11, 2011

Politics without principles is a dangerous thing and I have always believed that a leaders beliefs and convictions were not only more critical but a better prediction of success than policy specifics. Going back to my earlier reference to simplicity, the conservative-libertarian-Republican right’s failure can , my opinion, be laid almost entirely on the movement forgetting two of Ronald Reagan’s foundational rules of politics: the so called 11th Commandment “thou shall not speak ill of a fellow republican” and his 80/20 rule on those who agree on 80 percent are friends rather than enemies for disagreeing on 20. We saw a presidential campaign where those who stood no chance of ever being elected president were elevated by a media set of ratings, and more than a little leftist dirty tricks agenda, as they spewed hate filled attacks of fellow candidates in the name of “real conservatism”. In life I have very little sympathy for those who are the “victims” of deliberate self inflicted wounds, in politics it is unforgivable.

Honesty time, I have a soft spot for internet politics, these words appear as such. However the apparent anonymity that the internet provides many of all political persuasions brings out the worst in many as they utter words they most likely (we hope) would never say face to face. Rather than improve transparency and increase dialogue among citizens, the internet has turned places like twitter and facebook into digital MMA Cage Fights: anything goes and the consequences are irrelevant when compared to the number of “likes” and “retweets”, where number of followers determines the virtue of the words. While entertaining when bored, this is not a recipe for either intellectual or electoral success; it brings into question the virtue of the author. A few years into the internet era I abandoned the use of usernames, where the technology allows, and only write under my own name. Only where there is a very real threat to the use of a real name exists, and those are rare indeed, is there value in anonymous words.

Yet the problem is deeper and more fundamental than simply the words, it seems like many have suspended that part of the brain that questions the motivation of the speaker. The air waves are filled with so many voices of conservative thought (there would be leftist voices if only they could get ratings – think Air America) yet perversely those voices do dramatically better economically if the Republican party fails. Bill Clinton was a financial windfall for many conservative hosts only to be surpassed by Barack Obama. Now I am not saying all these hosts are motivated only by money and as a believer in free market capitalism I support entrepreneurism. However it is the listeners who seem at times to turn off their own brains. Politics, like government itself, must gain its intellectual legitimacy from the people, not the hangers on to the process.

Lastly we come to the question of purity. While we all like to be in a room full of people who agree with us totally, it soon becomes apparent that those conversations provide little intellectual challenge. Politically it is death. The hard core reality of politics in America is philosophically there exists no pure majority in our politics. I do believe there is a fundamental conservative undercurrent, especially on the role of government, but that is not enough to form a governing majority. If we learn nothing else from the lessons of recent years, divided government achieves nothing but delaying hard choices (think Social Security, Debt…). Governing majorities are created, built from individual building blocks of points of agreement between individuals. Ronald Reagan understood this. Those who truly remember the 1980’s know he didn’t get all he wanted. Yet even with Democrats controlling at least one chamber of Congress his entire presidency he arguably achieved more than any conservative in modern memory (yes I know a strong case can be made for Thatcher, but the message would be the same). It is time we must decide do we want a government consistent with conservative values that only gets 80 (OK, maybe 90) percent; or do we want leftist majorities which give us more like Obamacare. Winning and electability are not bad words, intellectual dishonesty is much darker.

We now find ourselves in the middle of the 2016 Presidential campaign and yes it is very much underway. We on the right will be facing a left united behind Hillary Clinton in a way no party has in a century. I have concluded that this is the fight that will define much of the rest of my life. If the left wins Obamacare will be permanent, Clinton Immigration reform will change the nature of America (full disclosure, I am an Immigrant, an American by Choice) and the economics of envy so common in Socialist Europe will come to our shores.  This is a fight no true believer can stand by and watch. For me it is a challenge to stand by my principles, convictions and respect for others while helping in some small way preserving  America as the land of personal freedom and liberty: home of an exceptional people.

Let the fight be joined.

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Filed under 2016 Election, Conservative, Politics, Republican Party

Mitt Romney: A Conservative’s Dilemma

If one were to be casting a President for a high budget Hollywood thriller, Mitt Romney is the person you would cast. His resume, his look, his family and his political presence are just about perfect. Having taken the time to read his economic policy, even though I take issue with a few points, it is perhaps the most well thought out I have ever seen from any presidential candidate. In interviews and debates it is clear he has a command of the issues and background few non-incumbent candidates have ever had before the first primary. At a time when America faces tremendous economic challenges, his business and economic background appear to be a perfect fit for the times. Sure his time as a private equity job cutter would be fodder for the Obama 2012 attack machine, but all Americans know the real world economy is a tough place. While other candidates have challenged him, and in some cases passed him for the GOP front runner, Mitt just cruses along in the low to mid 20 percent range, almost rock solid. Add to that a campaign financial war chest which is unmatched among the GOP contenders and Mitt Romney would seem to be almost inevitable. Almost.

GOP Frontrunner in Waiting, Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney

So why is it that the GOP, and particularly its conservative base, has not rallied around Romney? Even more puzzling is that in 2008 when John McCain appeared to be on the verge of taking the nomination, conservatives and conservative media personalities tried to rally around Romney in the Stop McCain movement. What a difference 4 years makes. The cliché answer is the similarities between Obamacare and Romneycare. The fundamental difference between 2008 and 2012 is the enactment of the single most unpopular act of social engendering in American Political history. The democrats and President Obama drank their own Kool-Aid and passed their central government focused healthcare reform on the belief that once passed the American people would like what they saw. Instead the people shocked them and the more they saw, the more they disliked the Democrat healthcare plan. The result was one of the biggest midterm butt slappings in the last century. Now even a casual observer would have known Mitt Romney had some explaining to do. Indeed there are some major differences not the least of which is that the Massachusetts plan was a state plan, not federal and as such no unconstitutional. We conservatives have always believed in the 10th Amendment and Romney care may well have been appropriate for Massachusetts which had a solidly democratic legislature.

Yet this spring when Mitt Romney gave his much anticipated speech on healthcare reform, it was like watching a bad PowerPoint presentation by a Chief Financial Officer trying to explain away a bad quarter with double talk. I must admit watching it with great anticipation and figuring that day I would fall in behind team Romney and support his candidacy. Instead I saw a technocrat trying to explain away the similarities of the two programs without distancing himself from his signature achievement as Governor of Massachusetts. As George Will recently said, the GOP had found itself a Massachusetts Technocrat Governor; in Mitt Romney we have our Michael Dukakis. Now I have been reading George Will since I was in High School (that would be before Reagan was President) and even I was taken aback by that characterization. Mitt Romney is far more charismatic and I believe honestly passionate about his candidacy than that other Governor. Yet in that article was the core issue with Mitt Romney; the more I see him the more I feel he is a designer candidate. Created by committee and focus group tested.

Recently a quote of Winston Churchill struck me as relevant to considering Mitt Romney, “I shall not be deterred from doing what I am convinced is right by the fact that I have thought differently about it in some distant past”. That Mitt Romney has seen his positions evolve over time does not in and of itself bother me. I have struggled over the question of the rights of the unborn for a year until ultimately concluding life begins at conception as much on scientific grounds as moral (a discussion for another time). Yet when you look at Mitt Romney’s positions over the years you just come away with the feeling changing polls had as much to do with this evolution as did intellectual consideration. I wish Mitt would just sit down and truly speak from his heart, less polished, and explain why he has changed over time. For gosh sakes, Ronald Reagan voted for FDR, more than once!. Most conservative not only would understand his changing views as many of us have changed over times (OK, most to a lesser extent).

Mitt Romney’s candidacy is not without significant strengths from a conservative perspective. The Romney family seems genuinely loving and well grounded as does his marriage, a fact not lost on many conservatives in comparison to others in this campaign. Romney is by far the best campaigner in the race, with only Rick Santorum as comfortable in front of the camera during debates. One can almost smell the fear from Team Obama 2012 at the prospect of facing Romney in the fall of 2012. As one who believes the defeat of President Obama is crucial to the future of America, electability is no small consideration. My fear is some of my conservative friends have been drinking our own flavor of Kool Aid and believe anyone can will next year. While I think 2012 is now a Republican year to loose, it can be lost.

So what does Mitt Romney have to do to convince me, and I think many conservatives, that he has earned the privilege of being the nominee of the party of Lincoln and Reagan? Mitt Romney has to show me that what he says he believes in his heart. That he shares the same conservative vision of the Future of America that we do, and is not just regurgitating campaign slogans. I would tell Governor Romney to go face to face with your conservative critics and leave the private equity sales pitch behind. Show us the values that helped raise a great family. Governor Romney, it is as much the vision thing as anything. The real vision thing. Conservatives have been sold a bill of goods before by fast talking back slapping wanna-be conservatives more than once. The question is, are you the real deal.

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Filed under 2012 Election, Conservative, Mitt Romney, Obama Administration, Politics, Republican Party, The Grand Old Party, The White House

The Republican No New Taxes Pledge and the Vilification of Grover Norquist

As the Congressional so called “Super Committee” is on the verge of its most predictable failure, Obama administration representatives and congressional democrats are abuzz with their claims that its failure to achieve results is because Republicans will not agree to new taxes. Additionally they have begun to personally vilify the creator of the modern Taxpayer Protection Pledge and leader of American’s for Tax Reform Grover Norquist. All of this has been adopted as a basis the narrative of the day by the Democrat’s tools in the media and blasted across the airwaves. Yet lost in the liberal diatribe is the base question, are the American people truly under taxed or has government expanded beyond the levels the American people desire. Additionally all Americans should be outraged when the state adopts a coordinated attempt to impugn the character and reputation of a single private citizen in the way the Obama administration and their supporters in congress have.

Leading Democrat on the Deficit Super Committee, Senator John Kerry

While many throw around the “No New Taxes Pledge” in interviews and writings, few seem to have read the actual Taxpayer Protection Pledge. In the 112th Congress, 238 Representatives (including 2 Democrats) and 41 Senators (including 1 Democrat) signed the pledge BEFORE the 2010 election. The pledge itself is relatively simple and straightforward stating:

“I, (candidate’s name) pledge to the taxpayers of the (insert district) district of the state of (insert state) and to the American People that I will:

ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and

TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”

The pledge is signed before the election and far from being hidden or part of any back room deal; virtually all who take it proudly feature it as a key part of their election campaigns. This is not a pledge to some special interest group; it is a pledge to the American people and specifically those voters who send the member in question to Washington. What is really shocking is the way in which the Democrat establishment and their media friends seem shocked when elected representatives actually keep their promises to their electors. One can only assume that keeping ones word to voters is a concept which President Obama and the majority of congressional democrats are not in any way familiar.

Levels of Federal Government Spending and Taxation since 1960 projected to 2021 (source: The Heritage Foundation)

The real question, the ones the Democrats seem unwilling to really address, is the unprecedented increase in federal government spending under the administration of President Obama. While they stand in front of the television cameras claiming to support expenditure cuts, President Obama runs around the country demanding support for his “Stimulus 2 Jobs Bill” which would be funded with additional tax hikes. America is in the midst of the longest and most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression and the Democrat solution is tax increases, which flies in the face of almost ever accepted economic theory. Additionally, if the is second stimulus works as well as the first, the American people may want dig a hole in the back yard and hide because the economic consequences may be catastrophic.

The Leftist Class Warfare Myth that "Taxing the Rich" solves Deficits (source: The Heritage Foundation)

The democrats hold to the myth that they can tax only the “rich” to solve the deficit problem. But the reality is there simply are not enough rich tax payers to tax away the problem and the middle class will have to be taxed to balance the books if Democrats are given their way. We will leave aside that increased taxation on the upper income levels has often produced lower revenues due to capital flight and reduced investment (a story for another day). What the Obama Democrats are doing is attempting to make permanent the record level of peace time spending they have established by putting in place new taxes to sustain it. The only way to get America out of the current economic mess is to fire up the private sector which has always been the true engine of economic growth in this country. One need only look to the current economic turmoil in Europe to see that higher taxation is not a solution to government overspending; it simply feeds the beast of government excess.

This brings us to the unprecedented attacks by the Obama White House and his congressional Democrats on Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. It seems whenever the left wants something they need to create a villain of the day, and to give them cover for the failure of the “Super Committee” they have found Norquist. To be clear, I do not know Grover Norquist, have only met him in person in passing at CPAC meetings and have never contributed to Americans for Tax Reform (something I may have to reconsider). It is outrageous that the full power of the federal government, as controlled by its chief executive, the President would target the destruction of the character and reputation of a private citizen. One is drawn back to the late 90’s when operatives of then President Clinton tried to discredit a certain former intern as “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty” until a blue dress emerged with Clinton’s DNA making that a dead line of attack. Now Norquist is the target because the leftist Democrats know attacking the Republicans directly for keeping their word to their electors by honoring the Taxpayer Protection Pledge has never worked in the end.

It’s time the media who so often lament politicians who come to Washington and forget the promises they made to voters, point out that those rejecting new taxes today are simply keeping their word. Elections matter, a fact conservatives and Republicans had to accept after the 2006 and 2008 elections. Unfortunately the Democrats failed to show the American people their way worked and in 2010 the people revoked their mandate. Republicans were elected overwhelmingly with open support of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. For Republicans to accept higher levels of taxation for Americans now would not only be bad policy, it would be a breach of their commitments to their voters. If the Democrats want higher overall taxation in America to support their expansion of the Federal Government, they should run on that platform in 2012. Maybe Walter Mondale’s campaign manager is available to help them.

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Filed under 2010 Election, 2012 Election, Budget, Congress, Conservative, Grover Norquist, Media, National Debt, Obama Administration, Politics, Republican Party, Spending, Taxes, United States House of Representatives, US Senate

On Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment: Thou Shall Not Speak Ill of a Fellow Republican

At times it is easy to remember those days in the 80’s when Ronald Reagan was in the White House as some idealized time when the Republican Party was lead by the now iconic leader who has come to define the modern Republican Party. But the truth is the same divides which exist within the party today were present, and simmering below the surface in The Gipper’s days. What today would be called moderate Republicans, or less politely RINO’s, were then Rochefeller or Country Club Republicans. In fact the 11th Commandment dates back to the 1966 California Governor’s race and was in part a response to the vicious primary attacks in 1964 which left the eventual GOP nominee Barry Goldwater scared and made it easier for the Johnson campaign to pick up upon themes started by Republicans to defeat Goldwater in November 1964.

The 2012 Republican Presidential Contenders

The idea is politically sound. While differences in policy and capability are the foundation of any primary race and indeed our very democracy, our party should avoid the kind of personal attacks which can leave our eventual nominee damaged in the general election. Those of us who remember the 1980 election which first brought Reagan to the White House recall how the Carter Campaign repeatedly attacked Reagan’s platform as “Voodoo” Economics. Carter’s operatives were quick to point out that it was George H.W. Bush, then Reagan’s running mate, who had first applied the label to Reagan’s economic plan. Taken to its extreme, this kind of intraparty attacks can result in a political circular firing squad (a Democratic Party specialty) which makes the Lefts job of defeating Republicans so much easier.

I can almost hear some readers screaming “we have been fooled by these RINO before and we won’t let it happen again under the disguise of political politeness”. On the contrary, conservatives have won their dominant position in the Republican Party on the force of our ideas, not personal attacks. The media loves a good mud bath, its good ratings, and will always focus on the personal rather than thoughtful policy. As conservatives we will secure control of the GOP at the primary ballot box. But we must ensure whoever wins those primaries, they are in the best position to take the fight to the Democrats, and not scared by their own party.

To those who scream they would rather have a Democrat than a Republican that is not 100 percent to their liking; that thinking helped put Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan on the United States Supreme Court. I am not arguing for policy moderation. We as conservatives have fought for half a century to secure our policies define the Republican Party. When in the first half of the last decade a GOP congress and president forgot those Conservative values, not only did we see fiscal discipline vanish and deficits skyrocket, we saw the GOP returned to the minority and the White House lost. We must win the battle of ideas within the party, but we must do it on the strength of those ideas, not by personal attacks for they just leave all involved diminished.

What brought me to write this was my profound disappointment over comments by the Governor of Texas yesterday calling Mitt Romney a “fat cat” due to his personal financial wealth. It is absurd that any Republican would engage in the exact behavior we condemned when President Obama waged class warfare over the past few months. If a candidate cannot win the primaries on the strength of their ideas, even when contrasted with their opponents, they do not deserve to win. When they stoop to personal attacks against fellow republicans, they do not deserve our votes.

So today I stand on my soap box and ask all Republicans running for nominations at every level, stick to ideas and policy, and leave the trash talking personal attacks to the left. To my fellow conservatives and Republicans I encourage you to take personal responsibility not only in your words, but with your vote by letting those who would forget Reagan’s 11th Commandment know that they can forget your vote. The stakes are too high in 2012 for us to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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Filed under 2012 Election, Conservative, Democracy, Leadership, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republican Party, Rick Perry, Ronald Reagan, The Grand Old Party, The White House