WASHINGTON, July 15, 2013 — There are very few political situations today that offer a middle ground. Consider the following examples:
1. A member of the county board of commissioners wants to raise homeowners’ taxes by 10 percent over a two-year period. The increased revenues would be used to fund improvements to the condition of local government buildings, even though regular maintenance of such buildings is already allocated in the county budget.
Another commissioner adamantly opposes this move, stating that this would work to discourage others from moving to the county and may spark an exodus by some residents to adjacent counties that have a lower property tax rate. Where is the middle ground?
2. A U.S. Congresswoman co-sponsors a bill to increase Food Stamp (EBT) program benefits as well as extending unemployment benefits. Another Congresswoman opposes this legislation, opting instead to sponsor a bill that would give robust tax incentives to businesses who work with local communities to help train and employ skilled workers.
The latter Congresswoman also produces empirical historical information that shows how a reduction in burdensome regulations and a reduction in the corporate tax rate increases tax revenues that flow to the national treasury. Such actions would help all families, and not restrict the desire to help those who are in dire straits. Where is the middle ground?
3. In the aftermath of a random shooting in a shopping mall, a state legislator introduces a bill to ban possession of firearms by civilians in all public places and privately owned vehicles. The ban would also limit homeowners’ right to a firearm to those who pass an annual state firearm safety class and require that their eyesight is correctible to 20/20.
Another lawmaker, outraged by this proposed legislation, cites the verbiage in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The same lawmaker went on to cite hundreds of local, state and federal statutes already on the books that related directly to irresponsible handling or use of a firearm. The Second Amendment proponent then elaborated a historical perspective of what happens when governments systematically disarm their citizens. Where is the middle ground?
In the three aforementioned examples, the objectives of both parties were almost diametrically opposed. In such cases, you revert to your core principles and make a stand accordingly. It is NOT a time to sing Kumbaya and reach across the aisle.
The Republican Party’s support for personal responsibility, less government control, balanced budgets, less government spending and less burdensome taxation of the private sector is legendary and well established. That being a given, why do Republican political consultants and long tenured Republican lawmakers such as Arizona Sen. John McCain make their legislative focus one of compromise and bipartisanship? The Democratic Party leadership (and collective rank and file) do not compromise on their agenda of MORE government control, MORE government spending, MORE burdensome taxation of the private sector, and LESS personal responsibility for individuals.
Now, more than ever before, there is a distinct philosophical and unambiguous divide between the Liberal (mainly Democrat) and Conservative (mainly Republican) parties. Because there is a large delta separating their overall objectives, Republicans need to reexamine their bedrock principles and decide whether or not they will adhere to them.
Abandoning those principles because of fear of being called a racist, bigot, the party of the rich, or hater of poor people plays right into the hands of your opponents. Your constituents did not elect you to seek popularity in Washington; they elected you to actually do what you swore to do: “Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” If your allegiance is anywhere else, you need to resign.
Elections have consequences. If your party won (as is the case in the U.S. House of Representatives), now is the time for you to follow the will of those who entrusted you with that elected position. Even if your party is in the minority (as is the case in the U.S. Senate), you should still hold the line to resist the agenda of those in the majority. Regardless of where you serve in public office, the people in your city, county, Congressional district, or state expect you to do what they elected you to do. When you have the choice, choose principles over politics.
Remember: Republicans are deluded if they believe they can best serve their constituents with a Democrat Lite marketing strategy.
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