WASHINGTON, September 28, 2013 — With so many voters embittered over Beltway politics, a new generation of candidates running for city and state offices have emerged across the nation, promising liberty-themed platforms. Combined with rapid advances in mobile communications technology and internet social media, agenda-setting power in America appears to be shifting to non-federal political candidates and local grassroots movements.
In the past, national influence and political prestige was relative to the office held or sought by a public personality. Today, anyone with a smartphone and a popular message can trigger tectonic political shifts. One such woman who is changing the national dialogue and rising quickly in conservative circles is Tammy Blair, a Texas mother of three running for her state’s senate.
Blair shared in an exclusive interview her thoughts about D.C. policies and how as a determined voice, she and a growing coalition of voters are working to restore prosperity and freedom in America.
Danny de Gracia: Tammy, you’re running as a Republican senate candidate in Texas, tell our readers a little bit about yourself and why you decided to run for office and what got you into politics. What makes someone want to seek political life?
Tammy Blair: I’m 50, married for 23 years with three mostly grown children. My day job is controller – for 11 years – for a manufacturing company in Tyler. So I know about making a payroll and running a small business. I also know how multiple taxes and the myriad of regulations affect business and make it hard to provide jobs to the community.
As for politics, I was Vice President of the Young Republicans on my campus when I was an undergrad. Then I got rather busy with graduate school and then kids and career. But in 2009 I helped found a local Tea Party, which I chaired for two years. I very much enjoyed being a conservative activist. I’m pretty outspoken normally anyway. I guess it fits me.
DDG: It seems like state-level legislation in Texas have broader implications for national policy in a way that other states do not, an example being that in 2012, the Texas legislature introduced bills that proposed nullifying indefinite detention as well as the controversial airport security practices by the TSA.
So in effect, you have state legislators in Texas changing the national policy narrative more than even some elected members of U.S. Congress. If you were elected to office, how would you approach the state and federal issues?
Blair: I’m what some call an “originalist” in that I hold to the Constitution as written and ratified. In that respect, I believe strongly in the autonomy and independence of each state. I think that those policy narratives come from legislators that understand federalism and the proper role of government.
If legislators from other states or even Congress have been affected, then I think it’s because they were reminded of the principles that first attracted them into public service in the first place. It’s easy to forget those principles when surrounded by those who don’t hold them to be important. So it’s important to keep in touch with the people.
If I were elected, I would continue in that vein in every way that I could. I would like to help restore the rightful relationship between Texas and the general government. As I see it, most folks pay way too much attention to that group of politicians on the Potomac.
They should be paying much more attention to their own state government. If your state government is doing its job, then you don’t have as much to worry about from a bunch of legislators thousands of miles away.
This country was never intended to become the Leviathan it has turned into. Resistance to tyranny is still a virtue in my book, and a requirement for state legislators. It seems that “career politicians” are more interested in going along to get along. We’ll never fix any of our problems unless we’re willing to make a few waves.
DDG: Let’s talk a little bit about “conservatism” and the Republican Party. It seems like the GOP is looking for an identity at this point so candidates like yourself are basically the driver for public perception of the party brand. What do you think about the concept of conservatism? Is being a Republican the same as being a conservative?
Blair: I believe that conservatives are the answer to Republican woes right now. From what I’ve seen, the base is more conservative than not. Particularly in Texas, the base is very conservative. And it’s the base that provides the party platform and gets the boots on the ground to make it all happen.
If the base becomes disenchanted we have a problem, which could result in a split. I don’t think anyone wants to go there in this political climate.
Being a Republican is not the same as being conservative. You know, I’ve seen lots of candidates (incumbents) claim to be “conservative” because they know that it gets votes. But a look at their “legislative scorecard” tells another story!
Conservatives don’t vote to raise taxes and increase regulations at every turn. They don’t grow the government, but look for ways to limit its involvement in the affairs of man.
DDG: What do Texans think about NAFTA?
Blair: That answer has three parts. Firstly, I’ve heard from truckers that they aren’t happy that trucks coming in from Mexico don’t have to follow the same rules they do. Since the U.S. was founded partly on equal justice for all, it’s not reasonable that the rules don’t apply equally.
And secondly, the “free” doesn’t necessarily work for Americans. For example, one area businessman told me that he doesn’t trade much in Canada because there’s a 25 percent tariff on his products going there.
And thirdly, it’s all part of the globalist push for the “North American Union.” I haven’t talked to a single soul that wants part of any arrangement that makes our Constitution less than the law of the land. International treaties that usurp our own law are illegal, regardless of which president or congress passes it.
DDG: What do you think about Obamacare?
Blair: I think it’s a nightmare that’s being shoved down our throats. Government created all the problems that have resulted in higher health costs. More government isn’t going to solve them. The bureaucracy alone will be so incredibly costly that it will eat money like a well-oiled slot machine!
We have to remember that all those government workers in that bureaucracy will get salaries — in many cases higher than the private sector can afford to pay — and have guaranteed retirement benefits! So how much will we have to feed that bureaucracy to get decent health care? Too much! Then there’s the matter of having government officials making decisions that only doctors and patients should make.
I hear this administration talking about medical care being a “right” and it frightens me how many people buy into that. I believe that before you decide that something is a “right” you have to first ask yourself “at whose expense?”
Neither the medicines, tests or services come from nature. All are produced or provided by another human being. Therefore, all must be paid for. Forcing another to provide goods or services for “free” is slavery.
DDG: Regarding education, what’s your thoughts on No Child Left Behind? How would you rate Texas public education right now? Would you seek to change anything if elected?
Blair: I don’t see anything coming from the national government that is worth having, and certainly not educational directives. And history proves that spending more money doesn’t do anything but raise taxes.
I have been so unhappy with Texas public education that my kids attended private schools for most of their school years. Oh, there are some fabulous teachers! But they’re being bogged down with reports and “testing” that are making it hard to be educators.
We are watching teens drop out, get pregnant and get on drugs. I believe that a big part of that is our educational system. The cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all education doesn’t work for kids. At the end of the day, our children aren’t being educated for life, and that’s unacceptable.
DDG: Last but not least, is there anything you’d like to tell our readers in D.C.?
Blair: Read history and get back to the Constitution. Failure to do so will result in the complete destruction of everything that this country is about. No doubt the people have slumbered in their comforts. But that won’t last. A good friend of mine has a t-shirt that says “the founding fathers have awakened, and they want their country back.”
I’ve heard it said that our Constitution is a “charter of negative liberties”. The fact of the matter is that our Constitution was intended to bind down the national government and prevent it from becoming just what it has become.
The design of the founders has been despised and trampled underfoot by vain and aspiring men who have had their eye fixed on one supreme desire: absolute dominion and control. But it’s not going to work here.
We who love liberty will not go away. We will not stop. We will not go quietly into the night. Believe it.
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