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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Founders as Standard

The Virginia Republican Convention took place in Richmond this past weekend.  It nominated three men of character to run for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and for Attorney General.  Ken Cuccinelli, Earl Jackson, and Mark Obenshain are not only men of integrity, they are dedicated to the principles of the Founders. 

In spite of this, they were immediately attacked as extremists.  Because the Democrats have difficulty debating on the issues, they resort to personal attacks.  When your policies fail, your ideas are old, and your candidate for governor is ethically challenged, your only recourse is to attack the messenger.  If this election was limited to issues, the election would be over.  But the politics of personal destruction launched by the Democrats during the Bill Clinton administration, continue to this day. 

So what about the personal attack that the Republican ticket is extremist?  Is that true?  And, on what basis do the Democrats argue that the Virginia GOP ticket is not in the mainstream?  We have a standard by which we can judge whether any candidate for public office in the United States is extreme.  That standard is the values, ideals, and principles of our Founders.

I have done a little research to see what, if anything the Founders said applies to the views of the two dominant parties in the United States and, more specifically, to the Virginia 2013 election.  As best I could, I have tried to accurately represent the views of the Democrats, the Republicans and the Founders on the important issues of the day.  You may be surprised to see how visionary the Founders were in seeing issues that would continue to arise in the political sphere.

There are distinct differences between the Democrats running for statewide office in Virginia and the Republicans running for those same positions.  I encourage you to compare the views of the Democrats and the Republicans with those of the Founders.  Once you have done that you can decide for yourself who are the extremists, and who is aligned with the Founder’s principles.

Issue Democrats Republicans Founders
Public Debt The Commonwealth of Virginia has a balanced budget amendment.  The budget must be balanced.  However, if the Democratic statewide candidates have a personal commitment to a balanced budget, it would run contrary to the national Democratic Party and President Obama who had no fear of deficit spending.  Because Virginia requires a balanced budget, the Democrat’s solution is nearly always higher taxes, not more efficiency in government or reduced government intrusion into the lives of its citizens. Virginia Republicans believe in a balanced budget through limited government and low taxes.  As Governor, Ken Cuccinelli would never raise taxes.  The entire ticket believes that higher taxes would hurt the economy of the state. 

"I place…public debt as the great danger to be feared.  To preserve your independence, we must not let our leaders load us with perpetual debt.  We must make our choice between economy and liberty... or profusion and servitude."

--Thomas Jefferson

"There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation.  One is by sword. The other is by debt."

–John Adams

"Avoid likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear."

--George Washington

Right to Bear Arms Like President Obama, Virginia Democrats claim to be supportive of the right to keep and bear arms, but their support of this right is driven primarily by their fear of political defeat, not by a principled commitment to own and use firearms. The Republican team is genuinely supportive of your right to keep and bear arms.  They would propose any legislation that would infringe on your right to keep and bear arms.

Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth.

--George Washington

"No free man shall ever be de-barred the use of arms.  The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

--Thomas Jefferson

“The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good.”

--George Washington

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

–James Madison
Taxes The current Democrat candidates for statewide office claim that they will be fiscally responsible, but that can accurately be interpreted as raising taxes to cover expanded spending.  Every Democrat Governor of Virginia in recent history has been a big spending governor. The Republican candidates for statewide office believe that taxes are too high, not too low as the Democrats think.  They believe high taxes destroy jobs and hurt the economy. 

"Taxation follows public debt, and in its train, wretchedness, and oppression."

--Thomas Jefferson

"The power to tax is the power to destroy."

--John Marshall

Media Bias The Democrats do not believe there is any media bias.  Why should they?  The Virginia news media, along with The Washington Post act as attack dogs for the Democrats. Republicans do not trust the news media.  Much reporting is biased in favor of the Democrats.  Running for office is always an uphill battle if you are a conservative Republican.

"The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors."

--Thomas Jefferson
Free Speech Politically Correct Speech is endorsed and supported by Democrats The Republican ticket believes in free speech, not PC speech that intimidates and limits the freedom of Virginia citizens.

"In those wretched countries where a man cannot call his tongue his own, he can scarce call anything his own.  Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech."

--Benjamin Franklin

Like President Obama, Virginia Democrats see government as a force for good.  They do not fear large government, but welcome it.  “Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices are doing their best to gum up the works.  They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”

--Barack Obama
All three members of the Virginia Republican ticket believe in the Founder’s vision of limited, Constitutional Government.  Like the Founders, they understand the danger of big, powerful government that usurps individual freedom.  Their record is one of fighting for minimal government and maximum individual freedom.

"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse."

--James Madison

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

--George Washington

“When the government fears the people there is liberty; when the people fear the government there is tyranny.”

--Thomas Jefferson

Values National Democrats, led by President Obama, support abortion on demand, gay marriage, oppose posting of the Ten Commandments, prayer in schools, seemingly condone extramarital sex (Bill Clinton), and forcing God and prayer out of the public square.  The Virginia Democrat team has not repudiated these positions by nearly every prominent national Democrat. Virginia Republicans are strongly pro-life (oppose abortion and infanticide). They support marriage between a man and a woman, support posting of The Ten Commandments and prayer in school, support the free exercise of prayer in the public square.

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

John Adams

"Bad men cannot make good citizens.  It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains.  A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles."

--Patrick Henry

It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.

--George Washington

Ballot Integrity As reported by NBC Channel 4, Washington, “The requirements were updated by the Republican General Assembly this year and decried by Democrats and minorities as a voter suppression effort. The legislation requires voters to present valid identification at the polls.”  Polls show that such cards are favored by Republicans, Democrats and Independents as well as black and Hispanic voters, yet Democrats continue to resist such efforts.  A cynic might believe that the reason is that it would impede voter theft efforts. In May 2012, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed a ballot security bill into law that was opposed by the Democrats and supported by Republicans.  The bill was co-sponsored in the State Senate by Mark Obenshain, Republican candidate for Attorney General.  The entire Republican ticket believes in protecting the integrity of the ballot for all Virginia citizens. While there was no public plebiscite in the 1700s, the Founders were men of character and integrity.  It is very hard to imagine that they would oppose using any means available to make sure that the public would have confidence in the integrity of the voting process.
Highway Construction The Democrats emphasize mass transit at the expense of road and highway construction.  Their goal is to force people out of their cars.  They support leaving tolls on highways to pay for mass transit after the capital cost of the highways have been retired.  The Democrats support using only union labor to build highways and mass transit at an additional cost of tens of millions of dollars to taxpayers. Republicans have initiated imaginative approaches to highway construction including HOT lanes, the widening of I66 by one lane, and private highway construction and ownership.  They do not favor raising taxes to pay for mass transit or highway construction.  They also oppose burdening taxpayers with additional costs due to the use of union contractors only.  Instead, they believe in hiring the lowest cost, qualified contractor to do the work. There are no pertinent thoughts by the Founders on road construction, but they firmly believed in free markets, and would have been opposed to any social engineering such as forcing people out of their automobiles.

Virginia Democrat candidates have not distanced themselves from President Obama who said…

“It [the Warren Court] didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution…that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.”

--Illinois State Senator Barack Obama

Ken Cuccinelli, as Virginia Attorney General, defended the rights of Virginia citizens against the encroachment of growing Federal power when he filed suit against Obamacare.  Mark Obenshain, candidate for Attorney Generalhas promised to continue to defend the rights of Virginia citizens.  All three Republican candidates are committed to the rule of law, the Virginia Constitution and to the US Constitution as written and intended by the Founders. 

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."

--Patrick Henry

“The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.”

--Thomas Jefferson
Honesty Terry McAuliffe was known as the “bag man” of the Bill Clinton Administration.  He made more than $18 million from a modest investment in Global Crossings, while thousands of other investors lost everything.  He has been involved in numerous shady deals, including most recently a green automobile fiasco.  With such a track record, how can you expect honesty in state government? While all men are imperfect, Virginia Republican candidates have proven themselves to be trustworthy and honest.  As Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli defended the Virginia Constitution and Virginia laws whether he agreed with them or not. 

Known as a leader of unquestioned honesty and integrity, George Washington set the standard for character and integrity when he gave up command of the Continental Army.  To give up power in Washington’s time was unheard of.  Upon hearing that it was Washington’s intention to give up his command of the Continental Army, King George III said of Washington, "[He will be] the greatest man in the world."

Redistribution of Income President Obama has made no bones about the fact that he favors redistribution of income.  In fact, as a state senator, he bemoaned the fact that…”…the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth…”  No Virginia Democrat for statewide office has distanced himself from the idea of redistribution of income. Virginia Republicans believe with Democrat President John F. Kennedy that “A rising tide lifts all boats.”  The surest way to prosperity for all is lower taxes, less regulations and minimum government.  Virginia Republican candidates for statewide office reject the politics of envy, and the Marxist concept of redistribution.  They believe in equal opportunity for all.

“…democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

--Thomas Jefferson

“To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

--Thomas Jefferson

“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.”

--John Adams

Welfare Democrats in Virginia, as well as nationally, created the welfare state.  It has robbed the poor of their character, while ensnaring them in permanent poverty.  When school choice came before the Virginia state legislature, all Democrats voted no.  Efforts to rescue the poor through school choice, low taxes, less regulations and lower fuel costs have been rejected by the Democrats. Republicans favor school choice as a means of bringing quality education to poor communities in Virginia.  Because high fuel costs and regulations disproportionately hurt the poor the most, Republicans seek to expand access to low cost energy and to trim regulations that impede opportunities for entrepreneurship. 

“I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

--Benjamin Franklin
Access to low Cost Energy Virginia Democrats have consistently opposed efforts to expand off shore drilling that would provide money and jobs to the state of Virginia, as well as access to low cost energy.  Like national Democrats, Virginia Democrats are wedded to green energy.  Democrat nominee for Governor Terry McAuliffe even started a green car company (that failed) with the help of a Mississippi subsidy. The Republican ticket favors the development of all forms of energy, based on the ability to produce it without government subsidies.  Republicans support safe exploration and production of oil and gas off shore.  This would mean more jobs, more tax revenue for Virginia, and less expensive energy for the residents of Virginia. The Founders did not believe in subsidies, and encouraged freedom and free enterprise.  Since the development of automobiles and the expanded use of oil and gas for energy did not begin until the end of the 19th century, there are no quotes from the Founders on this issue.

After comparing the views of the Democrats and Republicans with the views of the Founders, what is your conclusion?  Is there any area in which the Founders are in accord with the big government views of today’s Democrats?  If the standard is the views of the Founders, the Democrats get an F and the Republicans get at least a B+.  But that has not deterred the Democrats from calling the Republican ticket extreme.

The Republican’s choice for Lieutenant Governor, Earl Jackson, has come in for particular abuse.  Why, because he is an African American.  It is a title that Jackson himself rejects.  In his speech to the convention he said, “I am not an African American, I am an American!”  Earl Jackson is a Tea Party Republican.  He loves America and fears for its future.  He served as a US Marine, he is a graduate of Harvard Law School, he is an ordained minister, and he is the great grandson of slaves.  Why have the Democrats so severely attacked Jackson?  The reason has something to do with what George Will said a few years ago.  I don’t know the exact quote, but the gist of what he said was that while Democrats hate white conservatives, they fear black conservatives.  They know that every black conservative is a threat to their maintaining control over the black vote.

Indeed.  Are the Democrats simply closet racists?  Perhaps, but their fear of black conservative candidates is real.  They know that their current success in American politics hangs by the slender thread of a lie.  That lie is that Republicans and conservatives are racists.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The truth is that Republicans, especially conservatives, support quality education in poor areas through the implementation of school choice (school vouchers), while the Democrats, under threat from the teacher’s unions, continue to oppose school choice.  In other words, the Democrats oppose providing quality education to children in poor neighborhoods. 

School choice is not a theory, it is a proven solution to the horrendous public education provided to African Americans and others in poorer areas.  Democrats also favor higher fuel costs, but higher fuel costs hurt the poor the most because it accounts for a much higher share of their limited income.  Democrats continue to support legislation that hurts black employment.  The current unemployment for black teenagers is nearly 50% due to Democratic policies, but still the Democrats push forward.

The truth is that the Democrat’s policies are anti-black, anti-poor.  That’s why the candidacy of Earl Jackson is so threatening to them.  When Earl Jackson was much younger he filed for bankruptcy.  This, say the Democrats, disqualifies him for higher office.  But, of course, by those standards Milton Hershey, Henry Ford, H.J. Heinz, and Walt Disney would have been disqualified also. 

The truth is, the Democrats don’t care about Earl Jackson’s qualifications or his previous bankruptcy, they simply fear that he will expose their great lie.  I know Earl Jackson.  I have known him for a number of years.  He is a proud and very talented American of great personal character.  He deserves better than the smears of the desperate Democrats.

The Republican’s candidate for Attorney General is Mark Obenshain.  Mark is a state senator, a talented attorney, and a man of great personal integrity.  He also happens to be the son of the man who many credit with the creation of the modern Virginia Republican Party, Richard Obenshain.  My wife, Kathi, and I were at the state GOP convention in 1978 that nominated Dick Obenshain as our US Senate candidate.  He was a man of sterling character and clearly he passed that character along to his son, Mark.  Mark has pledged to carry on the policies of current Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, if he is elected.  He will make a great Attorney General.

Ken Cuccinelli is the GOP standard bearer for Governor and he is undoubtedly the best candidate for Governor the Republican Party has had for many, many years.  He is a man of principle and integrity.  As Attorney General he has led the charge against Obamacare, has freed an innocent man accused of murder, and has insisted that all branches of state government follow the spirit and the letter of the Virginia state constitution.  Ken is respected nationally for his leadership in stopping the encroachment of the Federal government that threatens the rights of Virginia citizens.  He is a devout believer in the Founder’s principles of limited government.  He will make a great Virginia Governor in the tradition of our first governor, Patrick Henry and our second governor, Thomas Jefferson.

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