Conservatively speaking, they’ve had enough
Posted: Friday, June 18, 2010 8:01 pm
The spill was on their minds.
The flood was on their minds.
The job market was on their minds.
But you might be surprised which war.
And which spill.
And which flood.
And which job market.
At Tuesday’s Freedom Forum in Jackson, the four GOP hopefuls in the Aug. 5 primary faced questions from citizens of the Eighth Congressional District who will be sending three of them home to further focus on their ideals and ideas and one of them into battle — armed with most of those same ideals and ideas — with the lone Democrat contender for the job local Congressman John Tanner is vacating after 20 years in Washington.
The war those voters wanted to talk about Tuesday was not the one against radical Muslim terrorists being played out in Iraq or Afghanistan, however. It was, instead, the battle they believe must be waged in the United States to re-establish the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as not only the nation’s most important founding documents but as the embodiment of principles that should guide the country now and in the future.
The spill they had opinions about was not the one threatening the Gulf but the one characterized by a spreading pool of illegal immigrants who appear to have the sympathy and support of a Washington leadership opposed to protecting its own citizens.
The flood that has them distraught is not the one characterized by recent high water that swept through Tennessee homes and businesses, leaving a muddy trail of devastation behind, but rather the devastating deluge of taxes and imperatives being imposed on citizens of the Volunteer State and 49 other sister-states from a left-leaning executive and legislative majority on the Potomac.
The job market, however, was not another cause for distress for those in the audience. Because their job market focus is the one they see opening up for Constitution-based Conservative representation in Washington as GOP, Independent and even disillusioned Democrat voters show Progressives and Liberals the door in November.
And that sums up, fairly well, I think, the atmosphere that pervaded the Freedom Forum Tuesday.
When it comes right down to it, the four candidates all portrayed themselves as concerned Conservatives hoping to have a chance to wrest control of the nation from those who, they believe, have scuttled the Constitution and shamed the Founding Fathers. The audience revealed themselves — by the questions they posed and their responses to the candidates’ answers — to be newly-aware and well-informed citizen voters who will not be content merely to send like-minded representation to the nation’s capitol but will demand strict adherence to the ideals and principles that won their votes to begin with.
Union City native son Dr. Ron Kirkland of Jackson; Frog Jump farmer and gospel music singer Stephen Fincher; radiologist and small business man Dr. George Flinn of Shelby County; and Randy Smith, who is a Jackson native and chef at his family’s restaurant, Baudo’s, were in the hot seats Tuesday at the Aeneas Center in downtown Jackson. They responded to questions submitted earlier to Jackson conservative radio talk show host Mike Slater, who handled the microphone for the late afternoon session. When audience-generated interrogation of each candidate was over, Slater instituted his own “Achilles’ Heel” portion of the session and queried each of them about potentially embarrassing or eyebrow-raising circumstances in their political backgrounds or professional lives. The latter focus was limited to situations that might have future impact on their political decisions and no “scandals” or Jerry Springer moments raised their ugly heads. However, each candidate did have to do some accounting of himself, rather than simply making pleasant promises for the future.
What came out of the forum was a staunch reassurance from each of the candidates that they not only understood, but venerated, the principles established in the Constitution and planned to uphold them if elected.
Let’s hope each of them was sincere, for their sakes as well as our own. Because any one of them will, I believe, suffer grievously if he wins the position and abandons the platform. An increasing number of voters in the Eighth District — and across the country, it seems — are unwilling to fall for the “Conservative” title unsupported by conservative voting patterns and history-shaping adherence to conservative principles. They feel they’ve been had one too many times already by career politicians who talk one way at home and support something else in Washington.
And woe to anyone — Republican or Democrat — who tries it again.
Mrs. Caudle may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 6.18.10