Thursday, July 29, 2010

My memo to the movement

Yesterday a political reporter with a major national media outlet asked me if, having left the Rand Paul campaign, I still supported Rand's candidacy. I was a little surprised by the question because I thought I had made my position very clear. Then it occurred to me that my answer was not likely to wind up in print because it wasn't an explosive or damaging answer and so it was probably worth saying again and a little louder. Yes, yes, a million times yes, I will continue to support Rand Paul for the U.S. Senate and will very proudly vote for him on November 2.

It has been a wild year on the Randwagon. Wilder still has been the year and a half in the nascent Tea Party movement in Kentucky. For those of us who have poured our hearts and souls into promoting capitalism and constitutional government for years, I think the defining moment came just after enactment of the bank bailout when Congress tried and failed to pass a car bailout. When the Bush administration went ahead and gave billions of our dollars to GM and Chrysler anyway -- and out of the bank bailout bill so few people had read -- an important yet threadbare bond between government and people was irretrievably ripped apart.

And then Barack Obama came along and made it even worse.

Some of us who were there at the beginning of the Tea Party movement in Kentucky saw big opportunities right away. I don't claim any special insightfulness for having been there and for seeing in advance what could happen. There was a fundamental shift in the electorate and I didn't have any reason to pretend that it wasn't there, that's all. When I realized very few other people who were in a position to do something about it saw the opportunity, I joined others in working on a plan that will ultimately, I believe, help Kentucky achieve much more of its potential. Further, I think Kentucky will advance so quickly once it grasps correct principles and throws off forever the chains of corruption that have bound it for way too long, that the rest of the nation will take heed of our sudden restoration and want to follow along.

Rand Paul is a good man who came along at the right time with the right message. Waiting around for perfect people to run our federal government is a fool's errand and Rand has rightly campaigned on letting the U.S. Constitution bind them all down from their mischief. If we do that, there is no room for ObamaCare and no room for the wild spending Obama has already enacted or the even wilder tax increases and labor reforms he plans to enact. Rand's opponent Jack Conway largely supports Obama in his recklessness. As far as most Kentuckians are concerned, that's the end of the story. And then the Tea Party movement begins to become America's movement with the election of a few people like Rand to federal office.

That gets us to Kentucky's race for Governor. I'm going to have much more to say about this in the days and weeks ahead. For now, just let me say that those who yearn for restoration of America's guiding ideas will be emboldened by their successes in 2010 but -- and this is the key part -- they will be far from satisfied. In 2011, only three states will elect a governor. Kentucky's race will be a focal point for much of the nation and the race will go to those who best understand and can capitalize on the power of simple ideas like not obligating future taxpayers to pay future expenses they can't possibly afford to pay and knowing when government can best serve the people by getting out of their way. Kentucky will succeed when our leaders are less interested in building their own political power than they are in shrinking government's influence so the power resides with the people.