Note: This is a speech I gave to the 39b Republicans of Northern Dakota County on October 6, 2011.
I want to start by expressing my deepest gratitude to the many of you that worked so hard with my campaign last election. I also think special thanks need to go out to Mark Westpfahl for his efforts. He is a good friend and a great organizer. I would like to hope that while politics brought this great group of individuals together, it is friendship and neighborhood that binds us.
I have been pondering my role in this amazing process over the last several months. My mission, as a candidate, was threefold:
- Give hope to a local party that seemed to have given up on the possibility of an electoral win in the legislature.
- Aid in the defeat of the anti-freedom agenda of the current state representative.
- Reform our party from within. Restore the party to once again embrace the freedoms that our founders recognized as God given and inalienable.
I think we as a group went a long way in accomplishing the first goal. We came closer with the second goal, and the jury is still out on the third. It is this third goal that has so concerned me of late. For if we give hope for electoral victory, but those victories are marred by individuals, who, for good or evil reasons, reject the freedoms we sought to uphold, what real good did we accomplish?
For years, I have told myself that I must accept the occasional missteps of members of our party who vote to steal my freedoms through tax increases and the like. But should I just accept this? My contention is that I should not. Therefore, I thought it prudent to pour my efforts into teaching members of our party why they should vote in support of freedom. I toiled to teach my fellow party members about the nature of freedom and the nature of economics. It is only with a solid footing that one will not be swayed.
Despite efforts by many like minded people, the third goal has been the most difficult to achieve.
With a supposed majority on the city school board, we managed to vote to put a tax increase on the ballot. The one officially endorsed school board member who currently sits on the board, ironically chose not vote. The other endorsed candidate that is running formally endorsed the tax increase last month.
What happened to living within our means? The promoters of such a tax increase stated that this will save the district money. Then I question the need for a ten year increase in taxes.
What happened to standing up for the rights of the individual? Do homeschoolers or private-schoolers enjoy the same luxuries of a state sponsored tablet computer? Or are their families going to be unnecessarily robbed to give to the public school child that is somehow deemed more valuable to society?
The inconvenient truth is that most residents of this town cannot afford such amenities for themselves, yet the school board deems it fit that they request to take from those who have not money or power in order to benefit those who have power.
Then I look to our city council. Sometimes I feel that our endorsed candidates on the council vote less in favor of freedom than those on the other side do. We own a golf course and a fitness center, which both combined bleed in excess of one million dollars a year. (I do thank Tom Bartholomew for being a strong advocate against such government overreach.)
But that is not even the core of the issue. The issue is whether government should own such institutions. Our founding fathers did not think so. I don’t think so. Yet many of our duly endorsed candidates have chosen that very path; and for what reason? It has been for convenience and for reputation sake.
We subsidize multimillion dollar private businesses so that they can expand on the city residents’ paychecks. Yet we say we stand for liberty. When did liberty mean we take from those who earn their income and give to that which seduces those in power?
One need not search hard to find members of this very political party serving special interests, rejecting state and individual sovereignty and reducing the definition of freedom to mean “support of the state.” There were corporate handouts, laws restricting freedom of speech, laws manipulating the private markets, and even laws that are so intrusive that compliance has caused small businesses to fail around our country. These were all passed with overwhelming support by members of our very own party who said they must compromise their values for our own good.
Our national representatives have been difficult to communicate with. Their staffers often filter messages as to not “upset the congressman.” Well, if the congressman is voting badly, I don’t think we should worry about upsetting the congressman. Our freedoms were paid for with the blood of our ancestors, yet are given away with an “aye” vote and the stroke of a pen. I want our congressman to agonize over every intrusion of freedom before his “aye” vote.
We do have a good deal of promising figures rising up and a few that have been with us a long time. I eagerly wait for them to increase in number and restore freedom to our nation.
From the examples above, I have serious concerns over the state of our movement. Those who understand freedom lightly have no place being endorsed by the liberty loving residents of this community. It is the elected officials who are tasked with protecting liberty. They are not tasked with creating it, nor organizing it, nor distributing it, just protecting it. That is all; just protecting it.
C.S. Lewis, a brilliant man from the twentieth century once said:
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals. “
One might say that I am making a big deal out of little votes. But may I remind you that our entire world was damaged by the small act of taking a bite of fruit. The corruption that comes when power is exercised wrongly is costly to extinguish, once ignited.
I want my children to have a good education, good places to grow and be nurtured, and good places to buy food and clothing. But more importantly, I want them to grow up in a nation that is free. I want them to experience a community that is free. I want them to understand that their rights and their responsibilities come from God and are not dictated to them by any man or institution.
The endorsements given by this body and the actions of certain endorsed candidates have caused me to second guess the nature of my relationship with the local party. There are times when the bonds of a good and well meaning association need to be thrown off, in order to secure that which is more precious than the institution itself.
For me, the time is now. It is with much consideration and with a heavy heart that I announce my resignation from duties to the local party. Never have I believed more strongly in the rights that God alone has given us, but my efforts are only given to the party as long as the party remains the instrument for protecting such freedoms.
It may be for a time, or it may be longer, but until there is evidence that the cause of freedom can be advanced through this broken apparatus, I will choose to withhold and limit my dealings with this body.
I would remind you that the party is simply a means to an end. As a nation is a means to an end. The end of this party, the end of this nation, is the protection of our inalienable rights and freedoms. There is no addendum on this. I pledge to work for causes which support this end, but hold allegiance to no body; only to God, to my family, and to the inalienable freedoms that our founders gave their lives to uphold.
With that, I hope that our friendship continues. The people of this institution are the part that I cherish, not the institution itself. I wish you all the best and thank you for the time that I could work with each of you in advancing our cause.
In liberty and friendship and at peace with all,