I was misquoted in the Sentinel this week and it has lead to a situation in which I am forced to call bullshit. I don’t really blame the reporter that rearranged my words, he is usually pretty good, no, this is about a blog that was written by somebody who is very, very wrong.
The article in which I was misquoted was about the 2010 U.S. Senate race here in Florida. I was asked about Marco Rubio and if he would start moving away the Tea Party and towards the middle for his general election campaign so he could court the independants. I responded that there are many Tea Party people who already feel, or have always felt, that Rubio is one of “them” not one of “us”.
I’m not going to go into the reasons why Marco Rubio is not as “tea party” as the media seems to think he is. I also don’t think Marco Rubio is a terrible choice for Senate. I think he is better than most, but, why not sign the 10th Amendment pledge? Why not sign the Contract From America? Not to mention his political squishiness on the Arizona immigration law. Why has Rubio refused to be vetted by all of the Tea Party groups that are asking to vet him? While he may be better than most, I don’t think he represents the Tea Party values as much as the Libertarian Senate candidate Alexander Snitker.
Alex Snitker is a very smart guy, he is a true fiscal conservative, and he has solutions to problems. Alex has been coming to tea parties from the begining and he understands and he really thinks the way we do. If you live in Florida I hope you will check out his website and learn about him and his stances on the issues. In a four-way race Alex also has a very good chance to win this election, if we in the Tea Party movement have the intestinal fortitude to stand on our principles.
The reporter asked me what happens if Snitker loses, how does this impact the race, to which I replied that I think it would sink Rubio because Sniker would take more votes away from him than the other two. The reporter quoted me as saying, “Alex can’t win, but he can sink Rubio”.
Then a blog was written asking why I would vote for someone I don’t believe could win the election. As I wrote above, I never said Alex can’t win; quite the contrary, I believe he can win. Even if I thought he had no chance, I would still vote for Alex for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, Alex is a friend of mine. What kind of friend would not support a friend who is running for office? How shallow of a person would you have to be to turn your back on a friend?
Secondly, we have said on our radio show that more regular people need to run for office and replace the career politicians. As Hoyt always says, “Its the ultimate ‘what are you going to do about it'”. How can we lay down that challenge to people and not be supportive of them if they have the right core values? Running a grassroots campaign is extremely challenging and requires a massive amount of labour from the candidate. If they are a tea partier, share our core values, and would be a good Senator should we not do everything we can to support that person instead of the establishment? We are we challenging people to run grassroots campaigns and fight the establishment, we are telling them that it is the ultimate “what are you going to do about it”, do these people that have responded to our call not deserve our support?
Finally, I always vote my conscience and I think that it is, or should be, one of the core values of the Tea Party movement. We are fed up with career politicians and business as usual. We should be looking to hold the estblishment accountable and the only way to really hold politcians is at the ballot box. If the Republican party thinks that they will get our votes no matter what they will pander to us when they have to and vote the other way in Congress.
This bogger wrote that the time to vote your principles is in the primary not in the general election. In the general election, says the blogger, you should vote with a “strategy” to keep the “bad guys” out of the seat. Is that what the movement has become? We want to keep the democrats out so we vote for and support big government Republicans? We send more Republicans to Washington that will tow the party line and vote for things like TARP and Medicare Part D when the party leadership tells them to? Or do we vote only for candidates that will be true to our core values and lead instead of blindly following party leadership.
I have a lot of faith in the people of the Tea Party movement and I think they will vote for the person that most reflects our core values and vote their conscience. If your conscience tells you that Marco Rubio is the candidate that most reflects your values I think you should vote for Rubio. If, however, you are like me, and believe that Alex Snitker is the person that shares my core values, I hope you will vote your conscience and vote for Alex Snitker.
I could not disagree more with the person that wrote this blog when he says, “…the time to vote your princples in is the primary”. I think it is always time to vote your principles. That is the same line of thinking the career politicains use. The time to stand on principles is while you are campaigning but once you get to Congress you have to “be realistic” and “there is no such thing as a perfect piece of legislation”. They vote with a “strategy”.
Principles are the base for everything else and should be be firm and consistent. Once you compromise them you have no ground on which to stand.