Five Elections That Mattered For Conservatism

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In 1970, a young conservative who once played professional football and served as an aid to California governor Ronald Reagan was elected in an upstate New York congressional district. He was a different kind of Republican from New York. Neither the heir to inherited wealth nor a seat on Wall Street, Jack Kemp, a football great for the Buffalo Bills, represented the hopes and aspirations of blue-collar, middle-class, hard-working Buffalo area constituents. He was also an idea man with cheerful energy and a winning personality. In today’s Washington of government shutdowns and funding disputes, a lot could be learned from Jack Kemp.

Kemp pushed ideas to the limit. He made these ideas understandable not only to average Americans but to opinion leaders as well. His advocacy for marginal tax rate reduction, urban enterprise zones, and empowering Main Street were to become the Republican agenda. His election in 1970 was consequential as the ideas he advocated became the cornerstone of Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign.

But, Reagan may never had led such a campaign had it not been for the 1976 North Carolina Republican primary. In 1976, Ronald Reagan challenged President Gerald Ford. The early primaries and caucuses did not go well for Reagan. There were calls for him to withdraw from the race, and money was drying up. However, Reagan stunned the establishment by winning the North Carolina Republican primary. His decisive victory in North Carolina saved his campaign, and he came within a few delegates of defeating an incumbent president for the nomination. Reagan’s victory in North Carolina ensured his place on the podium at the 1976 Republican Convention, and assured his place as the conservative leader in the Republican Party after Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter. Reagan’s victory in the North Carolina primary fortified his leadership of the conservative movement and allowed him to lead conservative causes during Carter’s presidency, including opposition to the Panama Canal treaties.

In 1989, a congressman from the back benches decided to challenge Edward Madigan for Minority Whip of the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives. The improbable campaign of Newt Gingrich stunned Washington and excited conservatives across the country. Gingrich was an idea man, and was very interested in directly challenging the Democrats and liberals who controlled Capitol Hill. Unlike the more genteel Republican leadership, Gingrich sought to advocate conservative ideas through the use of the levers of the House and emerging media alternatives such as C-Span. His slim victory in the Republican caucus was consequential. He became the face and the strategist for the wave that eventually led to the Republican takeover of the House in 1994 and assured his election as the first Republican Speaker of the House since the 1950s. His leadership helped in part to reverse George H.W. Bush’s loss in 1992.

In 2010, a medical doctor from Bowling Green, Kentucky, began a campaign for the Republican nomination for the Senate. He was not the favored candidate of either the state Republican establishment or the national Republican establishment. However, Rand Paul won the Republican primary and was elected to the Senate in the Republican wave of 2010. Though the full consequences of his election are yet to be seen, his election to the Senate marked an important victory for the libertarian wing of the Republican Party where ideas of privacy, criminal justice reform, a restrained foreign policy, and personal liberty appeal to constituents not normally part of the Republican electorate. His ideas may play a major role in the 2016 presidential election.

In 2012, despite a very bad year for Republicans and conservatives, a young governor of Wisconsin beat back a recall election. Scott Walker became the first governor to survive a recall election in the nation’s history; and by 2014, he had won three statewide elections in Wisconsin. His efforts to curb the power of public employee unions, and the resolute stand he took in advocating his conservative positions, makes him a consequential leader of the Republican Party and the conservative movement.

Each of these elections have contributed to the conservative movement. Jack Kemp’s joyful advocacy of marginal tax rate reduction and economic liberty helped frame the 1980 election, Ronald Reagan’s unsuccessful race for president in 1976 assured his leadership of the conservative movement and set the stage for his victory in 1980, Newt Gingrich’s challenge to a genteel House Republican leadership set the stage for 1994, and today the emergence of Rand Paul and Scott Walker may very well define conservatism for a generation to come.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Watch: Sen. Rand Paul Describes What Makes Him Different From Sen. Ted Cruz

Megyn Kelly, Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., joined Megyn Kelly on Fox News to explain – in light of Senator Ted Cruz’s announcement for presidency – how he is different from other Republicans,–and namely, more likely to win against Cruz.

“So I spent the last couple of years trying to go places Republicans haven’t gone, and maybe not just throwing out red meat, but actually throwing out something intellectually enticing to people who haven’t been listening to our message before,” Paul said.

“I guess what makes us different is probably our approaches to how we would make the party bigger,” Paul added. “I’m a big believer that you should stand on principle and be true to your principles, but I also think that we should take those principles and try to bring in new people with them.”

Those new people, he argues, are audiences outside the GOP spectrum and located in places like Howard University, the Urban League, NAACP, Ferguson, and Berkeley.

“Ted Cruz is a conservative, but it also goes to winnability, and people will have to make a decision, which is the Republican that can not only excite the base, but can also bring new people into the party without giving up the principles,” Paul said. “I think what you end up needing, … is you do want someone whose a fighter.”

h/t: The Blaze

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Rep. Peter King Will ‘Jump Off A Bridge’ If Ted Cruz Gets GOP Nomination

Ted Cruz, Peter King

Ever since Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced he will be running for president in 2016, critics from both sides of the aisle have been lining up to to get their turn at slamming the first-term senator.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., joined Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s Situation Room to discuss comments he made regarding Cruz’s announcement. King hit hard and didn’t let up.

“We need intelligent debate in the country. Ted Cruz may be an intelligent person, but he doesn’t carry out an intelligent debate,” King said. “He oversimplifies, he exaggerates and he basically led the Republican Party over the cliff in the fall of 2013.”

“He has shown no qualifications, no legislation being passed, doesn’t provide leadership and he has no real experience,” he added. “So, to me, he is just a guy with a big mouth and no results.”

King argued Cruz would have to undergo a “complete conversion” like that of Saul on his road to Damascus before he could see himself supporting Cruz.

“I hope that day never comes,” King told Blitzer on whether or not he could support Cruz as the Republican Party nominee in 2016. “I will jump off that bridge when we come to it.”

King added that he just might have to run himself, in order to keep “counterfeit” candidates like Cruz and Rand Paul from “hijacking the nomination.”

The news of King’s possible jump made Twitter abuzz:

Twitter/ Sharon Wilson

Twitter/ Sharon Wilson

Twitter/ CountingWHScandals

Twitter/ CountingWHScandals

Twitter/ MarkC

Twitter/ MarkC

h/t: Biz Pac Review

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Is This Texas Republican Enabling Police Brutality?

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At a time when the entirety of Western civilization is focused on eliminating police corruption and ending the suffering that unlawful police departments inflict upon citizens, a Texas State Representative, Jason Villalba (R-Dallas), is ramping up his crusade against civil liberties, seeking to diminish public oversight of police action.

This month, Representative Villalba introduced a bill that would prohibit:

  • filming, recording, photographing, or documenting the officer within 25 feet of the officer; or
  • filming, recording, photographing, or documenting the officer within 100 feet of the officer while carrying a handgun

(thereby criminalizing basic rights enumerated in the first and second amendments to the US Constitution.)

Villalba has included language in the bill that provides an exception for government-defined “members of the press,” mimicking the failed attempt by California Democrat Dianne Feinstein to curtail free speech with her amendment to the 2013 Free Flow of Information Act.

Activists within the Texas Liberty Movement indicate that Viallba’s bill will be opposed in the House, although no legislators have gone on record to confirm this yet.

Critics of the bill say that it is a continuance of a frightening trend in government to criminalize lawful behavior, limit human rights, and eliminate citizen oversight.

On Friday, Murdoch Pitzgatti, the President and co-founder of Come and Take It Texas, said:

When filming anything in public becomes illegal, the First Amendment has died. Where the First Amendment is restricted, the Second Amendment will be used to remedy the situation.

Pitzgatti added: “Under this bill, concealed handgun license holders must stay even further away while filming. We will not follow an unconstitutional law, especially one that singles out law-abiding citizens that have been vetted and have undergone extensive background checks and treats them like criminals.”

The bill stands in marked contrast to the efforts made by Texas citizens, including police and lawmakers, to increase oversight of police actions through the use of body cameras and other measures. Similar initiatives, put forth on the national level, have received nearly universal support in the wake of Ferguson and other highly publicized incidents involving police shootings.

Like Feinstein, Villalba would have the legislature ignore the ways in which technology has enabled journalism to evolve, narrowly defining “journalist” in such a way that would criminalize the work done by many of today’s most powerful and influential members of press.

Sadly, these attempted end-runs around the First Amendment are far from isolated occurrences. Over the past decade, a multitude of evidence has surfaced that reveals an increasing animosity towards the press on the part of government–though this animosity has not gone unchecked.

In 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled unanimously in favor of Simon Glik, who was arrested and charged with illegal wiretapping for making a video recording of police actions in Boston. Sarah Wunsch, a staff attorney for ACLU Massachusetts, called the case “…a resounding victory for the First Amendment right to openly record police officers carrying out their duties in a public place.”

The right to a free press is an American principle that predates the founding of the republic. In an Appeal to the Inhabitants of Quebec (1774), the First Continental Congress wrote:

The last right we shall mention regards the freedom of the press. The importance of this consists, besides the advancement of truth, science, morality, and arts in general, in its diffusion of liberal sentiments on the administration of Government, its ready communication of thoughts between subjects, and its consequential promotion of union among them, whereby oppressive officers are shamed or intimidated into more honorable and just modes of conducting affairs.

Fifteen years later, the people’s right to criticize government specifically compelled the Founders to include within the Bill of Rights the statement that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

Americans have long cherished the right to a free press–and rightfully so. Efforts by those in government to flout this basic premise of our constitutional republic clearly recalls the Nazis’ Reichstag Fire Decree, which in 1933 made criticism of the government a criminal offense in Germany and paved the way for the terror of national socialism.

But what terrorizes minions of big government, like Jason Villalba, is a free people exercising their natural rights unimpeded by regulation.

Another highly publicized bill filed by Villalba this session, under the guise of protecting religious liberty, would amend the Texas constitution to allow state and local governments to “burden” a person’s free exercise of religion if “the burden is necessary to further a compelling governmental interest…” Villlalba has since folded under the pressure coming from both sides of the issue and withdrawn support for his own bill, leaving Representative Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) to pick up the slack.

Last year in US News & World Report, Jason Stverak wrote:

The term “public servant” has become the vogue euphemism that career politicians and government employees use for themselves, but it more aptly applies to people working for the common good and the betterment of their community. Journalists fit under this umbrella because they are a check on those in power, and our government should be applauding anyone who puts in the legwork to uncover the truth instead of drawing arbitrary lines to hinder them.

Take note, Villalba; that’s the way real Texans think.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

WATCH The Surprising Thing Ted Cruz Just Said About Being Smeared As A ‘Crazy’ Terrorist

Image Credit: Fox News

Liberal reaction to Ted Cruz’s announcement on Monday that he’s running for president has been predictably negative. But criticism of the Texas senator and his entry into the 2016 race has certainly not been limited to Democrats.

New York Republican Congressman Peter King, who has referred to Cruz as a “carnival barker,” yesterday told CNN that Cruz is “just a guy with a big mouth.” Rep. King added that he would jump off a bridge if the conservative lawmaker were to win the GOP nomination.

Responding to his critics on both sides of the aisle, Cruz told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Monday night that the media has depicted Republicans as either stupid or evil. He then went on to say that a third caricature has been invented for him — “crazy.”

Then with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his lips reminiscent of how Ronald Reagan used to deal with an often hostile press, Cruz told Hannity that he takes that kind of caricature as “a little bit of a backhanded compliment.”

The first person to officially jump into the 2016 presidential contest went on to describe how media outlets “do everything they can” to portray him as a “wild-eyed” terrorist.

By clicking on the video above, you can see what Ted Cruz said about that media depiction of him during the interview on “Hannity.”

h/t: Fox News

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom