Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s devastating loss this week by little known University Professor Dave Brat sent shockwaves throughout the nation. Democrats and Republicans alike were taken back by such an upset. No doubt pundits will dissect and analyze this phenomena for weeks to come.
But what does an election in a congressional district hundreds of miles away from Tennessee mean to you and me?
Are there any lessons for us to learn here in Chattanooga and across the Volunteer state? I think so.
So what was Brat’s message and why did it resonate in such a way that he was able to prevail, in spite of Cantor’s $5 million Goliath-sized budget versus Brat’s $123,000 David-sized budget. What were the people in his Virginia district looking for that enabled Brat’s message to resonate with them?
Well, let’s examine a few of the key messages of Brat’s campaign:
- Term limiting Rep. Eric Cantor who had spent over twenty years as a professional politician, thirteen of those as a Congressman.
- Fiscal Responsibility — a $17,000,000,000,000 (trillion) deficit threatens every American, whether you are female, male, democrat, republican, black, white, brown, young or old.
- Free Markets — the backbone of America’s unprecedented economic success in the 19th and 20th centuries was due to the entrepreneurial spirit that was unleashed exclusive of government regulation, intervention or antagonism but which is now threatened by that same government’s regulation, intervention and antagonism.
- Respect the Constitution by restoring the Rule of Law — our nation was founded upon the rule of law as laid out in our founding document, the Constitution, thus establishing a fair and impartial system of justice. But that founding principle is now threatened by the rule of man, a partial and unjust system that picks winners and losers and is subject to the whims and treacheries of fallen men and women.
As I review Brat’s basic common sense message I believe it is one that would resonate in Chattanooga and across Tennessee. While Brat is obviously not running here, there is a “Brat / Cantor” type election in Tennessee. You see, we have our own David vs. Goliath contest that we will each have the opportunity to weigh in on in August.
Tennessee has the unfortunate distinction of having a US Senator who, like Cantor, has made a life as a professional politician. This same Tennessee US Senator has been a significant enabler of and contributor to our $17 Trillion debt. This Senator has voted time and time again against free markets and is even now the chief proponent of raising taxes on Tennesseans and all Americans via an internet sales tax. And finally, this Senator has a consistent voting record of ignoring and even rejecting the values embodied in the US Constitution.
Who is this Tennessee US Senator? You guessed it, Lamar Alexander!
And who is the “David” challenging this most powerful US Senator? Tennessee Representative Joe Carr, a farmer, small businessman and six year state representative.
And what are Joe Carr’s core values?
- Fiscal Responsibility
- Free Markets
- Respect for the Constitution and the Rule of Law
Of course Carr’s message is familiar because it’s what We the People in Tennessee are looking for — some good ‘ol common sense. And in Joe Carr’s case he has a track record via his legislative performance that reveals that his is not just talk or theory. Rather, Joe’s voting record as a three term Tennessee representative aligns with his campaign message.
So will Tennessee be another Virginia and reject an elite career politician? I would suggest that we can. But we have an unknown.
The big unknown is YOU.
Will YOU as a voter reject the idea that Lamar, Tennessee’s “Goliath”, cannot be beat?
Will YOU put your country above a political party and agree that Senator Alexander’s $17 trillion debt is a recipe for fiscal disaster that will affect every American?
Will YOU as an employee or small business owner step up and reject Senator Alexander’s meddling in your work or business with his Big Government solutions?
Will YOU reject Senator Alexander’s intrusion into your personal and family life as a result of his extending the power and pervasive tentacles of the Federal Government over his years in Washington?
If YOU identify with Joe Carr’s message and will share that message with just ten other friends and/or family members, then Tennessee can present Senator Lamar Alexander with a pink slip on August 7 and in so doing maybe, just maybe, we can once again turn our nation in the direction of blessings, stability and success.
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For your reference, here’s a short list of some of Senator Lamar Alexander’s destructive voting record:
- In 2009, Senator Alexander voted against the National Right to Work Act
- That same year, Senator Alexander also voted to confirm Hilda Solis, Barack Obama’s first Labor Secretary.
- For federal minimum wage increase
- For federally funded embryonic stem cell research
- Against striking the guest worker program from Kennedy’s bill
- Against decreasing the US contribution to UN Peacekeeping
- For Increasing Foreign Aid
- For Increasing Labor-HHS-Education funding
- For increasing Amtrak subsidies
- For reauthorizing Head Start
- For Economic Stimulus Package
- For Mortgage relief
- For warrantless searches
- For the Farm bill
- For TARP
- For National Service Programs
- For IMF Funding
- For Cash for Clunkers
- For Confirmation of Sotomayor
- For Transportation-HUD Appropriations
- For Agricultural Appropriations
- For Interior-Environment Appropriations
- Against Auditing the FED
- For Bernanke confirmation
- For continuing Airline Subsidies
- For use of the Patriot Act to search Americans firearm records
- For extension of the Patriot Act
- For Raising the Debt Ceiling again
- Against Restricting the EPA from regulating power plant emissions across a state
- Against an Amendment to restrict government’s right to indefinitely detain US citizens
- For Export-Import Bank funding
- For the FDA to regulate food and dietary products advertisements
- Against Returning national forests to the states
- For another Farm Bill
- For sending Abrams tanks and F-16’s to the Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian government
- For budget deal that reduced military retirement benefits
- Lamar Alexander scores 41% on the Heritage Action score card. The average Republican Senator scores 69%.