Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is the guest speaker at the Reagan – Rockefeller Dinner in Hot Springs on July 17. This should be a great event for Arkansas Republicans no matter which Republican nominee they support.
Donald Trump tells it like he sees it and that includes leveling criticism at other Republicans when he thinks it necessary. Mr. Trump has also been on the receiving end of criticism from other Republicans. We think these frank and sometimes fiery exchanges help Republican voters find a candidate who actually represents their views.
What if you disagree with a local politician?
Some Arkansas Republican legislators complain that other Republicans are harming the Republican Party when they criticize the legislator’s positions and actions. According to social media if a Republican disagrees with an office holder, he is just a hater. And, supposedly, “Democrats don’t do this to other Democrats.” (If you believe that then perhaps your name is Rip Van Winkle because you have slept through a lot of history.)
We certainly understand these sentiments expressed by some elected officials, after all, they worked hard to get elected and to serve, and they sometimes have to make difficult decisions. Yet, silencing voters makes no sense and is bad for the voter.
Think of the campaign volunteers who worked long hours going door to door for a candidate whose actions are different from his promises. Or the campaign volunteers who helped elect a conservative candidate who went to Little Rock only to be marginalized by his own party caucus. Surely such campaign workers did not give up their right to make their opinions and criticisms known merely because they belong to the same party as an office holder who is acting against their interests. In fact, no voter has given up his or her right to try to influence government, even when it means criticizing an elected official of his or her own party.
Why should you expect voters to be silent when legislators of the same party disagree with one another on the same issues?
If Republicans are supposed to shut up and just accept the actions of office holders of the same party then perhaps primary elections should be eliminated when an incumbent runs for reelection. Obviously, that doesn’t make sense. Neither does standing mute when an office holder is weak on various planks of his party platform or when an office holder uses deception to try to fool voters concerning his support of those planks.
- Do you think a pro-life Republican should remain silent if a Republican elected official is pro-choice or is weak on pro-life measures?
- Do you thing a pro-gun rights Republican should remain silent if an office holder is weak on the issue and misses votes in order not to go on the record?
- Do you think a Republican who wants to protect religious freedoms should be silent if a weaker bill is substituted?
- Do you think a Republican opponent of Common Core, should remain silent since some Republicans office holders are satisfied with Common Core?
Of course you would not expect any of them to be silent about their core values. By the same token, fiscal conservatives cannot be expected to remain silent in the face of continued government growth and the growth of entitlements.
If you disagree with the actions of an elected official of your party you have three choices:
- Just be grateful that he is a member of your party, even if the office holder’s views on important issues conflict with your own;
- Just go home and be silent and sad; or
- Shine a very bright and hot light on the office holder’s actions in order to try to influence future actions.
Criticizing an office holder just to be negative is not helpful, but that is not what is going on. When you speak your mind you are influencing future actions. Whether it is praise or criticism you are helping direct the future of your party.
Conduit for Action
Conduit for Action was created to give voice to those who oppose the growth in government and to try to stop government’s growing appetite that feeds off Arkansas’ small businesses. CFA believes in “individual freedom and liberty secured by a limited government” and “lower taxes to produce economic growth”. These statement also happen to be principles stated in the Republican Party of Arkansas Party Platform 2014.
CFA supports these principles regardless of whether they are under attack by liberals or are being undercut by establishment Republicans.
CFA stands against those who use deception to try to look conservative while passing liberal legislation.
CFA stands in support of conservative Arkansas legislators who are doing the thankless job of standing against bigger government and more entitlements. These public servants stand up for their principles despite knowing it may mean leaders in their own party caucus will try to leave them out of legislative leadership positions or make it more difficult for them to pass legislation.
Sparks are likely to fly when Donald Trump speaks at the Reagan – Rockefeller Dinner. Sparks create light, and those who attend will be better informed, no matter which presidential candidate they support.