By C. Catania
First, I’d like to thank those of you who are taking the time to read this blog. Perhaps what is so special, at least to me, is not only our devoted readership, but also the depth in which folks from coast-to-coast are responding. I enjoy reading the comments left at the end of the articles, but I also enjoy reading, and responding, to each and every one of your emails. Some of the emails that I’ve received since our inception, but particularly over the past week, are heartwarming and encouraging for a conservative during these turbulent times of liberalism, while others are just plain amusing. I’d like to encourage your continued writing (for those of you who don’t know: email@example.com), as I truly enjoy the perspectives, ideas, and questions that stem from the hearts and minds of such ardent patriots, both here inside and outside of Arkansas.
I was going to write today about the shakeup in German politics. Instead, I would like to write on a more personal note, though we will cover Angela Merkel’s successes and what it means to us as Americans later this week.
Here’s a question I have recently received from a self-identified moderate from Kansas:
You talk about Sen. Hutchison’s challenging Rick Perry as though it is unwise for the party. Do you consider the possible benefits of an increasingly responsive Governor for Texas in that analysis?
This question seems particularly valid this week, not only because I believe that drawing the line on what is “best for the party” is increasingly difficult, but also because I have seen my own views muddied lately. First Texas, then together, we’ll try to identify where that line lies. In order to answer this question, we must first ask ourselves, do we believe that Senator Hutchison will be more responsive than the current Governor, Rick Perry. Many of you have read the article from last week on the gubernatorial race itself, so we won’t rehash talking points today, but it is available for you to review, if you so choose.
In short, Governor Perry most certainly has an agenda and a record for fighting for individual state rights. On the other hand, Texas is continuing to grow at increasingly high rates. I’d like to say that Americans are moving to Texas because of its ever-growing economic opportunities compared to its low cost of living, but you can judge for yourselves. If that is the case though, then I’d be hard-pressed to say that Governor Perry is not doing right by the people of the State of Texas. Don’t forget, the cost of a Texas gubernatorial primary is estimated to cost upwards of $50 million, almost completely coming from conservatives, which would otherwise be used during a general election campaign. The question again becomes: Could that money be better spent?
Now, I’d like to move on to the question that, especially living in states like Arkansas, Kentucky, Connecticut, and Michigan, many of us are facing. We are seeing crowded fields in Senate and Gubernatorial primaries, and yes, even some House districts, particularly in states where the incumbent Democrats are polling poorly or where an incumbent is retiring. Where do we place the “good of the party” compared to individual desires? Well, in order to look at this, I’d like to replace the word “party,” with the word constitutionalism. So then, where do we place the “good of constitutionalism” compared to the politics of candidacy? I’d like to offer a simple answer, perhaps even one that many of us currently believe. In order to further our agenda of liberty and freedom across our great country, we must actively fight for the values in which we hold dear. In fact, it is our duty to push for the best representation that America can muster; we must fight vigorously for the people that we believe in. That said, we must also fight within the bounds of those very same values that we hold dear.
As conservatives and constitutionalists, we must be aware that having debates on who will represent us best will ultimately bring us the best representation. We also must be conscious, however, of the style in which we debate. When our debating becomes less about issues and platforms than about party squabbles and bickering, we are no longer serving the best interests of America. I say this, not as a reprimand, but as somebody that has always believed in just that logic, but like many, has at times let inter-political irrationality get the best of me. I say this not as a warning— that would be foolish. We already know the dangers of this game that we all play at some time or another. Instead, I’d like to take the opportunity to remind ourselves of a very basic American principle, “United we stand, divided we fall.” We are in a battle to save the America that we know and love; let us not trample over the very essence of what we so zealously wish to defend.
Chuck Catania is a student at Harding University and a contributing member of The Arkansas Patriot. Contact Chuck at firstname.lastname@example.org