Nearly all my conservative friends who I respect voted for Bill McCollum, the Republican Party, Bush-machine-backed candidate for governor in the state of Florida. The polls right before the primary election showed McCollum surging and Rick Scott trailing by nine points.
So much for polls.
My Republican friends were convinced that Bill McCollum was the “true conservative” in the race. I find such rhetoric telling. If one has to insert the adjective “true” in front of “conservative,” immediately a red flag is raised in my mind. I am neither a “conservative” nor a “true conservative.” I am a Constitutionalist. I am looking for a Constitutionalist to support with my vote.
Rick Scott positioned himself as the “outsider” and tried to portray himself (to the tune of almost 50 million in advertising dollars) that he was more conservative than McCollum (“More liberal than you think!”) by using the Florida Attorney General and former U.S. Representative’s record on spending, flip-flopping on embryonic stem cell research and illegal immigration laws as evidence.
While I am hopeful to see what Rick Scott will do if he is elected governor, I am not convinced I will back him in the general election. If there is an independent candidate that emerges who is uncompromising on the issues that matter, then that person will get my vote.
As a registered Republican, I vote for whoever I think is the best candidate in the primaries just to hedge my bets. I know that in most cases a moderate will win the nomination. This is the party that is sure to give the presidential nomination to either the former vice presidential candidate or the last runner-up. This is the party of Bush, Bush, Dole, Bush, Bush, McCain and next probably Romney.
We see much the same in Florida gubernatorial politics. My gut instinct kept telling me Rick Scott was the more conservative of the two candidates (a third, McCalister, was the most liberal) and would therefore probably lose. Then on the day of the election, I almost did an about face. The “non-partisan” Christian Coalition voter guide went out of its way to question Scott’s “pro-life” stance by noting that some abortions might have been performed at some of the 343 Columbia/HCA hospitals he controlled in the 1990s.
My dilemma was that apparently neither candidate’s record on the sanctity of life is stellar. McCollum said prior to 2004 that he supported the expansion of embryonic stem cell research. The question became, “Who to believe?” Scott’s campaign insisted that the allegations toward him were blown out of proportion.
HCA abided by all conscience clauses including with hospitals that had Catholic, Baptist and other religious affiliations. HCA even lost a $43 million judgment when our doctors successfully fought to save the life of a special needs child even though the parents wanted the child to die. When a company is willing to lose that amount of money to save human life its position on life issues is clear and self-evident.
I had to note that although both candidates were at the last minute trying to “out-pro-life” each other, neither one talked at all about the Personhood Amendment initiative that would protect all human beings as “persons” from their biological beginnings with no exceptions.
Regardless of who wins in November, I have no regrets that McCollum’s political career is over. It’s about time. My view on most Republican candidates is that we will hear platitudes meant to placate fiscal conservatives and pro-life Christians during the campaign, but then they will act more and more like socialists the longer they remain in office. Republican career politicians become more liberal as time goes on. As John McCain admitted candidly, “We were elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us.” The sooner they leave office the better. Good riddance.
The fact of the matter is that there are only three political parties in America. The first is the party that believes in the sovereignty of God. The second is a party that believes in the sovereignty of man and man’s reason. The third is every other party that believes in the sovereignty of the state, and that the state is God walking on earth.1
I am a registered Republican, but I will vote Constitution Party any time a candidate is fielded in the general election. The Constitution Party represents my worldview. It’s the only party in American history that states in its platform that America’s Constitution was rooted in “Biblical Law.”
The Constitution Party gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States. We hereby appeal to Him for mercy, aid, comfort, guidance and the protection of His Providence as we work to restore and preserve these United States. This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been and are afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here. The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries.
For those who think the Republican Party is the only viable option, I encourage them to look at the fact that this is the party that every four years promises to cut spending, cut taxes and balance the budget. This is the party that whenever elected has done more to increase spending and the national debt than even the Democrats. With the Democrats what you see is what you get. We already know they are socialists. Then we have to consider that although the Republican Party has a “pro-life” plank in its platform, when they controlled Washington from 2001 to 2007, Bush and the Republican Senate and Congress admitted that the sanctity of life would not be a priority. The Republicans can always be trusted to do the opposite of what they say.
If you are sure that the coming Republican resurgence in November is our salvation, I encourage you to study the graph below.
We don’t simply need “neo-conservative” Republicans in office. Simply put, the neo-cons will cut taxes and then outspend the Democrats every time. What we need are Constitutionalists who will drastically shrink the size of federal and state government. I am not convinced there are very many like this that can make it to a general election as a Republican candidate. But unless the incumbent career politician has a stellar record of cutting taxes, spending and government entitlements, then they should be voted out of office. It’s not enough to have an “R” next to your name. Constitutionalists would be better off supporting a third party and in effect “throwing” the election to the Democrats. Yes, they are wolves, but at least they are not wolves in sheep’s clothing. With a Republican dominated House, Senate and President, reform is far from certain. What is certain is that conservative Christians will go to sleep until the next election cycle. It’s in our nature as sheep to be docile and easily led.
It is shocking therefore that McCollum, the evangelical Christian candidate who had the backing of every conservative group, who got the endorsement of Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Michael Reagan, and who was surging in the polls the week before the election, was so soundly defeated by the “outsider” Scott who simply outspent his opponent four to one in ads that effectively convinced most of us that McCollum was the more liberal of the two statist Republican frontrunners.
On the other hand, Mike McCalister, the most liberal of the three Republican candidates spent less than $8,000, yet got 10 percent of the vote in the primary. McCalister had no TV presence and was barred from the debates. Logically, this tells us that the liberal McCalister was able to siphon votes that normally would have gone to McCollum, hence the lopsided poll numbers just prior to election day.
Likewise, Jeff Greene lost the Democratic Senate nomination to Kendrick Meek by 25 percentage points after outspending Meek by tens of millions of dollars.
This tells us that this year almost nothing is certain.
What is certain is that if Rick Scott was willing to spend this much in a primary, then money is no object to him in November. He can also fund “get out the vote” campaigns in every district that will bring Republicans to the polls in November like no mid-term election in Florida history. There is supposedly a “Contract with America” style agenda coming from the GOP in the next month. The last of the planks needs to be, “If we do the opposite, then vote us out in the 2012 primaries!”
But since nothing is certain, the best strategy might be to support the “impossible dream” Constitution Party candidate wherever there is one.
In my next article in this series, I will write about the four-way race for U.S. Senate between the three statists: Rubio, Crist and Meeks and the lone candidate whose party recognizes Jesus Christ as Lord over America.
1 The three parties are (1) the Constitution Party, (2) the Libertarian Party, and (3) every other party.