Off My Soapbox

The New Hampshire Primary is the first true test of voter preference in this presidential election cycle. The primary is not the same complicated insider driven game that occurred in Iowa.  Iowa was just a pregame festivity with delegate selection as a sideshow.  New Hampshire is the true opening kickoff of a four quarter brawl.  It is my belief that  New Hampshire is only the kick off and that is all it should be considered.

This election cycle presents a unique set of circumstances for the Republican Party.  It is unique because it features a self funded candidate, who can continue deep into the primary season, even if he fails to meet media expectations.  It is unique due to the anger expressed by the Republican electorate in the preprimary polls.  It is unique because there are candidates with a chance for success, who are outside of the Republican ruling cabal.  Finally, it is unique because of the world situation, which now more than any time in the recent past, requires a strong principled and conservative leader, who can reorient the country.  A leader who can move our country away from government domination, which has been the hallmark of the last eight years.

There are many Republican candidates in this field, who only give lip service to conservative values and individual liberty.  Governor John Kasich from Ohio, who imposed an extension of Medicaid upon his state via a state board after the Republican dominated Ohio Legislature chose not to expand it, is one such example.  After his legislature rejected Medicaid expansion, the Governor, rather than searching for a private sector solution to expand healthcare, opted to use the federal funds available under Obamacare to expand Medicaid . This action, which many believe will subject Ohioans to increased future debt, expands once again the role of the federal government within the state.  I do not doubt the Governor’s good intentions nor his personal moral code, but his lack of imagination and his willingness to throw in with government expansionists rather than do the difficult work of crafting a free market solution to expanding healthcare is distressing.  It is especially distressing from one who touts his reputation as a budget balancer and Conservative small government advocate. I can only conclude from this action that he is neither.

There are two other Governors, who are also vying for the Republican nomination with questionable Conservative leanings, when it comes to individual liberty and small government advocacy.  I must confess as of the date of this writing, I am unconvinced that either would champion smaller government and individual liberty.  This at a time, when adherence to uncompromising principled traditional values are what is needed to reverse the damage done to liberty by our current President.

Governor Christie, a blue state governor ran to embrace President Obama after a storm devastated his state.  No one faults the Governor for looking out for his constituents, however many election observers believe the Governor’s perceived coziness assisted in the President’s reelection bid resulting in four more years of declining liberty.  Perhaps less public begging was in order at such a critical time in the electoral process.  Additionally the Governor’s actions demonstrate a willingness to run to the federal government as a first resource in times of crisis.   One must also wonder how many other principles he must have compromised to garner favor as a “Conservative”, with such a liberal electorate and left leaning media.   The Governor has to be a born compromiser or a “person who gets things done” to use his terms in order to survive in such a hostile political environment.  I don’t believe he fits the profile of a tough freedom fighter.  I believe him to be the same old same old. An establishment sympathizer, who compromises principles  to be elected. His act of begging for funds at election time revealed his true character.

Jeb Bush has some conservative credentials.  He displayed some admirable qualities when he was the Florida Governor .  He has been out of office for some time but, I believe he still carries the Republican establishment banner.  Mr. Bush’s recent explanation of his Common Core stance is the typical response of the Washington ruling class.  He supports  Common Core’s educational standards, but is opposed to Washington’s involvement in the program.  He is far too quick to embrace ” a comprehensive solution” rather than the true state by state experimentation that will lead to the best result winning the day.  I certainly can not at this juncture with all his old money establishment ties support him as the Conservative freedom fighter’s choice for president, but he may do well in “Live Free Or Die” New Hampshire.

I do not expect a ground shaking election result in New Hampshire.  It is the best opportunity for the three Republican Establishment candidates to exceed their national poll numbers.  While New Hampshire’s state motto is “Live free or die”, New Hampshire has voted for the Democratic Presidential Candidate in five of the last six presidential election cycles.  New Hampshire should not be seen as a state quick to side with the advocates of limited government, who are the best guarantee of continued freedom and economic prosperity.  Recent polls indicate the democratic primary favorite is self proclaimed Socialist Senator, Bernie Sanders.  Hardly a living embodiment of the state motto.

Please remember New Hampshire that government, no matter how well intentioned, ultimately rules by the force of law and the enforcement of its regulations. Government is by it’s nature coercive and limits individual freedom.  It limits individual initiative and if involved in the economy, attempts through its rules to pick winners and losers.  It is when unrestrained  a foe of capitalism.

Support for the Democratic party line is not support for traditional conservative values.  The Democratic party is the party of Obamacare, wealth redistribution and national division.

If you are a conservative, freedom loving American, who is concerned about helping his neighbor, as I believe we all should be, then government should not be the vehicle employed to accomplish that end.  True advancements in healthcare, increased employment and national unity are not accomplished by the use of government force through laws, but are the products of the labor of private citizens.  Churches, mutual aid societies and businesses are the best organizations to achieve these goals yet maintain individual liberty.  Freedom is not always the most rapid path to a goal, but it is the least oppressive and ultimately the best accepted way to achieve a desired outcome.  It is because freedoms solutions are chosen not imposed!

So I watch with interest the outcome of both sides of the primary election.  I do not believe New Hampshire should severely limit the scope of the national debate nor the Republican party debate.  It should not by itself dictate the ultimate Republican Party nominee.  The issues of today are far too important to be decided by a small group of northeastern voters alone.

Still, choose wisely New Hampshire!  Remember your state motto, when you enter the voting booth today.

Author: graffman3030

former Ohio Public service executive. Conservative for life. Life long Ohio resident

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