GOP: Status Quo? Or Return to Principled Leadership?

By July 30, 2014Opinion

Guest Blog Post by Charlotte Antal, Trustee of NH Right to Life, mother of two and conservative voter.

In public service, independent thinking is not a bad thing when you are advocating for something objectively true…or when your party is doing something wrong (God knows the left needs more independent thinkers on right to life issues these days).  But Scott Brown’s independent thinking is dividing conservatives once again over the issue of abortion, likely putting a win for conservatives for that office out of reach and accomplishing nothing noble in the process.

“Moderates” like Brown are both discouraging for the Republican base and failures at obtaining votes from moderate Democrats.  How long will the Republican establishment continue to allow candidates into the party who openly admit they will throw the party platform to the curb the minute they get into office, knowing it undermines the GOP’s objective to win more seats in the Senate?

In a recent article in the Union leader, Brown reportedly claimed that voting for Shaheen means voting for Obama’s failed policies because she puts party first and votes with Obama 99% of the time.  Brown self-identifies as “pro-choice”and “moderate”:  “I’m an independent voter and thinker; I always have been,” he said. “My record has always been about 50-50, give or take a few.”  But his statement is really code for “Vote for me if you want more of the same.”  You see, moderates are all about trying not to rock the boat (even if it’s already sinking).  They are not about correcting failed policies or taking controversial stands.  Brown has a record of supporting abortion rights and access to abortifacients / contraception while occasionally voting to protect conscience rights for religious individuals / medical personnel. But anyone who thinks socially liberal otherwise moderate Democrats would rather vote for a relative unknown like Brown because of his views on the economy when they have Jeanne Shaheen who would promote abortion on demand over her own state’s right to regulate it has another thing coming.  Given that Brown’s voting record, according to Politifact, is turning decidedly more Democrat the longer he is in office, we probably would not even notice Shaheen’s absence.

Please note, all you “moderate” candidates out there, that we advocates for life are beyond tired of hearing that our “social issues” (which affect us all in our homes on a most intimate level and affect every other aspect of our lives) should take a back seat to “winnable battles” (ahem…Jim Rubens…this means you, too…).  So often we hear that our GOP candidates step up to their party platform as if it were a salad bar, willing to take on a heaping plate of fiscal conservatism, but only a sprinkling of “other issues.”  To be Republican, however, you are supposed to sign on to defend the principles laid out in the party’s platform.  If you dissent, then by definition you are something else…but you are not a Republican.

Why is willful impotence on protecting the right to life still tolerated within the GOP since it leads inevitably to defeat?   Since this adminisration took power, we’ve endured relentless, coercive rule such as we’ve never seen before by the left who, learning from the mistakes of fractured conservatives and libertarians, are now seemingly unassailably unified in their support for abortion and the “right to die.”  Moderate GOP hopefuls will not win by splitting their party’s base over abortion, nor will they ever make conservatives overjoyed at the prospect of voting for the “lesser of two evils.”  In fact, there is nothing more distasteful than being forced to vote for a representative who will betray you half of the time.  Admittance of pro-choice advocates to the GOP will always garner more disdain for the party from its base than it will gain praise from left-wing converts.  Those who would sell out the unborn / elderly / disabled to state efforts to eliminate such dependents – all in the guise of “personal freedom”  and just to get elected – endear themselves to no one.   By declaring themselves “GOP” while making public their disloyalty to their party’s principles, they violate their own integrity, proving without a doubt that no can trust them…and they bring the party’s integrity down with them.

These days being a self-proclaimed bridge-building moderate is not something to be proud of.  We hear a lot of praise given to “bi-partisan efforts” these days…on the state and national levels (in part because most people are genuinely shocked when anything is accomplished by legislators anymore given the polarization of our parties by this seemingly never ending administration).  Most of the praise comes from radical left wing reps who are only too happy to find GOP moderates who are more interested in “promoting harmony” and “bridging gaps” than in truth or principles – and who are willing to bend, or even violate their own consciences, to meet in the middle.  (Of course if the GOP won’t bend, well…the Dems always have executive orders to fall back on.  They just have to bulldoze the Constitution, disregard the need for checks and balances, and have the executive branch write the laws as it has for the past 6 years.)  Because conservatives have been so willing to compromise, we are now so far to the left, the historical “pendulum” may snap off and fly away before it can fall back down to center again.  Ask yourselves if NH can endure more “bi-partisan” agreements like the incumbent Dems and RINOS have made during this administration:

  • In a microcosm of the national “bipartisan” nightmare that is Obamacare, it is now impossible for anyone on an exchange living in central NH to see their family doctors at / networked with Concord Hospital.  Obamcare is undermining the consistent and successful medical treatment of thousands of people by doctors they’ve had for years. The poor / middle class are going further into debt to pay for far more expensive health plans that cover less treatments than before.  Even if they can afford the plan, they can’t begin to afford the outrageously high deductibles.  (The “right” to kill a child in the womb is well covered by everyone’s tax money – but other medical procedures?…Not so much.)  The result is that the very people Obama claimed to want to help are now actively avoiding routine health care because they can’t afford it after they are done paying for their mandatory insurance.
  • NH’s new “bipartisan” law creating 25 foot buffer zones around abortion clinics threatens all citizens’ right to speak freely / assemble on public land.  This sets a dangerous precedent making it possible for people to lose their right of way depending on what industry / business they are near.  Many other states have repealed their buffer zone laws in light of the recent unanimous SCOTUS ruling saying such laws were unconstitutional…but not NH.  While the enforcement of the law is temporarily delayed, the law and its threat to our most fundamental American right remains.
  • In NH alone in the last two years, conservative and liberal reps worked together to promote at least 5 different “right to die” bills – all of which will undoubtedly come up again.  Two narrowly defeated initiatives even sought to decriminalize the act of assisting someone in / coercing someone into committing suicide.  Reps created new state advance directive documents that include (in the fine print) food and hydration in their list of “extreme measures.” They failed to get approval to create an easily manipulated state registry of those who want to die vs. those who want treatment.  And they successfully pushed through a bill to spend our tax dollars on a study to figure out how the state of NH could benefit from legalizing and creating programs for assisted suicide.  (All of this should concern Brown greatly since he sponsored the “Save Elders Act” in 2012 to allocate funds for victims of elder abuse – and assisted suicide is arguably the worst known form of elder abuse.)  If euthanasia advocates gain a foothold in New England, a whole nation of baby boomers is at risk of being labeled dependent, burdensome, and therefore expendable.
  • NH voted down mandatory state reporting on abortion statistics which are now provided by all but 4 states in the country.  NH is one of the few states that continues to refuse to protect women from the abortion industry by, at the very least, enforcing its own laws ensuring that the abortion providers are abiding by FDA standards in their distribution of dangerous abortifacients, or meeting basic reporting requirements (met by any other medical facility in the state) not only regarding the maintenance of their facilities, but also the welfare of their clients before, during and after “treatment.”  The fact that such negligence is sanctioned by reps on both sides of the aisle speaks volumes about the caliber of our conservative leadership…
  • …as does the fact that NH once again voted against families still seeking justice in fetal homicide cases – denying the personhood of their killed, but very much wanted and still mourned children just to appease the abortion and IVF industries.  They did this in spite of the fact that 38 other states now recognize unborn children as crime victims – and the federal government signed into law the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (better known as Laci and Conner’s Law) in 2004 (which recognizes a “child in utero” as a legal victim if he or she is injured or killed during the commission of any of over 60 listed federal crimes of violence.  It also defines the “child” as “a member of the species Homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb”).
  • Finally, the colossal failure of the new Common Core standards for public education (which honors several “women’s health” officials and “reproductive justice” advocates by consulting them as curriculum advisors on the portion of the health curriculum pertaining to sexuality), is only just beginning to be recognized for what it is by educational experts across the country.  Perhaps the inability of this administration to implement it effectively is a blessing in disguise? Common Core standards are not internationally competitive – the Core’s own validation committee didn’t endorse the curriculum. Teachers are being asked to test our kids on their “dispositions” / “values” as part of the Core’s required rampant data mining on students with no established parental rights regarding what information is collected or where the information goes. Unelected State Board of Education appointees are ruling over school boards or doing away with them entirely. The NH DOE is giving away local control to feds, claiming they have no choice because of the threat of being denied federal funding… and there is still no estimate on the cost of implementation of the Core to NH. Textbooks / standardized tests are already getting more watered down – even for private school / homeschool kids –  because textbook / testing companies are rushing to conform to the Core.  Parents are left to their own devices to find out their rights, follow the money, investigate the source of this mess and try to stop it.  Meanwhile, Gov. Maggie Hassan’s confirmation of radical anti-school choice activist Bill Duncan to the NH Board of Education was a decision that continues to threaten the rights of many NH families who homeschool / choose Charter schools as alternatives to an overburdened, failing public school system that indoctrinates our children into believing that promiscuous sex is normal, abortion is healthy, and the practice of religion is should be relegated to houses of worship.

As true conservatives who value life and liberty above all things, we deserve representation that reflects serious treatment of our most vital concerns by our elected officials.  Right now we are thirsty for leaders who will not compromise on essentials, and the right to life is our first freedom without which we have no other freedoms.  We do not need more politicians who ride the waves of public favor without caring what shore they land on as long as they come out on top.  I believe now, more than ever, we need true statesmen driven by and deeply invested in first principles –  like liberty and personhood – to safeguard our country from the many and varied assaults on both.   We need people who represent us to understand that the right to life – womb to tomb, for all human beings regardless of age, development, or ability – should be protected without exception.

That is why I am excited about Bob Smith.  He has demonstrated that he is a man who who understands what it means to stand for principles even when it’s hard. He is a consistent pro-life leader with a perfect pro-life voting record for his 13 years in Congress.  He introduced the partial-birth abortion ban in 1995, and voted to ban cloning and to stop federal funding of embryonic research and abortion.  He was the prime sponsor of the Human Life Constitutional Amendment and sponsored a bill establishing personhood for the unborn from the moment of fertilization.  We need more like him.  (Watch an interview with Bob Smith here.)

It’s ironic that Brown criticizes Smith’s decision to leave the Republican party when Smith did it to save the GOP from itself.   In a time when the Republicans had forgotten their principles, Bob Smith had not forgotten them (read his speech); by leaving, he challenged the GOP to return to them.  Really, Bob Smith was the Republican party at that point; it was the GOP that walked away and left him alone on the platform.  If Brown is going to criticize Shaheen for putting her party first, then Bob Smith should be lauded for temporarily sacrificing his alliance with the party he loves to breathe life back into it.  Smith reminded the GOP to take a stand on the firm foundation of first principles rather than the quicksand of compromise.  Brown would not have made a move like Smith’s because he’s openly admits not being invested in party, platforms or principles.  But people don’t get excited about wishy-washy wafflers or incrementalists…they want people who lead – who are unafraid to do what’s right and best for our country.

So, Mr. Brown, please step down.  We need to yank that pendulum in the opposite direction – and the only people who can do that are the ones who carry with them the weight of their principles…Bob Smith is one we can be sure will get the job done.

 

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Ellen Kolb says:

    Good points. The good folks I call “legacy Republicans” are for the most part extremely uncomfortable with the life issues. They’ll quietly tolerate high-profile abortion advocates as GOP candidates while being up in arms about someone advocating, for example, open borders or a high marginal tax rate for high-income individuals. I think highly of the pro-lifers who patiently work to keep the life issues in the GOP platform. The platform doesn’t take care of itself.

    I think party affiliation ought to be situational. So do 42% of New Hampshire’s voters, judging from their adoption of “undeclared” status. (This is probably a good time to disclose that I worked for NHGOP for four months in 2012 before restoring my Undeclared status the day after the election.) Pollsters would say I “lean Republican.” Well, sort of. I lean pro-life. Party affiliation is a tactic, not a strategy. Any candidate who makes a face at that statement is writing off 42% of the electorate.

    At the risk of being called squishy (I’ve survived that accusation before), I’m heading into the fall elections with the primary goal of unseating our incumbent Governor and senior Senator. I’m at a train wreck, so to speak, and my priority is stopping the bleeding. Returning the incumbents to office, cementing their seniority and influence, would just prolong the wreck. Luckily, there’s a primary election first, offering real choices. I know which party’s ballot I’ll be requesting on September 9.

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