What should we look for?
I stated in a former post that we do not need to send politicians to the Senate. We must send leaders. The collegial atmosphere of the Senate is an invitation to sell one's ideals at an incremental rate. Unlike the volatile House, the Senate serves as a cooling dish to the heated rhetoric that typically escalates between the parties. If the senator is not on close guard, that genial style will be mistaken for bipartisanship, and compromise on core values will soon follow. We must send someone who knows what the typical constituent goes through on a daily basis. The Framers decided on a representative democracy, and we have forgotten the "representative" part. It is not just enough to speak on behalf of those they represent, they must also have been OF their constituency. How many millionaires can you count in the Senate? How long has it been since they have had a job other than the Senate? How many were House members or state legislators before? I do not mean to engage is class warfare, but why are wealthy government officials lecturing you on what "regular" Americans want?
The quality of the leader means nothing if that leader does not have good moral character. Living a good life and doing the right thing goes a long way in proving to people that they can ultimately trust you with their money and the lives of their children. And make no mistake about how much the Congress controls your life. They are constitutionally empowered to levy taxes and declare war. And in case you haven't seen the news lately, the Congress is now legislating morality. From taxes on cigarettes to welfare payments for the never-employed, they are spending your money according to their values. Do you want a senator that drives drunk, doesn't pay taxes, cheats on his wife? These are very important questions that should play a large factor in your selection.
I would also encourage you to vote for a candidate who has put service above self. One of the disappointing aspects of most of our representatives is that they have never served in the armed forces of the United States. I want you to think hard about the leadership and the moral character of those who have not served. They are the ones that are making the decisions that affect the men and women in the armed forces on a daily basis. And if our profession is so noble and our service so critical, why have they not chosen to serve? Do some research on the candidates. Did the candidate finish college, go to graduate school, and then immediately run for office? Or did the candidate first choose to serve the United States to become a more well-rounded citizen? I am not arguing that military service should be the defining character of a good candidate, but I do think that each candidate should explain why they chose not to serve.
Our senator must also have the ability to decide, communicate, and act. One hundred men and women are primarily responsible for all the legislation. Yes, the House does a lot of drafting, but the Senate gives the go-ahead to every bill. If our next senator cannot be decisive (and have the will to stand athwart the spending spree and yell "STOP") then we will have made a mistake. Our next senator must also have the ability to clearly articulate to us why the decision was made. It is not enough to read some boilerplate statement or to say "trust me." We must be looked in the eye and convinced that each choice was made to the betterment of the Republic and the people of Texas. That senator must also act to protect the liberty and freedom of the people. Those acts might not always be positive, and a spine of steel would be a welcome relief to me, at least.
Finally, our new senator must be anchored in the conservative ideology. I will spend more time in a following post arguing why this is a good thing, but I will leave you with this. I have heard a lot about the benefits of pragmatism in the last few weeks. Pundits say that people do not worry about ideology, but what works. I say this is dangerous. Fascism "worked." National Socialism (ie Nazi) "worked." These pragmatic approaches to government proved very effective in some instances. But in fact they were also fantastically destructive to life and liberty. We should not be ashamed to elect someone who is dedicated to limiting the federal government, maximizing personal liberty and individual rights, and protecting the lives of all citizens.
If you like what you are reading, send it to a friend. If you really like what you are reading, send it to the county GOP. Demand a good candidate, you deserve no less.