There are some who believe “Tea Party” and “Town Hall” crowds fit in neat categories of at-best Republican Party strong hands, or at worst anti-Obama bigots. In both instances, there has been no evidence to support these stereotypes. We have heard time and time again testimony from individuals who are concerned with too much government intervention, and too much government spending, not your typical political thug nor white supremacist.
I had the opportunity to speak at an August town hall meeting in Bellerose Queens, where I discussed how government run health care will negatively impact medical care for millions of Americans. I felt maligned by Philip Weiss of New York Magazine when in its cover story “Who Is Barack Obama?” I was specifically and inaccurately labeled, without making a single comment about what I actually said.
The issue of whether government should be involved in the people’s business has been a source of contention throughout American history.
“A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government. “ Thomas Jefferson
Modern anti- government activists have been mostly organized by regular Americans against high taxes, record breaking deficits, and government involvement in healthcare. It is both a rejection of progressive politics and of the “business as usual” attitude that so many of our representatives live by.
The “vote the bums out” mantra that has been echoed often by many a protester succinctly reflects the pulse of the American voter. Calls to action at the voting booth, which apply to Republicans and Democrats alike, is topic du jour. It would be foolish to think that opposition groups will only support Republicans. On the contrary, Republicans who normally reject out of control government spending, yet support government expansion, are deemed hypocritical and are subsequently more vulnerable than immune.
The 2009 special election for the 23rd Congressional District of New York scheduled for November 5 might be an early indication as to whether activism can translate into action. The three candidates vying for the seat come from three different political parties, Conservative Doug Hoffman, Republican Dede Scozzafava and Democrat Bill Owens.
Scozzafava, a Jefferson County Republican Assemblywoman, ousted by National Review for being to the left of most Democrats, since she is pro-choice, supports homosexual marriage, has ties to Big Labor, SEIU and ACORN, is what some call the making of another Arlen Specter.
The Democrat’s candidate, Bill Owens, more concerned with pleasing his Party than the people, is stuck in a time warp blaming the Bush administration for everything that has gone wrong. Owens would gain more traction if he blamed New York State government for raising taxes that led to Upstate New York’s economic woes, and at the end of the day loses credibility because most people are tired of the blame game.
Finally, the Conservative Party candidate, Republican Doug Hoffman, former Army Reserve Staff Sergeant, is a successful businessman and accountant who was Corporate Controller for the Lake Placid 1980 Olympic Games, overseeing a budget of $150 million, 2,500 employees and 6000 volunteers. His political positions are clear; he is anti-government spending, anti-bailout, supports low taxes, smart, effective government.
My final message is to the voters of the 23rd District: Help a small government conservative get elected, vote for real change, have a voice in local politics, trust your instincts, make a difference and vote for Conservative Doug Hoffman.
(In the interest of full disclosure, I am a former District Leader for the Queens County Conservative Party, and 2005 Conservative Party Candidate for NYC Council.)