I am blessed to have the opportunity to teach young people every day, and I often think of the world that they, and my own children, will inherit. Unfortunately, many have relied on Republican leadership that has failed time and again to bring our nation back from the road to decline.
These “leaders”have perfected a system that rewards Republican electoral and policy failure, and embraces betraying those who elected them in return for wealth and status — perpetuating a status quo which sacrifices principle but never their personal power. The only accomplishment of my opponent Eric Cantor, and other members of the establishment, has been to barely slow down the pace of Obama-era malaise and decline.
Congressman Cantor’s profile has been erratic even by Washington standards — flitting from eager establishmentarian coat-holder to self-glorified “Young Gun” and back again. His loyalties, both upward and downward, have shifted in his eager embrace of the Ruling Class. Washington’s only genuine article of faith: maintaining control regardless of how that control affects the life of the folks back home.
The Republican office holders, contributors, lobbyists, staffs, and consultants who comprise the party’s inner circle see 2014 as a chance to expand their share of the Washington action. For them, winning the majority in the Senate would be nice but is not essential. Expanding Republican leadership in the House is likewise not particularly high on the agenda.
Tighter control of what they have is more important to the beltway Republicans and their short-sighted corporate friends than winning a majority. Their real objective is control. They view Tea Party, conservative and libertarian-leaning Congressmen and Senators as the menace, not Democrats. To secure control beltway Republicans have launched an unprecedented assault on dissenters. This assault will be increasingly intense as the 2014 primary season unfolds.
This insatiable desire for control, coupled with a sincere disdain for the conservative grassroots, explains why our “leadership” continues to take mind-boggling positions on issues long cherished by the left, such as amnesty, and why opposition to additional bloated government programs often seems contrived. The unfortunate truth is that control for Eric Cantor and establishment Republicans means cozying up to the comfy nexus of mega-big-business with mega-big-government.
As an economist, I can see the conditions for new manufacturing in this country. Low energy costs are one such condition that could bring good, new manufacturing jobs that will help restore our fraying social order by welcoming back to the world of productive work many of those now languishing on the margins.
While we all welcome the revival of American manufacturing, much of corporate America seems to believe this can only be achieved with cheap immigrant labor, and hence their pressure to facilitate new waves of massive immigration and promote amnesty for those who have entered this country illegally. This, while millions of our friends and neighbors are looking for work all across the labor market at all levels of skill and education.
We have pointed out from the outset of this campaign that Eric Cantor is making amnesty possible as a Republican leader able to deliver votes to ally with the most liberal members of Congress. We were relieved the amnesty vote was delayed after I entered this race, but it would be naïve to believe that amnesty will not proceed at a fast clip if campaigns like mine fail in the coming months and leadership feels vindicated in its push for amnesty and blank checks for President Obama.
We need a president and an executive branch that respects the law and the Constitution, and we need a Republican Congress that takes seriously its responsibility to police executive power, not just call committee hearings to whine about its abuse. On amnesty, Obamacare, pork-laden legislation like the Farm Bill, a rising debt, talk of even more crony bailouts and a president intent on ruling via executive order, we need a Congress focused on serving the people and opposing an out of control White House.
What we expect from government to a large degree determines what kind of people we are. A free people expect government to guarantee individual liberty and the rule of law. They expect government to respect their property. They expect government to avoid interfering with their beliefs or their private affairs. For most of our history Americans prided themselves on being a freedom-loving, industrious, self-reliant, and charitable people.
The first step towards ending the nightmare in which we now find ourselves is to decide there is nothing about the conditions of the 21st Century that prevents us being that kind of people again. I want to replace Eric Cantor because I believe I know better than he does what kind of people Virginians are and want to be, and my objective will be restoring a federal government that is friendly to these aspirations.
Dave Brat is a conservative Republican candidate for Congress, running in Virginia’s 7th district.