I am what you might call an accidental conservative. I grew up in another country – Australia – where the prevailing culture is much more left-wing than the political environment of the United States.
I moved here in my mid-twenties as a news reporter, and at first, I sympathized with liberal politicians and liberal causes. I was used to left-wing politics, after all, and it was the path of least resistance in the newsrooms where I worked.
But over time, that started to change. After growing up in a country where the government plays a much bigger role in daily life, and the private economy is much smaller, living in America taught me a simple truth: When the government is smaller, and the economy is bigger, life is better.
Today, I am a proud U.S. citizen and a vocal advocate for the system of limited government made possible by our Constitution. I am also a husband and a father – and I’m worried. I fear my two young girls, and children all across America, will be denied the freedom and opportunity they deserve if the next president fails to honor the Constitution and our nation’s founding principles.
For this reason, I will be supporting Ted Cruz at the Republican State Convention in Colorado Springs on Saturday.
To be clear, Cruz was not my first choice. I supported Marco Rubio before he dropped out. But today, Cruz is the only candidate in the race who can secure the Republican nomination, run as a conservative who will honor the Constitution, and win the general election. He understood our anger at Washington, D.C. – and acted on it – years before the presidential campaign even began. And for anyone who believes in limited government, Cruz is a far better choice than the current frontrunner, Donald Trump.
Trump would increase the size, scope and power of the federal government in a number of deeply troubling ways. Today, the national debt is $19 trillion and rising, with roughly two-thirds of federal spending devoted to Medicare, Social Security and other entitlement programs. But Trump has no plan to reform entitlements, even though they will saddle our children with crushing federal debt. He’s even bragged that he won’t touch entitlements, unlike “every other Republican” in the race.
Trump has also suggested even more entitlements are on their way. “I am going to take care of everybody,” Trump said while attempting to explain how he would replace Obamacare. And for those who don’t buy insurance? “The government’s going to pay for it,” he said. When challenged, Trump attacks conservatives like he’s a big-government liberal: “We’re not going to let people die in squalor because we are Republicans.”
Even more disturbing, Trump talks like someone who believes the president is above the law. When asked how he would respond if the military refused to carry out illegal orders from the White House, Trump replied: “They’re not going to refuse me … If I say do it, they’re going to do it. That’s what leadership is all about.”
Trump has also threatened news organizations with new libel laws so people can “sue you like you’ve never got sued before.” Only a candidate who doesn’t know or doesn’t care about the Constitution – and specifically the First Amendment, which prohibits the federal government from abridging the freedom of the press – would make such a threat. And speaking of press freedoms, Trump still refuses to fire or even discipline his campaign manager, who was charged with misdemeanor battery for allegedly manhandling a reporter at a news conference.
Of course, Trump has become famous for backtracking on his past statements and changing his positions until it’s practically impossible to tell where he stands from one day to the next. But the underlying message is crystal clear: Big government is fine as long as Trump’s in charge.
But big government isn’t fine. We don’t need a “strongman” in the Oval Office who will do even more damage to our constitutional republic. Simply put, we need to get back to basics, starting with the principles of limited government that created this great nation.
You don’t have to agree with Cruz about everything. But in this moment, he’s the only presidential candidate who can steer the Republican Party and the nation in the right direction. Please, if you believe in limited government, vote Cruz.
Simon Lomax is a Boulder County delegate to Colorado’s Republican State Convention and a candidate for national delegate.