To the editor:
I have heard from many concerned voters who backed Trey Radel in the last primary and general elections who admonish that "we can't make the same mistake we did last time. We need to vet the candidates."
I agree we must vet the candidates. However, I disagree with the notion that we made a mistake in sending a conservative to Congress. The American Conservative Union recently published its rankings for those in Congress and gave former Rep. Radel a grade of 100 percent for voting according to conservative values. No, the mistake was Trey's in running for Congress believing that his personal problems would not come to light. But that is history and we must be concerned with the future.
The Tea Party has been called an angry mob of old white racists. At the meet-and-greet I held recently for Curt Clawson, candidate for the 19th Congressional District House seat, there were men and women both young and old, white, Asian, African American, Christians, Jews. Among them was a couple who had immigrated here from Eastern Europe who believe that our country is degenerating into an oppressive, Socialist country like the one from which they had fled. And then there was the young Marine who had put his life on the line serving our country yet asked nothing more than that we inform our fellow citizens of what is at stake.
Tea Party values are time-honored American values. We believe in individual liberty and freedoms coupled with individual responsibility. We believe in limited spending and fiscal restraint on the part of our elected officials so as not to burden future generations with unsustainable debt. We believe in limiting the size and reach of government to promote free markets which in turn create jobs. We believe in preserving the traditional American family and in the sanctity of life. We believe we should give someone in need a hand up in life but not a handout for life. And we believe we need to protect our country from all enemies, both foreign and domestic.
These values are time honored because they are the values upon which our Founding Fathers established this country and created, after much thought and prayer as to its content and purpose, our Constitution. Today too many of those seated in the highest offices of our government ignore the wisdom of these men and thumb their noses at that document of laws which, if followed, will ensure America remains the most exceptional country in the world where all Americans can thrive and prosper.
Perhaps it is time to heed the words of Thomas Paine: "It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government." The only way I know that we can do that is to become involved and inform ourselves about those who wish to represent us, and then exercise our rights to vote for the candidate we believe can best serve the people. If you sit on the sidelines, and I pray you do not, we may well wind up with just more politicians more concerned about winning favor or retaining power than about upholding our founding principles to ensure our continued freedom and liberty.
St. James City