Among the Purists
Monday, October 31, 2005 :::
This is going to be difficult.
In today's Washington Times, I read this piece on how "Some Virginia anti-tax activists and others are so frustrated with Republican candidate Jerry W. Kilgore that they are vowing not to vote in the governor's race."
Okay, I've heard that many times, and it may indeed be true. But I read on:
John Taylor, president of the Virginia Institute for Public Policy, agrees that Mr. Kilgore has not reached out to social or fiscal conservatives.
"I think a whole bunch of people will decide to go fishing on November 8," said Mr. Taylor, who is upset that Mr. Kilgore has not re-signed the Americans for Tax Reform Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
"The conservative grass roots is so disaffected by both the national party and the state party," said Mr. Taylor, who is also displeased with Mr. Kilgore's proposal to create regional transportation authorities that could hold local referendums on taxes.
Now I've known John for a long time. We worked together, and still do, from time to time, on various projects. I can appreciate, and even agree that the choice we face next week isn't one that stirs the blood.
But there comes a time when conservatives need to get off their high horses and ask themselves hard questions about what they truly want government to be and how they genuinely expect to ever achieve those goals if they take their marbles and walk away from the game.
My position is that while there are divisions, and there is a strong case for decisive action -- particularly at the national level, where the GOP seems more enthralled with the idea of power than ideas -- at the state level, we do not have that choice. Not yet. If we stay at home next week and nurse our grudges, we'll not only have thrown away an opportunity, we'll have handed executive power over to a candidate, in Tim Kaine, who never has and never will share our views.
And worse, we'll have ceded essential ground on the fights we all know are coming in the next General Assembly session.
Inaction is easy. Idleness is seductive. If conservatives do, indeed, decide to go fishing on November 8, they will catch one of two things:
And neither one advances the ideals of limited government an inch.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 10/31/2005