To: Mike Karickhoff, Howard County Republican Party
I cannot attend this morning’s Howard County Republican Party breakfast/candidate forum for GOP candidates for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. There are several matters in the program as announced I find anti-GOP, anti-conservative, counter to The Constitution, and unacceptable.
First, at 8:40 there is to be “Prayer, Pledge, Sponsor recognition.” This is a secular society with people of many faiths and many beliefs about our place in our Universe. If the “prayer” is to a specific deity, it is discriminatory.
The late Senator Barry Goldwater warned “if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party ... it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me.” If the “prayer” is to some generic entity, the prayer is meaningless.
By “Pledge” I infer you mean The Pledge of Allegiance. I became a citizen of the United States and the State of Indiana when I was born in St Joseph’s Hospital. I shall not recite a pledge as a threshold to speak.
To recognize “sponsors” is to condone money as a factor in our system of elections. The decision in Citizens United v FEC brought us an unfettered power of money in campaigns. In 1894 the Montana GOP pushed limits on contributions to campaigns.
The efforts of that State’s GOP are founded in values traditional and of much longer standing than these most recent erosions of the public trust. To laud donors by levels of monetary contributions is anathema to open elections. To require candidates to pay tribute exacerbates the problems.
Second, you note in your most recent e-mail that each of the 15 candidates will be given one-and-a-half minutes as an introduction. This is adequate time only for each candidate to vow an oath of allegiance to the individual who currently occupies the Oval Office.
My could be misconstrued as agreement with views of people who do not meet a definition of conservative: “Predisposed to traditional attitudes, beliefs, and teachings; favoring established traditions, social stability, and gradual developments as opposed to abrupt changes.” Black’s Law Dictionary.
For decades the Republican Party stood as a force for civil rights (Lincoln, Reconstruction, opposed Dixiecrats in 1950s), protection of our environment T Roosevelt; EPA under Nixon), use of military as last resort. (Taft’s isolationism, Ike’s warning re military-industrial complex.)
The GOP opposed accumulation of great wealth in a few hands (1854 origins; T. Roosevelt’s “busting” of “trusts”) and was extremely aggressive as it sought to protect the rights of those newly freed from slavery.
Women’s reproductive rights were protected by Roe v Wade - a decision written by Justice Blackmun. The Court’s vote was 7-2. Five GOP-nominated justices, including Justice Blackmun, were amongst the seven.
These other candidates oppose a strong central government - a government the necessity of which the Civil War demonstrated - in favor of a notion of States’ rights. The Declaration of Independence makes clear: people, not governments, have rights.
The so-called tea party movement hacked the GOP and wrested control of the Grand Old Party. That control has passed to hands of large, corporate wealth - an irony given that the original Tea Party in Boston was carried out against one of the largest corporations of the day.
The too-recent 2010 hack of the GOP by the so-called tea party, and imposition of “ad hoc” values resultant chaotic nature of the GOP, can be contrasted with the traditional values of the 156 years prior.
That these most recent machinations - and the imbecilic rants of the current occupant of the Oval Office - have fomented forces of hatred in the USA are of little surprise. The values of equality and freedom - despite one’s checkbook or religious beliefs - are traditional values the GOP has abandoned.
I shall post this as a blog. I am sorry to see that the GOP has devolved to a fiscally irresponsible party controlled by corporate interests hidden behind a Citizens United veil of secrecy. I am Mark Small, a candidate for U.S. House in Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. I am proud to be a progressive and carry on that tradition of the Grand Old Party. I approve of this blog. Hell, I wrote it.