One of my opponents in the May 5 GOP primary for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District is Rev Micah Beckwith, whose website says he is a pastor at several churches in Carmel, Westfield, Fishers, Kokomo, and Anderson. The website states Rev Beckwith’s views on The Constitution:
“With a deep understanding of American history, Micah is answering the call to take the fight to Washington to defend true CONSTITUTIONAL conservative values ensuring that our children and grandchildren will continue to have a home where freedom and liberty reign. With God’s grace and your support, Micah will outwork every politician in Washington fighting for you and all you hold dear.”
Writing “CONSTITUTIONAL” in upper-case letters does not give Mr. Beckwith’s views on the history of the United States or its Constitution greater credibility. I shall take a wild guess and say he probably embraces “originalism” as “the” way to construe The Constitution.
Mr Beckwith tagged me today on Twitter: “The Democrats called. They want their taking (sic) points back. You’re in the wrong primary! But I’m glad you decided to fake it in the GOP primary. I’m gonna have a lot fun dismantling the stupidity of your progressive ideology. Can’t wait to see you on the campaign trail!”
I am so happy he wants to see me on the campaign trial! I replied: “Those aren't my talking points, but I look forward to the campaign, too. I'd rather a person like you, who obviously hates so many (e.g. LGBTQ folks) views me as stupid. That's a compliment to me!”
Where do I start? Let’s see - how about the origins of the Republican Party as a force for progressive values and how it was taken over by the GOP’s “Southern strategy.” Maybe Mr Beckwith did not cover that particular aspect of U.S. history in his home schooling.
The roots of the GOP are in what were considered progressive soil. Theodore Roosevelt was a guiding light of the progressive movement - he was a Republican. Robert La Follete of Wisconsin, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes and NYC Mayor Fiorella LaGuardia.
You see, not that long ago both “major” political parties had conservative and liberal wings. Some who label themselves as “conservative” and decry any approach to “socialism” want to see programs for clean air and water, & housing for the poor, curtailed or ended as tending toward socialism.
If one believes these programs are socialistic, one must agree the last “socialist” President of this country was Richard Nixon, who, despite many - many, many, many - flaws, was proud of these achievements of his administration. He was a lifelong Republican.
The Supreme Court decision that protects a woman’s reproductive rights and rights in so many other areas, Roe v Wade, was written by Justice Blackmun, a Nixon-appointee. It is an excellently-researched history of a procedure that, for most of human history, has been legal.
Racism has bent this country since the first African indentured servants were switched to slaves to be bought and sold as chattel. The President Lincoln - a Republican - was key to The Emancipation Proclamation and passage of the Thirteenth Amendment.
As a native-born Hoosier who remembers the single class high school basketball, I understand how capitalism works. Competitors eliminate each other untl only a few hands control the economy, except there is no subsequent tournament.
The rich like to stay rich and rig the system so that money stays in their hands through generations. Teddy Roosevelt understood this, too, and busted monopolies at the same time as he advocated inheritance taxes. Again - Teddy was a Republican.
“I like Ike” was President Eisenhower’s campaign slogan in 1952. That slogan worked, as did the tax rates under President Eisenhower. Ike was a Republican. Unfortunately, the very wealthy later redistributed wealth so that more money was in fewer hands.
I will address “originalism” in another blog. For now - or, since I’m a Hoosier, right now - I shall leave Mr Beckwith these examples of progressive politics in the Republican Party.
Mr Beck with suggests that in my campaign effort I seek to “fake it” in the GOP. However, racism, bigotry and hatred were greatly imported to the Republican Party by the Southern strategy.
Barry Goldwater - the grand-daddy of American conservatism - did not want today’s evangelicals in the GOP. The Framers proscribed affirmation to a deity as part of the oaths of office for members of Congress and the judiciary, U.S. Const., Art.VI, cl 3; as well as that of President. U.S. Const. Art. II, sec. 1.
As I said in a blog a couple of weeks ago, the CONSTITUTION - to use Mr Beckwith’s spelling - protects everyone’s beliefs about the cosmos and our places in it. Members of other Christian sects, of the Hebrew faith and the Islamic faith, Buddhists, Hindus, Wiccans, Jainists, and even atheists and agnostics are protected in beliefs equally.
Wait, I think I should write EQUALLY.
I am Mark Small, a candidate for U.S. House in Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. I am proud to be a progressive. I approve of this blog. Hell, I wrote it.
Roe v. Wade "is an excellently-researched history of a procedure that, for most of human history, has been legal." Excellent research in terms of history. In terms of judicial scholarship, Roe v. Wade comes up way short. The issue in Roe was whether the Constitution provides for a constitutional right to abortion. Otherwise it's an issue for legislatures, not the courts. Even liberal constitutional scholars criticize the failure of Blackman to provide a coherent legal rational for his conclusion that the Constitution mandates a constitutional right to abortion on demand for six months of pregnancy (yes, I've read Roe v. Wade many times and that is exactly what it does.) I understand that many Americans, think abortion on demand for the first two trimesters is a good policy choice. But just because something is a good policy choice, does not mean that policy choice is mandated by the Constitution.
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