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The Tentacle


November 16, 2010

The Tides of Change

Farrell Keough

Had a nice break after the elections, hope all of my 12, (including family) readers missed me! It is back to the grind and the work to keep this Republic on the right course.

 

A number of issues will be raising their ugly heads in the near future; suffice to say, keep your eyes peeled on the EPA and HUD. Having watched these two governmental organizations since the Obama Administration took office, they have gained incredible power and prominence. In short, both have been pushing their agendas via new rules and regulations outside the legislative process and with very little oversight. As time goes on, we will review the myriad of encroachments they have accomplished – these will affect each and every one of us, regardless of our professions, social stature, or level of income.

 

Until then, let’s review some of the events which led up to the minimal changes in focus and ideology in Maryland. For instance, in conservative Frederick County, the Republican sweep was overwhelming! I was pleased to have lost a bet on who would win the Board of County Commissioners election – I put my money on an incumbent retaining his seat. Needless to say, I could not have been more pleased to have lost that bet! If I have any regrets about that contest, it would be that David Gray was re-elected over Michael Kurtianyk. I found Mr. Kurtianyk to be a superior candidate, (he spent a great deal of time learning the full breadth of issues) and I look forward to his continued commitment to Frederick County!

 

This Republican, or rather conservative, sweep through Frederick County was emblematic of what occurred nationwide – at least that is generally what I am hearing from many Democratic circles. While some of this analogy has merit, I would posit it is far too simplistic – else we would have seen a Republican Senator re-elected in Frederick County’s District 3 as well as a Republican Governor re-elected back from his previous term.

 

Let’s consider three individuals who will make a dramatic impact on Frederick County and what set them apart – Jimmy Reeder, Blaine Young, and Kirby Delauter. None of these three ran a dirty campaign – never underestimate the importance of that impact. One can compare and contrast themselves with their opponent to show the voters the ideological differences, but over time, when a negative campaigning becomes the norm for a candidate, this will bite them in the behind at the voting booth – I offer the outgoing senator from District 3 as a case in point.

 

Positive campaigning is not sufficient to win an election – one must present a consistent message and articulate it as something from the heart.  These three individuals accomplished exactly that – they presented to the voters who they were as people and what they could offer due in large part to their consistent ideologies.* In short, these three elected representatives, who did not shy away from their strong conservative ideologies, presented the public with viable options as to what they could accomplish.

 

Many will note this worked because Frederick County is a right-leaning, conservative enclave. While there is some justification to that proposal, when we consider how this viewpoint has affected the leadership we have been offered, it most certainly falls short.

 

As noted in the Washington Post: “Democrats are still in charge in many states along the coasts, including California, Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maryland.

 

[…]

 

Republicans didn't take power in the states by incremental gains. The shifts in many places were truly dramatic.

 

[…]

 

In Michigan, the state House flipped from 64-42 Democratic to 63-47 Republican. In Minnesota, the state House went from 87-47 Democratic to 72-62 Republican.”

 

These sweeping victories did not occur because the candidates presented a moderate ideology – they occurred because the candidates embraced strong conservative values. Maryland, like California, stayed the course with liberal ideologies – the comparisons are surprisingly similar. California had a Republican governor who shifted toward the left during his time in office – Maryland was given a candidate who had a history of shifting left and came out fighting as a moderate. In short, those in the political driver’s seat have been led to believe and present to us that the only way for a Republican to win in our state is to neglect their base and pursue those they believe are in the center. How’s that working for us?

 

We lost an important election, if for no other reason, redistricting will be taking place. But, we do have great hope for future transformations. Two important aspects must be realized for this to happen – who is left in the field and who will retain the leadership roles to promote potential candidates?

 

As to the field, a real shift has taken place across the nation. As noted in Roll Call: “While the GOP celebrates historic gains in the House, Republicans in state capitals across the country are cheering massive pickups that wiped out key Democratic bench players — a shift that they say may shape elections for years to come.” While this national situation may not have the same effect in Maryland, it will surely affect the national funding our various elected representatives can depend upon. We must leverage this situation and promote those in the Republican Party who truly stand for conservative values – in thought and action.

 

As to the leadership within the party, that shift must be more dramatic and difficult. We must let go of the old ways and those who will not embrace promoting the true conservative values of the Republican Party. Many have spent years embracing and parlaying these moderate ideologies and promotion techniques and we have many loses under our belts to prove this does not work.

 

We have an opportunity to end this legacy. Let’s hope we do not squander it and allow ourselves to lie at the feet of our competitor yet again.

 

 

fkeough@hotmail.com

 

* It should be noted that Sheriff Chuck Jenkins easily falls into the same category – but this perspective was focused on newly elected representatives.



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