One thing we have all come to realize is that just electing Republican candidates to public office does not guarantee conservative votes or conservative outcomes. It is necessary to not only elect the right candidates but also to stay informed regarding their record. Too often in the past, voters wrongly assumed that their job was done after the election. They went back to their regular jobs and lives and too often did not focus on the candidate again until the next campaign. Their exposure to the issues was often limited to what they would hear during the campaign season: the saintly incumbent would air one-sided, poll-tested commercials showing that they ate apple pie three times a day and supported motherhood when they weren’t busy doing charity work at the local orphanage.
The challenger would counter with his own poll-tested commercials proving that the incumbent really never ate apple pie and hated mothers and orphans. In fact, they had strong evidence to be released soon that the incumbent may even be a closet cannibal.
Many voters base their choice primarily on impressions they have formed from this give-and-take nonsense between the candidates rather than the actual record of the candidate. This is one reason why terrible incumbents still have an 85% to 90% chance of being reelected. They can survive despite their dismal records because of a constituency that is unaware of the actual record.
This is why it is so important that we stay informed on the issues and connected through conservative organizations like the Tea Party, so that we are acting on solid, well-researched information rather than campaign rhetoric and media hype. Otherwise, phony politicians, who run on conservative issues and then turn their backs on conservatives after they’re elected, continue to slip by us and be reinstated to offices they do not deserve.
I’m struck by the disparities between our two Texas Senators. Both are Republican and ran as conservatives. However, Cornyn and Cruz have very different voting records. Senator Cruz rates twice as conservative as Senator Cornyn, and yet they were both elected by the exact same constituency.
The fact that both Texas Senators often are pulling in different directions dilutes the power of Texas voters. When one Texas Senator votes for a policy while the other votes against the same policy, they effectively cancel out or nullify the Texas vote. It is like the conservative husband and liberal wife who go to the voting booth and cancel each other’s vote. The result would be the same if neither voted.
I believe that this illogical and undesirable situation could only exist here because there are still too many voters who simply based their votes on the candidate’s rhetoric rather than their voting record. They have no idea how counterproductive it is to elect two senators with opposing views. So an unaware constituency is greatly responsible for diminishing the influence that Texas could have in the Senate.
Take term limits for example. Seventy percent of voters support a Constitutional amendment to impose term limits. Yet one Senator, Cruz, supports term limits while the other Senator, Cornyn, opposes them. So Texas winds up with a zero sum gain and has no more impact on the Senate vote than if both of our Senators had just stayed home and not voted. Let Cornyn know that we want term limits on Congress.
Last Thursday, Sen. Cruz, along with Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), David Perdue (R-Georgia), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), and Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) reintroduced Kate’s Law, which was first introduced in July 2015. Notably Cornyn’s name is missing from that list. A solid majority of Texans support Kate’s Law, but Cornyn’s absence from that list may indicate that we will face a situation where Cornyn cancels out the conservative Cruz vote and nullifies the Texas impact on the final Senate vote.
Let Cornyn know that we want to reverse the Obama administration’s policies and that Kate’s Law is crucial to ensure that deported illegal aliens, especially those with violent criminal records, are deterred from illegally reentering the United States to prey on innocent Americans.
Let’s tell Senator Cornyn to get on board with conservatives and stop canceling out our conservative Texas vote.
Allen Tharp is President of the San Antonio Tea Party.
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