January 14, 2006
From Doug at Below The Beltway, we finally are seeing someone with libertarian principles making the push within the Republican party to become House Majority Leader. John Shadegg (R-AZ), a member of the Republican Liberty Caucus, recently chose to toss his hat in the ring:
Shadegg came to Congress as part of the firebrand freshman class of 1994, which brought Republicans control of the House for the first time in 40 years. He said he doesn’t have confidence that the other contenders for the position would help the House bring about enough change.
He cast himself as a Republican in the tradition of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.
“I believe in the power of Republican ideas, and I believe that we need a clean break from the scandals of the recent past,” Shadegg said.
The Club for Growth, which raises money for conservative candidates and often weighs in on GOP primary races, endorsed Shadegg on Friday.
“There is no member of the House of Representatives more committed to the idea of limited government and economic freedom than John Shadegg,” said Club for Growth President Pat Toomey.
If you’re a Libertarian who sometimes votes Republican, or a Republican with libertarian leanings, it’s time to take note of this. Government is large and generally impossible for individuals, even in a grassroots movement, to influence. Too often, our voices are discarded in favor of the voices carrying big checkbooks, and there’s often little we can do about that. Voting in particular has become one of the more pointless events a single individual can take, although many of us (myself included) choose to believe that we can make a difference and do it anyway.
Now is our chance to make a difference. The Republican party has a specific, important choice to make; one that will affect the party for years to come. Our elected officials are reeling from this scandal and may just be ready for someone outside the Republican “establishment”. And all we need is 116 votes out of 231 Republican congressmen. I think there is a growing resentment from the Republican grassroots at the rot that has occurred since the party came to power in 1994. It is time to make that sentiment heard.
I have an assignment for every single person who reads this blog, is a libertarian or Republican, and lives in a Republican-held congressional district. Write a letter to your congressman asking him to support Shadegg. Fax it to both his local and D.C. offices. That’s crucial. Don’t call, and don’t email (or do so in addition to sending a fax). Congressional staff pay far more attention to letters (especially those that are not form letters) than phone calls or emails, and due to security concerns with congressional mail, sending by fax is the best way to get a letter through.
I’m planning on sending a letter to Tom Price, my congressman here in the 6th District of Georgia. Tom is a freshman congressman, and seems to be very friendly to libertarian interests. My personal goal is to make sure that he supports Shadegg, even if the Republican “establishment” around him pulls for Blunt or Boehner.
A concerted push and grassroots movement now, if successful, could result in a long-term change in the tenor and tone of legislation coming from the Republican party. If you’re ever going to be more politically active than just pulling the lever in November, this is the time to do it.
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