by Steve Osborn
The folks in the grassroots conservative movement have been working hard these last few years trying to be the Vanguards of Liberty, and trying to undo the damage inflicted on our nation by liberals. We may disagree from time to time on issues, tactics, or candidates, but we remain steadfast and united in our common goals: defending the Constitution, restoring our constitutional Republic, and preserving our long-held American values.
However, some of us have been choosing to support one candidate over another because of what is said on the campaign trail or what we’ve heard from someone else without doing any research from reputable sources on our own. In many ways, we’ve acted like we’re electing a high-school class president based on a popularity contest without truly knowing who best shares our values, or who would best represent us in the state.
We have to grow beyond that.
Just doing basic research of the candidates would either support what is said on the trail, or prove that a candidate is simply pandering for votes. Consequently, we’ve been electing Republicans in Tennessee who’ve run as conservatives only for them to show that they’re actually liberals once they’re in office. Hence, the acronym RINO (Republican In Name Only).
Once again, we have candidates running for governor who say they’re conservative, but do not have a good track record backing up their claims, except for one.
For instance, Bill Lee says he’s a conservative. Yet when it comes to same-sex marriage, he’s perfectly happy to take a hands-off approach, and let the liberal courts decide the issue. He also refuses to take a common-sense, conservative stance against grown men using a woman’s public restroom. He seems to willfully ignore evidence of sexual predators using that liberal policy to seek out and abuse our vulnerable daughters.
While Randy Boyd is a successful businessman and may be a great guy to sit down and have a beer with, he doesn’t share our conservative values. For instance, he recently donated $250,000 to an affiliate partner of the National Council of La Raza. And when asked on June 26th of 2017 for a statement regarding Nashville’s proposed sanctuary city policy change, he refused to denounce the proposed policy. But two days after that article went public, he suddenly changed his tune, and issued a statement against the policy.
I think a casual observer can safely assume that the reason for releasing the statement was because he refused to condemn the proposal when given the chance, and saw that his silence was damaging his campaign. Still, one has to wonder how a candidate can be against sanctuary cities when that candidate contributed to an organization that works hard to implement the practice.
It’s been said that a Harwell administration will be a Haslam administration 2.0; the same administration that tried to expand Obamacare in Tennessee, and then gave us the latest gas-tax increase. I’ll leave it at that.
In stark contrast to the candidates mentioned, Congresswoman Diane Black has a track record of being a conservative. For example, she openly opposes same-sex marriage. As a State Senator, she sponsored a resolution declaring marriage to be between one man and one woman, saying that any other marriage ceremony is not recognized by God. In addition, she’s signed onto the Southern Baptist Convention’s National Statement declaring the same thing. She has also publicly opposed transgenders using restrooms not of their birth sex.
While Boyd contributed to La Raza and refused to denounce Nashville’s sanctuary policy, Black sponsored legislation in Washington that would financially penalize cities harboring illegal immigrants. She also fought – and won – to prevent the Library of Congress from using language such as “undocumented immigrant” on government documents. That may seem like a small issue, but it goes a long way in preventing future Congresses from softening language in official documents designed to alter the public’s perception of illegal aliens.
Diane is also staunchly pro-life. While in the State Senate, she and State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) co-sponsored SJR 127, which became Amendment 1, the measure that would give the state the power to amend or repeal state statutes regarding abortion, including for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to protect the mother’s life. The people of Tennessee voted to approve that Amendment, and it is now part of our State Constitution.
Diane has also made clear that there is no reason to raise taxes on Tennessee families when the state has a surplus, and if the legislature were to repeal the gas-tax increase, she would sign it as soon as it hits her desk.
She also recognizes that there are significant problems with the Civil Asset Forfeiture process and has pledged to work with conservative advocates and her Law and Order Coalition to address abuse and overreach. Law enforcement needs every resource at their disposal to do their jobs, but we need to make sure we protect the Due Process guaranteed in the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 7 of our State Constitution. Diane Black will address this issue in a way that addresses the concerns of constitutional conservatives while not handicapping law enforcement.
These are just some of the reasons why I personally endorse Diane Black for governor. She is the only viable candidate in the race who is proven to share our core values.
This is an off-year election, and turnout for the primaries is expected to be as low as it has been in years past. Meaning, it won’t take much for a liberal candidate to win the race, especially knowing that our state still has open primaries wherein democrats can vote for liberals running on the republican ballot. All it would take for a liberal to win the nomination is for conservatives to not turn out in droves. If that happens, then our fight for our conservative ideals will suffer a major setback.
It’s time for conservatives to understand this, and coalesce around the only candidate running for governor who shares our values: Diane Black.
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Steve Osborn is the Chairman of the Sevier County Tea Party. His views do not represent an official position of the organization or the rest of its members.