Carol Swain Commentary: Why I Support Diane Black for the GOP Gubernatorial Nomination

Find what drives you at Beaman Auto!

By Dr. Carol M. Swain

For weeks I have been telling folks the only viable GOP gubernatorial choices for Christian conservatives are Representative Diane Black and business owner Bill Lee.  These two candidates are competing for and splitting the votes of Christian conservatives.  Because I have friends supporting both candidates, I initially decided not to publicly endorse anyone; however, I believe too much is at stake to not voice my support for the candidate I will support.

I will be voting for Representative Diane Black for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.  I believe Diane can defeat Karl Dean and become the next governor of Tennessee.  Our state would benefit from having the steady hand of a strong conservative at the helm.

I am for Diane Black because she is a natural leader who has established herself over many years as a strong champion for conservative values and principles. She has always been a defender of the unborn and an advocate for adoption and healthcare reform.  Her issues include human trafficking, protection of our Second Amendment rights, workforce training, protection of small towns, and the restoration of law and order.  Diane’s conservative stances have earned her endorsements from the National Rifle Association and the Tennessee Right to Life Organization. She is a known quantity that evokes strong emotions for and against.

We can learn much about Diane by reading Dave Black’s very moving and painfully revealing book about their lives titled, Unstoppable: The Inspiring Story of How Diane Black Rose from Public Housing and Turned her Meager Beginnings into Stalwart Leadership.  The book goes into intimate and at times embarrassing details about poverty, abuse, brokenness, eventual triumphs and successes. The reader learns Diane is a registered nurse, who owes part of her success to a guidance counselor who helped her get a scholarship. Diane has always worked hard.  Their experiences and the attacks on Diane are causing me to wonder if rejection and hatred are common themes that trail people who come from the wrong side of the tracks and find themselves in positions or circumstances that generate envy.

In former Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the Senate Ron Ramsey’s foreword to Unstoppable, we read: “More than anyone else in the gubernatorial race, Diane embodies the conservative principles and philosophies of the people of the state of Tennessee. She has the experience and relationships to get things done that no one else on the campaign trail has. . .As a person, they don’t come any better—her Christian values shine through in everything she does (Unstoppable, 13).”

I like Diane’s tenacity and her determination. Dave Black, who adopted Diane’s children from a previous marriage, recounts the evening he stopped by Diane’s home for their first date only to find her under her car attempting to install a new muffler.  She was wrestling with a rusted screw. Working together the two of them removed the old muffler and installed the new. Dave said it was not uncommon to come home during the early years of their marriage, when money was tight, to find an appliance like the washing machine turned on its side and Diane with a wrench or screw driver in hand determined to fix it.

Today, the Blacks are well off financially as a result of Dave’s efforts at Aegis Corporation. They own a lavish house that has garnered attention and criticism.  The criticisms strike me as unfair.  People seem to forget the Blacks are spending their own money earned by hard work and wise investments.  By the way, the Blacks give millions of dollars to charities and other organizations known for good works.

As we head towards early voting, there are people quite upset at Diane for running negative campaign ads against opponents Randy Boyd and Bill Lee.  Diane is accused of being the first candidate to go negative.  Actually, the first negative ads were produced by an independent PAC associated with Randy Boyd. Using an independent PAC allows the candidate to deny responsibility.  Diane, however, has taken responsibility for her ads.  Negative ads are useful if they convey important truths that voters would not otherwise know.  If Diane wanted to engage in deception and swamp politics, she could have allowed a wealthy supporter to setup an independent PAC to do the dirty work for her. I personally prefer transparency to subterfuge.

There are strong reasons to support Diane.  Not least among them is her rags to riches story, her dedication to healthcare, her solid record of legislative achievements and leadership, as well as the Christian values and principles that have always guided her life.  Diane has proven herself to be a tough, intelligent leader with street smarts. She knows how to outwit and outmaneuver the opposition.  She works hard to be the most knowledgeable about the issues she is called to address. Her legislative experience at the state and federal levels make her the most qualified person in the gubernatorial race. From the day she announced her candidacy for governor, she had a clear vision of where she wants to take the state. Diane’s knowledge as well as her legislative and life experiences are assets not liabilities. This is why I support Diane Black for governor.

 

Carol M. Swain is a former associate professor of politics at Princeton University and former professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University. Her forthcoming new book is Debating Immigration: Second Edition (forthcoming, July 2018). Facebook: Profcarolmswain  Twitter: @carolmswain E-mail: carolmswain@gmail.com

 

Related posts

19 Thoughts to “Carol Swain Commentary: Why I Support Diane Black for the GOP Gubernatorial Nomination”

  1. […] week I wrote an opinion piece about why I support Diane Black for Governor of Tennessee. I explained that for weeks I have been telling people the […]

  2. […] None of the candidates are perfect and none are evil. Each has strengths and weaknesses. I have endorsed Representative Diane Black over businessman Bill Lee. However, I know regardless of who gets elected, we can rest easy in the […]

  3. […] week I wrote an opinion piece about why I support Diane Black for Governor of Tennessee. I explained that for weeks I have been telling people the […]

  4. George West

    American Conservative Union – LIFETIME RATINGS TN
    (notice Blackburn for running for Senate and Black for governor)

    Tennessee

    Senate
    ALEXANDER L 72.13
    CORKER B 80.25
    House Representatives
    BLACK 91.46
    BLACKBURN 95.74
    Cohen 4.31
    Cooper 21.07
    DESJARLAIS 93.14
    DUNCAN, JOHN 87.53
    FLEISCHMANN 85.31
    KUSTOFF 88.89
    ROE 89.43

  5. Aries

    I can’t forget all the evil conniving lawsuits Diane Black pulled to get her seat for the 6th district initially. She likes to use the judicial system to protect herself especially when she is lying or protecting herself and what she had done in the past.

    I almost had myself convinced to put aside my dislike for the woman but thought about voting for President Trump. He had many political similarities to Bill Lee. Donated to Dems. Wasn’t particularly involved in politics. Had zero experience. I think he’s done rather well for us so far.

    I respect you Carol Swan – tremendously – but with this I think you are incorrect. DB is the very definition of the swamp. If there was no Bill Lee I would probably vote for her because I do believe voting for Boyd is no different than voting for Dean. But DB is not a likable person, she even reminds me of HRC a bit. Yes, that arrogant.

  6. Kevin

    Carol Swain has one vote, just like each and every one of us (well, except if you’re a felon). And just like having one vote, she has one voice, which she chose to use, endorsing Diane Black.

    I have two voices! The one inside my head and the one that most of you get to hear. Diane Black maybe a nice person, I don’t know. Maybe she’s a good person, again, I don’t know. But my inner voice keeps asking the following questions; why is Diane Black NOT a member of the House Freedom Caucus?, why can’t I find audio or video clips (not her edited campaign materials) of Diane Black publicly standing up and speaking out against John Boehner’s games that gave us the 23 trillion in debt, or, left us with ObamaCare?, why has she NOT stepped down as the representative of the Tennessee 6th Congressional District and who’s doing her job in Washington, while she’s running all over the State campaigning for Governor?, and, why has she NOT endorsed Judd Matheny, the only true Conservative running for her soon to be vacated seat? You see, when my inner voice answers these questions, it tells me that Diane Black is a moderate RINO at best!

    I refuse to buy into the validity of the polls, or the people behind them! Just like the once revered Media, polls have become tools of the political establishment. We saw it in living color during the most recent Presidential campaign. That said, if we wanted to give up our voting rights, and follow the direction of a small (you pick the “statistically valid” sample size) group of people, we wouldn’t need our Constitution, or our Republican form of Government. We’d have a Monarchy or maybe an Aristocracy.

    No, I still choose to, as Carol Swain wrote, “Be the People”. And that means, my outer voice and my voting will be for Bill Lee! No record is better than a RINO establishment record!

    ps – regarding ANYBODY BUT BOYD, is that the rally cry if for whatever reason Boyd is the Republican candidate?

    1. If Boyd becomes the GOP nominee, he will most likely lose to Dean. There isn’t sufficient difference between the two to generate a strong turnout from conservative voters. He will, however, attract votes from liberals and moderates. If Bill Lee is the nominee I will work hard to help him get elected. I intend to watch them all like a hawk.

  7. Christian conservatives need to rally around the conservative with the best chance of defeating Karl Dean. We can expect Democrats to crossover and vote for the weakest Republican challenger. Karl Dean does not need their votes to win the Democratic nomination. I believe a vote for Lee or Harwell is a vote for Boyd. If Boyd becomes the nominee, it will be a win-win situation for Democrats. Karl will become the governor because a lot of Republicans will not vote for Boyd. Boyd vs. Dean is a contest between two liberals, as far as I am concerned.

  8. George Levier

    Aegis Corporation was started after Black voted for a state required blood testing program. Their no-bid contract was granted after her vote. She’s also against medical marijuana because it would eat into Aegis revenue. What does this say about her character?

    1. Black voted for a state budget that included funds for drug testing. Drug testing is done for numerous jobs. Should her husband have been barred from competing if his company was one of four in the nation doing drug testing? Lots of legislators are connected to family businesses. Should the recuse themselves from voting on state budgets, if there is a possibility that a state agency will purchase a service or good?

  9. George Levier

    Carol Swain has declared herself to be God by proclaiming who is a Christian and, thereby who is not. Obviously, Ms Swain is not familiar with this passage of scripture.(See Matt. 7: 1-5).

    Is this what Bill Lee and his self proclaiming Christian only has done to our party.

    1. Carol M. Swain

      There is nothing in my article that judges anyone’s Christianity. Bill Lee and Diane Black can both be strong Christians without distracting from the other.

      1. Cathleen DStewart

        Have you paid attention to which Candidates are attacking others and who has not?

  10. Terry

    Once again, this is not a high school popularity contest. As Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Rep. Black controlled one of the most powerful levers available in Congress, arguably THE most powerful – that’s the committee that holds the purse strings. But did they defund Obamacare? No. Did they defund Planned Parenthood? No. Did they defund NPR? No. Did they refute the Omnibus and insist on an actual budget? No. Did she vote for a continuing resolution instead? Yes. That’s not leadership, that’s go along to get along. In many respects a RINO is worse than a Democrat – at least the Democrats admit to their advocacy for supremacy of the state over the individual.

    So there it is, she is a big government, establishment Republican, i.e., a RINO and that is not some idle, uniformed opinion, it’s a matter of public record. And how did she win that much coveted committee assignment? By raising money for the NRCC, not by dint of her budgetary prowess. Again, establishment, big government Republican – a RINO and swamp creature through and through. Apologize for her smarmy smear tactics all you want Dr. Swain, it’s still what Diane Black does.

    Per the New American Freedom Index (https://www.thenewamerican.com/freedom-index) Rep. Black’s voting record garners the lowest rating among her GOP House colleagues from Tennessee. She even ranks below Sen. Bob Corker (65%) for that matter! Little wonder perhaps, Rep. Black was a featured speaker at a Never Trump event in 2016, so she and Sen. Corker must share that ideology. Here’s the Freedom Index ranking among the TN GOP House delegation:

    Rep. Duncan – 84%
    Rep. DeJarlais – 78%
    Rep. Roe – 70%
    Rep. Kustoff – 65%
    Rep. Fleischman – 64%
    Rep. Blackburn – 64%
    Rep. Black – 64%

    Tennessee needs a change from establishment Republicans – we’ve got way too much of that as it is, especially with Gov. Haslam. At the national level, we have a small reprieve with the administration of President Trump (no thanks to Rep. Black). If we elect a Never Trumper like Rep. Black, we will be squandering that opportunity and continue down the path of bigger, more intrusive government and a nanny state. That’s what her record reflects. Rep. Black also voted for the NDAA and Intelligence Authorization – so she is just fine with the notion that the 4th Amendment is just some antiquated notion – perhaps a more honest campaign slogan would be: “Vote Diane Black – The Orwellian Candidate!!”

    We don’t need some Huxleyan nightmare den mother either, where everybody gets a cookie and a pat on the head – we need strong, decisive leadership and an administration that advocates, promotes, recognizes and rewards merit, not identity. We don’t need a smear merchant, we need a principled, honorable leader with demonstrated integrity.

    1. Stuart I. Anderson

      GOOD GOSH TERRY – WHO DO WE NEED!!! No, not from your latest fantasy dream of the perfect conservative candidate, rather from the four candidates actually running. Voting is going to start in three days and you don’t like Diane, we get it, ok who the heck do you like? Did I miss it in that anti-Black screed?

      Right now it looks like Diane or Randy! Boyd. Harwell appears to be out of it and Lee is a No Record Candidate who wants to be elected on the promises he and his campaign manager come up with to get votes. Soooooo that leaves Randy! who apparently is what we will get if conservatives don’t unify and vote for Diane. Is that the “. . .change from establishment Republicans. . .” you’re looking for? Lord help us!

      Thanks for you thoughts Terry. Unfortunately, it seems to be a detailed roadmap to nowhere! I like the ANYBODY BUT BOYD strategy better.

      1. Terry

        Nice try Stuart, but it’s not “my thoughts” – it’s her record. It’s not my opinion, it’s her record. It’s not a “screed”, it’s her record. Is that clear enough, or would you prefer I go into puerile all caps to make the point?

        I don’t arrogate to myself the ability to tell who should vote for who – but simply present salient facts that people should be made aware of. For those who think big, centralized government is the answer, Black is probably the one you should vote for.

        I don’t believe that big government is the way to go – instead I believe that the smallest government is best, and that which is closest to the people is best. When I consider candidates, I look at their past performance – that is the best indicator for future performance. Again, it’s her record.

        I don’t fall for fear mongering or Alinskyite smear tactics. I do research and vote for the candidates that best represent my point of view. I would urge others to do so as well.

        1. Stuart I. Anderson

          When someone is more of a “blood and guts” conservative than me, I begin getting a little nervous and Terry appears to be to the right of me. As it turns out my nervousness was well placed because Terry’s go to criterion for judging candidates, the New American Freedom Index, is a product of The New American which is a wholly owned subsidiary of THE JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY. (Forgive the upper case, Terry but I’m sure most readers of this blog will deem it fully warranted.) Talk about “. . .a detailed roadmap to nowhere!”

          For those conservatives here on earth please be assured that Diane has a lifetime Heritage score of 78% and the Club For Growth gives her a lifetime score of 80%. It is the Heritage Foundation and the Club For Growth that are the venerable conservative organizations for earthling conservatives. Diane’s scores don’t cause conservative’s blood pressure to rise to dangerous levels from excitement but compared to “no chance” Harwell, “no record” Lee, and “I’m a moderate” Boyd she’s someone conservatives can easily live with and can expect to be especially sympathetic to conservative policy preferences since conservatives are obviously her base of support. It’s still ANYBODY BUT BOYD, but if the polls tell us the “ANYBODY” is Diane, we conservatives could do worse.

    2. A more accurate and trustworthy look at conservative voting records.
      American Conservative Union – LIFETIME RATINGS TN
      (notice Blackburn for running for Senate and Black for governor)

      Tennessee

      Senate
      ALEXANDER L 72.13
      CORKER B 80.25
      House Representatives
      BLACK 91.46
      BLACKBURN 95.74
      Cohen 4.31
      Cooper 21.07
      DESJARLAIS 93.14
      DUNCAN, JOHN 87.53
      FLEISCHMANN 85.31
      KUSTOFF 88.89
      ROE 89.43

  11. John M Hames

    Excellent article and a good choice

Comments