by State Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden)
With just a little more than a week left in this election, the polling is clear: Bill Lee is leading Randy Boyd and Diane Black. It’s why they are both spending millions to attack him. And I can’t help but shake this feeling of déjà vu that we have been here before.
Over the next 10 days, we’ll see the worst of politics. We’ll see what we saw in 2016: An outsider threatening the traditional power structure of the PACs and lobbyists, and that very same power structure doing everything they can to attack Bill’s business and take his words out of context to frame him as something he’s not. When you see the attack ads from the politicians in this race, remember, this isn’t a new strategy, it’s the exact same playbook they launched on President Trump. And it’s coming from the same insiders that attacked our President and continue to undermine him.
For years, too many voters have bought into a system that elects people not based on results, but based on words. We’ve seen our members of Congress vote to raise the debt ceiling and fund Planned Parenthood, then tell us they shrunk government and defended life. We see bureaucrats sign a pledge not to raise taxes, then tell a newspaper that they’re “open” to raising taxes. And yet we continue to put those politicians back in power because they have refined the skill of telling us just the right catch phrases, just the right poll-tested buzzwords, to give us just enough to trust them, while at the same time unleashing a barrage of anonymous special interest money to attack anyone who challenges them!
Donald Trump was our first chance to reject this system, and it’s working for our country. But he didn’t enter or even finish the primary with a merry band of conservative talking heads touting him. In fact, through the end we had Tennessee TEA party “leaders” try to tell voters he was a closest democrat! These same “conservative” experts who trashed Trump are telling us we “have” to vote for a 30-year politician in the governor’s race. They are launching their own fake news, with bought-and-paid-for “conservative” commentators and endorsers who are more interested in generating clicks and ad dollars for their websites and podcasts than they are in actually enacting conservative legislation. This is the swamp come-alive, and it thrives in a symbiotic relationship with elite politicians who come down from their mega-mansions, Argentina vineyards, and private jets just long enough to put on a show of how much they’re doing “for us.” I’m not buying it and neither should you.
The Tennessee governor’s race is a chance to reject the political machine and repeat the success of 2016 here in Tennessee. To me the decision is easy: Bill Lee is a real outsider. He doesn’t pretend to care about farmers, he is a farmer. He doesn’t pretend to care about blue-collar workers, he has spent his life creating jobs in the skilled trades. He’s the only authentic candidate in this race, a hardliner on immigration, and the only candidate who has told me how he will defend our Constitution. And at a time when the obstacle to passing conservativelegislation isn’t Democrats, but fellow Republicans, our President and Bill Lee bring the type of outside leadership that we need now more than ever.
He’s a businessman who, just like President Trump, has done the smart thing to protect his business. An attack on his political contributions is just a reminder to me that like our President, Bill Lee is successful businessman, who says what’s on his mind, instead of recycling poll-tested talking points. And unlike the other candidates in this race, Bill Lee is honest about it. Like our President, that means it’s not all smooth and rehearsed. Bill will get criticized for not saying the “right” thing like our President. But I know I would rather have a leader who is human and honest than someone who is deceptive and skillful at telling me what they think I want to hear.
I don’t need someone else to tell me what I can see with my own eyes: The fact that Bill Lee is not part of the political machine. He’s a businessman, a follower of Christ, and a constitutionalist who has a fundamental belief in the power of liberty, not a desire for power. And he could not care less what the media and the self-anointed “experts” think of him. That’s why I’m voting for Bill Lee.
– – –
State Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) is a conservative Republican representing Weakley, and parts of Obion and Carroll Counties. He is the House sponsor of numerous pieces of liberty-minded legislation such as campus carry, and the effort to ban photo-traffic enforcement. He was also the House sponsor of the 2018 “Bathroom Bill”, an outspoken supporter of President Trump, and a strong proponent of the right to bear arms. This op-ed was not paid for or authorized by any campaign.