Letter to the Editor: Time For the Republican Party in Tennessee to Return to Our Limited Government and Individual Liberty Roots

Tennessee Star


Dear Tennessee Star,

Some of my best memories are from the time I spent with my great-grandparents as a child. Both grew up on farms in East Tennessee, and my papaw served in WWII. I was blessed to have them in my life, and it is my great hope to honor them by carrying on their legacy of self responsibility, hard work, and charity. They taught me much about life. Whether I was helping them string beans or talking to my mamaw as she cooked Sunday’s dinner, there was always something to learn. Really, the way they lived was the biggest lesson of all. They showed me the importance of working hard, pinching pennies, and helping those in need.

I was raised by a single mother who did her best, but if it weren’t for them my family would have lacked some of life’s basic necessities. I’ll never forget one time a vacuum salesman showed up, and they would not let him leave until they made him a sandwich and a glass of sweet tea. That is the kind of people they were. They worked for everything they had and never went into debt for anything. Their motto was, “We will buy it when we have earned it.”

I tell you this to help paint the picture of why I have always been passionate about limited government and individual liberty. I wasn’t converted by a conservative lecturer nor did my passion ignite when I began reading the writings of William Graham Sumner. My political views were instilled in me while stringing beans as a child in East Tennessee. These views are not only what I believe but they are part of who I am. Hard work, frugality, and charity are essentially what it means to be a Tennessean.

These values attracted me to the Republican Party at an early age. Back in East Tennessee, being a Republican is only second to cheering for the Vols. Phillip Fulmer, General Neyland, President Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and the Duncan family were my heroes growing up. Every time I listen to a Reagan speech or hear Rocky Top play, it takes me right back home to the barefoot summers I spent in Lenoir City.

I write you this letter with a heavy heart. Our reality in Tennessee is that the Republican Party is fractured, and Republican Leadership has directed the party away from its roots. Republican Leadership has grown our state budget by close to $10 billion, raised taxes on hardworking families, stopped pro-life legislation, blocked pro-2nd Amendment legislation, and much more. This is unacceptable and is contrary to what we, as Republicans, claim to be.

It is long past time for the Republican Party in Tennessee to come home. It is time to return to the values that make this state great, the values that Tennesseans hold dear. It is up to us to be the voice of the common man. Tennesseans are the most grace-giving people in the country, but I know for certain that they will not tolerate their values and hard work being maligned.

I believe and have faith that the PEOPLE OF TENNESSEE will cause our party to return back to its roots.

Will you do one thing? Look within yourself and see if you can honestly say that the Republican Party in Tennessee is everything it claims to be. If the answer is no, I invite you to come alongside those who are working to change that. We will return to our limited government and individual liberty roots. I hope that I will be able to say that you chose to be a part of this homecoming. If you are already working toward this goal, know that the people of Tennessee are with you.

For me, going back home has always ended up a being a good thing.


Shawn H.
Goodlettsville, TN

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3 Thoughts to “Letter to the Editor: Time For the Republican Party in Tennessee to Return to Our Limited Government and Individual Liberty Roots”

  1. Bob

    Wow! What an amazing letter. I was raised elsewhere but under similar circumstances. I moved to Tennessee willingly 10 yeas ago. I really thought Tennessee would be a conservative state led by conservative elected state officials. Boy, was I ever wrong. The Republicans, as a group, govern like progress Democrats. I am doing what I can to move Tennessee government back to the basic small government principles but it is going to take a lot of people who share these values to make it happen. I do not want be a ward of the state with cradle to grave government control over my life.

  2. Stephen Lowe

    I heartily agree with Shawn H.’s observation. Most conservatives I know are constantly disappointed with the Tennessee Republican Party. Options? We need options. Not voting is not an option. And no protest votes. Tennessee needs its own Donald Trump for Governor. Now is the time to start that search.

  3. Bob Miles

    This letter echos what conservative republicans think not only across Tennessee, but across the nation. I applaud you Shawn.