On issues, politicians love to tell us how much they care, but they hate to tell us where they stand.
Last year, Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania ran a different kind of campaign. No poll-driven, mushy sound bites. He didn’t tell voters what they wanted to hear, but what he really believed. Toomey did something far too rare these days; on issue after issue, he took a stand. Toomey campaigned for a 17-percent flat tax, elimination of the IRS, and partial privatization of Social Security. He pledged to term-limit himself to 3 terms in Congress. In the primary, he defeated 5 other candidates including a powerful incumbent state senator. Then he went on to win a hard-fought general election.
About his victory, Toomey said: “As rough and tumble as this political process can be, it is encouraging to see that the voters are way ahead of the politicians, pundits, the consultants and the spin doctors.” Toomey went on, “From the beginning, the campaign professionals told me not to be specific in this campaign. Don’t talk about issues, they said. Don’t talk about that flat tax; don’t talk about real reform in Social Security; don’t talk about term limits, because they are all way too controversial. Well, folks, we have proven all the pundits wrong.”
Toomey has a point. Those who want to spend a long career in Congress are terrified of ruffling the feathers of any special interest group. But candidates who go to Congress to accomplish things for the country cannot ignore issues. To them, issues come first. You may not always agree with these term-limited citizen legislators, but thank goodness they take a stand.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.