Conservatives Leading the Way

The following are remarks I presented at the Young Republicans National Federation conference in Charleston last weekend.

Chris (Carmona), thank you for that TEXAS SIZED introduction! As a Texas Republican, I’m proud to call Chris “one of our own.” He’s headed for big things. I think I can say that about everyone here in this room tonight. You prove that Democrats don’t have some special claim to voters under 40.

This evening, I want to talk about the Power of One…YOU…to change the World. In the 18th Century, the Russian priest, Seraphim of Sarov, said, “If one soul is saved, 1,000 around him are saved.” That can be true in politics, too.

The new paradigm of politics is most people simply don’t care.

Because you care, you become more powerful and more important. Thank God you’re smart and principled, or we’d really be in trouble.

That apathy is everywhere. In Texas, we have one of the lowest voter turn-out rates in the country, and the world. In 2014 our rates fell well behind those in countries like Afghanistan. South Africa, and India.

Fortunately, it’s not a lost cause. In 2009, the frustration that conservatives like you and me felt with the establishment and special interests, boiled over and the Tea Party was formed. I remember being in Washington DC during that time, visiting the Heritage Foundation. In one conversation after another, describing my ideas to affect change in DC in particular and America at large, I got blowback. Time and again, I heard “You can’t do that. The Lobby is too strong.”

You’ve been to DC. You know how it is — the whole town is built BY and FOR special interests. Every special interest has their own building, their own lobbyists, their own pet legislators. I got more frustrated at every turn, wondering “what can I do? I’m only one person!”

So I returned to Texas, and did what I could. I got to work, changing one mind at a time, one policy at a time, one vote at a time. As a result, we have what SOME people call “The Texas Miracle.”

Today Texas’ economy is larger than all of the country of Australia. We will soon surpass all of Canada. One state. That success is an example of what happens when people get engaged and stay on task. It’s an example of true conservative values at work in the marketplace.

Those values we share are timeless. Someone more cynical than me once said, “If you’re not a liberal in your 20s, you don’t have a heart. If you’re not conservative in your 30s, you don’t have a brain.” Young Republicans prove that a sharp mind and a warm heart are not mutually exclusive.

However, there are some KEY differences between Young Democrats and Republicans.

  • When a young Democrat sticks her hand out, she’s looking for a handout. When a young Republican sticks her hand out, she’s offering to HELP.
  • Young Democrats are about free THINGS. Young Republicans are about free-DOM.

The Republican Party attracts hardworking, principled people. People who are committed to building an even better country, not just tearing down the old one.

That’s why I’m here today. The current presidential campaign is happening at a turning point in world history. The Democrats offer America a choice between Episode 2 of the Clintons soap opera and a free-spending legislator from Vermont.

I give Bernie Sanders credit for honesty: at least he ADMITS to being a socialist.

Neither of those options is going to make America stronger. Coming on the heels of Barack Obama’s 8-year vanity project, we can’t afford another Democrat in the White House, unless they’re taking a tour or attending a party. America needs genuine leadership that will shake things up in Washington DC, restore America’s standing with our allies, and KNOCK ISIS….OUT!

That leadership resides in our party and we are fortunate to have advocates like you driving the process. Your presence here in South Carolina is no coincidence. The road to the White House runs right through the Palmetto State.

I like the energy I feel in this room. The sense of urgency we share about this election isn’t panic, but enthusiasm. At this point in the process, we might each prefer a different Republican candidate, but we also know we’ll get onboard when our party picks a candidate in March.

No matter who it is, it will be a drastic improvement over the current president. Can we all agree that Barack Obama is the worst president in recent memory? Thanks to him, our economy is broken, our allies around the world don’t trust us and radical Islam is getting stronger. Thanks to Obama’s failed leadership and the tragedy known as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, things are grim.

  • The Russia that Ronald Reagan beat back is resurgent and expanding.
  • The Middle East is a perpetual war zone.
  • China is not only undercutting our economic interests, but literally building islands and laying claim to international waters.

Throw in an immigration policy that is drawing folks from other countries like moths to a porch light, and we have some work to do. Each of these foreign policy failures is a direct threat to our national security. Obama might be worldly and well-traveled, but he doesn’t know how the world works. As an officer in the Air Force and the CIA, I know that the world is a dangerous place.

“Eternal vigilance is the price of safety,” and it always has been. There are good guys and bad guys, and real leaders can tell the difference. In general, the good guys stand for democracy and want a better life for their people. The bad guys want power and money for themselves, and will crush anyone who stands in the way of their personal enrichment.

There are bad actors out there with no regard for life, including their own. They’re hell-bent on destroying anyone who does not subscribe to their radical vision. That doesn’t mean it’s our job to solve all the world’s problems or create Democratic utopias. However, it IS our government’s job to protect our national security and the lives of American citizens around the world.

Barack and Hillary have done just the opposite. On their watch, the bad guys grow stronger, and the good guys go it alone. The attacks in Paris JUST YESTERDAY are a reminder that we MUST root out terrorism where it is hatched and cultivated, before it shows up on our doorstep. The only way we achieve peace and security is through committed strength, and we will only get that by restoring conservative leadership to the White House in 2016.

Barack Obama has also failed us on the domestic front in terms of our economy and our civil liberties. You see, in Texas, we know how to grow our economy, and defend our sovereignty and protect our constitutional liberties. We just need the feds government to do a few basic things right, and then get out of the way.

Despite Barack Obama holding back our country for the last seven years, Texas has led the way in just about every major category. That’s what I mentioned earlier when describing what many refer to as ‘the Texas Miracle.’

As a man of faith, I prefer not to over-use that phrase, because miracles are mysterious, and can’t be explained. Texas is strong because

  1. its full of Texans…and
  2. because of policies we pushed through the Texas Legislature during my time as lieutenant governor.

Three simple principles form the pillars of our economic prosperity: Low Taxes, Smaller Government and the lightest possible regulatory hand on business. Built on that foundation, the Texas economy boomed.

  • When I left office, Texas had been the #1 state in which to do business for 3 of the preceding 4 years and America’s top exporter for 10 straight years.
  • During my time in office, Texas was THE leading job creator in the U.S. with nearly 2 million new jobs to show for it.

It’s great to be #1, but it wasn’t easy, because the Texas Legislature is designed to KILL bills, NOT PASS them, but that’s where the power of conviction comes in. That’s the power of conservative principles. That approach and commitment helped me pass Photo Voter ID TWICE in 4 years, ’til the House finally passed it. Now, it’s the LAW in Texas.

I eliminated/consolidated 57 TX agencies and led the fight to appropriate $800M for border security since ‘08.

With those precious tax dollars, we stepped into the gap created by Obama’s indifference and bought high altitude spotter aircraft and helicopters with infrared to see at night. We put Ranger SWAT teams on the border, and built 6 new armored plated gunboats. The cartels don’t shoot at our DPS gunboats. You know why? Try 4 .30 caliber machine guns! We tightened up the border, but were undercut by Obama’s failed immigration policy. His incompetence knows no bounds.

From Day One, I opposed Obamacare, leading the anti-Obamacare effort in Texas, because it is just too expensive for ANYONE. Attempting to hold the line until conservatives in DC would repeal Obamacare, I fought to block the expansion of Medicaid and Obamacare in Texas. That repeal hasn’t happened yet, but the results of this coming election could be the difference. That’s why we need to keep the pressure on for the coming election.

Meetings like this matter. The decisions you make here matter. Your commitment to electing conservative Republicans most definitely matters. If we don’t get a bona fide conservative into the White House…

  • I can envision the collapse of our system under the weight of entitlements.
  • I can imagine attacks like those in Paris materializing in our major cities.
  • I can imagine Israel disappearing under an Iranian mushroom cloud.

We can’t let that happen. We WON’T let that happen…if we’ll commit to individual effort in support of the greater goal.

  • Each and every one of us must commit to doing our part, leveraging the Power of One.
  • Each of us, working in our own communities, can bring about a return to core values.
  • Each of us, working to wake up fellow voters, can bring about a restoration of leadership.
  • Each of us, lifting our hearts in prayer to God can renew His favor on our country.

Then, each one, each passionate committed one of us, will become part of a larger group. Out of that one person, that one decision, we can merge into an unstoppable force.

Together, each one of us can bring about the reinvigoration of our nation.

Together, we can overcome the Obama era and get back to our winning ways. That’s the American way.

God bless you all and may God continue to bless these United States of America.