Monday, November 1, 2010

Open Letter to Tom Tancredo

Dear Mr. Tancredo,

While it still seems unlikely that you will overtake John Hickenlooper in the governor's race, especially given that Dan Maes likely will pick up a few percent of Republican voters, you've done surprisingly well in the polls and created at least the possibility that you could win. Therefore, I feel I need to evaluate my vote for governor more thoroughly and explain to you and any other Coloradan who might be interested the reasoning for my vote.

I reluctantly endorse Tom Tancredo for governor, and I plan to vote for you tomorrow.

I have nothing against Hickenlooper. In normal times, I think he would make a very adequate governor. He has good leanings on civil liberties, I like his business background, and he has offered some nice rhetoric about limiting taxes and environmental controls. But these are not normal times.

The primary reason I am voting for you, Tom, is that you recently stated, "When I'm governor I will launch a Tenth Amendment revolution." That Amendment states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Why is that important in today's world? The Democrats in Congress have undermined what remains of America's free market economy much more aggressively than I thought they would. They passed ObamaCare. They saw Bush's bailout and raised by a "stimulus." They appear to be preparing to aggressively inflate the money supply.

While you, Tom, shamefully and inexcusably voted for the Bush bailout, I believe you have the background, the fortitude, and the free-market leanings to fight the broader federal expansion of economic controls. Your experience in Congress and in state government makes you uniquely qualified to grasp the relevant issues and do something about them to the extent that a governor is able.

The secondary reason I am voting for you is that I think you will try to repeal the repugnant, unconstitutional tax measures the Democrats imposed on us, including the "Amazon tax." I frankly don't think Hickenlooper has the spine to buck his fellow Democrats on such matters.

There are many, many reasons why I will have a difficult time voting for you. Giving any additional attention to your newfound party sickens me. Recently you endorsed discriminatory taxation, even if you were "leery" about doing so; this is indicative of your frequent disregard for free-market principles. As Elliot Fladen has pointed out, your war against immigration has gone far beyond respectable conservative arguments about welfare funding and assimilation.

The main reason why I hesitate to vote for you, however, is that you have endorsed the absurd and monstrous Amendment 62. For my complete argument against the measure, I refer you to the paper by Diana Hsieh and me, The 'Personhood' Movement Is Anti-Life: Why It Matters that Rights Begin at Birth, Not Conception.

Whereas Ken Buck has backed away from his endorsement of Amendment 62 -- thereby allowing me to vote for him -- you have emphasized your endorsement. For example, in an October 22 debate, you said about Amendment 62: "Yes, I signed the petition. Yes, I voted for it."

That is the main reason why I seriously considered voting for Hickenlooper -- and why I very much understand if others do so.

Yet I am so frightened by the Democratic expansion of political economic controls that I am even going to go back on my word. On March 18, I wrote: "I want to make something clear at the outset, just so no Republicans are surprised later on: I will vote against any candidate who endorses the monstrous 'personhood' measure. That is, I will not abstain from voting, I will vote for the Democrat, as my strongest available statement."

It was only a few days later that Obama signed the Democratic health bill into law.

So what can justify me going back on my word by voting for you, despite your endorsement of Amendment 62? First let me point out that making a unilateral statement of intent is not like a contract binding two parties. Second I will note that a statement of intent depends on one's predictions of the future. Plans must change as circumstances change. Voting in times like these, when no candidate save Stephen Bailey has actually earned my vote, can only be a matter of strategy.

While it appears likely that Amendment 62 will gather more votes than it did last time, it appears more likely that it will fail miserably, again. What concerns me is that we will likely see the measure yet again in 2012, and I very much do not want the governor of the state promoting the measure. I guess that's when we will meet the real Tom Tancredo (on the off chance that you actually win).

I want to state clearly here that I am voting for Tom Tancredo in spite of his endorsement of Amendment 62, not because of it. I think the same holds true for many people voting for Tancredo in this very unusual year.

I agree with the basic reasoning of Leonard Peikoff on the matter (though I disagree with a couple other positions Peikoff has taken lately):

The Democrats for decades have been mostly the typical, compromising pols of a welfare state, making things worse, but relatively slowly, thereby leaving us some time to fight the theocracy-in-waiting [of the Republicans]. But Obama, the first New Left President, has introduced a new factor into his Party: a crusading egalitarian nihilism that is subverting and destroying the U.S., at home and abroad, much faster than anyone could have imagined a year ago. .... [T]he country's loud rejection of the Democrats will certainly help to quell the Obama-ites for a while. And there is a more specific, albeit short-range benefit of a Republican win: two years of governmental paralysis -- gridlock! when it is most desperately needed. ... In short: vote for the Republicans in order to have the time to defeat them.


My appeal to you, Tom, is that, should you win, you govern soberly and reflectively by free-market principles. My appeal to John Hickenlooper, should he win, is that he think seriously about the erosion of economic liberty in our state and in our nation -- and govern to restore individual rights across the board.

Tomorrow I will smile twice while casting my ballot. Once when voting for Stephen Bailey, and again when voting for Amendment 63, "Health Care Choice."

When I vote for you, Tom, I will grimace. But I will do it all the same. I just hope you pay some attention to the reasons for my vote.

Sincerely,
Ari Armstrong

1 comment:

  1. At least Tancredo is for marijuana legalization. Hickenlooper is not. Hickenlooper also kept the lid on the rampant gang attacks on Lodo bar patrons during(approximately)the of 2009. I don't endorse, but 62, but was less reluctant to vote for Tancredo.

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