As I write this week, I am continuing my visits to different parts of America, talking about the importance of getting out and voting for the men and women who are committed to creating an even better America than the one our parents and grandparents worked and fought to give us.
It can’t be said too many times: November 7 will be an extraordinary election. I say this as someone who really believes that my grandchildren are in greater danger today than my two daughters and I were at any point during the Cold War.
Every Conservative Who Fails to Vote Is Voting for Liberalism
As the days tick down to the election, members of the “Winning the Future” movement need to have a frank conversation with their neighbors. When conservatives we know say that they’re not going to vote next week, we have to ask them to think about this: Choosing not to vote is still a choice and that choice is a vote for liberalism. Ask them to take seriously the fate of our country, because that is what’s at stake in next week’s election.
If we are going to be able to pledge allegiance to “one nation under God,” we must vote.
If we are going to choose victory over appeasement in the emerging third world war, we must vote.
If we are going to secure our borders, we must vote.
If we are going to continue the economic growth policies of the last few years that have given us low inflation, low unemployment, a record-breaking Dow and the economic strength to fight our enemies, we must vote.
If we are going to continue live in “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” we must vote.
We owe it to those who built this great country, to our children and to our grandchildren to be citizens and to show up and vote. Because if we don’t and the left wins, we will have only ourselves to blame.
Two Factions: The Appeasement Wing and the ‘Stay the Course’ Wing
Have you noticed that the pre-election debate over the war in Iraq consists of two factions? The appeasement wing thinks the war is too hard and the world is too dangerous for American leadership. These defeatists are trying hard to find an explanation for their policy of weakness and withdrawal abroad, which is a policy of avoiding reality.
The second faction argues that our national security system is doing the best it can and that we have to “stay the course” — no matter how unproductive.
I think there is a third — and far preferable — option. Call it the Victory Wing. I wrote about this in the Wall Street Journal on September 7. The path to victory requires that we are willing to transform our national security system. We are in a real war in a lot of places, and all of our national institutions need to be in that war. This path will require more entrepreneurship and more speed, as well as more resources and more accountability.
A new wartime budget should be developed for wartime requirements rather than from peacetime constraints. Intelligence and the land forces (Army and the Marines) are all under funded. Those who think we currently have a wartime budget simply have no notion of the scale of American war efforts historically. What we have is a robust peacetime budget while trying to fight three wars and contain four dictatorships. This self-imposed disadvantage makes victory unnecessarily much more difficult.
‘First You Win the Argument, Then You Win the Vote’
But to do what is required, pro-victory leaders must first understand Margaret Thatcher’s axiom that “first you win the argument and then you win the vote.” In the end, it is only through communicating an understandable vision for victory that political leaders can maintain the support of the American people to do what it takes to protect us from these mortal threats.
We are in an emerging third world war. We must choose leaders who will insist on victory and who will insist on making whatever changes are required to win. We owe it to our children and grandchildren who deserve an even safer, freer and more prosperous American future. But choosing these leaders means you must vote.
Charlie Rangel: Chairman of the Tax Increase Committee?
The next question we need to ask our fellow conservatives who are considering not voting is whether they’ve thought about who will actually be in charge of how much of their own money they can keep if the left liberals win.
Here’s the answer: Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) will become the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee — of what we should really call the Tax Increase Committee — if the Democrats win. As we’ve discussed before in “Winning the Future,” Rangel has already clearly stated that he “cannot think of one” of the administration’s first-term tax cuts that deserve to be continued. Translation: Democrats will be raising taxes if they gain power.
So the message to your friends and neighbors is very simple: If you think you have so much money that the government should take more of it, then you have a party in the Democrats. But if you want your money to stay in your bank account, then you have a party in the Republicans, because it is the only party committed to keeping your taxes low.
And as the President pointed out in his weekly radio address this week, if Democrats control Congress, they can reverse all the tax cuts “without lifting a finger.” You see, many of the tax cuts are set to expire unless they are renewed by Congress. So Democrats can raise your taxes through inertia and delay — they won’t even have to break a sweat or cast a vote.
Meet the ‘Old Guard’
If conservatives don’t vote and Democrats win, meet the “new” House committee chairmen.
Alcee L. Hastings* (D-Fla.) will chair the Intelligence Committee.
Hastings was first elected in 1992.
The last Democrat to chair this committee was Dan Glickman (D-Kas.) from 1993 to 1995.
Barney Frank (D-Mass.) will chair the Financial Services Committee.
Frank was first elected in 1980.
Last Democrat to chair this committee, then known as the House Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee, was Henry Gonzalez (D-Tex.) from 1989 until 1995.
George Miller (D-Calif.) will Chair the Education and Workforce Committee.
Miller was first elected in 1974.
Last Democrat to chair this committee, then called the Committee on Education and Labor, was William D. Ford (D-Mich.) from 1991 until 1995.
Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) will chair the Government Reform Committee.
Waxman was first elected in 1974.
Last Democrat to chair this committee was John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) from 1989 until 1995.
Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) will chair the Ways and Means Committee.
Rangel was first elected in 1970.
Last Democrat to chair this committee was Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.) from 1981 until 1994.
David R. Obey (D-Wis.) will chair the Appropriations Committee.
Obey was first elected in 1969.
Last Democrat to chair this committee was David R. Obey (D-Wis.) from 1994 to 1995.
John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) will chair the Judiciary Committee.
Conyers was first elected in 1964.
Last Democrat to chair this committee was Jack Brooks (D-Tex.) from 1989 until 1995.
John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) will chair the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Dingell was first elected in 1955.
Last Democrat to chair this committee was John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) from 1981 until 1995.
*Hastings was impeached by a Democratically controlled Congress and removed from his federal judgeship in 1989 for conspiring to take a $150,000 bribe.
Not Voting Is Still a Choice
To get everyone out to vote who shares our values, it’s important that we educate ourselves as much as possible about the issues and ideas that dominate this campaign. It’s important that we do so because of this fact: The number of people who will fail to vote will exceed the margin of any election this year. That is to say that the number of votes between the winner and the loser in any given race will be smaller than the number of people who simply failed to go to the polls.
I tell every audience I speak to that if they simply went out and got conservatives they know to the polls to vote, they could guarantee that the conservative in their district will win. They could guarantee it.
We can do the same — times 100. If you get your conservative friends, neighbors and co-workers to come out and vote, we will make a difference for our future. We will make a difference for America. So let’s spend the next nine days making that difference.
P.S. – I want to tell you briefly about an important new novel set in North Korea that contains valuable insights into what our policy toward that brutal dictatorship should be. It’s by a former intelligence officer writing under the pseudonym of James Church, and it’s called A Corpse in the Koryo. The characters Church has created are not the two-dimensional North Korean figures who inhabit the popular Western imagination, but expertly drawn composites of the real life North Koreans he dealt with for years: thoughtful, scared, quick to anger, friendly, funny and sometimes deadly. How, Church implicitly asks, can these people — under the intense political and social pressures they must endure every minute of their lives — continue to function with family and friends, co-workers and supervisors while retaining their essential humanity? A Corpse in the Koryo is a must-read for anyone interested in how America can work to undermine the North Korean dictatorship.
P.P.S. – User-generated video sites are a powerful communication tool that has yet to be fully exploited by the political community. If you are a YouTube fan, I thought you might like to know about a new startup called Capitol Hill Broadcasting Network. It is a user-generated video content site dedicated exclusively to promote democracy, politics and policy. It was created to be a professional, non-partisan site with exclusively political content. It’s new, so if you have a campaign or cause to promote, get in on the ground floor by loading your video on the site.
P.P.P.S. – As mentioned earlier, I’ve been all over the country lately, delivering speeches on the choice this coming Election Day. Click here to watch the speech I gave in Scottsdale, Ariz., where I took part in an event for Republican Rep. J.D. Hayworth.