by Dr. J. Lee Douglas
When it was obvious in 2010 that we had influenced our first big election, do you recall feeling powerful, that we could shake things up? Then within another year, disgusted and disheartened because our victorious candidates seldom represented our wishes? They did it to us again, didn’t they? No. Here’s how we did it to ourselves.
And here’s how we can avoid the same mistake this coming August.
In 2006’s general election, Republicans put Bob Corker in the U.S. Senate though informed conservatives knew there were two men of a more reliable and tested cloth who together garnered 51% of Republican votes but big deal. So what? That 51% was as useful to us as Hillary winning the 2016 popular vote. Planned better, we could have not had Corker but Van Hilleary or Ed Bryant as our U.S. Senator. Being right affects policy very little without an election victory over Corker’s 48%.
Progressive Governor Haslam easily won the general election in 2010. As with Corker, Haslam became his party’s candidate only because the other two competitive contenders again took a majority of the conservative votes between themselves. Haslam’s 47% prevailed because Wamp and Ramsey divided their conservative 51% vote between themselves.
Eight key reminders of why the Corker and Haslam primary elections turned out poorly for us: Iran Treaty, Gas Tax, ObamaCare, Refugee Resettlement, anti-Trump, illegal immigration, Shariah Law, Medicare Expansion.
If Van Hilleary had withdrawn his name from the primary, would we have had a Senator Ed Bryant? Had Ron Ramsey in 2010 withdrawn himself as a candidate for governor, would we now be seeing the end of Governor Wamp’s administration? I knew that Haslam was progressive and I suspected the same of Corker, knowing so at his second election…didn’t you? Truthfully, didn’t you?
Tennessee’s state legislature is getting ready to undergo significant turnover at the same time that we will be choosing the Republican gubernatorial candidate, a choice this time with no room to repeat the errors of past primary elections.
Bill Lee has no voting record by which to judge his candidacy but he does have a public record of “business decisions” – that is, where he knowingly and voluntarily chose to spend his money supporting political campaigns and entities.
Based in part on this record I’m respectfully calling upon all conservatives to recall their history of who has been at war to save our culture. Show me the criticism and attacks that were endured before deciding to become governor. I have intuitive doubts about the scope and accuracy of the Star’s recent polling. What is not intuitive is the revelation that Bill did in fact give money to Bredesen in his 2004 campaign. As Governor, Bredesen raised property taxes no less than three times in five years and Bredesen gave thousands of dollars to Clinton/Gore.
At the time of Bill’s $5,000 donation to the 2010 Haslam campaign, Zach Wamp led in the polls. Since 2011, Bill has donated $3,500 to the Nashville Business Coalition who pass on their monies to Democrat candidates…only.
Just doing business?
As outlined previously, Bill’s $5,000 donation in 2014 to the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce’s PAC went entirely to those school board candidates who are contemptuous of our 9/12 values, aligning themselves with George Soros and SEIU. Enough has been said about Bill’s donation to disgraced Mayor Megan Barry. Bill’s claim to mutual concern would be strengthened if he hadn’t been absent in primary voting from 1996 to 2006. As we 9/12ers have said about a man claiming a personal change: Show me the Pivot Point. #Walkaway founder, Brandon Straka, can tell you exactly when he left the ways of the Democrat party. Has anyone heard Bill discuss his pivot point, the day he entered the battle?
I have no doubt that Bill Lee should enjoy a wonderful reputation as an honorable man and as a genuinely spiritual, charitable Christian; it is no act. As genuine as Bill Lee is, we must also be. Bill is capable and tested in business but we need a governor who is capable at knowing the signs of our times, when our culture is under assault by ideas and appetites that want to remove eternal values from our country and from our communities.
Bill’s donations to people and causes that we oppose and which work to actively undermine our values have been glossed over by some who say that his donations are only part and parcel of doing basic business, that those donations don’t mean a thing other than “Yeah, I gave at the office”.
Bill’s donations are legal, voluntary, and knowing, but are they judicious?
In 9/12, we don’t have business and non-business principles, there’s only one set. There cannot be principles for Bill’s choices at work and another set for outside work. Does Bill or does not Bill resist the Chamber of Commerce, its PAC, NEA, SEIU, the Democrat Party, George Soros, Shariah Law? I am a businessman and have many businessmen friends who recognize the threat to our culture and country and would never consider a donation to a candidate of the Democrat party unless of the Zell Miller kind.
As good a man as Bill Lee is, due to his non-existent participation in the conservative political struggle these past ten years and an uncertainty on important issues, I fear his naiveté with respect to the forces destroying the American culture. A close friend in a private meeting with Bill Lee asked, “If a bill from the legislature is presented to you that confines boys to boys showers, will you sign it?”
Bill vacillated, citing complexities and legal entanglements, appearing to be overwhelmed by the gray of his answer but yet he couldn’t affirmatively and unhesitatingly answer, “Absolutely”.
The same friend, also in a private meeting with Diane Black posed the identical question. With no delay, she replied, “Yes, of course”.
Beth Harwell is no threat to win this race, only Randy Boyd can win if Diane Black does not. Constitutionalists and conservatives, will have to choose between voting for Diane or for Bill. More polling may show that in his Williamson County and Maury County he may be leading but across the state, Bill is falling behind. When that happens, candidates typically will slash their spending for ads. Recently, Bill withdrew his commitment for advertising by $328,000.
To prevent a Randy Boyd-left-of-a-Haslam governorship, I suggest conservatives not repeat the mistake of my first presidential vote. As a new and serious Christian, in my first ever vote, believing mainstream media’s presentation of Jimmy Carter as a more authentic believer than Reagan, I voted for Carter and elected a disaster. That hasn’t changed my desire to always want all of my elected officials to be genuine people of faith but in my maturing I had to learn that not all genuine people of faith are qualified to serve competently as an elected official. Character is never unimportant but knowledge of liberty, individual and private property rights, and separation of powers is a must.
Much has been said about desiring a candidate with no experience in government. If that’s the test then one of our greatest Senators is Al Franken. I’ve endorsed Diane Black, a woman of faith who has both experience in government and a paper trail of her personal war against forces who hate patriotism, despise absolutes, prefer borderless globalism and will always insist the Constitution is a living, breathing document.
Dr. J. Lee Douglas is an entrepreneur, dentist, and founder of the Middle Tennessee 912 Project.