Oct 18, 2012

The Colorado Springs Gazette — Opinion Column

I have seen the future of the Republican Party. Her name is Jennifer George.

George and I spent an hour in a Manitou café getting to know one another. She is bright, articulate, personable, and most importantly, a passionate advocate of liberty. She understands the greatest threat to Colorado’s future is the tax-and-spend mentality of the Democrats. She wants to fight that every way she can.

But just as importantly, she recognizes the importance of liberty in the social realm, and has little interest in making social issues a cornerstone of her campaign. Press her on these issues, and she responds with the importance of the rule of law and the freedom of conscience.

That’s why George is a dream candidate for independent voters.

Independents like the economic and fiscal conservatism of Republicans, but are justifiably suspicious of their social agenda. When presented with the far-right’s relentless drumbeat of “God, Guns and Gays”, independents’ reactions range from boredom to nausea.

George will have none of that. Her district includes Manitou Springs, a very different place from its more straight-laced cousin. It has a more diverse population and “live and let live” attitude. The faithful tend to live their faith quietly, by example, while the nonobservant and less conventionally inclined live their lives without getting in anybody’s business.

It’s a model for how America ought to get along.

It’s also in one of the few competitive districts in this state, maybe the only one. That’s why the battle for District 18 is so important.

The Colorado Senate and governorship are in the hands of the Democrats. The Republicans hold the House by a one-seat majority. If that is lost, the goal of the Colorado Democracy Alliance, Tim Gill, Jared Polis and Pat Stryker will have been achieved. Colorado will be a one-party state, with one-party government, one step closer to Californication.

California, after all, is on the edge of bankruptcy. Unable to meet its obligations, its residents are leaving in unprecedented numbers, many of them settling here.

It is not a coincidence that California is a one-party state. The Republican party of California, with its obsessive focus on immigration and divisive social issues, is rapidly imploding into permanent minority status.

Colorado’s relatively rosy financial picture is due to the tax and spending limitations imposed by TABOR. If the first step toward Californication is government by the Democratic Party, the next step is the repeal of TABOR.

Once that happens, the usual suspects will smell blood in the water. Maddened by the prospect of getting more money by simply lobbying for it, fiscal chaos will ensue as spending outstrips revenue when politicians make promises they can’t keep.

George is only one woman, but if voters send her to Denver, she can help. She is ready to take on the big issues from day one.

She told me, for example, that PERA’s fiscal obligations are a ticking time bomb that has to be diffused now, and she’s absolutely right. She understands that the entrepreneur is the true hero and job creator in the economy. Government needs to stop making it harder for entrepreneurs to create jobs and wealth.

Even if you are a lifelong Democrat, are you so sure your party will behave the way you want if they run the whole shebang? Isn’t there at least a little merit in having a counterbalancing force to curb the excesses of either party? Wasn’t that the whole point of the American system of government? Anybody remember checks and balances from high school civics class? Bueller? Anyone?

Barry FaginHere’s hoping Jennifer George wins in November. If the Republicans lose the House, Colorado will have one-party government and be one step closer to Californication.

Voters of District 18: Do not let that happen on your watch.

Barry Fagin is a contributing columnist for the Gazette. Write Dr. Fagin at barry@faginfamily.net.