Ronald Reagan is famous for many things, and many sayings including his view of America as “that shining city upon a hill”.
But one of my favorites, and most poignant Reagan sayings was:
The most terrifying knock on the door is when the person knocking says . . . “I’M FROM THE GOVERNMENT, AND I’M HERE TO HELP”.
Every time I hear a government leader speak about HELPING business, my stomach turns, because their help is nothing more than interference and help for themselves.
I ran a couple of years ago as an Independent Candidate in a Federal Canadian Election, in a riding that is home to a blue collar city that relies heavily on government jobs and government aid.
Including me . . . there were six candidates.
There was the Conservative incumbent, who is a nice and well-liked guy who never met a government program he didn’t love, who was also a life-long civil servant.
There was a Liberal candidate who was another life-long civil servant who thought people needed even MORE government.
There was a Socialist candidate from the New Democratic Party, who thought jobs were created from the government, that business was somehow evil, and believed in a trickle-up theory.
There was a Green candidate who made the Socialist look Conservative.
There was a union worker tattooed throughout his whole body who ran as an Independent, who railed against the “man”, seeing big business and banking conspiracies around every corner.
He was over the top, but at least he put himself forward. It takes a lot to run as an Independent.
AND THEN THERE WAS ME . . . THE PERPETUAL INDEPENDENT.
During the 6 all-candidate debates, four of the other five candidates spoke with passion about creating jobs, helping businesses, working with farmers, protecting the environment, the need to be generous to the French speaking Ontario minority and helping the disadvantaged.
To hear them speak, with the exception of the tattooed union guy who only spoke about how bad the “man” was, the others spoke as experts on each of the subjects I listed.
SO HERE’S THE REALITY:
1 – On job creation . . . I was the ONLY candidate who ever employed anyone. I still do.
2 – On running and owning a business . . . I was the ONLY candidate who ever ran and owned a business. I still do.
3 – On working with farmers . . . I was the ONLY candidate who ever farmed a field. I still do.
4 – On the environment . . . I was the ONLY candidate who is and was a steward of our own land, forests and water, where my wife and I drink from our own well, grow and harvest our own hay, and groom our mixed forest, which we still do.
As for animal rights and protection: Anne and I contribute to several animal shelters and help finance horse rescues.
5 – On the Franco/Ontarian minority . . . I was the ONLY candidate who could speak French.
6 – On helping the disadvantaged . . . I was the ONLY candidate who ever created and implemented programs WITHOUT any government involvement that led to feeding thousands of school children hot meals daily, sheltered the homeless, and defended battered and abused women.
And then there’s this “LITTLE” thing called Civil Rights and Liberties, where I’ve gone to the mat many times against government abuses, at great personal and financial cost.
Even today, where none of those candidates would ever dare tread against a huge legal machine to fight for the Right of Freedom of Expression – I do.
So what did those NON EXPERTS AT EVERYTHING bring to the table that qualified any of them to lecture anyone on job creation, running a business, farming, the environment, community activism and the defense of Constitutional RIGHTS?
NOTHING – NADA- GORNISHT.
So, how do you think I did at this election, where I outspent all of my opponents COMBINED by DOUBLE? I beat the tattooed conspiracy guy. I beat the Green Nut-Job. And I lost to everyone else who had never created a job, owned a business, or farmed a field.
It is 100% true that I am not a good campaigner.
I don’t want to kiss babies, and I loathe the idea of disturbing people by knocking on their doors.
What I really like are open debates where the rules are . . . there are no rules.
I enjoy engaging groups, large or small at Town Hall type meetings, or even Parlor Gatherings. And I really like using a great many mailings where I can spell out what it is that I stand for – And what I stand against.
I ALWAYS stick to the issues. And I’m told that whenever and wherever I’m engaged in open debates, I win far MORE than what I lose.
During the debates, I NEVER once spoke from notes, let alone reading from prepared scripts, as each and every one of my opponents did at every one of the 6 debates. AND THAT’S A GOOD THING!
But, here’s the MOST important thing I do that is WRONG.
I campaign as honestly as I possibly can, letting everyone know where I stand on EVERY issue, popular or not. And as incredible as it is, I don’t think that’s what the people want to know, and is not the kind of election strategy that wins votes.
I pay a great deal of attention to all elections from all angles, but especially to this last one, because as I have written, this last mid-term election was a world changer where the voters didn’t want to hear VOLUMES of gibberish.
What they wanted to hear was nothing more than a few specifics.
I WATCH – I LISTEN – I READ . . . AND I LEARN.
What I learned from this November 2, 2010 mid-term election has had a great influence on what I might do next. Sitting on the sidelines writing and broadcasting editorials just doesn’t seem to be enough – At least not enough for me.
In my next editorial, I’ll tell you why people like Christine O’Donnell deserve a world of respect and what might be my next decision.
There is no Audio Editorial associated with this article. BUT, if you want to hear a live radio show with myself and host Dick Bouchard of WNRI 1380 (WNRI.com) broadcasting from Rhode Island. I will be on-air from 10:15 to 11:00 Wednesday morning (TOMORROW), November 10, 2010.
Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov