Another Kansas Caucus SpeechSubmitted by scshute on Sat, 02/16/2008 - 14:20
Took me a week, but I finally got my Kansas caucus speech posted on YouTube. You can find it here:
I apologize in advance for the poor video quality; I recorded this with my digital camera, and it didn't convert well. The transcript for the speech is below.
My name is Steve Shute, and I am an IT systems administrator from right here in Gardner. I am a married, lifelong conservative professional with 3 young children, all boys, and I stand before you as a proud supporter of Dr. Ron Paul. In fact, I’m not just a supporter, but I have broadened my support to become the State Chairman of Dr. Paul’s campaign here in Kansas.
Today, however, I am here for more than just to speak on Ron Paul’s behalf. I am here to begin a debate – a long overdue debate – about what the heart and soul of the Republican Party is, and how this party will define itself for generations to come.
First thing’s first. If you are a dedicated supporter of Senator McCain, and you truly believe that he is the face and the future of the Republican Party; if you’re sitting in this room and believe that his big-government, anti-First Amendment voting record; open borders, pro-amnesty philosophies; and history of “collaborating” with liberals such as Joe Lieberman, Ted Kennedy and Russ Feingold is what we truly need to stand for as the GOP – then you can ignore what I have to say for the next 8 minutes.
I am here to say that the party whose principles I grew up believing in is not the party that exists today. I have never left the GOP, but it seems to me like the GOP has left me. I never subscribed to a party that believed in doubling the size of the Department of Education;
…that believed in exploding entitlements by passing Medicare Part D;
…that believed in muffling free speech by supporting the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance “reform;”
…and that believes in waging preemptive war and aggressive nation-building throughout the world while at the same time bankrupting our currency and enslaving future generations to a legacy of endless debt.
If you are came here this morning as a supporter of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and are looking for somewhere to place your vote and have your voice be heard, and you believe that government should truly be of the people, by the people and for the people, as the first great Republican, Abraham Lincoln, believed, then I have two words to say to you today: Welcome Home. There is a place for you at the table with us.
Sadly, many people, even here, do not know that Dr. Ron Paul is even in the race, for the mainstream media – the same media that wish for a Democrat to occupy the White House in the fall – have virtually blacked out his candidacy since December. But the fact is that he is running, and he deserves to have his unfiltered positions heard. Thus, I am with you here today. There are many misconceptions that exist surrounding Dr. Paul and his positions. But here are the facts:
Ron Paul is a conservative Republican who has proudly represented the 14th District of Texas as a Republican for the last 10 years. Before that, he served 5 additional terms for the same district from 1974-84, again as a Republican. Although Ron Paul ran as a Libertarian candidate for president 20 years ago, he is in fact a strict Constitutionalist REPUBLICAN who believes that our current government is out of control and needs to be put on a serious weight loss plan.
Dr. Paul is a certified medical doctor who, as an obstetrician/gynecologist in his hometown of Lake Jackson, Texas, has delivered over 4,000 babies. HE KILLED NONE. As a result, he has a perspective on human life that no other candidate can possibly match. He is staunchly pro-life and he believes that a federal “right” to an abortion as codified in Roe v. Wade is bad constitutional law. In fact, he believes that Roe v. Wade is in direct violation of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, which states that any powers not specifically granted the federal government by the Constitution are to be reserved to the States and to the people, and should be overturned with all due speed.
Speaking of the 10th Amendment, Dr. Paul believes that a whole host of government agencies and mandates are in violation of that amendment, starting with the Department of Education. Republicans used to talk of dismantling this agency, but with the advent of “No Child Left Behind,” this unconstitutional agency has ballooned to double its size of just a decade ago. He believes that local school districts and parents know better how to teach their children than bureaucratic paper-pushers in Washington DC. In that same vein, Dr. Paul is a steadfast advocate of the rights of those parents who wish to homeschool their children to do so free from government interference.
(I must add here that a certain former Governor of Arkansas not named William Jefferson Clinton stated in 2005 that the No Child Left Behind Act was “the greatest education reform effort by the federal government in [his] lifetime.” I respect a lot of the positions that former Gov. Huckabee has taken, especially with regard to life and social issues, but with regard to No Child Left Behind and other initiatives that mandate more federal control and, by extension, greater taxation to fund it, he is dead wrong.)
Fellow citizens of District 3, Dr. Paul has never voted to raise taxes in his 10 terms in the House of Representatives. That’s 20 YEARS.
He’s never voted for an unbalanced budget.
He’s never accepted contributions from lobbyists or gone on a government-paid junket.
He’s never voted to regulate the Internet or increase the power of the Executive branch of government.
And he has always voted in line with the Constitution. If it’s not in there, he doesn’t vote for it. That’s why he is known throughout Washington as “Dr. No.”
Dr. Paul is the only candidate left in the race from either party whose voting record matches perfectly his stated positions!
As I stand before you here today, ladies and gentlemen, the choice is clear before us. This caucus today is not just a personal preference “straw poll,” or a media-driven beauty contest. Today, we determine what will be the heart and soul of this party. The choice is clear as midnight and midday. And the future of my three boys, and your children, and their children’s children, hinges on what we do here in this room.
Republicans today will choose to continue to be the party of greater government spending and control;
…the party of higher and higher taxation to serve entitlement programs that careen toward bankruptcy at greater and greater speed;
…the party that wages needless and senseless preemptive war overseas and overextends itself on far-flung fields of battle while leaving our borders totally open and vulnerable to terrorist incursion;
…the party that believes that every person in this country needs to be treated as a potential terrorist and must be catalogued, tagged and tracked like cattle;
…and the party that will help bankrupt this country and leave future generations with a shattered economy, a worthless currency, and the loss of our sovereignty to foreign powers.
Or, we can be the party of Taft, Goldwater and Reagan again;
…the party that advocates a strong but humble national defense that, in Reagan’s words, exists so that we do NOT have to use it;
…the party that takes to heart and follows up with DEEDS Reagan’s statement in 1981 that “government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem”;
…the party of truly open trade, commerce and friendship with all nations, and entangling alliances with none;
…the party that unleashes the twin forces of entrepreneurship and competition to drive down healthcare costs and make our products competitive again in the worldwide marketplace;
…the party that stands on principle instead of political expediency, or some vague media-driven idea of “electability” (whatever that means);
…and the party that believes that people are capable of handling their own affairs, without having to be babysat by “nanny Government.”
THIS is the choice before us, fellow Republicans. And whether you choose to vote for Dr. Paul today, I state this morning that I will go no farther down the current path. I have drawn a line in the sand today and will not progress another step. I will take a stand for this party that I love, the prodigal son that has strayed from the lessons of the father, and work to bring it to its senses again.
My principle cannot be bought. My ideals cannot and will not be thrown away. Whatever you decide to do, I decide today to vote for something other than the lesser of two evils. I choose to vote for Dr. Ron Paul and reclaim my God-given freedoms, and I hope and pray that you will join me in this endeavor this morning. Thank you.