Isn't "competition" a good thing? Most know that we get better products and better services when there is competition in the marketplace. Then why is it that so many of us accept the notion from politicians that competition in a political party's primary election is not a positive development, or the notion that it can be harmful?
Think about this: Without competitors vying market-share we would not have the cornucopia of electronic and software riches that let us enjoy audio and video communication with whomever we choose, whenever we choose, wherever we choose! Competition has also given us a vast array of online services and shopping opportunities at our fingertips, and access to the most advanced medical devices, techniques, and pharmaceuticals on the planet.
Now let's consider our congressional primary here in Southwest Florida. We have a rare opportunity – an open primary – because Connie Mack has chosen to vacate the people's U.S. House seat in District 19. There are six Republicans and one Democrat running for that seat. Absentee voting in the Republican primary started July 10, and early poll voting begins in the days leading up to the Aug. 14 primary election day. So far, it has been a fairly open competitive race – with numerous public forums and debates among all seven candidates. Open competition will lead to the selection of the best candidate.
Now, only five weeks before the election, at least one of the candidates (and it appears several others may be colluding) has decided to avoid competitive forums and debates and fall back on shallow sound bite ads, expensive mailers, and name recognition. Shouldn't we demand that every candidate explain his position on issues? In front of as many voters as possible? Wherever and whenever the opportunity presents itself? Shouldn't we closely examine the characters and demeanors of each of the candidates? We certainly would if we were hiring one of them in business, or contracting them to provide a product or service to our families!
Several Southwest Florida patriot groups, along with the Southwest Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and several Lee County churches, scheduled two congressional candidate forums. These forums have been designed in a neutral fashion to simply educate voters, including absentee voters who will be able to access the events live via the Internet. Those that have been taped are being posted at www.Leap2Liberty.com under the Archive tab.
Suddenly, several of the candidates, seemingly led by a candidate who is a former talk radio show host, are refusing to attend. In fact , at the July 10 Forum in Cape Coral, only Donalds, Davidow and Roach attended. And it appears they will be the only attendees next Monday at McGregor Baptist Church in Fort Myers. We the people – the voters – are being denied the opportunity to thoroughly vet all the candidates because some refuse to face the others in a neutral setting.
If we accept candidates dropping out of open forums, perhaps in fear they will not fare so well, we are likely to wind up with another typical establishment politician! Someone running on name-recognition and/or establishment money, rather than on courage and substance. How can we expect any candidate who exhibits such craven behavior to stand up to his own establishment party up in Washington DC? How can we expect a candidate who lacks the courage to debate fellow candidates to fight for our liberty and the restoration of constitutional principles? How can we expect a candidate who avoids standing in front of us to take on the tough challenges facing our nation as it struggles for breath under the dead weight of government overreach and collectivist ideologues? How can we expect such a candidate to put we the people in front of his own self-interests?
Haven't we learned our lesson? It is the establishment and career politicians who have led us into today's fiscal and moral mess. Byron Donalds, Joe Davidow and Jim Roach are at this moment the only CD19 candidates with the courage to face the voters on July 10 and July 16, and let us make our own choices. Kudos to Donalds, Davidow, and Roach. Now we must demand that the other four also live by the rules of free market competition! Otherwise we surely will get exactly what we deserve, another self-serving establishment politician who takes orders from his party and not his constituents.
Keith Flaughis a retired IBM rxecutive and a US Army Veteran. He is a GOooh organizer for Florida, an Oath Keeper and an active supporter of SWFL 912, the Naples Tea Party, Save America Foundation, Fair Tax, Abigail Adams Project and Sheriff Mack's County Sheriff Project.