McCotter urges conservative activists to push government restructuring
Thaddeus McCotter praised grassroots activists in Iowa, saying his own “most fulfilling and rewarding” political position was when he was elected as a precinct delegate in his own neighborhood in the 1980s. He believes history has been changed, and will be changed again, on the shoulders of average Americans.
“It was from that position that I was later intrusted with responsibilities that are so often overlooked by many — to be a party chairman in Wayne County, Michigan. And, from there, I was later honored to be a member of the State Central Committee of the Michigan State Republican Party,” McCotter told a multi-county gathering of Iowa Republicans at Clear Creek Amana High School.
Image has not been found. URL: http://media.iowaindependent.com/mccotter_tiffin_300.jpgU.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s speech was the first time many Iowans had an opportunity to see him in person. For the introduction, McCotter praised GOP activists from the past and challenged current activists for the future. (Photo: William Dahlsten/Linn County GOP)
“So believe me when I tell you this, your job is not thankless. It is indispensable. Because you, as Republicans, are the heirs to the party of Lincoln and Reagan. … As their heirs, you will again be confronted with a momentous challenge. Because we live amidst the crucible of liberty where you will be called upon to define freedom for future generations. And, unlike some, you will not shrink from this duty, you will embrace it because, as Republicans, it is what we’ve always done and it is what we will continue to do.”
The current generation of Americans, he said, are facing challenges similar to those faced by the Tom Brokaw-named Greatest Generation — moving forward in a new economic society, facing an enemy, realizing communism is a strategic threat and wondering whether or not our Constitution can survive relativism — but today’s society has the added complication of facing these four challenges simultaneously.
“My fellow Republicans, make no mistake, liberty and self-government — as they were in 1860 and as they were in 1980 — are the wave of the future in 2012,” he said. “That is why we will be called upon to make a change in this administration; not only because Barack Obama is nothing more than Jimmy Carter in a better suit, but … [because we understand government] has to be restructured for the 21st century. And the principle that will begird the restructuring of the federal government will be simply this, and one we learned from presidents from Lincoln to Reagan: The welfare state takes individuals who can help themselves and tries to make them dependent on government.”
That basic premise is why McCotter believes recent health care reforms are “out-dated and immoral.”
“[Y]ou cannot empower an individual while making them dependent upon another one,” McCotter explained, adding that the government safety net must return to a time when it helped those that cannot help themselves and provides temporary assistance “to those who want to once again return to the dignity of self-reliance.”
While never exactly stating what he would do, if elected President, or what the immediate actions of a McCotter administration might be, the Michigan Republican spoke more generally about what “the next President” or “the next administration” would need to tackle in order to preserve the country.
“We know that not only self-government, but the voluntary civic associations in which we engage for the common good are critical to the sustenance and the exceptionalism of our free republic. That is why the next administration will ensure that around your hearth of home, and around your civic organizations, you will never see the prehensile hand of a federal bureaucrat, or an activist judge, or an international organization try to come between you and your children, or try to dictate to your community what your new beliefs should be,” he said.
Such allusions were the only references McCotter provided in his mostly introductory address to the numerous social issues around which many state activists have recently rallied, but he also appears willing to build his brand with Iowa’s social and religious conservatives.
This week, which is the lead-up to the much hyped Ames Straw Poll, McCotter will travel alongside a Values Voter Bus Tour organized by nationally-known social conservative organizations that oppose gay rights. At the straw poll, McCotter, an avid musician, will be joined on stage by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, the winner of the 2008 Iowa caucuses who is believed to have garnered much of his support from the state’s Evangelical community. The treat of choice at the McCotter straw poll presence will be Blue Bunny Ice Cream, an Iowa-based company that has recently come under scrutiny and boycott for political contributions made by its executives to Bob Vander Plaats and a religious conservative PAC that fought and continue to fight against marriage rights for gays and lesbians in Iowa.
Listen to McCotter’s full remarks at The Iowa Independent.