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Thom Tillis said he was running for Senate and as soon as he got the words out of his mouth Greg Brannon, the Libertarian doctor who’s also running, let fly with a broadside calling Tillis “yet another in a long line of career politicians eager to take the next step on the ladder of political power.”
That was standard political pyrotechnics – but then Dr. Brannon added Tillis  “has taken liberal positions on…Ferry Tolls, Interstate Toll HOT Lanes and the protection of telecommunication monopolies at the expense of smaller free market competitors.”
Now, I understand why taxes and government spending are ideological issues. Liberals favor more government. Conservatives less. But ferry tolls? How’s that ideological?  I asked a legislator who laughed and said, Ferry tolls simply mean the people using the ferries pay for them – what’s more conservative than that?
Brannon had a better point about protecting monopolies from free market competition being an ideological issue – but a legislator set me right on that too, saying, There’s a quirk in this particular case: The smaller, free market competitor Brannon’s talking about isn’t a private company – it’s a government-owned cable TV system in Mooresville. Does opposing a city going into the cable TV business and competing with a private company make Thom Tillis a liberal?
It used to be, back in the old days, conservatism rested on a foundation of principles. Like individual responsibility. But, these days, there’s a new kind of conservatism where a fellow decides what he likes – and calls that conservatism. Then, when his opponent disagrees, he calls him a liberal. That’s surely useful politically. But it’s also a weak as a reed, wobbly kind of conservatism that shifts with the wind – it’s sort of the polar opposite of commandments written in stone.


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2 comments on “A Wobbly Kind of Conservatism

  1. Reaganite says:

    Tillis is indeed a liberal, a RINO, a squish, or whatever you want to call him. His record is what the military would call a target rich environment for conservatives. I will come back to answer your two specific points, but there are lots of other things where Tillis is liberal. Tillis, we have to remember was a Richard Morgan ”Republican” and in national politics that translates to an Arlen Specter ”Republican”.

    Lets take illegal aliens. Tillis and his staff have been pushing hard for drivers licenses or permits for illegal aliens. Only the liberals and a few special interests want that.

    Then there is Voter ID. In the last session, Tillis pushed hard to water down the Voter ID bill, and when conservatives stood firm and refused to do so, Tillis got in a snit and refused to call the bill up for an override vote. This session, he has used his influence to water down the bill that came out of the House to where it is almost a joke. Tillis has been an enemy of real voter ID.

    Then there is the renewable energy mandate, an Al Gore type boondoggle that will substantially raise electric rates for consumers. Conservatives want to end it, and have had a bill in to repeal it, but Tillis has worked hard to keep the mandate and to frustrate conservatives and consumers.

    Then there is Skip Stam’s idiot plan for a ”non-partisan” redistricting commission. In spite of the fact that such commissions in several states came out last time with more partisan pro-Democrat plans than actual Democrat politicians would have possibly dared, Tilis supports this mindlessly liberal plan.

    I could go on, but lets turn to your issues, Carter.

    As to ferries, they help motorists get across bodies of water, just like a bridge, and there is no real difference between toll bridges and toll ferries, or for that matter toll roads. In some cases, the state has determined that running a ferry is more efficient than building a bridge, but its users should no more have to pay for using it that users of bridges or roads. That is unless you are Thom ”Toll Road” Tillis, who has defied the state GOP convention when he supported toll ”HOT” lanes.

    You also mention cable monopolies. While competition among private companies is clearly the best and most conservative arrangement, a monopoly is also the most repressive and liberal arrangement. It is that most liberal and repressive arrangement that Tillis supported. The fact that one of the competitors is owned by local government means the situation is not perfect, but some competition is better than a monopoly.

    I do not know which legislator you talked to, but it sounds like he / she is a liberal.

    And just curious, Carter, have you been hired in any capacity in the Senate primary?

    Personally, I think we have several good prospective Senate candidates out there – Jim Cain, Congresswoman Foxx, and Dr. Brannon, but I would certainly NOT put Tillis in that category. If Senator Berger decides to run, he may be worth a look, too.

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