Pursuing Status Over Service, Has Ruined Many A Person
Gunner has always claimed to be a constitutionalist and a strict constructionist so I thought an obvious error on his website was just that, an error. Again, I guess I was wrong.
While visiting with Gunner at his Fort Smith Campaign Headquarters’ open house, I was trying, as a friend and supporter, to discreetly point out a glaring Constitutional contradiction on his campaign website.
Gunner was saying in his ISSUES section under Job Creation:
“We must continue to fully fund higher education. If are children are to compete in a global environment, they must have access to a world class education. If we cut FEDERAL FUNDING for higher education, tuition will increase and some students will be forced to drop out.” (typo preserved - bold/caps are my emphasis)
At the same time he was saying in Return to Constitutional Principles:
“We need a congressman that has a fundamental understanding of the U.S. Constitution. I do not believe that the Constitution is not a document that should evolve with the times in which we live, but should be strictly construed based on the intent of the framers.
I believe in the Tenth Amendment of the Bill of Rights. That Amendment provides that all powers not specifically delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states. Yet, politicians in Washington continue to “nationalize’ more and more areas that have traditionally been state’s rights issues. This is especially true in the area of education. Decisions about education policy are best made at the state and local level. Abandoning this principle has led to national education programs that have been abysmal failures.” (bold/caps are my emphasis, double negative preserved – possibly there by intent???)
I said to him that if he wanted the support of constitutionalists, independents and conservatives that he needed to recognize that education is not found in the U.S. Constitution and therefore needs to be under State and Local control, not Federal as recognized in his Return to Constitutional Principles section. I pointed out that his position paper would likely, and rightly, cause alarms to sound with those groups.
In offering a defense of his written opinion Gunner laughed and said that if I should ever find a candidate that would stand against federal involvement in higher education that he would welcome that debate and welcomed that issue in the campaign. He said "Bring it on!" federal funds were necessary and appropriate. He repeated his defense a couple of times, with minor variations, in a condescending tone, laughing as he did so. His manner was dismissive and smacked of contempt… Not at all what I expected from the man I thought I had known for years.
My repeated response to Gunner was simply “What about the Constitution? Education is not specifically listed in the Constitution and therefore it remains with the States and/or the People. What about the Constitution?”
Evidently being frustrated with my response, I was rudely and loudly interrupted and mocked by a highly animated Gunner who threw his arms up in the air, laughed loudly and with a much raised voice said things like “WELL, YOU GOT ME DALE! YOU’RE RIGHT AS USUAL… AND I’M WRONG! I’M JUST A LOW DOWN LIE’N SO’N SO! I’M JUST A HYPOCRITE!”
I tried to return the conversation to a private and polite one but Gunner’s body language, words, rising volume and timing (said just as a large number of people were arriving to the open house) all clearly indicated Gunner was not going to be… reasonable.
As I departed I looked at Gunner one last time and asked “So, this is how it’s going to be?” Gunner just smirked and looked away.
In Gunner’s campaign advertising he makes it a point that a lot has happened and changed since he last ran for congress. I agree. Gunner has changed to where I (and others) no longer recognize him and can no longer support his election. If seeking election will cause a man to betray and publicly try to humiliate his friends, solely to appear more moderate, compassionate and electable… What will he do if actually elected… or what would he be willing to do to someone he does not consider as a friend? Political ambition, and the pursuit of status over service, has ruined many a person.
"He who is void of virtuous attachments in his private life is, or very soon will be, void of all regard of his country. There is seldom an instance of a man guilty of betraying his country who had not before lost the feeling of moral obligations in his private connections...Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust be men of unexceptionable character. The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men." - Samuel Adams (Father of the American Revolution)
Like Gunner himself says on his campaign website: “We need a congressman that has a fundamental understanding of the U.S. Constitution.” I agree… and I do NOT believe Gunner has that fundamental understanding. Gunner’s progressive approach to the Constitution, his willingness to make exceptions in it’s application, is precisely what has gotten the United States into the financial crisis we now find ourselves.
At our meeting Gunner did appear to have developed, and displayed, a politicians’ skill of handling inconvenient “situations”. One can only guess what the reaction will be to this.
The material that caused this incident… was removed the next day from Gunner’s website… without comment, without contact… or apology. Gunner has also refused to talk about removing the material when asked by others if he did remove something.
Covering up... is that the conduct we want with our Representative...?