November 21, 2008

With the Christmas season coming and holiday advertising replacing the political barrage, I received an appropriate essay from a friend today that said in part:

"We Americans are being distracted by progressive secular materialism. Karl Marx said "Religion is the opiate of the masses." Materialism is becoming the "religion" of America. Fortunately, Christianity is not a "religion," it is a way of life. In fact, it is The Way." William R. Mann, Davenport

I can tell you after doorbelling across northeast Washington that we Americans have no shortage of material stuff, and I am no different. In fact, blogging tonight is a way of putting off de-cluttering the office! We are in danger of being swallowed up by secular materialism as a way of life.

During the recent campaign, there was an interesting exchange in the Omak newspaper over just what is a conservative way of life. I was quoted in a news article saying “I’m a conservative Republican with an open mind, just not so open that my brains fall out.” What that means to me is that my foundational conservative values are strong enough to listen to other folks’ point of view and ideas without being threatened by them. A follow-up letter to the editor claimed that I didn’t understand that conservatism is a way of life. She was correct, I do not believe conservatism is a way of life. To me, conservatism is an expression of our obligation to God to be good stewards of the blessings He has entrusted to us. Jesus Christ is the only Way of Life.

I am committed to a healthy and conservative Republican party, a limited and effective government, re-establishing the link between individual freedom and personal responsibility, and finding a way to continue working on these goals with common sense even if I am not in the Legislature. We need to be the party of bold ideas and integrity again, with confidence in our conservative roots, able to listen to other points of view and new approaches to solving problems. The silver lining to the state’s budget crunch is that throwing money at problems is off the table and prioritizing spending is unavoidable.