“Conservative” = Another Dead Label

As I wrote yesterday, words are losing their meaning in our modern culture. This morning I was sent an email for a Republican Congressman running for re-election in Ohio with “Former Cruz Team Member Endorsed” in the tagline.

Great start.

The key part in the email is:

Jim Renacci is not afraid to take on the establishment or the career politicians who continue to pay lip service to conservatism while perpetuating the status quo.

Pretty catchy if you ask me. That sentence has all the key words a grassroots conservative could ask for.

Except for one thing. If you take a quick look at Jim Renacci’s voting record in Congress, he’s done anything but take on the Establishment. Check out his Heritage Action scorecard. Or his Club for Growth score. I’ll even toss in his Madison Project Index score (how he measures up to his district).

For those that didn’t click on the links above, he has a 64 on the HAFA scorecard, a lifetime 62 on the Club for Growth card and gets a -31 on the Madison Project’s Performance Index. He is in an R+6 district. I am sure he is a decent man and well respected. I don’t know that someone with those scores can lay claim to the title “conservative” or anyone else should label him as such unless you’re trying to mislead voters. I would say that someone with those scores is likely more interested in perpetuating the status quo than taking it on.

Which brings me to Cindy Burkett, current state representative here in Texas. Elected by the Tea Party movement, Cindy went to Austin a committed conservative and backed it up her first term with a sterling voting record.

Until she didn’t, scoring a 48% on the Empower Texans’ Fiscal Responsibility Index this past session. Recently, Cindy announced she is running against current State Senator Bob Hall, who scored a 97% on the current Empower Texans’ Fiscal Responsibility Index.

Guess what Cindy’s campaign tagline is? You guessed it. “Cindy Burkett: Conservative for Texas State Senate.” Now, let’s flip this equation for a brief second. Let’s say Cindy Burkett was running on her actual record. What would that tagline look like? “Cindy Burkett: Career Politician for Texas State Senate.” Or, try this one: “Cindy Burkett: The Establishment Candidate for Texas Senate.” It’s ludicrous, right? Of course she cannot run on her voting record.

It’s time for the individual liberty, limited government movement to discard “conservative.” It has long since served its purpose and we need something better to define ourselves with going forward.


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Drew Ryun

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