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The Conservative View- A fool and some rope
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STILWELL, Okla.- In my columns I have often quoted my grandparents; as a child I could not understand the wisdom in what they were saying, but as I have gotten more gray hair I have a better understanding of what they were talking about.

One of my grandfathers would often say that if you gave a fool enough rope eventually he would hang himself. That is a very true statement when you look at the actions of our duly elected so-called conservatives that have made a shambles of the legislative process in the state legislature; the sad part of the equation is that it is the people of this state that are paying the price.  

I am very sure that what I am going to say in this column will more than likely anger many registered Republicans in my state of Oklahoma, but in my opinion if we are wanting to have a conservative form of government it is time that we call out our elected officials and start naming names.

For many years I have been a grassroots activist. Many others and myself have devoted not just a few years to the cause of conservatism, but decades. For years we have spoke up even though we knew we would pay a price in lost business and lost friendships.

When our work paid off and we achieved a Republican majority in the Legislature, we had the misguided belief that Oklahoma would benefit from good leadership; instead of good leadership we witnessed a great opportunity lost.

At one time the Republican Party was a party of bold ideas, strong convictions and a true belief in conservatism. Now our party has been infiltrated with high priced lobbyists, high priced consultants and liberal politicians who masquerade as conservatives.

A couple of years ago former State Rep. Sally Kern made the statement that grassroots activists couldn’t get elected to the legislature, and definitely not if they happen to be conservatives. Since the close of the last legislative session many pundits and conservative commentators have stated if your elected official has less than a 30% conservative rating they need to be voted out of office, and they urged conservative people to run for those positions.

There are several groups that keep track of the votes in the legislature and they score the members accordingly. It is a sad fact that too many of the voters don’t take the time to know how their representatives are voting; they are influenced by slick campaign marketing and big name endorsements. Those actions have got our state in deep financial trouble.

In 2016, I ran for the office of State Senator District #3. Our current State Senator is Wayne Shaw; because of his liberal voting record I felt a duty to replace him.

During the campaign I promoted the pure conservative agenda. I also attend all forums possible to get the message out and I was ready to debate Mr. Shaw anywhere, anytime. Mr. Shaw did none of those things and also refused to debate.

I might also note that none other than AH Strategies ran Mr. Shaw’s campaign.  Just before the Republican primary election former US Senator Tom Coburn gave his endorsement to Mr. Shaw. In his primary mail out Dr. Coburn was on one side and on the other side the claim was made that Shaw was humble and not slick; that really tells a lot about one’s qualifications for public office.

This is the same Tom Coburn who we elected and supported for the US senate that quit before his term was up. Since his resignation he has been trying to influence state legislative races; maybe all of this endorsing strokes his ego, but it is causing problems in our state legislature.

Dr. Coburn is a huge advocate for the Convention of the States, and I have been told by reliable sources that he has pledged support for candidates that will support him in his endeavor. Dr. Coburn is supposed to be the ultimate conservative, and is currently a trustee of OCPA.

My question is why is he endorsing candidates with dismal conservative ratings? In the case of Senator Shaw the Sooner Tea Party has given him a 0% conservative rating, and the Oklahoma Constitution has given him a 10% rating; I might also note that all of the Senate democrats have a higher conservative rating than he does.

Folks, it is a sad day in River City when the Democrat party and it’s members we have opposed for years have a higher conservative rating than the Republicans. Many of the current crop of legislators are using consultants who instruct them to not delve into the tough issues and only talk in clichés and platitudes and rely upon endorsements in their campaigns.

As far as I am concerned Tom Coburn owes the people of State Senate District 3 a huge apology.

Dr. Coburn also has his nose out joint over Congressman Mark Mullin going back on his term limit pledge; whether Congressman Mullin is a good representative or not is immaterial. The candidates for that office should stand on their own merit and not rely upon Coburn’s influence to sway the voters; the voters in the respective districts should be picking their legislators instead of some rock star politician. 

As for the Convention of the States issue, we have legislators who do not want to obey the Constitution of this state by passing illegal spending bills that are thrown out by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Yet for some absurd reason they seem to feel they have the moral authority to dabble with the Constitution of the United States.

For decades I have fought the policies of the Democrat Left, but I have to say at least they are honest and open about they believe. Now we have a bunch of so-called conservatives that campaign on conservative principles then do just the opposite. I was critical of the Democrat policies and I would be nothing but a hypocrite if I said nothing about the betrayal of my own party members. We have allowed the Republican Party to become just another good ole boy club.

The scenario I told about my race was played out across the entire state; the observations of Sally Kern were spot on. Just because the word conservative is printed on some slick brochure it does not guarantee that the candidate is indeed a conservative.

We also need to remind ourselves of the definition of truth, truth is when the word and the deed become one. Ask yourself if the words and the deeds of these so-called conservatives are one? We grassroots activists have been deemed irrelevant by the political class even though we laid the foundation of their success. I am sure that some of the dyed in the wool supporters of Tom Coburn will be angered by what I have said, but the facts speak for themselves.

While some may consider it sacrilege to speak out against Tom Coburn and the liberals he supports, I want to avoid the destruction of the Republican Party in Oklahoma and I am not going to set back with a cheesy grin on my face and say nothing.

I admit there are some great statesmen in the legislature such as State Representative Jason Murphy, but they seem to be in the minority.

We in the grassroots sector with our hard work have furnished the rope our politicians needed to climb the mountains to get in office; I just hope they regain some sanity and don’t hang themselves and the citizens of our state with it. 

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About the Author

Russell Turner
Russell Turner was born in Tahlequah Oklahoma and has lived his entire life in rural Adair...
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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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