(Chad Christensen) – The Nevada desert can be cold and windy, as it was in Searchlight, but the message was one of warmth and optimism. It was one of disgust with government, but a belief that we can turn this around and begin our sprint back towards Constitutional values.
As a candidate running for US Senate against Harry Reid I know what this battle is like first hand. As a 4-term Nevada Assemblyman I have felt the pressures by those on the left to grow government to the point that it will strangle the people and I have fought it at every turn.
I found a large group of Americans in Searchlight who wanted change and were willing to fight the dirty, cold wind on that marvelous Saturday because they believe with all their hearts that the values set forth in our Founding documents are those that lead to Liberty and Freedom unsurpassed by any nation on earth. That is the message of the Tea Party movement. A return to Constitutional values that we have long ago been running away from. This movement that began with government intrusion into our lives through “healthcare reform” has shown to me that the health of our nation is fine in many respects. There is nothing more healthy than respectful, dignified and direct distrust in government. It is the message of our Founding.
The people I met were uplifting with their messages. Sure, you could see the anger in their words, but I did not see fear. I saw unity and direction. I saw a desire to return to American greatness that has taken an intense hit lately.
It was inspiring to me to feel the goodness of Americans as I addressed the crowd on issues that are important to us all. We cannot afford more taxes. I don’t know how to make that any more simple. The signs I saw being waved at me as I spoke made that very clear. Washington DC has become blind and deaf to this message. As an Assemblyman, I vote that way every time, not part of the time or sometimes, or just when it’s convenient or when I can call them “fees” instead of taxes. I fight the desire of big government to strangle the people every time that I can. In 2003 I was the deciding vote to keep Nevada from instituting an income tax. The pressure to flip my vote to a “yes” was tremendous and powerful, and it came from many of my close friends in the casino industry. Still, I did not cave and the people I have served know that they are better off when they keep more of their money. You cannot truly be free if you are not financially free.
Following that 2003 vote Harry Reid was not happy with me. He chose one of his protégés to run against me in the next election. He made calls on his behalf, raised money for him, and the candidate spent twice the money to beat me. Still, my constituents were not fooled and they held with me and respected my vote and I won that election by twice the margin of my opponent. I know how to win tough elections and I have faced the Reid Machine before and I know how to defeat it. That respect amongst the voters was realized again in 2008 when I kept my seat when many other great Republicans were swept away in the “Obama Wave”. Obama won my district by 10 percentage points over McCain, and I still came out on top. My 13th Assembly district in Nevada is the largest in the state and has more Democrat voters than Republicans. Voters respond to true conservative values, I have seen this first hand.
As a state assemblyman I have called on Nevada to fight this “healthcare” bill with all the power possible. I have called on my fellow legislators to stand with the governor in this effort and defeat this at the state level as an intrusion on the 10th amendment. Many states are also doing this and this absolutely has to be our first step. I would hope the US Supreme Court would consider this bill and rule it unconstitutional, but we cannot wait for that. If elected Senator I would fight to repeal this bill, but that is a difficult thing to do. Certainly not impossible, but I want this fought at every turn possible. I recall the words of Alexander Hamilton in Federals Papers 26:
“State legislatures will always be, not only the vigilant, but suspicious and jealous guardians of the rights of the citizens against encroachments from the federal government.”
Alexander Hamilton was speaking to me. He was speaking to us all. Those who attended this rally in Searchlight reflected his words and I am fighting to have them enforced. Our Founders knew that you could not have a strong nation without a strong Union of those 13 Colonies. We now need 50 strong states to have a strong nation. The states need to flex their Constitutional muscle.
Harry Reid will be a tough opponent. Make no doubt about it. I know the opinion polls here in Nevada say he is at an all-time low, I know that and have seen that first hand, but Reid is a fighter (and a former boxer) and he will do whatever it takes for him to hold on to his power in Washington DC. Yes, he is disliked by most here in Nevada but it will take everything this state has to remove him from power. I hear often how Reid has “done so much for Nevada” that he has to be re-elected. He has circumvented the power of Nevada and the other 49 states and transferred it to Washington DC. He is working to make each of the states weaker, and in that sense has done a horrible disservice to the citizens of each and every state in this great nation. That message was heard loud and clear in Searchlight. If Harry Reid still can’t hear it now, then we’ll see if he’s tuned in the morning of Nov. 3rd.
(Mr. Chistensen is a Republican candidate for United States Senate in Nevada)