Why I Give
An Important Message From a Supporter
We received this letter from a supporter who asked if we would publish it on our blog. We think the writer has an important message.
I have given more money to Dan Proft’s Republican gubernatorial primary campaign than I have to all other political campaigns in my life, combined. If someone from the future foretold this, I would have turned to future-man and said, “Hmm. Apparently, in 2009, I will lose my mind.”
So why am I sending my vacation money for the next three years to Dan? What moved me to contribute to a cause this early in the process? I’ve been thinking about that all week and I just put my finger on it.
I gave to Dan’s campaign because we are in a war of ideas, and Dan is my opportunity to join up and fight. If we are fighting a war on the policy front and on the political front, we must first win on the ideas front. And no one in the race for governor has more intellectual ammunition, or shoots straighter, than Dan Proft.
We need a candidate who can clearly and forcefully point out the hypocrisy and dead ends of the Democrats' liberal solutions, and articulate a convincing conservative way forward. I want in this fight, and Dan is sounding the battle cry.
Why not the other candidates? Can you think of one new idea that the other leading candidates have advanced or articulated clearly? I cannot. Everybody is for bringing jobs into Illinois. Everybody wants better schools. The question is: are you going to tinker at the margins or are you going to start over? I have no doubt the other Republican candidates have the right intentions, except this train we call Illinois government is screaming at about 125 mph toward a 3,000 foot granite wall. I’m not looking for an engineer. I’m in the market for a demolition man.
And who are these demolition men? They are the idea men. Guys like Mark Steyn, Charles Krauthammer, the late Father Richard John Neuhaus and a host of other writers and bloggers that I turn to each day. For others it is the guys manning the airwaves such as Rush Limbaugh and the great Mark Levin.
These are the guys who are reporting on the town hall meetings where we’re bringing down the fortress walls, behind which the Democrats (and many Republicans) thought they’d always be safe. Kirk Dillard thought he was so safe that he could just blithely campaign for Barack Obama and then run in the Republican primary for Governor, almost as if to say to the rest of us “what are you going to do about it?”
Dan has been on the frontlines of this fight since he was at Northwestern and founded the first conservative student-run newspaper on campus. And when Bill Buckley visited Northwestern he made it a point to sit down with Dan, as he did with select conservative student leaders at college campuses around the country. Dan’s been fighting with his commentary on radio, television, and in print ever since. He may be the only guy who’s ever run for state office that has ticked off as many Republican politicians in Springfield as he has Democrat ones, but that’s what happens when you put a your ideas and principals first.
Now governing is different from the idea business. But listen closely when Dan talks about recruiting new allies and broadening the base of the Republican Party. He calls it “building non-traditional” coalitions, but to me it is just the natural joining of our better policy ideas with their natural beneficiaries. Why shouldn’t we ally ourselves through our conservative school choice ideas with the poorest families in Illinois? Don’t we have common interest in freeing vulnerable children from the failure factory of the Chicago Public Schools? Think it can’t work? Go listen to the cheering congregations at churches on Chicago’s south side when Dan starts talking about these ideas. It sounds like victory.
I wanted in this fight to blow the bridge and stop this train. I want to win the war of ideas and put Illinois on a different track, one that leads to prosperity. I needed to get myself a demolition man, and I found one. And that’s why I wrote Dan a check. You should do the same.
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