…And So It Begins

Volume 3, Issue 3

The presidential campaign season of 2016 formally began yesterday with the announcement by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas that he would seek the Republican nomination for President. He will be the first of many Republicans to announce. So far, only one Democrat, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, is expected to enter the Presidential sweepstakes. Let the race begin.

What does this mean for our country at this time in world history? What is the likely outcome? And what does it mean to you personally and your family? These are the questions that we will discuss together beginning with this report and in ongoing conversation at the New Horizon Council (www.newhorizoncouncil.com).

Ted Cruz believes that he can win the nomination by energizing evangelical Christians and building a coalitional bond with Reagan Democrats. Senator Cruz is a good man with whom I agree on most issues, yet I question his strategic plan. The term Reagan Democrat was current in the 1970s and 80s. This sociological subgroup has changed in the past thirty years. In the 70s and 80s, Reagan Democrats were largely Rust Belt Catholic Union Democrats who believed in a strong national defense and conservative family values. They reflected post-World War II America which had every confidence America was right in its cultural values. Today they are less unionized, older, and more dependent upon government programs. Many of their retirement plans depend upon government money. Whether or not they are as conservative today as they were in the Reagan era will not be as relevant as their needs for economic security. Their primary issues will be maintaining their jobs, retirement, and health care. They may still feel strongly about a strong national defense and moral values, but it will not be their primary purpose for supporting a Presidential candidate as it was when Ronald Reagan rallied them.

Further, there are at least three candidates vying for the evangelical vote – former Governor Mike Huckabee, former Senator Rick Santorum, and Senator Cruz. All three have a strong following. Governor Huckabee and Senator Santorum have run for President before. The evangelical vote will be divided. When Ronald Reagan ran in 1980, he was the only candidate seeking the then New Right and Christian Right vote. All other campaigns, with the exception of Congressman Phil Crane, were seeking the establishment vote. In that cycle, former Texas Governor John Connally, George Herbert Walker Bush, and Tennessee Senator Howard Baker divided the establishment vote. In the 2016 cycle, just the opposite is occurring. Jeb Bush is currently the only candidate openly seeking the establishment vote while several Republican candidates will divide the conservative vote.

I have a very strong feeling on how all this will play out. I will be relating that to you over the next several Nuttle Reports. But I will say this – given the fact that state budgets will be in more dire condition in 2016 than 2015, liberals, government progressives, and those who advocate more government programs will have a greater audience than they have today. Economic conditions in Europe and Asia will result in repercussions in America by the spring of 2016. If President Obama negotiates a deal with Iran to lift economic sanctions, regardless of Congress’ protest, more oil will reach the marketplace and the price of a barrel of oil will drop in the short term. All of these factors must be considered by a Presidential candidate when attempting to lead the country towards an ideological position.

It is critical that we, as individuals who believe in the founding principles of this country, lay a foundation for the political discussion of principle-based policy. We must develop a vision that gives every American citizen a stake in the future. It is important to remember that some of the problems facing citizens today were caused by government. These citizens are in a situation into which they were led or attracted by government. We must demonstrate that there is a roadmap for transition to independence from government. And this independence leads to greater prosperity.

In explaining our conservative ideas, we must illustrate on what principles these ideas are based that bind all Americans. Yes, we believe in liberty. And yes, we believe in freedom. But what are the axioms that define the process to attain freedom and liberty? The Bill of Rights was the Founding Fathers’ solution to tying constitutional principles to the rights of liberty and freedom. You’ve heard them since you were in the sixth grade — the right of free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, the right to keep and bear arms, and other inalienable rights. The Constitution in its main corpus sets out structure. The Bill of Rights emphasizes and guarantees due process of law.

My Native American friends and my African-American friends remind me that the Constitution hasn’t always worked so well in history for everyone. I have a wife and two daughters. They could also remind me that a woman’s right to should have been guaranteed in the passage of the Constitution, but wasn’t achieved without the great effort and sacrifice of the women’s suffrage movement. If all we do is declare the right to liberty and freedom, without committing to a plan wherein everyone can enjoy it, many will remain in disbelief that these rights are available for all.

When we speak of liberty and freedom for all, we not only have to mean it, we have to demonstrate how we intend to implement it.

So what are the principles and the axioms that bind us? Is any candidate for President today addressing this question? What is required is leadership that inspires us to want for our neighbor what we have for ourselves, and to desire a system that provides equal opportunity for all. Without that vision, the country will not only remain divided, but will divide further. This leadership based on principle-based policy is not only a critical cure for the divisions in our country, it is a critical doctrine for the inheritance of generations.

My name is Marc Nuttle and this is what I believe.

What do you believe?