Candidate Barlow Responds to Rep. Mac Thornberry’s Plea for the Status Quo


In a recent letter to District 13 Republicans, Representative Mac Thornberry (R-TX) echoing Karl Rove, makes his case for grassroots conservatives to not run candidates against incumbent Republicans. He argues that every dollar spent against a challenger in the primaries could have been spent against the Obama agenda.

Dr. Pam Barlow has declared that she will run against Rep. Thornberry in 2014 and has provided with her unique response to Thornberry’s plea. Following is Thornberry’s original email in black lettering and Dr. Barlow’s response in red lettering.

January 29, 2013
31 Jan 2013

Dear Friend,
Dear Patriots,

President Obama’s inaugural address last week made his agenda for his second term very clear. But I believe that his primary goal was left unsaid. I think that as President, Barack Obama’s primary goal is not gun control or to stop global warming, and it is certainly not to get our fiscal house in order. I think that Barack Obama’s number one goal is to win back the House for the Democrats in 2014 and to establish his party’s political dominance for years to come.

President Obama’s inaugural address last week laid out his personal road map for over-reaching government.  I believe that President Obama’s primary and stated goal is to “fundamentally change” our USA into the “utopia of fairness” of his socialist/statist mentors, and I think he would indeed be pleased if he can destroy the Republican Party in the process.  We, as Republicans, as conservatives, and as individuals who have sworn an oath to defend our Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic, must accept his challenge and be both strong and willing to push back against all efforts to fundamentally change our Constitutional Republic.

In a fair fight, I have no doubt that Republicans could hold our own. Our core beliefs are those held by most Americans. We believe in the value of each individual as a child of God, entitled to respect and deserving of the opportunity to make the most of the gifts with which he or she has been endowed. We believe that less government means more freedom and more opportunity, and that those are the very things which made America great and will be the foundation for an even greater, stronger, more prosperous nation in the days ahead.

As Americans, and especially as Conservatives, we understand that our Freedom must be preserved and protected.  We believe that we are endowed by our Creator with unalienable Rights, and that our Constitution delineates the responsibilities and limits of the Federal Government in order to secure these rights for all posterity.  Unfortunately, as our Representatives in government take their eyes off the Constitution, enacting laws and allowing government actions that have no basis whatsoever in our Constitutional framework, they undermine the very foundations of this greatest and freest nation on earth.

Polls consistently show that most Americans share that approach to government and see themselves as moderate to conservative. We are a “center-right” nation. So, there should be no way that President Obama will succeed in returning Nancy Pelosi to the Speaker’s chair and putting Democrats and the Obama approach to big government in the driver’s seat for years to come, right? Not necessarily.

Polls show that most Americans still prefer Liberty over government dependency.  However, we are a busy people with many things competing for our attention, and often get our news and information in 30 second sound bites.  We grew up with “have it your way” and the instant gratification of a consumer society, and it has shaped our expectations.  It is much easier to sell a platform of “free goodies for all” and “we will take care of you” than it is to proffer the “rule of law” and “personal responsibility” to people who have little time and interest in politics.  Nevertheless, it is our job to ensure that Freedom is not lost in our generation.  Therefore, we must work diligently and use every opportunity to define a clear and obvious difference between our Conservative principles and the government expansion that is leading us down the road to socialism.

President Obama cannot achieve his goal on his own. He needs help, and he is getting it from an unlikely source. Too many Republicans are spending more time, energy, and money attacking other Republicans than in trying to persuade Americans that Republican candidates and policies offer the best hope for the country.

I have been saddened to see President Obama receive help in achieving his goals from Republican sources, especially those in leadership roles.  When voters spoke through Primary elections in previous cycles and replaced incumbent career Republican politicians with Conservative and Tea Party candidates on the November ballot, the RNC, NRSC, NRCC, and others reacted by withdrawing ALL support from the people’s Republican nominees, at times even actively working against the candidate, thereby all but guaranteeing a loss of the seat.  It was not lost on Conservatives that the GOPe preferred to work alongside a Democrat rather than a Conservative or Tea Party Republican.  The GOP worked within Florida to redistrict Tea Party Rep. Allen West out of a job.  If that was not clear enough, Speaker Boehner’s purge of Conservative members from their committee assignments in December 2012 exposed the establishment agenda.  The entrenched establishment will not yield easily or voluntarily, but we must not allow Conservatives to be marginalized or ignored — our Nation hangs in the balance.

The easiest way to defeat opponents in any kind of competition is to divide them and turn them against themselves. “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” So, it is with a political party.

Disappointment, and the apathy it breeds, is defeating the Republican party.  Conservative Republicans — two labels that used to mean essentially the same thing — have become disenchanted with “Republicans” who campaign as conservative but govern as “Democrat-lite” once they are elected.  It is these “pastel politicians” that are blurring the distinctions and convincing the voters that there really is NO difference between the parties.  The easiest way to lose an election is to offer the voters a candidate that does not provide the confident leadership they are looking for in their Representative, one that does not reflect or advance their core values.  We need Reagan’s “bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people” once again, so that our conservative voters are energized to campaign hard and go to the polls.  This is a winning strategy!

Maybe it is especially true with a political party. After all, what is the purpose of a political party or any organization involved in politics? It is for a group of individuals who share certain goals to work together in order to make it more likely that those goals will be accomplished. Notice that “working together” seems to be the key requirement.

To an outside observer, it appears that the purpose of a political party and many organizations involved in politics in these past many years is to aggregate and control as much Washington power as possible, but to what end?  To create a political class that ignores the people that they are elected to serve?  I cringe at “conservatives” caving to political and media pressure, or bowing to bipartisanship, instead of standing their ground on principles.  Day by day, inch by inch, we are being pulled to the left by bulging bureaucracies and profligate spending, leading to irresponsible deficits and unimaginable debts.  Yet, when the people call, and write, and visit, and email their Representatives in government over and over to no avail, that frustration cries out for resolution.  Thus was the birth of the TEA Party movement.  We do not need a new or third political party, but a bold and revitalized Republican Party, as Reagan said.

Every dollar and every volunteer hour that goes to attacking another Republican is one less dollar and one less hour available to resist President Obama’s agenda and communicate the Republicans’ more hopeful vision for the future.

Every dollar and every volunteer hour that goes to keeping an ineffective Representative in office year after year ad infinitum is one less dollar and one less hour available to work to replace that individual with a true conservative Republican, a better Representative, who can not only resist President Obama’s agenda, but also provide leadership to advance policies that secure a more responsible and prosperous direction for the future.

Politics is about persuasion – persuading someone to your way of thinking about an issue or a candidate. Rarely are we persuaded by someone yelling at us, calling us names, or using a threatening tone. Yet, we have seen all of those things used in recent campaigns by conservatives against other conservatives. In fact, a few even seem to equate conviction with rudeness; if one does not shout and insult opponents, he does not really believe in his positions.

The voters have a right not only to choose their Representative, but also to correct and criticize when they see fit, and they have a right to be heard.  Politicians who hide from their constituents, and refuse to listen to their concerns, are failing to do their job.  As a last resort, voters have a right to seek new representation.  Pointing out where two candidates differ on the issues of the day, or referencing the legislative history and voting record of an elected Representative is part of that process.  In fact, some say that knowing the people are engaged enough to hold an elected Representative accountable helps to keep them honest.  It doesn’t take yelling, name calling, or threatening to explain to voters how each candidate’s positions on issues are different.  Voters are smart enough to see through shouting, insults, and rudeness if that is all a candidate has to offer.  But it is unreasonable to assume that out of 650,000+ individuals there is only one person suitable to represent the citizens of any District, and nothing wrong with  giving voters a substantive choice.

Before launching an attack against a fellow Republican, it would be helpful to consider: Does this attack make it more or less likely that persuadable voters will agree with us? Does it draw people into our party or drive them away? Is the goal to actually accomplish something, or are we content to be a perpetual critic?

There is nothing at all wrong with a Primary challenge of any elected Representative.  Sitting Representatives are not sacrosanct, but neither should they be challenged without cause.  It is imperative that any challenger offer a clear vision of the changes they intend, so that voters can make an informed decision.  It is my goal to take an active leadership position and forcefully argue for a Constitutional Federal Government.  I will lead the fight against ever expanding government size and power.  I will speak out clearly whenever and wherever I find impropriety.  I am not interested in a lifelong career, preferring, as the Founders intended, to spend a few years in service and then return home, and to this end I have signed and will honor the Term Limits Pledge.  Knowing that I have a short time in office will free me to do what needs to be done, without the concessions and trade-offs requisite of a career politician.

Conservatives across the country have very strong feelings about where our nation is headed and the dangers we face. I share those feelings and am very concerned about our future. I also know that commonsense conservative solutions to the problems we face have no chance of being adopted unless we can persuade a majority of American voters that we are right and that our solutions are best. In order to accomplish anything in a democracy, a political majority is required, and political majorities are built by addition, not subtraction.

Commonsense Conservative solutions have no chance of being adopted unless they have leaders willing to promote and defend them as the best solutions for the ills of our Nation.  Conservatives across the country are very concerned about overspending with trillion dollar annual deficits, a National Debt that seems to have no limits time and time again, expanding government intrusion into our lives, and loss of personal freedoms — and these things occurred even when we had Republican majorities.  We have a government majority of career politicians who defer tough decisions to non-elected committees, or kick them down the road repeatedly, asking to be re-elected to fix the problems they have ignored for years.

The Republican Party generally believes in less government, traditional social policies, and a strong national defense. There are differences among Republicans, of course, and some Republicans will place a greater emphasis on certain issues than on others. But the things on which we agree are infinitely greater than any differences we may have. Yet, there are those who seem to forget who our real political opponents are.

Conservatives believe in less government, traditional social policies, and a strong national defense.  Conservatives, who by and large still self-identify as Republicans, are not at all sure any longer exactly what the Republican Party believes in.  Yes, there are going to be differences of opinion within the ranks, but if all our principles and core values can be compromised for political expediency, when even a Republican President is willing to “abandon the free market in order to save the free market” — what are we to believe?  Out of frustration, the conservative Republican rank-and-file have labeled some as RINO’s and others as GOPe to explain the dereliction.  Oaths are not mere words, and we do not elect people to go to Washington to play “let’s make a deal” with our Life, Liberty, and pursuit of Happiness.

The best chance Barack Obama has of achieving his political dream is for Republicans to continue attacking one another and driving people out of the party. That will doom the Republican Party to perpetual minority status, but far more importantly, it will harm our nation.

The best chance Barack Obama has of achieving his political dream is for Republicans to continue giving in and trying to please their Democrat colleagues and the media, rather than listening to the folks back home and holding strong for the things that We the People believe in.  We cannot preserve our nation if we remain on perpetual defense, trying to curry favor with some middle ground that produces the same harm of entitlement, dependency, and expansive government — just at a slightly slower pace.

None of this is to say that any national political party can or should consist of a bunch of monolithic robots. Republicans will have differences, and once the party takes a position, not every Republican will agree with it. There may well be vigorous dissent. That is normal and healthy. What is not normal for a political party, and certainly not healthy for its survival, is for those claiming to be part of the team to spend more energy attacking fellow party members than in trying to persuade voters and make the case for their policies and vision.

Each political subdivision is afforded the opportunity to elect the Representative they choose: red or blue; conservative, moderate, or progressive.  Texas 13th Congressional District is tied with a District in Alabama as the most Republican District in the country.  The voters of Texas District 13 deserve a strong, Conservative leader who they can count on to consistently represent them in policy, legislation, and voting record.

Ending the circular firing squad does not guarantee success at the ballot box. It just gives us a chance. To succeed, we have to coalescence around a few key goals, effectively communicate those goals and how we aim to achieve them, and make it clear that we welcome all who share in our hopes.

We know that anyone who is willing to stand up and espouse Conservative principles, fight for Constitutional Liberty, and make the tough choices to rein in spending and shrink the size of government is going to suffer blistering attacks by the Democrats, the media, and even some fellow Republicans who enjoy the power and affluence of big government and a lifelong career in Washington.  Still, this is a task that must be done.  A few strong young Conservatives are coming forward even now in Washington, but we need to add to their ranks committed Conservatives ready, willing, and able to help them do what needs to be done.

There is such a good case to be made, not only that the Democratic approach is driving America to ruin, but also that by building on America’s founding political philosophy of individual rights, individual opportunity, maximum freedom, strong security, our best years can be still ahead of us.

We also know that the Constitution and Socialism are like oil and water — they do not mix.  The only way for Socialism to rule in America is for the Constitution to be destroyed.  The time is now, and the decision is ours.  Do we continue in the same direction, go along to get along, or rededicate our lives to restoring the America our Founder entrusted to us?  What kind of Country, what kind of future, will we leave to our children and grandchildren?  The future is in our hands, and if we all work hard together we can do this!

Mac Thornberry

Dr. Pam Barlow for Congress