Hiding in plain sight: Conservatives must be vigilant – Always.

By: Brenda Vassaur Taylor

Conduit for Action recently wrote about dramatic changes in the Arkansas Republican Platform which seem to favor establishment Republicans over their more conservative cousins.  What had been the ten principles of the party were deleted. (Read article: “LIMITED GOVERNMENT” and other principles removed from Arkansas Republican Platform)

I would not have been aware of the removal of the ten principles if not for a phone call. The caller claimed Governor Asa Hutchinson had responded to one of CFA’s criticisms by saying CFA is wrong about “limited government” being a principle of the Arkansas Republican Party. I knew that could not be right.  I had read the principles many times.  But, the Governor was right… the words “limited government” have completely been removed from the platform. Worse, the ten principles have been completely removed.

Soon after our article appeared, we received the following comment from a fellow Republican: “So, who/how did our platform get diluted and the principles changed? I don’t recall voting on anything that sounded like changing the principles! I’m furious!

It was changed at the Arkansas Republican Convention in August 2016.  I share the same frustration because I too was at the same meeting and didn’t realize the principles had been deleted from the platform.

I never anticipated that the preamble to the platform would be a battleground for an establishment take over…  But I am learning that you cannot take anything for granted.  Legislators and citizens alike are learning the same lesson the hard way.

While I am frustrated at not catching the changes in the principles of the Arkansas Republican Party, this reinforces to me the importance of Conduit For Action and its monitoring of Arkansas legislation.

Arkansas needs conservative watchdogs because there is so much that just slides by the public and the press.  Here are a few examples of why we must be vigilant:

  • Common Core: Some legislators were surprised that when they voted for the Department of Education’s cleanup bill that the bill included a huge change – it allowed the state to impose Common Core education standards.
  • Weaker Term Limits: Many Arkansans were surprised to learn they voted to weaken term limits when they voted for a 2014 constitutional amendment on ethics that said it was establishing term limits.
  • Obamacare Medicaid Expansion: When Governor Hutchinson’s nephew, Senator Jim Hendren, told legislators his bill to create a task force on Medicaid would end Obamacare Medicaid Expansion, some legislators were surprised to learn 1) that the bill did not shorten (by even one second) the time the program was scheduled to expire in Arkansas or 2) that the first duty of the task force was to recommend how to continue the coverage.

CFA cannot spot every issue on its own.  That is why you, our readers, need to alert us when you spot progressive big government changes being proposed in Arkansas.

We hope you will also express your concerns to your elected officials and let them know you stand for conservative principles.  And, about the Arkansas Republican platform…. if you are a Republican like me let’s make sure the changes favoring establishment Republicans are not repeated in the 2018 platform.