Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ken Blackwell, after the Fall

Why did Ken Blackwell, who ran for governor in Ohio last year, and many other republicans lose their elections in November? Did the GOP candidates lose because they were too conservative for Ohio, as the victorious Democrats now gloat and promote?

It was not because of conservative ideology and principles that the GOP candidates lost. I heard Ken Blackwell speak at luncheon today. The GOP candidates lost for several reasons including the fact that once they gained power, they went into the mode of just protecting the status quo and the power they gained. They did not live and act on their conservative principles. The GOP also forfeited its opportunity to lead because of the moral shortcomings of several of their key office holders. (Although Blackwell did not mention names, to me Governor Bob Taft and Congressman Ney might be good examples of this.) The party and the candidates forgot the moral foundation on which America was built. The duty of conservative politicians is to protect and preserve traditional American values. Some office holders either forgot or they disregarded the principles on which they were elected. (To me former Senator Mike DeWine exemplified this when he teamed up with Senator McCain in compromise on President Bush’s judicial appointments.)

What Ohio needs, yes, what America needs are true conservatives of both party to stick to their principles once elected. These key principles include protection of life, traditional family and marriage, a tax code that serves the taxpayer and not a tax code that is the instrument of government to control and enslave the people. We also need small government. We need politicians who will think right, effectively and efficiently. In other words, we need politicians as well as citizens who do things right and who do the right things.

Ken Blackwell, who now writes for wrote in an article earlier this year saying “Our conservative causes are just as true and worth fighting for as they were on November 6 (the day before the election). So, we must keep perspective, and continue. We must encourage others to also remain engaged in the struggle – to be a force for living change. In more than thirty years of pubic service one thing I have learned is that the only way a cause is truly lost is if the army is scattered and resolved to defeat."

Blackwell noted in the speech I heard him make today in Columbus, Ohio that he experienced 12 election victories and 4 election defeats. In referring to his latest defeat he cited to several quotes. One was something to the affect that one of the miracles of life is our ability to begin again (after a set-back or defeat.) He also said that we should never let any defeat or failure be a period, but only a comma and to continue to be involved.

His hope is that the conservatives, who are in office now, will recruit young staffers, who will also have the same conservative vision. Great cities and great states do not produce great good. It is good people doing good things; it is principled coalition of like-minded groups serving together to gain and use political power wisely thta produce the greatest good.

In further relating to his own defeat in the past election Blackwell used baseball player Willie Davis as an illustration. This same illustration he referred to in his article quoted above, “Although Los Angeles Dodgers’ center fielder Willie Davis was widely considered the fastest man in baseball throughout the 1960s and 70s, he is perhaps more often remembered for a remark he made following game two of the 1966 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles. In the fifth inning Davis committed three errors on two consecutive plays. L.A. lost the game 8 to 4 and was swept in the series. When asked about his less than stellar performance, Davis dryly remarked, “It ain’t my life, and it ain’t my wife, so why worry?” Even more important than his amazing speed, Davis had extraordinary perspective.

“More than once since the release of the November 7, 2006 general election results, I’ve given some thought to Mr. Davis’ quip. I have been elected to city council and Mayor of my hometown of Cincinnati. I was three times elected to statewide office, first as State Treasurer, then twice as Secretary of State. Voters from my political party decisively choose me to be their standard bearer in the race for Ohio Governor. When the votes were counted in the general election, however, this time I and other uncompromising conservatives did not come out on top. But beyond personal disappointment there is perspective (a la Willie Davis). And beyond such perspective there is an ironic, yet undeniable sense of accomplishment for many of us.”

Henry Ford once said, “Failure is only an opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
In conclusion, Blackwell said that as a result of his defeat in the 2006 election he has learned from his experience; he understands that the GOP was sent a message by the people; and that he personally is intent on redoubling his efforts to make a difference.

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