About the 5th District convention and that darn ‘establishment’

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Last weekend’s 5th Congressional District convention has been written about by various bloggers including my Bearing Drift colleague Matt Colt Hall (see Why Garrett Won) and Millennial Ascent’s John Hernandez (Thoughts on the 5th District).

Matt Colt Hall made a very effective argument that we needed to get past the “establishment” argument:

We need to get past this idea that experience is equal to being “establishment” and that the idea of anybody who has been elected to office before automatically means that person is “establishment.” Barry Goldwater served in the Senate for 30 years, Ronald Reagan was a two-term Governor before he was President, and Newt Gingrich had served for 20 years before he even became Speaker of the House.   Experience doesn’t mean you already caved, experience means you have rolled up your sleeves and done something. Experience means you stopped armchair quarterbacking and started actually trying to fix problems in government. No matter if you were right or wrong, it means that you actually did something. Senator Garrett made that argument quite effectively and his margin of victory shows it.

Interesting especially in light of my conversation with someone who attended the 5th District Convention. He was a Joe Whited supporter but had an interesting exchange with a Del Rosso supporter. My friend relayed the remarks that went something like this:

I was there to support Joe Whited. When he was eliminated after the second ballot, I was approached by a Del Rosso supporter who asked me which candidate I planned to support on the third ballot.

“Tom Garrett,” I replied.

“Oh. Even though he’s the establishment candidate?” he asked.

At this point, I decided to have a little fun with this man.

“What exactly is ‘the establishment’? I keep hearing that term, but I’ve never heard a good definition of it.”

“The establishment is the people in charge — the people who make the decisions,” he said.

“Oh? So, if Mr. Del Rosso gets elected, he’ll become the establishment?”

“No, no, no. They’ve got money. Like the Bushes, the Kennedys, and the … oh what’s his name … I used to know it. He was in charge and had a lot of money?”

“The Rockefellers?” I asked.

“Yes! Rockefellers. Those money people.”

“I think I get it now! So the little people need to rise up and take back the government from the rich people?”

“Yes, yes! That’s it!” He was excited I got it.

I responded, “Like the Bernie supporters?”

“Haha, kinda.” This wasn’t going quite the way he expected.

“Like the Communists?” I asked. “The little people overthrow the rich and take charge of the government?”

“No, no, not like the Communists.” He then wondered, “Have you ever been to a Communist country?”

“Actually, yes I have. I spent time in China.”

“Oh ok. Well, good luck with your candidate and God bless.” He left.

So he basically admitted his philosophy was more in-line with philosophical communism than it is with traditional Anglo-American Conservatism! Scary!

Yep. Interesting political times we’re living through these days.

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