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Posts Tagged ‘The Rule of Law Campaign’

I haven’t seen Corey Stewart in the city of Harrisonburg since he spoke to the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party back on February 24th.  At that time, he spoke primarily regarding The Rule of Law Campaign, but also explained how George Allen was a poor legislator during his time in the United States Senate.  Although I could discuss in length how his recent flip-flop on the former Governor greatly tarnished my opinion of him, that topic must wait for another article.

Although Stewart himself will not be at James Madison University, his actions as the Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors will be a central focus on Tuesday.  Tomorrow, JMU’s chapter of Amnesty International along with Virginia Organizing will be holding a screening of the new film 9500 Liberty.  From what I’ve read about the movie, it paints Stewart and his supporters in unflattering terms.  According to rottentomatoes.com, “9500 Liberty reveals the startling vulnerability of a local government, targeted by national anti-immigration networks using the Internet to frighten and intimidate lawmakers and citizens.”

I know most conservatives don’t care for Amnesty International and I will confess that I don’t like some of their positions, such as their opposition to Virginia’s death penalty.  However, when it comes to issues like torture, this group serves an important role as a watchdog to protect citizens and foreigners alike from abuse.

So here is the trailer for 9500 Liberty:

I’m guessing that I will not agree with the message of 9500 Liberty.  After all, protecting our borders is one of the primary Constitutional duties of the federal government.  If Washington D.C. cannot or fails to prevent aliens from entering our country illegally, then it falls to our state and local governments to pick up the slack.  In general, I’ve been supportive of the efforts of folks like Corey Stewart to battle the influx of those people who have violated our laws.

So why should we watch the film?  Well, even if you happen to disagree with the political premise, that doesn’t mean that the movie has no value.  After all, although I wouldn’t rate Fahrenheit 9/11 as a particularly great work, it did raise questions that needed to be discussed.  So too could 9500 Liberty.  I hope it is more than mere liberal propaganda.

In case you are interested, 9500 Liberty will be showing on November 15th from 7 PM to 9 PM at JMU’s Memorial Hall in room 2210.  Love it or hate it, my hope is that this movie will expand the political dialogue.  I suppose that there is only one way to find our for sure.

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Earlier tonight, Corey Stewart, Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, was the guest speaker at the meeting of the Harrisonburg branch of the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party.  There were about sixty folks in attendance and the reaction to Stewart’s actions against illegal immigration seemed to be very positive.  Given their response, I would expect that most, if not of all, of my fellow tea partiers agree that substantial steps need to be taken, like was done in Prince William County, to combat this problem.

One humorous moment in the night came when Mr. Stewart asked the audience where they thought the illegal immigrants who left Prince William County went.  A handful of people shouted out “Harrisonburg!”  Even though it is clear that Prince William County suffered from many more negative aspects of this illegal influx, it is also true that Harrisonburg and Rockingham County are seeing increasing problems as a result of the federal government failing to protect our borders and enforce the laws already in place.

When it came to the question and answer segment of the night, I asked Mr. Stewart why he thought some of my fellow conservative activists and bloggers would oppose his efforts against illegal immigration.  His reply was that they may be concerned about the possibility of a Hispanic backlash against conservatives, due to the potential for racial profiling and for failing to welcome others of their race with open arms.  In reply, he noted that there has not been one verified case of racial profiling in Prince William since his policy was enacted.  In addition, he added that many of the legal immigrants with whom he has spoken oppose illegal immigration too.  After all, if they took the time and effort to follow the necessary steps to be here legally, why should those who shortcut the system (i.e. those who break the law) be similarly rewarded?

Although immigration proved to be the hot button issue of the night, one also has to wonder about the possibility of Mr. Stewart seeking the Republican nomination for Virginia’s soon-to-be vacated Senate seat.  Given his rhetoric both this evening and in previous comments, I would guess that his run is highly likely.  After all, why would he draw so many areas of difference between himself and George Allen otherwise?  With that assumption in mind, even though his position on illegals is quite clear, I would be interested to learn how Mr. Stewart stands on a whole multitude of fiscal, social, and constitutional issues.  After all, as we learned from Tom Tancredo back in 2007-08, one cannot win a large-scale election on the back of fighting illegal immigration alone.

I want to thank Corey Stewart for coming out to our meeting tonight and I wish him well in his upcoming battle to retain his Chairmanship of Prince William County.  One does have to wonder if his Rule of Law Campaign will spread to other localities and become a statewide program.  Regardless of how 2011 and 2012 ultimately turn out, I expect Virginians will hear more from Mr. Stewart in the coming years.

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I held a social gathering for young conservatives in downtown Harrisonburg this past Thursday.  Why would I hold such an event, you might ask?  Well, with the notable exception of the College Republicans, not too many folks under the age of 30 take much of an interest in politics.  For example, at the last meeting of the Harrisonburg Republican Party, I was the youngest person in the room.  Although I don’t know how many people were more youthful than I at the last Tea Party meeting, I assure you that I was well below the median age…by at least ten years.  I get it.  Most people are not like I once was, a fifteen-year-old high school student champing at the bit to do his civic duty to improve his government.  Nevertheless, citizens should take an active interest because the government affects so many facets of life.  But let’s get back to our gathering…

I arrived at the library a few minutes after 6:00 PM but was dismayed to discover that the close parking lots were full.  Therefore, I had to park on the next block away.  Normally this setback wouldn’t be too troubling but, given that I had to haul multiple heavy items such as two gallons of tea, two gallons of water, and several boxes of cookies, I found the multiple treks to and from my car to be quite taxing.  The first guest to arrive was Mr. Mellott, a writer for the Daily News Record.  I was pretty surprised to see him because I didn’t think the local news would take much notice of my humble operation.  His presence made me a bit nervous, not because I have any objection to attention from the media, in fact I welcome it, but rather I was worried that the event would be sparsely attended and therefore reflect poorly on me.  Next to arrive was a handful of members of the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party.  Although they too were not in my expected age range, I greatly appreciated their company especially their willingness to help me set up the room and return the items to my car upon the conclusion of the event.

All in all, about twenty people showed up to the gathering.  We had a handful of people from the Young Republicans, the James Madison University College Republicans, Luis (a great guy who is very spirited about the cause), and even a few volunteers from Corey Stewart’s The Rule of Law Campaign. Even though I had prepared a few brief remarks for the crowd, I never had the opportunity to speak given that people came and went as they pleased.  I don’t believe that more than ten people were in the room in any given moment.  Then again, perhaps it was for the best.  After all, the event wasn’t for me, but for everyone.

Overall, the meeting was both a disappointment and a success.  It was a disappointment because, with the exception a few of the JMU CRs, I didn’t get to meet any new 18 to 40 year old conservatives.  I didn’t bring in any new blood.  By contrast, my unexpected accomplishment was the opportunity to spend a good bit of one-on-one time talking to the leaders of the local Tea Party.  Although, in general, they are both considerably older than I and don’t have nearly the experience in politics, it is refreshing to hear about and witness their dedication and vigor in support of our shared conservative principles.

Let me take the opportunity to infuse this post with a bit of political encouragement.  Don’t believe the lies.  One person can make a difference in politics, regardless of age or experience.  You are not alone.  Never forgot that there are many conservatives, just like you, out toiling in the trenches to promote our ideology.  But you should join a group.  Whether it is the College Republicans, Young Republicans, City or County Republicans, your local Tea Party, or something else, find activists who believe the same as yourself.  After all, while one person can carry away heavy stones, a multitude can move an entire mountain.

I guess in retrospect, I should have expanded my invitation for the event to conservatives of all ages.  It just would be nice to meet a few more unattached conservative young women.  Anyway, next time I hold a social event, I really hope you can join me.

In liberty!

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