By Bob Cox
Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.
Well, I just turned another page on my calendar. One more month gone by; one more month closer, I hope, to some real changes. Funny that I would use “hope” and “change” in the same sentence, given what those promises have given us over the past seven years.
Before I get going too far, I must say that I am not a total, undying fan of former Colorado Representative Tom Trancredo. He and I have disagreed on a number of issues over the years, but we have agreed on great number more. I disagree with his latest decision and I really hope he reconsiders. He has already backed off to some degree.
After the so-called debate in Boulder last week Trancredo told some members of the press that he was going to cut ties with the Republican Party. Actually, I think he already has, but I want to talk a little about his reasoning.
Trancredo was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 1976 at a time when I was working for a very conservative sheriff and living in a very conservative county. I liked Trancredo’s shoot-from-the-shoulder brand of politics. He seemed to understand the problems of rural law enforcement and he voiced sincere concern over some of the policies of Governor Dick Lamm. He was a history teacher, which gave him another point on my scorecard and served two terms in the Colorado House.
I thought then, and I still think now, that Trancredo had some very good instincts. He cut the Department of Education staff in Denver by a significant number when he served as the regional representative under both President Reagan and President George H. W. Bush. While he and I disagreed on his marijuana legalization opinions, and initially on his term limit advocacy, we certainly agreed on most other of his policy issues.
Trancredo was elected to the United States Congress and served five terms. He decided not to seek re-election in 2008, not because of his term limit beliefs, but because he wanted to run for president. Here, again, we disagreed. I did not think he had a chance in that 2008 battle. Again, we agreed on a lot of things and, not unlike today’s “outsiders,” Trancredo brought some important topics to the top of the barrel.
After he dropped out of the race, Trancredo openly endorsed Mitt Romney. When Romney lost, I began to see the bitterness in Trancredo and I can certainly understand most of his frustrations. I think he would have been a great governor for Colorado. I think the fact that he ended up running on the Constitution Party ticket was a sad turn of events. The Republicans needed to get behind him. He outperformed Bob Beauprez by more than 25 percent of the vote, making Beauprez the spoiler rather than the third-party guy. The Republicans need to think about that hard and long. We ended up with a governor that endorses everything Barack Obama does.
Back to my point: Last week Trancredo said it was time for him to end his affiliation with the Republican Party. He listed a myriad of reasons for doing so, and he was not off base on any of them. The Republicans have failed to perform. They are all quick to tell us how many promises Barack Obama has broken, but the sad fact is that they have broken at least one for every one they point out in Obama’s failed administration. But, I hate to see Trancredo go. I think he is just what we need in the party. I still think we have a chance of turning things around, but we need to do it by replacing the idiots in charge. We need to hold them accountable and we need to put a stop to the professional politician movement that has increased by leaps and bounds over the past few decades.
On the positive side, as soon as Trancredo announced his departure from the Republican Party, he announced his support for one of the Republican candidates, Ted Cruz. He said he wanted to help organize Independents in support of Cruz. I am not endorsing Cruz by any means, at least not yet, but I like the fact that Trancredo is willing to say he agrees with Cruz on most issues. It gets more and more interesting.
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© Robert R. Cox 2015