BY: B. Keith Plunkett @Keithplunkett
I was honored when Senator Ted Cruz asked me to help with his campaign for President here in Mississippi as his state co-chairman. I’ve actively worked and volunteered for political campaigns in Mississippi now for over a decade; at times my participation has been as simple as offering a helping hand and sponsoring events, at other times I’ve been called into action to play some official role as a campaign staffer, then at other times I’ve acted as a behind the scenes editor, writer and communications consultant.
From the standpoint of someone involved in politics, to be called on by a presidential contender can be heady stuff. Thanks to the way I was taught by my family, I have always striven to reject politics as personal vindication. I’m always willing to discuss and debate the direction of our state and our nation, and what the evidence reveals sent us careening off course as a country. If something is right it’s right. The truth doesn’t change no matter the fervor of the campaign or it’s followers. I’m also not the guy who ruins family dinners or time with friends with feverish apocalyptic predictions over the next election.
I, like so many, have not always been successful at maintaining that balance. Nonetheless, I am blessed by a good family that has kept me grounded.
That’s not to say all passion should be removed from the political process. Indeed, without passion, the political exercise is one of mere utility which leads to scientific method as the only measure of society. Measurement and results are important, but that type of pure mechanical view dismisses and diminishes the heart as a driving force of humanity. Without a willingness to look inward to the soul, even if only occasionally, we can never be anything more than animals acting on instinct. God is far greater, His intentions for us are not so undemanding.
Individual character in these matters are of the utmost importance, lest society become ruled by anarchic impulse, wild-eyed excitement and cultural corruption.
To be honestly focused on the future of our nation requires us to look past the latest “bimbo” tweet and to dig deeper into the serious; it is to look at candidates as more than the political equivalent personality of our favorite sports team; it is to look at the character of the person, the policies they propose and the record they have put together promoting those policies. No man or woman has a perfect past, but we should at the very least be willing to assess his or her attempts at virtuously applying the principle of their beliefs.
It is easy in our current circus atmosphere to become distracted and forget that conservatives didn’t magically arrive at this time and place. Many have worked tirelessly for several years across the country, some at great personal expense, to stand up and challenge the politically powerful partnership that has our nation focused away from the tried and true and towards a system of experimental government. That threat is still with us, although now not so well hidden as before.
Sen. Ted Cruz is owed a great deal of credit for his courage on the floor of the U.S. Senate uncovering this for the general public to see. It may be more fun now in a campaign season for some to talk of conspiracies and to participate in playground antics. But, while many voters were only peripherally paying attention over the previous 3 to 4 years, Senator Cruz was facing down power where it currently resides and realigning the political conversation in our country to more suitable and sensible ground. Does anyone really believe for a moment that we Republicans would be having discussions during this primary campaign of such a conservative nature were it not for that work?
Any student of leadership can tell you the greatest leaders don’t work to rise above others; they work to help others to rise. Senator Cruz has worked to help conservatives, rightfully oriented outside of Washington, to rise in our country again. No candidate running for president today has sacrificed as much nor proven to show themselves to be a leader of greater caliber. When conservatives go to caucus and to vote in primaries over the coming months, we would do well to remember that where we are today is a result of the leadership that got us here.
Keith Plunkett is the Mississippi Co-Chairman of the Cruz 2016 Presidential Campaign. He lives in Flora, MS. with his wife and two sons.