Rick Barber Gets Out His Megaphone
posted at 11:17 am on May 29, 2010 by Laura Curtis
I had the opportunity to chat with Rick Barber, the AL-02 candidate whose WTC mosque campaign ad caused a sensation. Given the other red-meat laden ads coming out of Alabama lately, I wondered if there was something in the water up there. Rick explained the rationale behind the ad:
I definitely felt going in that a lot of other people felt the same way I did but they really would just love to have someone with somewhat of a megaphone if you will as far as saying what needs to be said. … I know there are a lot more like me who are concerned about radical Islam and wish more were being done.
Another candidate who has been equally direct is Florida’s Lt. Col. Allen West. In this video, after every other man waffled and one even joked about taking the 5th, West provided a concise history of Islamic war on the west and concluded with
“…until we get principled leadership in the United States that is willing to say that, we will continue to chase our tail because we will never clearly define who this enemy is and then understand their goals and objectives which is on any jihadist website and then come up with the right and proper goals and objectives to not only secure our republic but to secure western civilization.”
I love Mr. West. He’s dead on when he identifies and says we can’t look at this as in the same context as other religions. This is a totalitarian and an authoritarian ideology that is out there. It’s not subject to one nation, it’s not necessarily one people; it’s an ideology we’re combating. And if we don’t recognize it for what it is […] we’re going to be taken over. Look what’s happening in France.
We don’t project strength as a nation anymore. And if we don’t start doing that again, we’re constantly going to be vulnerable. Ronald Reagan has one of the best quotes, “We were never brought into war because we were deemed to be too strong; only when we were deemed to be too weak.” And that’s exactly what the administration is doing now. We are not being strong with the conflicts that we’re in.
On the recent South Park/Comedy Central/EDMD brouhaha he said,
There’s an absolute double standard in the media and anywhere else. That’s going to be another thing I would address in Washington. The biggest thing a Congressman has is a megaphone – he has access to be heard. And that’s what our leaders today aren’t capitalizing on.
I asked Barber why he is the superior GOP candidate for his district. After all, like Dede Scozzafava, Martha Roby received the NRCC endorsement.
She’s definitely the establishment candidate; she’s got a long pedigree in her family. Her father’s a federal judge, her uncle’s the probate judge in Montgomery, so you’ve got all those contacts which give her the advantage to raise money, no doubt about it. The reason I chose to run, because running for public office of any kind just wasn’t on my roadmap initially was the fact that, as a business owner, someone who hires people all the time, and Congress being a job; that you’re applying for a job for what you’re doing, you try to match the skill set for the job. And when you look at what’s going on in Washington today, out of control spending, big deficits, we’re getting into programs we shouldn’t be doing, we’re not holding people accountable – all those things – those are all issues that business owners face every day.
We have to be fiscally responsible. We have to control our budget. We have to hold people accountable for their decisions. As business owners, it’s our money we’re investing so we’re invested in every single decision we make, so I really wanted to see someone there with real world business experience. There’s nothing else that would help rein in some of these out of control decisions that we’re making because the people who are down here living in the world they’re creating up there are crying foul. And it’s harder every day to stay in business because they’re taking the incentive out of being a business owner every day.
And the second thing was the military experience – in my district we have two major military installations. We have got 200,000 veterans, and in Washington we have less than 25% of our leaders who have ever served in the armed forces. I think that’s where that disconnect happens when you talk about national security, when you talk about being strong on immigration. And so my platform is on quit hiring political experience, because there’s plenty of that in Washington, and let’s start hiring some real-world experience and start focusing on what accomplishments that they achieved in life, and put those kind of skill sets in Washington and I think you’ll find a change in the decisions that are being made.
One last blast from his megaphone:
I’m a huge FAIR Tax supporter; it’s one of the things that got me involved in the tea party, I think tax reform is the #1 way we can fix our government. Corruption is rampant because the #1 tool that is used is the tax code today. So if we really want to address corruption, the best solution I have found for that is the FAIR tax. And I think that’s something if we had more people in Washington really educating people on, that it would become a campaign issue for most people in the United States. They would start asking people, “Do you support HR 25?” and if you don’t they probably would not even consider voting for you.
I’m tired of waffling politicians who try to take all sides of an issue. Barber’s directness and willingness to support something not fully poll-tested is really refreshing; that’s why I’ve donated to his campaign. He’s willing to get out there and use his megaphone to try to sell conservative ideas, something I think the GOP has done a very poor job of in the last decade. As to whether a GOP Tea Party candidate can defeat the GOP establishment candidate… well, it wouldn’t be the first time, even when the Tea Party candidate enjoys less funding. As Glenn Reynolds put it,
…in many ways Tea Party activism is the substitute for cash that is to say you don’t have to pay people to go out and do yourself because Tea Party people will do it for free. I read over 6000 people traveled in from out of state to work as volunteers for Scott Brown and you know, and so that’s as good as money and indeed a lot of the publicity, a lot of the support of the Tea Party people produce is far more valuable than paid political ads.
Recommended: Stacy McCain talked Tea Parties, Pool Halls and Blue Dogs with Rick Barber back in February.
Instalanche, and thanks for the link!
Edited: I added a few links I originally forgot to include and clarified that the controversial ad was about the WTC mosque.