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Friday, January 19, 2018

Cast your vote for Constitutional conservatives this election

By Miles and Tayler Baisch

We became the freest and most powerful people in the world because our founders set us on this course. They built a framework for this country relying on knowledge of history, strong moral courage, vision for our future, and the providence of God. That framework is the uniting contract that weaves our nation together. It’s the Constitution. A solid, unchanging document, that cannot easily be altered or ignored. It specifically empowers we the people as designed:

“If it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws — the first growing out of the last ... A sacred respect for the constitutional law is the vital principle, the sustaining energy of a free government.” – Alexander Hamilton

That’s the crux of the issue. It’s not enough that we vote for a Republican. If we would maintain our liberties and enable them for our children, then we must vote for something bigger than a person. We must vote for the document that person swears to uphold and protect;

Members of the legislature and all executive, ministerial and judicial officers shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation before they enter upon the duties of their offices: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect and defend the constitution of the United States, and the constitution of the state of Montana, and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity (so help me God).” - Montana Constitution, Art. 3, Sec. 3

It seems many of our elected officials hear this as: “If you see a copy of the Constitution on fire you should do the right thing and use a fire extinguisher on it.” In reality, every time they cast a vote that grows government bureaucracy and power they are breaking their oath to “support, protect, and defend” the Constitution. This includes ignoring and circumventing the Constitution by misinterpreting it, as Thomas Jefferson had the foresight to say; “Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction.” And again:  “On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

To this end, we must not miss the forest for the trees. Constitutional conservatism is a label claimed by many but honored by few. It’s our moral obligation as voters to do our research. You’ll notice that there are similar platforms amongst all the local candidates such as keeping Eastern Montana tax money in Eastern Montana. But a conservative goal does not make a conservative. We need a candidate that approaches every issue from the perspective of its constitutionality. Every bill needs to be examined as: will it make us more free or less free? As Jefferson said; “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” 

Now the freedom we live in because of the Constitution is easy to take for granted. It took personal experience more than just philosophy to illustrate how much the Constitution truly endows to us. 

We too took an oath to support and defend the Constitution much like our elected officials do. It was while honoring that oath as Marines that we gained a unique perspective about what makes us American.  We have traveled the wide world by ships and planes stuffed with hundreds of other service men as we displayed American power and influence. 

Combined we both have been to 13 different countries over four deployments. We experienced some wonderful places and some awful ones. We trained with some very professional foreign soldiers and some that we were afraid to give live ammo to. We saw some lush palaces in Thailand and some villages in Indonesia where the kids were digging through our MRE trash for a bite to eat. We’ve seen the turmoil of Afghanistan and the serenity of Japan. But the one thing every place from Jordan to Australia had in common to contrast with us: they are not as free.  That’s our hallmark. We can’t afford to trade it in, in the name of benevolent government control.  

The experience that gave us the most vivid example of why government shouldn’t be in control of our lives didn’t come from the foreign shores we visited though. It came from perhaps the most efficient body of government there is; the United States military. The military was akin to living in a socialist bubble. We waited for hours in lines for often subpar essentials like food, supplies, medical and dental treatment. A place where wages are set dependent almost exclusively on time and not merit, where you are told who to be and what to do,  and where no one could get fired and more than a few needed to be. Paperwork, politics, and red tape inhibited the simplest tasks and social experimentation took precedence over combat effectiveness. 

The concept of government taking care of us is terrifying. That’s coming from someone who has had the government ‘take care’ of them. Even with the best of intentions the bureaucratic monstrosity is inept. Now don’t read us wrong. America isn’t just worth dying for, it’s worth fighting for. We are very proud of being United States Marines. But we gave up our freedoms there so none of us would have to here. That environment is arguably necessary to maintain a ready and disciplined military. But we don’t want to live under it at home, and we are only votes away from it. 

If you are doubtful that electing non-conservative candidates could make Eastern Montana like living in a foreign country or being enlisted in the military, you’re ignoring history. The path is incremental but it is decisive. It’s already happening in other states. We both lived in Camp Pendleton, Calif., while state side. Us Marines from rural states often joked that it was like living in a hostile foreign country. What a beautiful place wrecked by liberal silliness. Every time we got off the plane in Billings we thought, “Thank God I am in Montana.”  We want to keep it that way. 

That’s why we hope you’ll vote with us to send Constitutional Conservatives to Helena this election.

Former Marines Miles and Tayler Baisch reside in Glendive.

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