- - Thursday, July 28, 2016

Last week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland saw significant signs of discord in the GOP, as many longtime party regulars and delegates made last-ditch attempts to block the nomination of Donald Trump – so much so, in fact, that some Democratic Party operatives and consultants and not a few of their allies in the media have convinced themselves that Hillary Clinton’s campaign will be able to target a significant slice of the GOP electorate for persuasion efforts.

As the co-founder and CEO of the nation’s largest tea party organization, I’ve had occasion this year to travel to more than two dozen states. As a consequence, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with thousands of voters from all across the nation, and get a feel for their thinking. And to those Democrats who think it’s worth targeting tea party voters for Clinton persuasion efforts, I have two words: Good luck.

While it is true that some tea party voters are not yet sold on Donald Trump as the GOP nominee, there is virtually 100 percent unanimity that they are opposed to Mrs. Clinton.

Why? Because she has a long and well-known history of being an advocate for policies we abhor, and has a character (corrupt and mendacious) and motivations (self interested) we find unacceptable.

“When the only tool in your tool bag is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” Rather than recognizing (as have America’s greatest leaders for more than two centuries) that America’s problems are better solved by the American people than by the American government, Mrs. Clinton seems always to come to the same conclusion, no matter what the problem – find a way to spend more money through the federal government. And if you cannot find the tax revenues necessary to pay for the additional spending, just add it to the national tab, to be paid by future generations.

Remember her first major foray onto the national political scene, in 1993? We do. Tasked by her husband with solving America’s health care problems, she convened secretly with special interest lobbyists for months, and then proposed a vast expansion of the federal reach over health care – so large an expansion that even with her husband in the White House and Democratic control of both House and Senate, she could not get her plan passed by Congress.

More than two decades later, as the nation deals with the continuing and ever-enlarging problems of ObamaCare (which, not surprisingly, remains as unpopular today as it was when it was first forced on us six years ago), her solution is simple – she says she wants to add a so-called “public option,” which is nothing more than a poll-tested euphemism meaning “government health care,” as if the public’s opposition to ObamaCare rests on a desire for more government control rather than less.

But promoting more federal control (and spending) isn’t her only, or even most important, problem in trying to win over tea party voters – it’s her character, and her motivation.

Hillary Clinton is a liar. And that’s not me saying that, that’s the Director of the Federal Bureau of Intelligence, who, after a year-long investigation, concluded that she had not told the truth about a number of issues related to her decision to set up a private email server to host her official State Department email traffic and called her “extremely careless” in her handling of America’s national security secrets.

In fact, the scandal surrounding her private email server is the perfect example of why she’ll find it virtually impossible to win support from tea party voters – in one episode, it raises questions about both her motivation (clearly, to hide from the public anything “personal,” including, possibly, the dealings of the Clinton Foundation, now under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and, quite possibly, the FBI) and her character (see above re: her willingness to lie when she feels it suits her needs at the time).

Tea party voters are looking for leaders who revere the U.S. Constitution and the framework of limited government and individual liberty it created and promotes; Hillary Clinton’s record in public life shows a repeated disregard for the concept of limited government.

Tea party voters are looking for leaders who are open and honest about their plans, beliefs, and motivations; Hillary Clinton is neither.

Tea party voters are looking for leaders who recognize that it is the American people, not the American government, that has made our nation the last, best hope of mankind; Hillary Clinton does not.

For these reasons and others, I say to Democrats considering devoting significant resources to what will surely prove to be a futile effort to woo tea party voters – bring it on. And good luck

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