It was a sunny Texas Independence Day on March 2nd 2013 when I announced my candidacy for the Republican nomination of the fourth congressional district of Texas. My mission was simple and had been a long time in the making: unseat Ralph Hall and take my “conservatism of the heart” and the political flame that burned inside me to the halls of Congress. It started as a spark of interest as a boy when I visited the Sam Rayburn library in Bonham Texas. It then grew into a roaring blaze as I traveled the roads of Kosovo, the wastelands of Afghanistan, and the desserts of Iraq as a U.S. Army Paratrooper and Military Policeman where I learned history the hard way – by living through it. My Alma mater was not a University but a curious mixture of blood, books, bullets, and the harsh realities of a soldier. During those tumultuous years I formed the foundation of my political ideas – to champion constitutional conservatism, Veterans, a noninterventionist foreign policy, a complete change of our tax code, a rollback of the 4th amendment violations set in place under the “Patriot Act,” and a return to economic patriotism and the wisdom of our Founders.
Over the course of the following year, other candidates joined the ranks of those who wished to unseat Ralph Hall and bring their own ideas and agendas to Washington D.C. It was only in the aftermath of being a part of this historic election that forced Congressman Hall into a runoff that I began to truly appreciate what Wellington said after his victory over Napoleon at Waterloo: “Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.” After the dust settled, I realized this would be a time for choosing.
A few days after the primary, Ed Valentine, Ralph’s campaign manager, called and had Ralph on the other line waiting for me. “I know you and I have the same barber and I can’t prove it but I’m pretty sure that S.O.B. voted for you. I would appreciate any support you could throw my way buddy, and I’m proud of the race you ran.” My heart softened and I knew then that I would not be turning my back on a fellow Veteran.
It has turned out to be one of the most enlightening and proudest times in my life. Ralph Hall’s character and courage is second to none. If I were in a fox hole today, I would want Ralph beside me. I know he would have my back, and what’s more, he personifies the “Conservatism of the heart” I set out to fight for in my first political run.
Ralph Hall stood up to his own party on bailouts for banks “too big to fail,” voted no on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), voted to limit the scope and overreach of the National Security Agency (NSA) this past summer, as well as voted no to authorize another unnecessary war in Syria. He stood virtually alone in condemning the illegal dumping of South Korean steel into U.S. markets that would drive down the price of domestic steel and hurt American jobs. He may very well be the last economic patriot on the Hill.
He has been a bulwark against Obamacare and the Obama agenda, standing firm on the issues of Life and the second amendment. Ralph Hall’s sole mission and the great pride of his life are to represent the people of the fourth congressional district and to protect their rights from an ever-expanding and bloated federal government.
“Insanity is the loss of memory,” said historian Will Durant. So in this shadow of Memorial Day, let us remember the sacrifices made by those who have come before us such as the “greatest generation” of whom Mr. Hall is an honored son.
Looking back over the past year, the events that have transpired and the subsequent runoff the other four candidates and I made possible, I am reminded of the words from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s the great Gatsby. “They were a rotten crowd sir, you’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.”
God bless Ralph Hall, All for Hall on May 27th.