Curtis Dahlgren
"The words of the wise are like cattle prods"!
By Curtis Dahlgren
October 18, 2014

"You know, congressmen lose elections all the time. It's very rare, though, that congressmen have the privilege of losing an election in defense of the Constitution." – Dr. Larry Arnn, to James Rogan

ROGAN WAS A LOSER in his 2000 race for reelection in a liberal district that included Hollywood. And he lost over the principle of defending the Constitution during the Clinton impeachment process. I just stumbled over an issue of IMPRIMIS that I had forgotten (June 2001). A few excerpts of Rogan's remarks at Hillsdale, March 2001:

"Of all our federal officials, only presidents are constitutionally REQUIRED to vow to 'preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. Of course they are also charged by the Constitution with 'tak[ing] care that the laws [are] faithfully executed . . .

"The presidential oath was not an afterthought of America's Founders. No matter how popular a president-elect might be, he has to swear to uphold the Constitution before taking office. It is the oath, and not a politicians poll numbers, that gives legitimacy and continuity to that high office."

During the impeachment proceedings, Rogan heard more than one Senator say that da Prez' poll numbers trumped legal precedent and the Constitution. After a meticulous and moving speech by the Senator from Arkansas, two liberal Senators were overheard in the bathroom saying "That sounds bad." In other words, they had no clue as to what was right or wrong, and everything boiled down to peer pressure no matter HOW bad it all "sounded"! Understanding and wisdom are not high priorities in Washington DC. A few excerpts from Congressman Rogan's prepared remarks:

"The idea that no person is above the law is not our inheritance automatically. The ghosts of patriots past cannot compel us to preserve this sacred bequest [the Constitution]. Each generation of Americans must elect to adopt this standard. Once again, there is a time for choosing . . .

"If the President is guilty of acts justifying impeachment, then he, and not the Congress, will have overturned the election. . . He will have acted, not as a constitutional representative, but as a monarch, above the law."

Rogan had written to Congress as a 12-year-old seeking advice on public service. A Democrat, Senator Yarborough of Texas replied that a good public servant must put "principle and honor above incumbency." The 2000 "loser" never regretted his vote for impeachment. Rogan said:

"It is easy for elected officials to succumb to the illusion that the greater good is served by their self-perpetuation in office. Seniority, of course, often brings promotion and power of a sort. But something larger gets lost. And here I'm not even talking about integrity or political soul. I'm really just talking about the ability to lead.

"The moment a politician decides that it's more important to be re-elected than to stand his ground, he becomes weak and ineffective. The willingness to lose elections is a necessary prerequisite of statesmanship. . . "

THIS IS A GREAT MYSTERY, A PARADOX. A true statesman has a better chance of winning by not patronizing or insulting the voters by pandering to conventional wisdom or polls, or the direction the wind is blowing. The "experts" tell run-of-the-mill politicians that they must waffle and avoid certain issues in order to get the votes of Independents.

That's baloney! Independents by nature admire OTHER independent thinkers such as Ronald Reagan (no way was he an 'establishment' Republican; they did everything they could do derail him). Reagan won 49 states, not by trying to be all things to all people or by saying one thing to one audience and the opposite to other audiences, but by simply being honest. There were no issues that unmentionable. And he won millions of votes from Democrats with his wit and wisdom and candor.

The country club Whigs – I mean Republicans – had better wake up and drink the coffee real quick! The Kool-Aid of the consultants is for REAL losers.


© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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