Discover more from Dana Criswell
Be the Lone Gazelle
Most Mississippians proudly believe we live in a “conservative” state, but with just minimal research it becomes obvious that Mississippi politicians are far from conservative.
Check out the American Conservative Union’s scorecard.
When first elected to the Mississippi legislature I arrived in Jackson ready to join the team of conservative Republicans and move our state in the direction of freedom, liberty and economic prosperity. I had spent most of my life developing a political philosophy that was best expressed in the Republican Party Platform.
Sadly, what I found was a “team” of wet-noodle, self-serving, life-time politicians whose only concern was manipulating every situation to benefit themselves.
It only took a couple of votes where I didn’t fall in line, for the Speaker of the House to call me into his office for a discussion about how things worked in the legislature. I was given a pep-talk that included phrases like, team player and a worn out analogy from the Animal Planet television channel that discussed how the gazelle that went out on its own was the one eaten by lions. I understood immediately the implication that if I went out on my own and voted against the Speaker I would be the gazelle that was picked off by the lion.
The discussion went further as I objected saying the bills I was being asked to support were not conservative. The reply was, “if we stay together, we determine what is conservative.” I left that meeting with a clear understanding that the Mississippi House of Representatives was not operating on an ideological basis. It was a political organization designed to build up its members at the cost of the people of our state.
I’m relating this story to help you understand the pressures being placed on newly elected legislators. They are immediately threatened, coerced, and verbally beaten into submission. If they resist they are ostracized by other legislators who have succumbed to the pressures of leadership.
Once we elect the man or woman we want to represent us we must maintain pressure from outside the legislature to ensure they adhere to our principles and values. We must let those elected know that we will support them if they resist the internal pressure to fall in line and we will punish if they choose to serve leadership instead of the people.
Leadership is not going to change. Unfortunately those who rise to the top of political organizations are rarely the best. So it is our responsibility to stay engaged so we can move Mississippi into an era of prosperity and freedom in spite of the politicians running our government.
Check out my list of candidates who have the strength to be that lone gazelle.