Eric Cantor’s loss to an unknown, underfunded candidate in the GOP primary in Virginia’s 7th congressional district was as needed as it was unexpected. Few political observers gave Cantor’s challenger much of a chance to unseat the second most powerful member of the US House of Representatives, and with good reason.
Economics professor turned GOP nominee Dave Brat was outspent 25:1 by the Cantor campaign, and was relatively unknown from the outset. Nevertheless, he amassed a roughly 10 point victory over one of the most senior members of Congress in a stunning upset in the Old Dominion.
I think this probably has something to do with the fact that Congress, according to a recent Gallup poll, has an approval rating that has dipped into single digits.
As House Majority Leader, Representative Cantor has helped preside over a GOP controlled chamber that has allowed federal spending to soar without any real spending cuts, allowed the President to largely govern by executive order without any effective checks or balances, and that has caved in battle after battle ranging from the debt ceiling to Obamacare.
Folks are fed-up with the federal government. While Washington plays politics, and politicians jockey for their next position, we the people feel forgotten.
Cantor’s loss was proof that people are awakening to the fact that neither party is paying attention to their wishes.
Washington is broken because it has lost touch with the first principles our founders put into place to ensure that the rights of the individual are preserved in this free nation. Washington officials have usurped powers that the Constitution clearly reserves to the states, and all three branches have abdicated their responsibilities to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
If politicians like Eric Cantor spent as much time reigning in an out-of-control federal deficit and debt, an out-of-control Federal Reserve that is debasing our currency and driving up prices, a failed healthcare law that is denying people freedom of choice in medicine, and a president who thinks he can govern with a pen and a phone, as they did trying to move up the ladder, they would still have a job.
Americans want their country back, and the American Dream that seems further and further out of reach. Some progressives feel that the solution to this sense of frustration is to further abandon the Constitution and our founding principles. The New York Times has openly wondered if the Constitution is still relevant, and the National Journal trumpeted that “With few notable exceptions, the nation’s onetime pillars are ill-equipped for the 21st century.” In the minds of many on the Left, the solution to our problems is to abandon the constitutional government given to us by our founders, because it’s outdated and “ill equipped.” The solution to our problems is a reapplication of constitutional principles in government, not the further abandonment of them. A problem created by unconstitutional actions cannot be remedied by yet more unconstitutionality.
The victory of Dave Brat in Virginia was a victory for first principles. Brat ran on restoring the Constitution, limiting the scope and power of government, and a restoration of checks and balances in Washington.
His victory cannot be neatly packaged as Tea Party vs. establishment.
It is better described as a victory for constitutional government and American principles over a failed view of government that, in the words of former Majority Leader Cantor, can help with “making life work.” The message of last evening is that We, The People, prefer government not to try and make our lives work, but instead get out of our ways so that we can.