AN ITALIAN IN COWBOY BOOTS
This just in: Sarah Palin has made a endorsement of Tom Tancredo. 10/28/2010
“Tancredo is doing what? What is he thinking? It’s outrageous. Someone has to put him in his place!”
These are just a few of the thoughts that had me huffing and puffing as I gathered my poster board and mega-magic markers in preparation for the key-note that Tom Tancredo was scheduled to give at the “Save Our Constitution” gathering on August 28. I was going to protest Mr. Tancredo. I had it all planned. I had some clever slogans ready to go; TANK TANCREDO, and TANCREDO IS A TRAITOR, for starters. I was locked and loaded, ready to stand outside the meeting at the Grand Junction DoubleTree Hotel and give the interloper his “what for!”
Just days earlier, following the state primaries, Dan Maes had beaten Scott McInnis to the GOP slot in the Governor’s race. I was a Maes supporter. He was the Tea Party candidate. And McInnis was struggling during the latter part of his primary campaign with charges of past plagiarism. Dan Maes seemed like the right guy. So what the heck was Tom Tancredo doing stepping in as a third party, American Constitutional, candidate? I mean, I used to like Tom. I gave him money when he was running for the Presidency. He’s right on illegal immigration and education. Why then, was he throwing a seemingly sound race into the chaos of a three-way contest? But, no matter, this could not be tolerated. Not only was I going to help “save our constitution”, I was going to press Mr. Tancredo to back off and drop out.
Then, something strange happened. I had to dart out of town on the very day I was set to confront the usurper. My daughter, who had arranged for a friend to take her to Denver for college, had a sudden change of plans. The friend with the nice wheels had become sick the evening prior and there was no alternative ride. Reluctantly, I had to adjust course, cool my jets and store my posters in the basement to wait for the next opportunity.
Well, if you live anywhere in Colorado, or abutting its hinterlands east, west, north or south, you probably know by now that Dan Maes was a fatally flawed, unvetted horse from the start. His baggage included having lied about working with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. Maes’ dubious resume’ appeared to be rife with exaggerations, missteps and misrepresentations. Dan Maes was the racehorse that blew his aorta barely out of the gates. He would not recover. It was revealed that the Colorado Democracy Alliance (CODA), a savvy Leftist political organ, funded largely by the Democrat elites in Aspen, Boulder and other islands of “blue” in Colorado, paid for many of the anti-Scott McInnis ads which facilitated his loss in the primary. CODA knew that Maes was the weak horse. They indirectly backed the weak horse and now the GOP was stuck with a stricken gubernatorial candidate.
Tom Tancredo, energetic Italian dynamo that he is, buzzed through Grand Junction yet again. This time on a campaign stop. So I took the time to listen, take notes, research, and talk to this spoiler. But as I got to know the man, everything started to make sense. Perhaps I wasn’t supposed to protest on that fateful day in August. Perhaps it was a wee bit of Divine intervention that sent me over the mountains on the very day I had planned to defy the man with my clever, homespun posters. When I got to know him, Tom Tancredo became a hero to me. And it became clear that he felt he had to step in as a third party candidate. He sincerely wanted to enjoy retirement with his wife and family. He didn’t want to have to become the third-party candidate. But if the state should go to another Democrat in this election, it is not just the citizens of Colorado that would suffer. The entire Mountain West would be minus a champion to stay the tides of illegal immigration, stat-ism, and taxation that are coming our way.
Both sets of Tom Tancredo’s grandparents were Italian emigrants. He started his career as a Jr. high school teacher in Arvada. In 1976 he ran for a seat in the Colorado Congress and won, largely due to the popularity of his mother’s spaghetti sauce recipe, so he says. After two terms in the Colorado House of Representatives he worked in the Department of Education during both the Reagan and Bush I administrations. He then ran for the United States Congress where he served five terms. He served on the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Natural Resources Committee during his congressional tenure. He ran for the Presidency in 2008, largely on the platform of stemming illegal immigration. After he dropped out of that primary race he supported Mitt Romney in his bid.
The anecdote that most endeared Tom Tancredo to me was that of how he was never well liked by the entrenched Congressional Republicans. He was not particularly well-liked by White House Staff, although Ronald Reagan liked and trusted him. Tom Tancredo has been characterized as abrasive. Well, in this age of political correctness, if plain-spoken is the equivalent of abrasive, I’ll take it. More power to the man who forges ahead in the House of Representatives regardless of whether or not he is liked. For me the most important position he holds is the one against profligate illegal immigration. This yanks at my viscera particularly hard. Having worked in the public school system in Los Angeles for a number of years I experienced first-hand the lawlessness, debasement and deterioration that accompany the unchecked entrenchment of hundreds of thousands of illegals into our communities and culture.
I admire Tom Tancredo for placing principle above popularity. He is a man of principle. He is a true maverick. Unlike McCain, who is a dandy of the media, Tancredo plays to no audience. He does what he does because he loves his country, and he wants to protect her Constitution and preserve the blessings of liberty for his grandchildren, our grandchildren and generations yet to be.
As for me, I think it may have been a little miracle that swept me away from my opportunity to put Mr. Tancredo in the time-out corner. I’m glad my daughter needed a ride to Denver that day. I’m glad that I took the time to get to know the only viable Conservative candidate for Governor in the State of Colorado. I believe in miracles. Colorado should believe in miracles too. As I write this, Dan Maes is still at the starting gate, languishing in single digit political doom and Tom Tancredo and John Hickenlooper (D) are in a statistical dead heat.
Colorado needs a conservative governor to stand with Arizona’s Jan Brewer. We need a governor who will push back against Obamacare, and who will de-unionize all state employees. It may take a miracle to get Tancredo into the Governor’s mansion. I think we may just pull out a big miracle in Colorado. But then, “we” don’t do the miracles. The God of Creation owns that job. I will be on my knees praying for a big miracle to occur on November 2. I hope you will too.