Monday, 22 February 2010

Debra Medina: Constitutional David Takes on Two Goliaths

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Debra Medina is a student of history and during a 20-minute interview with her, she mentioned the Federalist Papers more times than in some college history courses I’ve taken.

Mrs. Medina, who is currently embroiled in a three-way primary battle with incumbent Governor Rick Perry and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, told me that she received as a gift from her children a two-volume collection of Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers arranged chronologically and that she has taken copious notes in the margins. This “heavy reading” buttressed her innate sense that the federal government has overstepped the boundaries drawn for it by our Founding Fathers and that the states, by not standing up to this encroachment, are complicit in that act.

“The states have to stand up to the federal government if we are to restore the balanced, constitutional government designed by our Founders,” Mrs. Medina said. She rightly asserts that according to her reading of history, the Founding Fathers never intended, in their creation of our constitutional republic, to diminish state sovereignty in order to energize the national government.

In her race for governor, Mrs. Medina has constructed a campaign platform with a few very solid and sturdy planks upon which she boldly and unrepentantly stands. First, she insists that, “private property ownership and gun ownership are as essential to liberty as air and water are to life.” She explained that when those rights are abridged then liberty itself is threatened. Medina believes that when citizens are denied the right to freely own property and possess guns for the defense thereof, then they are no longer citizens but slaves.

The next plank in the Medina platform is that the tax on private property must be abolished. She prefers the use of a state sales tax as a means of generating the revenue necessary to fund the legitimate purposes of government. When asked about this principle, Mrs. Medina made clear that her espousal of this proposal is not based on economics, but on freedom. “You get rid of property tax not because it’s a fiscal thing, but because it’s a freedom thing,” she declared. She went on to explain that if the property tax were eliminated based primarily on sound financial arguments instead of on an appeal to the tenets of freedom then, “in five years the tax would be back and freedom would not be reasserted.”

Reasserting the sovereignty of the state of Texas is the third plank in the “Medina for Governor” platform. In the view of Debra Medina, the egregious attack by the federal government on the Lone Star State’s right of self-governance is contrary to the Founders’ idea of a limited federal government endowed with specifically enumerated powers. In the case of Texas, Mrs. Medina presented two pieces of evidence to support her accusation. First, there is the federal government’s depletion of the border patrol that has facilitated the unstaunched flood of illegal immigrants into Texas and elsewhere. Second, the codes and regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have crippled small businesses and cities in her state to the point that they are being bankrupted by the demands of compliance. “As governor, I would immediately instruct the agencies and municipalities of Texas that we will not implement EPA guidelines,” said Mrs. Medina. She promises that as governor she would steadfastly oppose any attempt by the federal government to impose unconstitutional mandates on the state of Texas. Remarkably, she did not hesitate to use the N-word: nullification.

When asked if she could imagine any scenario wherein Texas’s secession from the union would be justified, the former registered nurse drew upon her real life experience for an analogy. “In health care, when a patient has a wound there are a variety of treatment options. We can pursue a conservative treatment plan and hope to heal the wound with gauze and medicine. If that doesn’t work, then we would need to use more aggressive methods of treatment. If after time, the more conservative treatment option is not healing the wound or confining the damage, then it would be time to cut off the limb,” reasoned Mrs. Medina. In her view, it is not the governor’s right or responsibility to decide when to amputate; that is a decision that rests with the people of Texas. She admits, however, that while she could not say how much longer Texas can continue its conservative treatment of the wound it (and its sister states) has received at the hands of the federal government, she does believe that the injury is severe and must be treated quickly if the body is to return to its full strength.

With the primary election only days away (March 2nd), Mrs. Medina has received the welcome support of her fellow Texan and fellow constitutionalist, Republican Congressman Ron Paul. “He is my mentor,” Medina said, “He called and offered his help right after I announced my candidacy and I call him regularly for advice and counsel.” In an obvious display of admiration and fealty, Congressman Paul attended an event with Mrs. Medina last weekend in Houston. Mrs. Medina worked as an interim State Coordinator in 2008 for Paul’s “Campaign for Liberty”, as well as volunteering on his presidential campaign that same year.

Apart from her study of history, Debra Medina identifies her Christian upbringing as another primary source of her devotion to constitutional principles of liberty. “I learned early on to recognize the congruence between the Bible’s instruction for how man should live and the Founders’ plan for a good government,” Medina said. She unashamedly credits her adherence to “sound Biblical principles” for her success and for her strength in the face of the concerted often nasty attacks perpetrated by her political opponents, both of whom she describes as “Establishment blue bloods and big government ideologues with positions not consistent with the ideas of our Founding Fathers.”

In handicapping her chances for victory in the face of the big-money, big-government challenge posed by the other candidates in the race for governor, Mrs. Medina draws an analogy from the Book she holds so dear, “This race truly is a David and Goliath situation, only I’m fighting two Goliaths. In this election, all those Davids across Texas and across the country who truly believe in the limited government bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers finally have a chance to shake the Goliath of government to the ground.”

Mrs. Medina will be appearing live tonight (2/22) in a Town Hall Webcast at 6:30 (CST). The topic of the discussion will be state sovereignty.

Photo of Debra Medina: AP Images