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Rudy Takala's Columns

Miss America Erika Harold Misses Major Opportunity At CPAC

Authored for  Western Journalism.

Speaking at CPAC last week, congressional candidate Erika Harold, a former Miss America winner, advanced   the idea that those seeking to join the political arena should not need to ask permission to get involved, relaying her own experience:

Some within the political establishment told me, it’s not your turn. And the political establishment sought to drive me from my involvement. But I refused to step aside because our country is built on the leadership of men and women who decided not to wait their turn and who decided to speak truth to power, even when that power was within their own party.

Speaking at the summit, Harold did not highlight any of ideas about what policy should look like. She simply asserted opposition to the status quo – whatever it may be. It was an interesting choice considering her opponent is Republican Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13).

Davis is not especially conservative. With a lifetime score of  52 percent from FreedomWorks and  42 percent from Heritage Action, his performance falls in the bottom half of congressional Republicans. Just last month, he voted  for $956 billion in pork barrel spending in the farm bill signed by President Obama. Additionally, he was one of 87 Republicans who  joined  House Democrats in voting in favor of ObamaCare last October against 144 Republicans who voted against it.

Would Ms. Harold vote any differently than Rep. Davis? Not necessarily, according to an  interview   she performed with National Review’s Betsy Woodruff last July. In the interview, Ms. Woodruff explains that Harold was not motivated to join the race because of policy differences:

She says she’s not sure how her political philosophy differs from Davis’s…. She added that in a few cases she would have cast her vote differently from the way he did but that this isn’t the reason she chose to challenge him.

Ms. Harold generally agrees with Rep. Davis that the size and scope of government need to keep increasing.

To be sure, no one should have to ask permission to challenge politicians who are unresponsive to the electorate or who make policy choices detrimental to their constituents. The country was indeed “built on the leadership” of Americans who spoke truth to abusive government authorities.

Yet with 102 million  Americans out of work, voters disapproving  of ObamaCare by a margin of 39 to 59 percent, and the nation bearing a  record $17.2 trillion in debt, members of Congress who perpetuate the problem constitute the unresponsive, abusive authorities of our age. Erika Harold missed an opportunity at CPAC to prove that she would fight them rather than join them.

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