“The most significant threat to our national security is our debt” – Adm. Mike Mullen, former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, 2012
Remember the tea party movement a few years ago? The protests? The rallies?
“Taxed enough already?” “Stop Spending!”
In 2010, a number of tea party Republicans took Washington by storm: Outsiders like Kentucky’s Rand Paul and Utah’s Mike Lee were elected to the U.S. Senate; Michigan’s Justin Amash, Idaho’s Raul Labrador, South Carolina’s Mick Mulvaney and others were elected to the House. Kentucky’s Thomas Massie and others would follow in 2012 and 2014.
Each quickly developed reputations as diehard fiscal hawks, hell-bent on shrinking government, cutting spending and putting Washington back in its constitutional box.
They even called themselves “constitutional conservatives” to signify that, yes, they were conservative, but more importantly…
It wasn’t just a campaign slogan: They meant it.
They even formed their own group, the House Freedom Caucus. Why? Because the existing groups weren’t serious enough.
These new leaders didn’t come to Washington to get some prestige and a comfy office.
They came to change how the system works.
In 2012, Jonathan Bydlak founded the Coalition to Reduce Spending. Said Jonathan at the time, “What makes us different than most is that there are few groups solely focused on the issue of spending. Many groups focus on a multitude of issues, but in the last few years spending has become THE issue that matters to Americans of all political stripes.”
He wasn’t kidding.
In 2010, when the tea party was in full swing, the national debt was $13 trillion.
Constitutional conservatives need backup in Washington.
Candidate for Florida’s 1st Congressional District Rebekah Bydlak and her husband Jonathan are friends of mine. Rebekah has also been a contributor at Rare Politics where I serve as editor.
These things have almost nothing to do with why I’m writing this column.
If I didn’t know Rebekah—frankly, if I even despised her—I’d still be writing this.
This isn’t about friendship or niceties in any way: Our monstrous debt really is the number one threat to America’s security and stability, as former Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen said four years ago.
I really don’t have time for any politician who doesn’t get this.
I tend to get overly enthusiastic about anyone who does.
In her years working at the Coalition to Reduce Spending, Mrs. Bydlak learned how to determine who was and who wasn’t serious about addressing this problem.
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my work with the Coalition, it’s that we need more people with a track record of being serious about cutting spending,” Rebekah Bydlak told Rare.
“I have the knowledge and tenacity to cut wasteful spending, having fought big spenders in Washington, and I can’t wait to do so on behalf of my district,” she added.
Like the House Freedom Caucus, the purpose of her organization was to hold politicians’ feet to the fire when it comes to deficit and debt reduction.
Think about it: How many generations of Republicans have ran as “conservatives?”
How many decades has the debt continued to grow—even when Republicans are in power?
Mrs. Bydlak has also learned hands on, every day at her job, economically and politically, what it would actually take to take to reduce our debt.
Since her announcement on Tuesday, some have taken interest in the fact that Rebekah is 25. Some might think that’s too young.
This criticism is something I could take seriously if an entire slew of politicians much older than Mrs. Bydlak hadn’t gotten us to this dire point. It’s something I’d entertain if it wasn’t Rebekah’s generation who will be paying the heaviest price for a debt their supposedly responsible elders racked up with reckless abandon.
Not to mention, Bydlak would also only be just a few years younger than many members of Congress serving now—and still more serious and wise beyond her years than nearly all of them.
“The First District deserves innovative solutions, not just more of the same,” Bydlak told NorthEscambia.com. “A vibrant, 21st century economy that benefits all demands a federal government that abides by our Constitution.”
“Washington is broken,’ she added, ‘and I have the experience to be part of the solution.” Every child born today will face tens of thousands of dollars in debt they did not ring up, thanks to career politicians who have no interest in stopping business as usual.”
“I will fight for my generation’s right to be free from this burden,” Bydlak said.
That’s a fight that’s long overdue.
It’s not enough just to have a GOP Congress. It will take a certain kind of Republican to take on our greatest problems and threats.
There aren’t many.
Rebekah Bydlak is one of the very few.