Last Friday night I attended the Orange County Lincoln/Reagan Dinner in Hillsborough. Having grown up in Orange County, I must say it was perhaps the largest number of Republicans I had ever seen in one room in my 19 years as a resident. The dinner was fantastic, but I noticed a lack of young people at the event. The room seemed to be filled-with the exception of some of the candidates-with older folk. While I value the wisdom and contribution these so-called “old-timers” have given to the building of the Conservative movement and the Republican Party, for most of the dinner I felt a lack of “vibe”.
What excited me at the dinner last night was an impassioned speech by 4th District congressional candidate BJ Lawson. A physician, family man, successful entrepreneur and student of the Constitution, Lawson brings a freshness and an urgency to the race, the likes of which I certainly haven’t seen in 19 years as a 4th district resident. Perhaps it is his youth, his approach, or his being the same age as my oldest sister (36) is the reason for my sense of vibe from Lawson, but it is more so his representation as a member of the post-60’s generation—our generation.
Lawson put forth a remarkable effort to defeat our largely absent 13-term liberal Rep. David Price by going out and addressing not just Republicans or businessmen, but by engaging people of all political persuasions in an informed, civil discourse on the issues facing our district, our state, and our nation. Through his open-minded approach to potential constituents, Lawson has managed to build a solid base of support among college students in the 4th District-this I witnessed as a student at UNC. It is an approach to politics that sets the generation of individuals born in the 70s and 80s apart from our parents-an approach of finding common cause rather than strident ideology, and inclusive, big-tent ideas rather than retail selling of identity politics. It is because of Lawson’s willingness to engage with voters who might not otherwise investigate his candidacy that I personally know several classmates from UNC that voted for Lawson, while also being hoodwinked by soaring rhetoric of “hope and change.” (In other words, they voted for Lawson while also voting for Obama.)
Lawson’s vision for returning government to its Constitutional parameters is a theme that resonates across the political spectrum. In fact, Lawson is driven by his love and admiration for the Constitution.
Lawson recognizes that voters of all political stripes are tired of the runaway spending and expansion of government in ways that threaten our ability to compete in the global marketplace. That is why Lawson’s central campaign theme is freedom-personal freedom, economic freedom, and political freedom–freedom from the excessive burdens of an oppressive regulatory regime affecting everything from energy to schools, freedom from government constraints on access to health care, and freedom from being the insurer of last resort for irresponsible Washington bureaucrats and their Wall Street cronies.
I am eager to join Lawson’s campaign and help him ensure that the 4th District throws a well-deserved retirement party for Rep. David Price in November.