I have been politically aware most of my life, but I did not awaken to reality until 2002. Foreign affairs burdened the minds of most of us, but a domestic spending bill caught my attention in early 2002 - the Farm Security & Rural Reinvestment Act of 2002.
I remember hearing about the largest spending bill in the history of the US, and alarm bells went off in my head. I very much supported the Bush Administration post-9/11 & considered myself a (R)epublican, but I was floored by this bill. Something clicked in my political brain. I believe this to be the seed that germinated into my support for the tea party movement 7 years later, and my gradual transition from (R) to (r).
If the 2002 Farm Bill was not enough, along came the 2008 Farm Bill, which prompted the Editors of National Review to state: "The bill is worse than the 2002 farm bill, which at the time was considered the most bloated and wasteful in history."
Now another farm bill is up for debate, and it is time for grassroots conservatives to speak up on the issue. Fundamentally, we do not agree with government selecting winners & losers, and the subsidies included in the farm bill do just that. Also, the farm bill includes monies for food stamps. Do not be fooled by bipartisan support for legislation that spits in the eye of free market capitalism.
While the farm bill's historical bipartisan appeal seems daunting, the ground is fertile for change. If lawmakers are serious about saving the American dream, they must continue these fights. It is not enough to repeal Obamacare and implement a fiscal plan in the vein of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) proposal, though both are essential.
So far, the reponse from grassroots conservatives has been good. Heritage Action reported over 6000 e-mails in opposition after less than a day from their Facebook Application. I would encourage you to use that resource, or simply respond of your own accord. Heritage Action has also Key Voted amendments to the farm bill.
The Senate already voted in favor of the Farm Bill, but we can still affect change. It is certainly an issue that should be addressed to the current crop of US Senate candidates from Missouri. Now the House will take up debate, so need to be vocal.
A recent article from 24thstate made a point about us being wary of endorsements from public unions. Those endorsements are condiditonal to backroom deals made between the unions & politicians. Well, the same can be said for the farm bill. You can bet that anyone supporting this federal monstrosity is getting some sort of benefit.
Do not mistake my opposition to this bill as an attack on farmers. Agriculture is the largest export from the state of Missouri & fundamental to the character of our nation. I simply believe, as a grassroots, conservative, (r)epublican, that we cannot continue to support such bills in good conscience.