Published on June 23rd, 2014 | by TLV News0
The Case for Cochran (by Colin Turner & Rob Pillow)
As a Mississippian, and a fairly young voter, I do not recall a state election that has attracted so much attention (and infamy) as the 2014 Mississippi Republican primary. After an extremely close finish, the runoff election between incumbent Senator Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel has many Mississippians on the edge of their seats. This race has received national attention and press, but it is much more than a battle for a U.S. Senate seat. It is a battle for the future of Mississippi and the proud people who call this state home. There is no man who is more aware of the problems, and joys, that come with claiming Mississippi as home than Senator Thad Cochran.
We have all seen the commercials that exalt Senator Thad Cochran to a well-deserved repertoire; the ads that explain how Senator Cochran has represented the views and beliefs of the Mississippi culture and economy are abundant: Senator Cochran has worked to develop Mississippi economically through the recruitment of businesses; he has prioritized the construction of infrastructure and research centers at our universities, he is endorsed by Mississippi leaders who have a true vision for Mississippi’s future (Mr. Andy Taggart, Governor Haley Barbour, Senator Trent Lott, and many, many more), and he has continued to work with many people in Washington, no matter their political affiliation, to ensure Mississippi and its citizens are represented in a way that brings a ray of hope to my heart.
There are many who accuse Senator Cochran of “working across party lines.” As a student of policy and politics, this mentality scares me. I will not believe that the ability to compromise is a negative attribute, and it is the lack of this ability that leads to government shut-downs, to inactivity, and to failed farm bills that have delayed necessary appropriations to our farmers, the very backbone of our economy. This is what the Tea Party promises, an inability to work for the future of Mississippi and the anti-establishment mentality that will surely dismantle the democratic government that we have enjoyed for 237 years. If Chris McDaniel is elected to represent Mississippi, we can expect a representative who will try his hardest to strip away the economic success we have achieved over the past 30 years. We will continue to see inactivity in Washington, and Mississippi will continue to remain at the bottom category in education and health.
If elected, Senator Cochran will return to Washington and sit on the appropriations committee, one of the most powerful committees in the Capitol. This committee has no power in the decision of how much money is spent, only where and how it is spent. Senator Cochran will have the power to direct government expenditures towards Mississippi. If he is not there when Senate reconvenes, much of this money would be spent elsewhere. Alabama, Arkansas, and West Virginia are licking their lips at the idea of Senate without Cochran, a Senate where they could take a bigger slice of the pie for themselves while honest Mississippians continue to starve in the Delta. We need those appropriations and we need Senator Cochran.
I am a realist. We all know Mississippi needs all the help we can get. So why would we even consider the idea of electing a man whose platform seems to be built around the idea of cutting funds to Mississippi? I am also deterministic. How can we expect our impoverished and our infirmed to provide for themselves when they are born into a system that fails them over and over again? Chris McDaniel continuously talks of lower taxes and of spending cuts, ideas that are attractive to most people. Sure, I would like to pay lower taxes. But I will not endorse lower taxes and spending cuts at the cost of those who desperately need the help of our state’s leaders. I will not smile when I pay $10 less each year in income taxes when my fellow Mississippians are malnourished, under-educated, and sick without any hope of government help. We need a senator who puts people over spending cuts, reality over idealistic thinking, and love for this state over economically unsound ideas; so again I say, we need Senator Thad Cochran.
I understand many readers may not agree with the conservative values that Senator Cochran stands for, and I understand your position. I know as a state, we need to rethink some of the highly placed priorities that may not serve our state and its people in the best way possible. I believe that there is a lot of change in store for Mississippi, but I do not believe such change begins with Chris McDaniel. My vote will be placed not for a man, but for a belief. My vote will be for Mississippi, for the citizens young and old, for the conservatives and liberals, and for the bright future in store for Mississippi. I hope you will join me in the preservation of tomorrow’s Mississippi on June 24 by voting for Senator Thad Cochran.
Rob Pillow and Colin Turner are Ole Miss students.