This past Saturday evening I had the distinct pleasure of addressing the North Kingstown (Rhode Island) GOP Town Committee annual dinner at the Quidnessett Country Club in East Greenwich. It’s my second time being with the great Rhode Island Republicans in the past two years.
I want to tell you the story of a Rhode Island woman who just made perhaps the most courageous decision of her life. It’s definitely a “profile in courage, Rhode Island-style.” But first, a little historical context…
One of the things I enjoy about being with the Kingstown GOP folks is that right down the road is the birthplace of an American profile in courage and hero of the Revolutionary War, Continental Army Major General Nathanael Greene. Greene was born into a Quaker home there in Rhode Island, but that was not the path God had chosen for him.
Greene earned his impeccable reputation starting with the formation of the Rhode Island militia. He so distinguished himself before General Washington during the siege of Boston that after the British evacuation, he was given command of the city – that’s why those Rhode Islanders love the Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, and Patriots! Greene also participated in the Battles of Trenton, Brandywine, and was stationed at Valley Forge.
But it was hundreds of miles away where Major General Greene truly set himself apart as a brilliant military strategist. Greene was given command of the Continental Army’s Southern Campaign against the venerable British General Lord Cornwallis. It was Greene’s lightning-fast strike operations using the tactics of attrition that bled the combat power of Cornwallis, preventing him from marching north and concentrating British combat power. But as a native Georgian, we owe MG Nathanael Greene a true debt of gratitude. While he never fought in the Peach State, he was instrumental in developing the strategy and operations executed by Elijah Clarke, Andrew Pickens, Colonel Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, and General “Mad” Anthony Wayne that led to key victories in Augusta and Savannah, driving out the British. After the war, Greene was instrumental in the establishment of governance in Georgia.
Nathanael Greene, like many of the patriots, spent his personal fortune to sustain our Revolutionary War effort. When he lost his estate in Rhode Island, Greene was granted a plantation in Georgia, in the vicinity of Savannah, at Mulberry Grove. Sadly in 1786, at the young age of forty-four, Major General Nathanael Greene, a profile in courage and true New England Patriot from Rhode Island died from sunstroke. In Georgia, Greene County is named after him, and he’s buried in the Peach State at Mulberry Grove.
And so it was on Saturday, April 2nd 2016, some 230 years after the passing of a great Rhode Islander of courage, I met another. Perhaps her name will not be known this day, but I believe it should be: Rhode Island State Representative Karen MacBeth. Earlier in the week, Rep. MacBeth, made a monumental decision.
As reported by NBC local affiliate Turnto10.com, “A state lawmaker lost her leadership position in the Rhode Island House of Representatives after becoming a Republican. Rep. Karen MacBeth, of Cumberland, announced [last] Monday she’s switched her political affiliation from Democrat to Republican.
“I think it’s time in this state that people stand up for what we need and I don’t think the politicians that are Democrats right now are doing that,” MacBeth told NBC 10 News. “I think they’re more for themselves than the people.” MacBeth has differed with the Democratic leadership on how to handle the probe of 38 Studios.
But it seems passage of the recent truck toll, which she opposed, sealed the switch. Right after MacBeth told Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello she planned to change affiliations, he dumped her as chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee.
“I can’t have people on my leadership team that are partisan and will do things for no other reason than politics,” said Mattiello. Rhode Island Republican Party Chairman Brandon Bell said he’s proud to have MacBeth join the GOP.That’s good news for MacBeth, who seems comfortable leaving the party of truck tolls and pension reform to become a Republican.”
On Saturday evening at the Quidnessett Country Club just up the road from the birthplace of Major General Nathanael Greene, State Rep. Karen MacBeth was introduced — as she rose, I called her forward and took my US/GOP flag pin off my lapel and pinned it on her telling her how proud I was. It wasn’t about switching parties, but having the courage of her convictions to stand on principle, not party.
Now, ask yourself, in a deep red state, if a female member of the GOP switched to the Democrat Party what would have happened? Easy, she’d be a household name known all over the nation — such as it was with Wendy Davis in Texas who became the darling of the progressive socialist left — boy did she flame out!
And imagine the news if a state GOP House Speaker had stripped someone of a leadership position because she switched political parties? The cries of sexism would resound stentorian across all the mainstream liberal progressive media.
But the not-so-“tolerant” leftists in Rhode Island quite surely intend to make Rep. MacBeth pay a dear price. It appears there’s something the progressive socialists and the Islamo-fascists have in common — their common treatment of “apostates” — you know, those folks who decide to wake up and change their mind. And here we thought folks had free will and choice?
In speaking with Rep. MacBeth – Karen, if I may — she came to the realization that today’s liberalism is not true classical liberalism that advanced the ideals of individual sovereignty. It was John Locke who birthed the ideas of life, liberty, and property — the natural rights of the individual. Rep. MacBeth has seen that progressive socialism is rooted not in the belief of individual sovereignty, but rather collective subjugation described by President Obama as, “if you own a business, you didn’t build that.” Hence why small businesses in Rhode Island are suffering. The state is bleeding population. Yet the insidious taxation policies run rampant from a governing ideology that believes it knows best for the individual. So, Rhode Island State Representative Karen MacBeth took the blue pill and unplugged from the Matrix of the party of slavery, secession, segregation and socialism.
“How long do you battle with a party that you don’t feel is doing what’s right for the people?” MacBeth said. “I think whether I serve as a Democrat or Republican, I am going to continue to do exactly as I have done before.” And I believe her!
Now, just wait and see the vicious attacks that will be levied against Karen because I decided to honor her courage and convictions. And y’all up in Rhode Island –she’s seeking to better represent you in the U.S. House of Representatives. Y’all do right by her, or else, like Nathanael Greene, she may end up down in Georgia.
It was a pleasure and honor to be in Rhode Island again. We need more constitutional conservatives willing to go into deep blue states to support the efforts to restore economic growth, better opportunities and prosperity. We need to foster the atmosphere that gives us more Karen MacBeths. We need to take the message of restoring this great Republic to every corner of this nation — unabashedly. Go git ’em, Karen!