This is the second installment of the fifty part series on why McCotter is the right choice for President in each state, and as New Hampshire is the first primary of the cycle, and neighbors my home state of Massachusetts, I thought New Hampshire would make sense as the second part of the series.
New Hampshire, in the Republican Presidential primary at least, tends to be the place where the moderate candidate gains momentum, after the more conservative candidate gets a boost in Iowa. The perfect example would be the moderate Mitt Romney leading overwhelmingly in New Hampshire polls at the moment, while Michele Bachmann leads overwhelmingly in Iowa in current polls. This same dichotomy can be seen in past elections, such as in 2008 where the conservative Mike Huckabee won Iowa, and the moderate John McCain won New Hampshire.
I contend that McCotter can bridge the gap between the two states in a way that no other candidate in this race at the moment can. While McCotter remains unapologetically to the right, he rejects on a philosophical level ideology of any sort, left or right, correctly claiming that they are antithetical to the conservative message. Conservatism, as Russell Kirk said, and as McCotter reiterates, is not an ideology or a checklist one must follow to get elected, but a state of mind, a way of looking at the world. Conservatism has no utopian goals as ideology does, but merely stands for the defense of the moral truths America was built on.
Through rejecting ideology, McCotter manages to be a moderate in his rhetoric and style, accepting the more centrist, independent minded Republicans in New Hampshire, and yet satisfy the smaller “very conservative” constituency in New Hampshire as well, because free thinkers are welcome in the Republican Party. We can differ on issues, but the shared principles we have are what makes us conservatives. McCotter’s principles are philosophical, not ideological, and such appeal not to those who agree with him on every issue, but to those who agree with the philosophy outlined in his five principles:
1. Our liberty is from God not the government
2. Our sovereignty is in our souls not the soil
3. Our security is from strength not surrender
4. Our prosperity is from the private sector not the public sector
5. Our truths are self-evident not relative
McCotter focuses much on the principles of liberty and freedom from government intervention in his campaign. The liberties outlined in the Declaration of Independence as coming from our Creator, not the government, are defended better in New Hampshire than any other state in the union. According to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, New Hampshire is the freest state in the Union, and through its motto of “Live Free or Die” reminds its residents of its history as one of the original thirteen colonies in the war for freedom from the oppressive Monarchic rule of England. New Hampshire is the only New England state that remembers its revolutionary roots, and as Thad calls it in his book Seize Freedom, “the fundamental premise of the American Revolution: that government is established to protect our inalienable rights, which come from a higher source than government.”
Nowhere in these principles is a request for you to agree with him on ideological points such as Abortion, but only on the freedom-based philosophy behind them, and this is certainly something that New Hampshire residents can get behind.
The Congressman is also well experienced in getting elected in a swing state like New Hampshire, as his district, which has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of EVEN, is the very definition of a swing district-one that on average votes the exact same way that the nation does in presidential elections. He has a long history of appealing to swing voters, and is a great candidate for the State of New Hampshire for this reason.