Allow me to begin by saying this about Rick Barber – when I first saw the political campaign ad that he’s put out, one that has swept the nation, I was not only inspired by someone who has the courage to actually put into a message the way he feels but also absolutely had the sense that he’d be a great interview for AR. As a result of a political connection that I’ve made in Alabama resulting from my interview of Les Philip, Rick Barber was on my phone two days later.
This is obviously a man who has quite a bit on his plate right now, and his decision to take the 30-45 minutes required for an interview with a fledgling political hack speaks quite a lot to his character; further, as a consequence of our wonderful technological world, on which many of us (including myself) have become hopelessly dependent, I ended up losing the entire interview to corrupted software.
Well, I did what any writer would do – I called Rick back that evening, my Ipad-like tail hanging between my legs, to inform him that 30-45 minutes of his valuable time had been utterly wasted and to apologize. Rick’s response? “No problem – just type up the questions, send it to me, and I’ll fill it out.”
Honestly, I was mildly shocked. He obviously didn’t have to do that, and I have to wonder which of our other ‘professional’ politicians would offer to take even more time out of their schedule for, well…a nobody, so to speak.
That being said, I feel that Rick Barber is the type of man that we would all want to represent us. He’s a straightforward, honest former Marine who believes in the Constitution. Short of being able to vote for the candidates that we interview from around the country, we can at least offer to support them in any way that we can. – JF
America’s Right: Let’s start with the obvious – tell me about the ad – what led to it, what went into it, and what has been the reaction to it thus far?
Rick Barber: We wanted to somehow illustrate the popular sentiment regarding how detached we’ve become from our Founding Father’s intentions. We have a corrupt government that is never held accountable for its actions, a government that is too big and too oppressive; we need to stand up and to do something about it. This ad was a passionate call to action for citizens to get involved in the political process and ensure that we move this country in the right direction starting in 2011.
AR: Did you have any particular reactions to President Obama’s address to the nation regarding the oil spill in the Gulf?
RB: I was amazed that there wasn’t a stronger focus on STOPPING the leak. It appeared to me to be another instance of “capitalizing on a crisis”. There was more discussion on passing legislation, rather than addressing the real problems. I was very disappointed but not surprised at what was said.
AR: I’d like to step back and look at things a bit more generally. I’m an assistant principal in a Catholic, all-boys’ college preparatory high school, where I’ve been employed for the better part of the past two decades. I mention this because an integral part of my job is that I interact with our young men and their families each and every day. During that time, I’ve come to notice what I’ll call a continuing ‘demonization’ of the term ‘conservative’ that has become more and more a part of our culture, something that I have always felt is completely incorrect and unjustified. Define for me just what it means to be a ‘core conservative’.
RB: A person who considers him or herself to be a ‘core conservative’ is an individual who believes in limited government, believes in a creator (in my case God), adheres to the notions of individual responsibility and Constitutional principles, and is also a person who values the sanctity of life.
AR: What are your reactions to the Tea Party movement so far?
RB: I am a product of the Tea Party, and I believe that it is these people who will save this country and restore the Republican Party to its conservative origins.
AR: In your opinion, is the mainstream Republican Party doing anything to bridge the political and philosophic divide that exists between it and the Tea Parties?
RB: I don’t believe that they are doing enough, which is the reason why Republican incumbents are also under fire this year and also stand to be replaced.
AR: Are there factions developing within the Tea Party movement, factions that may endanger this November’s elections specifically and the conservative re-surgence more generally?
RB: There may be, but I know that in Alabama the movement is towards restoring the Republican Party. I think you will find that the Tea Parties will have a significant, positive impact in this November’s elections.
AR: In your ad, you mention the progressive income tax. Correct me if I’m wrong on any of this, because this is my understanding of the manner in which this actually works: current research indicates that as a result of the policies of this administration, we now find ourselves in a situation in which anywhere from 49% to 57% of people in this country pay no income taxes, which means they no longer have any vested stake in our system of government; the intent of the progressive structure seems more to suppress and control the lower classes than to assist them; and, finally, it seems as if the Democrats are consciously trying to play both ends against the middle class in order to extricate as much of that wealth as possible. What am I missing?
RB: I think the problem is that the 49 – 57% that you mention have a negative vested stake in the system, which means that they will work to keep it as is, since they are benefiting from it. We need to scrap our entire tax code and start over. I believe that the best answer to this is the FairTax, as it moves us away from an income-based tax to that of a consumption- based tax.
AR: Do you feel as though there’s another financial crash coming this year, or a second dip in the economy?
RB: I don’t know about a “crash”, but I don’t see things getting better. I think we will continue to see sharp fluctuations and possibly even more decline if we don’t start boosting our small businesses. Many have been surviving, but time is running out; if we don’t do something soon, many will continue to fall, which could ultimately lead to a crash of some sort.
AR: The signature policies of this administration have been (and are) multiple stimulus bills, Health Care, Cap & Trade, and Amnesty. Based on that package, what would you say is the endgame for this administration specifically, and the political left in this country more generally?
To gain complete control over our lives. It sounds apocalyptic, but that is what big government does. It sacrifices freedoms and liberties for perceived protection at the high cost of control. The more we accept handouts, bailouts, and government programs as the answer to our problems, the more we are giving away our rights.
AR: Something that truly confuses me is a very basic question: what is it that Liberals hate about freedom?
RB: They hate that some people might fail and that all things aren’t equal. They believe in equal results and not equal rights, something that is at the core of the debate between the notions of collectivism and individualism.
AR: Back during the heat of the health care debate, I maintained all along that the timing of that vote was crucial. It took place just before the Easter recess, which meant that those Democrats could not, under any circumstances, return to their home districts with the vote still hanging in the balance; further, the Democrats clearly needed enough time to pass between then and the November elections in order to give the degree of anger a chance to subside in the hopes that people would begin to forget what it was that they were so angry about. Do you think there’s any of that in the country right now? Are people beginning to forget?
RB: Americans do tend to have short memories, but I think the atmosphere is different this time. Our current administration is trying to push so much so fast that they are only fueling the fire of frustration. I hope they keep it up, as it will have a very favorable effect for conservatives in November.
AR: Do you feel as though this administration will still try to force Cap & Trade through? Do you think they see that they’re doomed no matter what they do, so they may as well go for it?
They certainly have a crisis on their hands on which they could try to capitalize and get such legislation passed. I pray we are smart and strong enough not to fall for such tactics.
AR: In looking at both the result of the health care bill and the possibility of Cap & Trade being jammed through, it was reported that a total of 39 states had either filed or were in the process of preparing lawsuits against the federal government regarding the healthcare bill on Constitutional grounds. Do you feel as though we’re going to see more states asserting their 10th Amendment rights if this keeps up?
RB: I sure hope so. The more the states across this nation show that they don’t need or want the Federal Government’s help, the better off we will be as a nation.
AR: What should the events in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia, and Arizona tell the Democrats specifically and the rest of America more generally?
RB: That real change is coming and that their socialistic views are not wanted in America. If you aren’t in office to uphold the Constitution, then you need to go somewhere else.
AR: With all of the damage that is currently being perpetrated upon American culture, can this country and culture be ‘walked backward’, so to speak? Can the knots be untied?
RB: I think so, but it must happen soon. On our current pace, if we don’t dig our heels in deeply and start making significant changes, we could reach a point of no return.
AR: How long might it take to regain those freedoms?
RB: I think it could happen in the next 4-6 years. It will take a conservative Congress, Senate, and President.
AR: Thanks, Rick for taking the time for America’s Right today. Best of luck in all of your endeavors, and best of luck moving forward in your campaign.