The way Henry Ross sees it, three “pillars” have upheld this country: faith, family and freedom. But these concepts are “crumbling,” he said on Tuesday.
He spoke at length to the Lowndes County Republican Women at their monthly meeting at Holiday Inn on Highway 45 about national developments he perceives as eroding at these concepts.
Ross ended his speech by announcing his plan to run for the U.S. House of Representatives.
He was followed by Sen. Doug E. Davis, R-Hernando, who decried the continuing lack of a state budget for the next fiscal year.
Ross, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush as senior counsel to the assistant attorney general for the environment and the natural resources division, said he believes President Barack Obama was wrong when he said in April, “America is not a Christian nation.”
“We are a Christian nation,” he said, “and we”re gonna stay a Christian nation.”
Later, he lamented the popularity of infidelity, the absence of fathers in homes and the redefinition of family.
“With the pillar of the family being destroyed, these results we”re seeing in the United States,” he said.
If he were elected, he said, he would want to pass a federal marriage amendment, which would define marriage as between a man and a woman.
“States may decide, but I say it”s so important that we need to go ahead and make that decision a Constitutional amendment,” he said. “I don”t know if we can get the states to agree to that, but we need to do it. ”
And regarding freedom, Ross said the right to bear arms and private health care as Americans know it are fading away, while terrorists have more rights than ever.
His audience showed support of his concerns about the changes with loud handclapping.
“It was kind of depressing, … but it”s true,” club member Nan Lott said.
Her fellow club member Nell Bateman agreed.
“And it”s very disturbing to me that we”ve let it go so far,” Bateman said. “We”ve got to work really, really hard to bring it back around.”
Neither Bateman nor Lott said they would definitely vote for Ross. A primary would come before the general election next year; they would make up their minds once they know who his opponent will be. The seat is now held by Democrat Rep. Travis Childers.
Davis, who won his seat by special election in 2005 and serves on several committees, including appropriations, of which he is vice chair, responded to the notion that the state Senate backed out of a budget agreement.
“During the course of negotiations, many proposals were offered by both sides regarding the budget and Medicaid,” he said. “However, there was never a proposal offered by either side that was totally acceptable by the other. It would not be accurate for anyone to suggest otherwise.”
He went on to say he was disappointed to see the regular session of the state legislature adjourn without agreeing on a new budget.
“A lot of work was put into that effort,” he told the audience, “but as we look forward to the special session, I look forward to working with Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, Senate Appropriations Chairman Alan Nunnelee, all our counterparts, our representatives and our governor, to ensure that the final product is one of funding our basic needs but at the same time maintaining a level of fiscal responsibility.”
And in response to the idea Gov. Haley Barbour had persuaded the Senate leadership to compromise on the state budget, he said, “Ladies and gentlemen, how in the world the speaker of the House could accuse the Senate of being manipulated by the governor is beyond me. The governor is conservative, and since we have conservative leadership in the Senate, it would only make sense that we would agree with the governor more than we would the liberal leadership in the House of Representatives.”
Club secretary Sandra Elliott was pleased with Davis” address.
“I”m just hoping that they can come to an agreement, so that we can get on with what we have to do,” she said.
Closing the meeting, club President Emily Moody said, “It”s certainly a good time to be a Republican.”
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.