Op-Ed: In the Senate, I will Defeat the Elite

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This article first appeared in the Indy Star.

You might think that after getting it all so wrong last year the political and media elites would be humbled. You’d be wrong. 

They have dug in.  They work every day to destroy President Trump with phony scandals and fake outrage.  Bureaucrats work behind the scenes to leak and undermine the president.  Lobbyists work overtime to protect their special interests carve outs.                   

For the last six years, I’ve stood before Hoosiers and tried to explain why despite our efforts in the House of Representatives, nothing gets done in Washington.  Why ObamaCare hasn’t been repealed.  Why veterans languish, and even die, in a failing government run health care system while the bureaucrats responsible for the mess get hefty bonuses.  And why the most common sense things seem impossible.  I’m fed up with it. 

I’m running for Senate because one vote can be all the difference, as our own Sen. Joe Donnelly showed recently when he sided with Washington liberals and cast a critical vote to block efforts to repeal ObamaCare.

Since announcing for Senate under the slogan of “Defeat the Elite”, I’ve been attacked by the Republican and Democrat establishment, liberal Joe Donnelly and his Washington allies, and liberal news columnists who still don’t get it. 

I will fight for regular people who they treat with derision and dismiss as the “basket of deplorables” or mock for “clinging to their guns and religion.”  I count myself with the Hoosiers, and Americans, who are sick and tired of being condescended too, looked down upon and ridiculed because of their way of life, religious beliefs, conservative views, or because of their frustration with a system that has made DC a boom town while economic opportunity and the American Dream disappear for millions of hard working Americans.

“Defeat the Elite” isn’t about taking on people who are wealthy or successful.  Achieving success through hard work is part of the American Dream.  We should celebrate and encourage that success. 

It is, however, about taking on the political status quo perpetuated by many in the professional political class in Washington, D.C., who only look out for themselves.  It’s people who think they know better than you do what’s best for you and your family.  It’s politicians like Joe Donnelly who rail against outsourcing while he profits from his own family business which outsources jobs to Mexico.  It's insiders who oppose President Trump because he threatened their power.    

It’s about bringing fairness and common sense back to Washington policy debates.  It’s about giving real people who don't have a lobbyist a voice in Washington. 

Just being in office doesn't make you part of the elite.  There are plenty of people in Washington, state capitals and local government who haven't lost touch with the people they represent.  They are as frustrated as anyone seeing the rigged system operate firsthand.   

I have had the honor to serve Hoosiers in governments, and I’ve taken on tough fights. 

As Secretary of State, I pushed forward Indiana’s photo ID law to stop voter fraud.  It was challenged all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it was upheld.  It is now a model for states across our great nation.   

Supported by Gov. Mitch Daniels, I clashed with leaders in my own party to push for redistricting reform to help give Indiana more competitive legislative seats.  As a result, Indiana got better districts, but the politicians at the Statehouse drew me out of my own district in Congress.  It was worth the fight. 

In Congress, I’ve challenged leadership on issues related to spending, debt and privacy.  Government is too big and tries to do too much.  It is a threat to the freedom and liberty of Americans who don’t have the influence to fight the limitless resources of the federal government. 

Ultimately, I’ve also gotten things done, even with President Obama in office. I want results and I will work with anyone, Republican or Democrat, in good faith to help Hoosiers build better lives for themselves and their families.  We can defeat the failed, self-serving policies of the elite with common sense, Hoosier values and the courage to fight for the Constitution and conservative principles.  That’s why I’m running for United States Senate. 

Indiana 4th district Rep. Todd Rokita is a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.

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