BY: Derrick Tapp | UCF Executive Committee

Conservatives in Mississippi don’t agree on everything and we likely never will. We come from different socioeconomic backgrounds and different geographies. We have unique moral perspectives and family influences. Each of us is at a different point in our journey.

I have been an active member of the Libertarian Party for over 20 years and have often felt like a lone voice in the wilderness. I have promoted the Libertarian Party even when ridiculed for my stance in favor of smaller government, transparency and individual liberties. The Democrat I was in my teens because of family influences, and the Republican I was in my early twenties for moral reasons, would argue like there was no tomorrow with the Libertarian I have become in my forties.

The Libertarian I was in my thirties would even have a few disagreements with me today.

I believe dissent and debate to be the greatest of educators–and conservatives love to argue with each other. But those disagreements have provided our big government opponents an insultingly easy way to divide us for decades. Conservatives are principled, intellectual and strong willed as we should be. Yet we have to recognize that our big-government loving opponents have been laughing all the way to the bank at how easily divided we have been by using those attributes against us.

That is about to change.

Conservatives in Mississippi are uniting. We are shelving our differences and forgiving our past transgressions against each other to recruit conservative candidates to defeat the big government officials who have been responsible for keeping Mississippi last.  We will defeat them without diluting our strongly held principles because the strongest friendships are built on mutual respect, not submission. (Tweet this)

Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. People now see that things have gotten worse, especially in regards to ever increasing government control over every facet of our lives.

Conservatives in Mississippi have always known that the dream world promised by proponents of big government is actually a nightmare existence of crippling debt and eroding liberties.  It’s time for conservatives to unite with the goal of making Mississippi the most hospitable state in the nation to those who truly want economic prosperity for everyone in our state. (Tweet this) We do this by uniting to defeat the proponents of big government, to defeat those who hate transparency, to defeat those who want to keep Mississippi subservient to the whims and the power structure of Washington D.C.

Mississippians have been duped into electing candidates who maintain that we must take money away from our neighbors in other states in order to survive. Voters fall for this fear tactic because these candidates have convinced Mississippians that we don’t have the talents or assets in our state necessary to prosper.  Mississippi partisans have been channeling those fears into recruiting the most skilled takers to run for elected office for decades. During this time Mississippi has consistently ranked last economically.

Mississippians are beginning to realize that maybe recruiting the best takers we could find to oversee our state finances has not been the wisest approach to promote economic prosperity in our state, after all. (Tweet this)

Some of the most talented people in the world come from Mississippi. We have assets to rival any other state. It’s past time we show the rest of the world what Mississippi can do with true conservative leaders in office.

Our state used to be known as ‘The Hospitality State’.  Now we are just known as ‘The Poorest State’.  We should reclaim the name of ‘The Hospitality State’ again.

It’s not hospitable to take from others against their will. We should focus on electing candidates who will work to create the most hospitable environment in the nation for large, medium and small companies.

It’s not hospitable for state officials to prop up their favorite ‘government business experiments’ to the detriment of new and existing Mississippi companies, families and taxpayers.  We should elect candidates to office with the integrity and the economic expertise to ensure a level playing field so Mississippi’s new and existing companies can compete fairly.  It is impossible for any company to compete if the government creates an unfair business environment. If a company needs millions of our tax dollars to be successful then that company does not have a good business plan, and if a company has a good business plan then that company does not need millions of our tax dollars to be successful.

It’s not hospitable to allow envy of the success of others to drive policy. (Tweet this) Most proponents of big government want us to think that if an individual or a company makes a profit then we should be jealous. However, profit is not a bad word.  No one will go into business and create new jobs and opportunities in our state if they know the game is rigged against their ability to be successful.

I am happy to be a member of the United Conservatives Fund, because I believe with UCF we will reclaim the honor of once again being known as ‘The Hospitality State’. I believe with a unified approach to good policy we will attract the best and the brightest. I believe we will renew a commitment to freedom and to opportunity.

Only when we approach our states problems together as challenges to be overcome, rather than demands for politicians to fix, will we begin to see positive results.(Tweet this) We are a strong people. The United Conservatives Fund exists to unify that strength and focus it on what we can do together.

Derrick Tapp represents the Libertarian Party on the United Conservatives Fund Executive Committee. He has been an active member of the Libertarian Party for over 20 years. He has served as District One Representative for the Mississippi Libertarian Party and most recently Vice Chairman. He works in family retail, distribution, manufacturing and real estate.