If there is a man who represents independence from the political establishment it’s North Carolina’s Walter Jones. A man of principle, Congressman Jones isn’t afraid to buck his own party on issues like foreign policy, extending unemployment insurance, and financial reform. He’s gone so far as voting against John Boehner for speaker, opting instead for David Walker, Ronald Reagan’s assistant secretary of labor. And he's stated, "Lyndon Johnson’s probably rotting hell now because of the Vietnam War, and he probably needs to move over for Dick Cheney.”
His anti-war sentiments made him a hero to the liberty movement and a close ally of former congressman Ron Paul. His voting record against big spending doesn’t just date back to the Tea Party, as it does for some more famous colleagues. Jones was a conservative even when Republicans were in power, voting against Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind.
Yesterday, the ten-term incumbent defeated Taylor Griffin, the most serious primary opponent of his career. Griffin, a former Bush administration official backed by both Tea Party darling Sarah Palin and K Street lobbyists, attacked Jones primarily on his anti-war positions. Groups like the Emergency Committee for Israel and the Ending Spending Fund Super PAC poured more than $1 million into Griffin's coffers.
More than a million dollars was spent trying to defeat a good conservative, whose opinions on foreign policy coincide with the American public. Jones stood strong against a war in Syria, intervention in Libya, and more money and American lives wasted in the occupation of Afghanistan. Jones has been on the winning side of all these issues; Washington’s candidate was on the losing side, the big government side, and the pro-war side.
It’s doubtful that this will be Jones’s last primary challenge, and it’s very possible that more groups will spend millions trying to defeat the good congressman because they know they can’t buy him off.
Of course Jones doesn’t care about most of that. He said many years ago, “I didn’t come up here to seek power or to get a chairmanship. I want to do what I think my Lord wants me to do.”
The establishment be damned. May Jones do the Lord’s work for many years to come.