by Diane Rufino, June 14, 2019
I recently had a series of wonderful chats with Dr. Greg Murphy, who is running for the US Congress, from North Carolina’s district 3. Simply put, NC district 3 represents most of eastern NC (17 counties). The seat had been held by eastern North Carolina’s beloved congressman, Walter B. Jones, who had served the district for 24 years. Sadly, he passed away unexpectedly in February of this year, thus prompting the current special election to fill the vacant seat. Dr. Murphy is running against another doctor, Dr. Joan Perry, in a run-off election to determine who the GOP candidate will be to spare off against Democrat Allen Thomas, formerly the mayor of Greenville. Dr. Murphy is a urologist (and surgeon) and Dr. Perry is a pediatrician.
Some were totally surprised that of all the 17 GOP candidates running in the first run-off election, the top two vote-getters (both received under 30% of the vote; any candidate that had gotten 30% or greater would have been the outright winner of the run-off), the finalists were two doctors. Some say that money decides elections and that money was the reason the two candidates came out on top. I choose to ignore such excuses and focus instead on the candidates themselves and why they will likely be excellent representatives from the district.
Dr. Murphy is currently serving in his second full term in the NC General Assembly, in the House representing NC House district 9. He was appointed to the seat when Rep. Brian Brown stepped down. He has championed several issues and advocated for others, but the issue he is most proud of taking on is the opioid epidemic. Last year, North Carolina suffered the second highest number of deaths from opioid overdose in the country. Wilmington was hit the hardest. Dr. Murphy introduced meaningful legislation to address the crisis, to help those addicted, and to help save families who are going thru the heartbreaking ordeal of dealing with children using and abusing heroin and cocaine. Dr. Perry has never been involved in politics and until the special election, has been a relative unknown in the political arena. She decided to run when she saw that states like New York, Virginia, and now North Carolina were growing increasingly indifferent to the life of the unborn.
The difference between Dr. Murphy and Dr. Perry, therefore, is simple: He has a record of serving in government and she has not. One can review Dr. Murphy’s record and ask him questions on it. A record indicates the way a representative approaches certain issues and indicates how he or she will vote in the future. On the other hand, with Dr. Perry, one has no choice but to hear her in candidate forums, on talk radio, talk to her in person, feel her out, and hopefully get assurances and promises on how she would vote on certain issues.
I have previously written about Dr. Perry and so this article is strictly about Dr. Greg Murphy. I should make clear that I am a Tea Party activist and long-time Tea Party leader, and just as with Dr. Perry, my focus is on Tea Party principles and how the candidates agree or disagree with them.
Dr. Murphy is a very nice man, extremely smart, and extremely passionate about serving his state district and about the possibility of serving eastern North Carolina in the US House. His sincere desire to do the right thing is the one thing above all that one can easily conclude about him. He is sharp, he does his homework, and he is a problem-solver.
One of the first questions I asked of Dr. Murphy is why he wanted so badly to serve in DC rather than in Raleigh. As a Tea Party activist, I am partial to state government. Raleigh governs my back yard and Raleigh determines whether the state, and by extension, its citizens, will give in to federal government excesses and abuse or will frustrate and fight it. North Carolina is a battleground state now – not just for the distinction of being a “red” or “blue” state for 2020, but more importantly for the kind of society we want to be… for our moral compass and our ability to hold on to certain conservative values, such as religious freedom, the right of life for our unborn, productive family values, parental involvement and choice in their child’s education, property rights, the rule of law, voter integrity, and a society that is allowed to progress beyond normal and natural limits. The fight is here in our state, just as it is in every individual state, probably moreso than it is in DC, although there is a fight there too. I know Dr. Murphy can fight for our state here in our state because he has been doing so. I know there is a different fight in DC – for the future of our country… a political battle so intense and fierce that our republic, as defined by the terms of the US Constitution and as intentioned by our Founders and the States when they agreed to join together in a Union and to abide by the government in DC, is clearly in peril. The fight in DC is not right versus left. It’s about good versus evil. It’s about love of America versus hatred of America. It’s about individual liberty versus what’s best for the collective (ie, those who don’t embrace liberty and all the obligations and energies and responsibilities that go along with it). It’s about a permanently entrenched government swamp (rogue government agents with the immense, unchecked power of the federal government) versus a government “of the People, by the People, and FOR the People.”
Dr. Murphy’s answer to my question was that he felt God was telling him to move on to the nation’s capital, to serve there. I can respect that. We need fighters in Raleigh and we need them in DC.
I then presented Dr. Murphy with a list of issues, most of them being the core principles of the Tea Party, as established when the movement began in 2009 and how it has evolved in eastern NC over the past 9 years, which I asked him to answer. The Eastern NC Tea Party, which I helped to start in 2009, following Rick Santelli’s rant over the government bail-out program, stands for just a few core principles. These principles are: Limited government, constitutional government, fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, free markets, robust and government-free education, free speech, and a principle I just added – the right to life. I have written them up for the group’s Mission Statement as follows:
The goals of the Eastern Tea Party are not partisan. Our goal is not to be an accessory of either of the two major political parties, nor to be a foe. Our goal is EDUCATION. We organized primarily to educate members of our community and even those who serve in our various levels of government on the important civic topics of government, the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, court decisions, accurate founding history, accurate American history, and national and state issues. We welcome discussion and discourse; we do NOT discourage it. We are NOT politically correct because to be so means we believe in or tolerate the suppression of free speech and we would be a party to the propagation of fraudulent history and to the misrepresentation or deletion of facts. We are driven by truth and by facts and our positions are based on principle, not personality. At the end of the day, we seek only for transparency, accountability, and honesty in government, and fidelity to the Constitution (Federal and state) and to the Rule of Law. The Tea Party stands for constitutionally-limited government and faithfully supports the US Constitution, which it believes is the shield that protects We the People from an ambitious federal government, and which it views as a COMPACT firm and unyielding (and NOT as a living, breathing document for liberal and progressive justices to mold and transform from the bench). The Tea Party stands for free markets, personal property rights, fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, religious liberty, free speech, a free but responsible and ethical press, the right to have and bear arms FOR BOTH personal protection and self-defense AND to defend one’s state (should the need arise), and the reserved rights of NULLIFICATION and INTERPOSITION to prevent the federal government from enforcing unconstitutional and abusive laws and policies on us.
I should mention that these core principles, these Tea Party principles, are the very principles on which our nation was founded and because they are the principles that ensure the greatest breadth of individual and economic liberty, they have been responsible for her greatness. These principles are the blueprint for a republic truly dedicated to the exercise and security of Liberty.
Dr. Murphy was extremely kind and generous to accept the questions and to provide thoughtful responses to them, and I wanted to share them with everyone. The questions and his responses are as follows:
1. THE RIGHTFUL ROLE OF GOVERNMENT – As a Constitutional Republic, the United States must have some government but the proper role of that government, especially on the Federal level, should be limited. There is little debate that the role of the Federal Government in 2019 is way beyond the scope that our Founding Father’s intended and that this overreach of the Federal Government was a gradual process that the Framers warned about from the very beginning of our Nation. However, the biggest and fastest steps of moving the power away from the states and to Washington occurred during the Great Society era of the mid 1960’s. America is made up of caring and just citizens and those on the political left who wished to expand the size and scope of government did so by praying on the compassion of our citizenry. In an attempt to right perceived wrongs both socially and economically, the American citizen allowed our freedoms to begin down the preverbal slippery slope. The residual effect of this move toward the Federal Government having more power, in particular in the area of providing economic assistance to a whole new group of qualiﬁes was that they now had a built in voting base who would beholding to candidates who supported this new entitlement society. With each election, the entitlement class grew and liberty continued to be eroded. If elected to Congress I will always focus on stopping the expansion of the Federal government and whenever possible moving power away from Washington and back to the people.
2. THE ROLE OF THE US CONSTITUTION – The Framers intended the Constitution to be a document that did not provide documentation for the empowering of the Federal Government but instead, to acknowledge citizens God given rights (which need little documentation) and limit the powers of the Federal Government. The Constitution is the rulebook our Republic follows and deviation from the Constitution is not political, it is in fact criminal, as the Constitution is the Law of the Land. The concept of the left that the Constitution is a living breathing document is false and dangerous. The Framers believed the Constitution should be amendable, but it would be a very rigorous process that could not be approached hastily or without thought. The interpretation of the Constitution is a rightful role of our Judicial Branch, but the Framers had no way of knowing that judges would be seated and make rulings with no regard for the original intent of the writers. Thus, legislating from the bench has become an all too common practice and one that would be abhorrent to our Founding Fathers, as they looked to the Judiciary branch to be key in making sure there was no grab for power.
3. FREE MARKETS & THE ECONOMY (What do you believe is the role or should be the role of free market principles in the US economy? Are there any areas you believe the federal government should rightfully regulate?) – I could be called a supporter of a laissez-faire style economy as I believe my philosophy of the least amount of government possible would logically insist that government must strive to stay out of the markets in order to keep them truly free. The federal government does has a rightful role in regulating the markets to insure conﬁdence against fraud or deception. As for the economy as a whole, the federal government has the right to be involved in certain areas like National defense, printing of currency etc. However, the government should be very limited in the area of regulation of markets . Treaties on trade are a given in todays America but we need to be wary of using trades and tariffs to try to manipulate economic activity.
4. LIFE of the UNBORN (and the Roe v. Wade ruling, 1973) – Life begins at conception, without exception, and we must continue to speak up for the voiceless. With this simple but direct answer, my voting path on any scenario for pro-choice legislation would be obvious.
5. THE WALL (along the nation’s southern border) – We are in a state of National Emergency and we need to build the wall immediately and although alternatives to a physical wall are worth discussing, much of the discussion on other barriers is nothing but a stall tactic.
6. IMMIGRATION (What is the role of the federal government in immigration and what do you think the goal of our immigration policy should be?) – All immigration should be legal and our Nation should make sure that those entering in the Country have the income earning potential to become active participants in our economy.
7. ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION (How do you think the federal government should address illegal immigration? Do you believe President Trump was right to characterize the situation at the southern border as a National Emergency in order to address this crisis?) – As I mentioned in an earlier answer, we do have a National Emergency and the issue must be addressed immediately as every delay allows more illegals to cross our border.
8. EDUCATION (What should the role of the federal government be in education? What should the goal of public education, in general, be?) – I would support the abolishment of the Federal Department of Education. There appears to be no avenue to that move in the near future. Until then, it would be my job as a Congressman to limit the power of the federal education bureaucracy in order to make the abolishment a smoother prices when the time comes.
9. HEALTHCARE (What should the federal government’s role be in healthcare? Do you believe Obamacare is, or was, constitutional?) – I was on the record, long before I was involved in politics, saying that Obamacare was the worst single piece of legislation I have ever seen. It was not Constitutional on several levels and now we are being forced to clean up the mess that is leaving behind.
10. THE FEDERAL COURTS – As I mentioned in a previous question, the interpretation of the Constitution is a rightful role of our Judicial Branch, but the Framers had no way of knowing that judges would be seated and make rulings with no regard for the original intent of the writers. Thus, legislating from the bench has become an all too common practice and one that would be abhorrent to our Founding Fathers, as they looked to the Judiciary branch to be key in making sure there was no grab for power.
11. GOVERNMENT AGENCIES & REGULATIONS – Keeping with my limited government philosophy, government agencies should be limited at all times and abolished when possible.
12. TRUMP’S AGENDA – I support President Trump and the implementation of his agenda. President Trump, like no other President since Ronald Reagan, has come in an stuck to his campaign platform. President Trump deserves our support not just on the border issue or the ongoing witch hunt against the President and his family, but economic issues as well.
13. THE SECOND AMENDMENT (What do you believe it means and do you believe Congress has the authority to enact gun control laws?) – The Second Amendment was not randomly placed second in the order of the amendments. It was key to the Framers that citizens had access to ﬁrearms not for hunting or protection from foreign invaders, but for protection from our own federal government. Although some would say that argument is no longer relevant, I would wonder what types of overreaches would have occurred if the federal government had not been wary of our very well-armed citizenry.
14. TARIFFS – As I mentioned in a previous question, I could be called a supporter of a laissez-faire style economy as I believe my philosophy of the least amount of government possible would logically insist that government must strive to stay out of the markets in order to keep them truly free. Tariffs are within the Constitutional boundaries of our Nation bur I would ﬁght for full transparency on trade deals and a limit to how many tariffs are placed.
I think Tea Party folks would be very happy with Dr. Murphy’s responses to these questions. They evince a clear understanding of our founding principles, the intended design and function of the federal government, and the great importance the US Constitution plays in setting limits and in protecting our valuable liberty rights.
Again, Dr. Murphy is a strong Christian and conservative eastern North Carolina native who, although spending most of his career in Urology and performing surgery, has found a new passion. With great zeal and passion, he is running for the US House to fill the great seat occupied by Congressman Walter Jones, to continue Jones’ legacy of principled and conservative leadership, and to represent the issues and concerns of congressional district 3 fervently. He has been an effective legislator in the North Carolina General Assembly and he will no doubt be just as effective in DC.
If you have any questions for Dr. Murphy or would like to hear more about how he would represent the interests of our fine district here in eastern North Carolina in the swamp of DC, he will be visiting with groups in the various counties in the upcoming two weeks. Check his Facebook campaign page for upcoming events (Friends to Elect Dr. Greg Murphy to Congress).