At the front of the minds of many of the people gathered at the Civitas Institute’s 2017 Conservative Leadership Conference when Rep. Mark Walker spoke was the shooting that took place less than a week ago.
Walker is the starting pitcher for the Republican team.
Instead of keeping the subject at arm’s length, Walker addresses the topic head-on, saying he is emotionally spent after the week, from the shooting to actually playing out the game a couple days later.
“A lot of the guys were just emotionally spent,” he said. “We met Wednesday for a team meeting with a lot of my teammates that were on the field at the time and just listened to them share a little bit, and one of the things that we concluded is that God’s hand of protection was on that field that day. Absolutely.
“I believe, and many of us who were in that room believe, that it is through the people in our districts throughout the country that have and continue to lift us up in prayer every day and, let me say on behalf of our guys. You know when you live through an assassination plot it’s a little unnerving, and let me say thank you so much for your prayers, and it should have been on paper a massacre, but God protected us there. And remember (Majority Whip) Steve Scalise. Steve has gone through some valleys over the last couple days, it was life and death and we need to keep him and some of the other injured in prayer.”
Walker said that the hate in the country has come to a fever pitch as evidenced by the proliferation of the hashtag, “#huntrepublicancongressmen” and others, but at the same time he says that it is no time to back away from what he and his fellow legislators are called to do: carry out the people‘s business.
“Someone asked me this week, ‘Are you willing to change your positions’ Absolutely not,” he said. “This is important. It is important to advocate for the unborn and for limited government.”
Walker said that in this day and age strong national defense and fiscal responsibility are needed, and that it is a time to stand up for one’s beliefs, not cower and compromise, not even in the face of death.
Walker was not merely talking about his GOP colleagues though, he was talking to the conservatives gathered together to listen and learn about how to spread conservatism in the state.
“It would be easy to throw 10 minutes of red meat to you but I want to ask, “Are we taking this message to new communities?’” he said. “We can’t just continue to preach to the choir, that’s the easy part, but here’s the problem. We have a generation coming behind is that has been indoctrinated by falsehoods.”
Walker said that he will not back down, because the conflict is too important, and that conservatives should not back down either.
“This is a battle for our country, we must continue this fight,” Walker said.
Walker has been busy in recent weeks working to increase accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as legislation to increase mandatory sentencing for those convicted of human trafficking offenses.
Walker is also pushing to return education decisions to the states, as opposed to the federal government controlling education decisions through funding, and the conditions attached to those funds.
“Do not quit, we are making too much progress,” he said.