Reeves vs. Waller

In last night’s gubernatorial debate, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves repeatedly described himself as a conservative–sometimes as the only “real” conservative–while lambasting his opponent, former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Bill Waller, for having liberal ideas. Those allegedly liberal notions involve Medicaid reform and increasing the gasoline tax. Both of these measures have received support from Republicans not named Tate Reeves.

When given the chance to summarize his views, Reeves, who earned 49% of the vote in the primary, associated Waller with “Obamacare” and returned to three of Mississippi’s most beloved political chestnuts: being a strong supporter of the right to life movement, the right to bear arms, and the free expression of religion. His words will be embraced by culturally conservative voters across the state.

Waller, on the other hand, resisted the temptation to boil policy down to soundbites, and turned viewers’ attention to issues that he believes affect all Mississippians: better education, welfare and infrastructure.

The real question for Mississippi Republicans may come to this: will their base get more fired up about ideology or pragmatism?

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2 Responses to Reeves vs. Waller

  1. Samantha H says:

    I believe that the Republicans base will become more concerned with pragmatistic issues. The new generation has been made aware of problems such as welfare and education. The fact is that the majority of voters are young, between the ages of 18-40. Newer generations will be focused on the practical issues because the ideology in which the other views are based on, appears to be dying out. Older generations are the ones more concerned with problems regarding the right to bear arms and the freedom to express religion. In my personal experience, younger people are focused on issues with education and such because that’s the problems that they have personally experienced in their life. As the years go on, I believe there will be a significant increase in the concern for pragmatistic problems, rather than the ideological ones.

  2. Gracie Rowland says:

    I believe that pragmatism will hold precedence over ideology in the Mississippi Republican party’s future. I agree with Samantha’s assertion that younger voters value practicality over principle. The importance of tradition in politics is slowly fading as modern voters become more informed. We live in an age of knowledge and communication that is unparalleled. This will directly correlate to an emphasis on a logical and pragmatic viewpoint.

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