Americans are a freedom-loving people who want the government out of their lives. More government regulation is never the answer to our country’s most challenging problems. And in Colorado, where I’m running for governor as a Republican, it’s no different. Colorado is a state with a deep libertarian streak. In past elections, Coloradans have overwhelmingly voted down single-payer health care, defeated a massive tax increase proposed by the teachers union, and legalized marijuana at the ballot box. Colorado is a state with a deep libertarian streak. In past elections, Coloradans have overwhelmingly voted down single-payer health care, defeated a massive tax increase proposed by the teachers union, and legalized marijuana at the ballot box. That is the independent Colorado I know and love – a fiscally responsible state that isn’t afraid to chart a path for the nation on contentious issues. But this year that all can change. Democratic candidates across the country are adopting far-left, radical policies that the majority of Americans do not support. The Democratic Party has moved to the far left to appease its extremist supporters. An avowed socialist, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, is now the face of the Democratic Party. Whether it’s mandating government-run health care, abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or banning fracking (a technology that has helped the United States become number one in the world in energy production), Democrats are now advocating policies that are far outside of the mainstream and endanger our economy and our jobs. In Colorado, the race for governor is a microcosm of what is happening on the national stage. In June, Democrats nominated Congressman Jared Polis, the most radical and extreme gubernatorial candidate in Colorado’s history. His record in Colorado over the past few years only underlines this fact. In 2014, Congressman Polis earned national recognition when he used his vast personal wealth to bankroll a ballot measure that would have banned fracking and driven 230,000 energy jobs out of Colorado. Congressman Polis is now running on a platform of single-payer, government-run health care; transitioning Colorado to 100 percent renewable energy; promising “free” pre-school; and promoting a carbon tax. This list of promises and other unfunded mandates adds up to at least $90 billion in spending and costs, and would triple the size of Colorado’s budget with no means to pay for it except through higher taxes – nearly triple what Coloradans presently pay. As we near the final days of this campaign, Congressman Polis is unapologetically doubling down on his radical persona. The face of American socialism, Bernie Sanders, is joining Congressman Polis on the campaign trail in Colorado. Recently, when asked to name a single policy difference he has with Sen. Sanders, Congressman Polis came up short, failing to name a single point of disagreement with America’s most famous socialist. This is a race for governor of Colorado, but the impacts will be felt all across our country. Make no mistake — a Polis victory in a swing state like Colorado will further normalize socialist policies. Will Congressman Polis and Bernie Sanders’ brand of extreme government regulation and intervention cement itself as the standard? Voters in Colorado and across the country are being presented with a new brand of unabashed extremism that risks economic catastrophe and flies in the face of our country’s founding principle of individual freedom. While we are working tirelessly to defeat socialism in Colorado, it ultimately will be up to voters. It is my hope and prayer that voters across the country choose to let freedom ring and that Coloradans’ voices are heard from coast to coast.
Walker Stapleton is an American politician who is serving his second term as Colorado’s state treasurer. He was elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. Stapleton is the Republican nominee for the 2018 Colorado gubernatorial election, and is a distant relative of former President George W. Bush. We wish him success next week. Jared Polis would be a disaster for Colorado. He’s just a younger, and openly gay, version of Bernie.