Dr. Dave Brat truly embodies what it means to be a Liberty Conservative. This libertarian-leaning economics professor, Tea Party activist and family man recently achieved the greatest political upset of the decade in a historic primary challenge against the third most powerful elected Republican in the United States, Eric Cantor, and his $2 million war chest.
Brat has humble roots. He grew up a devout Protestant in Detroit, the son of a medical doctor and a social worker. He then travelled to Virginia and Princeton for college and earned degrees in divinity and business administration along with a doctorate in economics, before going on to serve as a professor at a liberal arts college in Richmond, where he stood true to his faith in God and the free market, despite strong intellectual opposition from the collegiate elite. He was finally appointed to advise Virginia Governor Tim Kaine on economic policy, a surprising move for a liberal Democrat such as Kaine.
While by no means a radical, Brat is an adherent to the ideas of Milton Friedman and his Chicago School of Economics, as well as being heavily influenced by the writings of the individualist philosopher Ayn Rand. He believes that the only way to guarantee prosperity to Americans is to provide them with minimal government and maximum freedom. He’s opposed to socialism and crony-capitalism alike, standing firmly with small businesses and entrepreneurs over special interests. This stance was a stark contrast to the views of Eric Cantor, who frequently pandered to these interests who in turn contributed to his campaign, and had little aversion to collaborating with the Democrats in enacting their progressive agenda for America. Virginians in the 7th district woke up to the fact that though Eric Cantor claimed to be a conservative Republican – for less spending and reducing the debt – in reality he was little different from the rest of his colleagues in the establishment of both parties.
Though Brat, as a Calvinist, is uncompromising in his religious views, he tries not to let them influence his stances on political issues. He opposes attempts by those on the right “to enforce morality in gambling and homosexuality” and calls for an end to the government’s “monopoly on violence” and “coercion”. While he somewhat diverges from the libertarian line on the issue of immigration, the majority of his statements show a deep and thorough understanding of libertarian theory that will prove vital in shaping his voting record in Washington.
Dr. Brat has shown himself to be learned, politically able and eloquent and is sure to be a rising star within the liberty movement and the Republican Party in the years to come. To doubt him would be to make the same mistake Congressman Cantor did.