Former White House Chief of Staff: Trucking must be united in presidential election

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Updated Oct 4, 2016
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As the U.S. enters the homestretch of one of the most unsettling presidential elections in the country’s history, it’s important for the voting public to engage in the electoral process.

Andrew CardAndrew Card

“It is our government. Don’t blame anyone else for the performance of the government other than those who don’t participate in it,” Andrew Card, president of Franklin Pierce University and former Secretary of Transportation under George H.W. Bush told a crowd gathered for the opening session at the ATA Management Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas Monday. “I’m saying get out and vote.”

The purpose of Article 2 in the Constitution is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and it’s basically the only time where the Constitution breaks from the word ‘we’ – which Card calls the most powerful word in the Constitution – to ‘I’.

“When you pick someone to be the president, they are personified by Article 2,” Card says.

Card, who served as George W. Bush’s chief of staff, said he watched the younger Bush come into his own as he delivered the news of the Sept. 11 attacks to the Commander in Chief while he spoke to a group of elementary school children.

“I watched the President of the United States become the President of the United States that day,” he says noting how appropriately the president handled the emotion of that day and the aftermath. “I saw him preserve, protect and defend the Constitution that day.”

The 2016 presidential campaign has been marred by lack of convention, in everything from campaign strategy to the candidates themselves. But Card says it’s important to educate yourself and follow your inner moral compass to the ballot box.

“I grew up in a family where we were expected to follow what was going on in government and pay attention … and support the people and the causes that we thought were right.”

Card says it’s important for trucking stakeholders to band together and vote the industry’s interests and costs, emphasizing the word ‘we’ and the power it represents in picking a leader.

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“Because you care about trucks, you can petition government to care about trucks,” he adds. “It’s a divided country and you don’t want to be trapped in the divide. You want to be united. ATA has to be united to speak with a very clear and loud voice.”

“We need to help Congress shape and pass a good bill,” ATA president and CEO Chris Spear echoed in his remarks, “and that may involve some compromise. Yet I believe that can done without sacrificing ones’ conviction.”

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as Chief Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. A Class A CDL holder, Jason is a graduate of the Porsche Sport Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Reach him at [email protected]