• Mitchell Skelton

The most terrifying words in the English language are I'm from the government and I'm here to help.

Updated: Mar 6

I get a lot of questions when I’m out campaigning. I don’t mind questions and in fact I learn a lot about what is important to people and what’s affecting their lives on a daily basis by the questions asked. However, one question that I’m consistently asked, and it’s a fair question, is “Why are you running for this office?” You deserve an answer to this question from all candidates. Here’s my reason…

2020. That’s the reason I’m running for office. The End. (Seriously, this isn't the only reason but it's the deciding factor.)

I’m sure most of you reading this instantly “get it.” We were all impacted by the Covid pandemic and while God has blessed me and my family we have not emerged from this pandemic untouched. We’ve suffered loss. We’ve buried loved ones. As a minister I’ve watched way too many families go through the same loss. I’ve lost friends and people who were a big part of my life. I’ve seen friends who are health care workers, first responders, and active military once hailed as heroes in the beginning of all this become vilified and even lose their jobs all because of a personal and private healthcare choice.

I also faced something that I never dreamed could happen, the real possibility of losing my business. I’ve been self-employed my entire adult life and during all that time I’ve never worried about losing my business, that is until the shutdowns of 2020. What started as a promising year took a horrifying turn in April. That’s when it hit, “two weeks to slow the curve,” how bad could it be? Devastating, that’s how bad it can be. While technically our business wasn’t required to shut down, the fact most all the businesses, schools, and churches we serve were shut down meant that no events were taking place, no public gatherings, no concerts, etc. and that meant no one needed screen printed t-shirts, signs, or promotional items for their businesses. Over the course of 2 days as the phone rang with panicked customers on the other end wanting to know what could be done about the orders they had placed and paid for but no longer needed. Sure, I could have told the customers that there was nothing I could do, the order was paid for, the contract you signed says that when we get to this point there’s no return, no refund. But this just didn’t sit well with me. It wasn’t the right thing to do, not from a business standpoint and certainly not from a moral perspective. So, I sat all day the first day talking to customers and refunding orders, day two rolled around and I did the same thing until just after lunch when I could take it no longer. I just couldn’t refund one more order that day! My wife and I closed the shop, went home, and sat in silence. Over the next few days, I would eventually take care of all my clients and refund every order that was no longer needed. When April 2020 began, we already had enough orders for the month to make it our best sales period since we started the business, after those few panicked filled days, we would realize our worst month.

If we’d deserved to lose the business, it wouldn’t have been easy but at least we could understand and make steps to correct and overcome our mistakes. However, two weeks turned into months, which turned into a nightmare that seemed to have no end. It became more and more evident to me that what was happening was much more about government control than it had ever been about health and saving lives. For 12 months we struggled to keep our doors open, we lived off of savings, we were forced to move our shop to a new location to lower our rent, we hustled harder and worked smarter to gain what business remained knowing all we were doing was helping ourselves lose less money. We we’re literally working just to cut our losses. My own government, here in the greatest country man has ever known, was systematically picking winners and losers during this pandemic!

Simultaneously, I am also watching as our churches close. We watched as “experts” offered up the best way to fight this virus and yet at some point instinctively we knew, this wasn’t about science, or health, or protecting the weak, it was about control! How far can we push until the people push back? For many of our federal, state, and local “leaders” this was the moment they had been waiting for their entire career, they finally had “emergency powers” to skirt the constitution and rule through fiat, intimidation, and mandates. In the spirit of honesty, it took me longer to work through what was happening than it did others, maybe you are just now beginning to see it yourself, personally I don’t think “when” you figure it out is as important as figuring it out! But when I figured it out, I knew I could no longer sit on the sidelines, I wouldn’t be quiet any longer, and I knew I had to act for my children’s sake and for the future of our republic. I cannot turn this country over to my children and future grandchildren with less freedom than I enjoyed. Ronald Reagan, our former President, famously said, “The most terrifying words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'” We have been living the past two years the nightmare Reagan warned us about!

Contrary to the opinion of the Democrats and other power-hungry politicians, I believe in the ability of people to govern themselves. The political elite look at us, the American people, and think we aren’t smart enough to take care of ourselves. It is way past due that we send these power-hungry, mandate minded, politicians' home. Maybe once they are forced to get a real job they will finally understand the consequences of their lawless orders. And lawless is the best way to describe these “Executive Orders” and “emergency health crisis” regulations. In all this time, with all the talk about following the science and doing what’s best for the people, not one single order issued came from your duly elected representatives in the form of legislation. We’ve watched our country slip rather quickly into totalitarianism. We surrendered our democracy to be governed according to the Soviet style of the “central committee” and the Polit bureau. Make no mistake, Pandora’s Box of mandates and orders has been opened and without swift action from We the People we will never get the lid back on because too many like it this way. The ruling “elite” are drunk with power. This health crisis will soon transform from Covid to something that is harder to escape. The “Climate Crisis” will be the next excuse to infringe upon our freedoms.

I am running for State Representative because I watched as the freedom to feed my family, run my business, and gather with my church family, all which are guaranteed in the Constitution, were taken away faster than you can say, “Show me your papers!”

While we’ve began to emerge from the virus nothing has been done to address the fact that this could all happen again under the guise of some other “emergency,” and if you think I’m exaggerating just look at what’s happening to our neighbors in Canada. Martial Law is just across the border.

As your representative I promise you I will fight to preserve your freedoms, I will not allow any elected official to take away your means of earning a living or to gather to worship your God. I will not sit quietly while bureaucrats tell us our children must go to school ‘virtually’ or if they do go in person they must hide their faces with a mask, even though science says there’s no benefit for them and in fact is quite harmful to their development as well as their mental health.


We must make changes to emergency powers and executive orders. The legislature must have the power to be the check and balance to the Governor and especially any agency we’ve unknowingly given this power in the past.

My vision is that Tennessee can become the state that lights the way for the nation and provides the blueprint for the return of power to the people and the representatives that live closest to them. The next time someone shows up and says, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” we Tennesseans will dismiss them faster than we hang up the phone on the guy selling an extended car warranty.

As your State Representative I will introduce a bill to the General Assembly promptly upon my swearing into office that, when it becomes law, will be the protection our children and grandchildren deserve from any future power-hungry politicians. We will cut the length of time an Executive Order can remain in effect and require legislative approval for any order deemed necessary over thirty days. We will remove the power of any person, including the governor, to limit commerce, to close businesses, to limit or prohibit public gatherings, and we will make it absolute that no person has the power to prohibit people from expressing their God given right worship. We will limit the scope of Executive Orders so they can only be used to help people recover from natural disasters such as floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, or acts of war.

Let’s learn from the mistakes that have been made and gift back the power of self-governance to our children!
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