Draining the Swamp
To say that Washington is broken has become so cliché that it seems barley worth mentioning. In many ways, average Americans have thrown up their hands in disgust and frustration at what takes place in the hallowed halls of Congress. We’ve become so used to government shutdowns, Senate filibusters, and over regulation that we just accept these as a fact of life. But we shouldn’t. Government is not supposed to be a self-sustaining ever-growing burden. It is supposed to be for the people. Government should exist to keep us safe from foreign enemies and make our lives easier through cooperation and collaboration.
Washington is a product of man. It can be – and has – been broken, but don’t lose hope, because it can be fixed! The journey to what government should be starts not with a particular policy item or piece of legislation; it starts with a new attitude, a new approach. We must fundamentally shift the manner in which our country is led, not from election-to-election, but long term. This means sending good men and women to our nation’s capital to represent their constituents rather than act as “single-minded seekers of reelection.”
How we do we “drain the swamp?” We stop believing that a broken government is a fact of life, and start sending people to Washington who recognize that a government that doesn’t control its citizen but empowers is both attainable and necessary.
The loss of this countries moral compass is directly tied to our abandonment of traditional values. Rediscovering that moral compass is not complicated, God has plainly revealed it to us in Scripture. But, you don’t need to be a Christian, or share the same view of the Scriptures as I do, to be a defender of traditional values. Every American can and should defend the foundational values that have made our country great and strong. And at the very core of that value system, one finds the traditional family.
A strong, family-centric life is vital to both society, and to the individual. The traditional family is the cornerstone of modern Western society. For thousands of years, the focus on traditional family values has served society well. And because of it, the United States is the blessed and prosperous nation we all love.
The societal benefits of traditional family values are self-evident through the direct correlation of the traditional family structure and individual’s prosperity. There is no greater predictor of a happy and successful life, than having been brought up in a traditional, loving, two-parent family – and then building one of your own. We must protect the traditional family from those who seek to undermine it. And if we neglect to do so, the nation we’ve worked so hard to build will suffer because of it.
Likewise, we must protect the unborn. There are those who would treat them as less than human. The simple fact is that they are human. And if we do not, as a country, protect those who cannot protect themselves, our society will crumble beneath the weight of our own immorality.
There is good and there is bad. There is moral and there is immoral. No one is perfect, and I’ll be the first to admit it. But if we strive to seek the righteous path in every area, both personally and as a nation, I am convinced that we will be blessed because of it.
The United States faces enemies both foreign and domestic. And only with a strong and robust national defense apparatus can we defeat the radicals and imperialists that would seek to destroy our civilization. The core components of a strong national security are proper funding, recognizing friends and foes, and knowing when we must act and when action is unwise or unhelpful.
First, we must support efforts to rebuild our military and national security structure, recognizing that oceans at east and west do not protect us from modern threats. The US military must be able to strike anywhere and at any time with forces small and large.
Equally as important, is our ability to distinguish our friends from our enemies. Yes, at times we will find ourselves – as we did in World War II with the Soviets – choosing between the lesser of evils. But if we do not have a clear eyed view of who we can count on and who we should confront, our enemies will not fear us and our friends will not trust us.
Finally, as the world’s sole superpower, we do have a responsibility to protect innocents when we can. But we cannot always do so, and sending American troops to bleed in foreign lands solely because it makes us feel like we are doing something is an unforgivable sin. We do what we can, when we can, without ever forgetting that our service men and women serve the United States, not the United Nations, not the European Union. They serve no flag but our own.
The right to bear arms is so important, so foundational, so ingrained in our country’s character, that it was enshrined in our Second Amendment. Law abiding citizens should not have to purchase this right from their state. Each and every American who chooses to own a firearm – provided they have not committed certain crimes or suffer from severe mental illness – has the right to own and carry a gun. Period.
The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. People who use firearms to commit crimes couldn’t care less if they meet all the regulations and statutes. This is why I do not support any additional restrictions on this fundamental and constitutional right.
To say it plainly: I carry a firearm, my children carry firearms, and the people around us carry firearms. God forbid this from ever being the case, but we will defend ourselves and the innocent lives around us should the need arise. Such is the right of every law abiding American citizen.
There is no group of individuals more deserving of our respect and support than those brave men and women who’ve proudly worn the uniform and served our country. Without their valor and sacrifice, and that of the countless men and women before them, America as a nation would not exist. We’ve seen plenty of politicians make some similar points, and yet we still see homeless veterans on the streets. Not to mention that health care for veterans does not do nearly enough to serve that community – especially those veterans who live in rural areas.
From ensuring that the Department of Veterans Affairs has the budget and Congressional support it needs, to working with the Defense Department and veterans groups to make transitioning as easy as possible and creating job-training programs, you won’t find any stronger supporter of our veterans in Washington than you’ll find in me.
Of course there are complex and nuanced policy items associated with taking care of our veterans, but the issue is simple: without veterans, we wouldn’t have a country at all. Everyday when I get to Washington, I will fight for those who fought for us.
ObamaCare achieved two things: it brought health care to some Americans who did not otherwise have it (such as those with preexisting conditions), and it dramatically increased it’s cost. I strongly believe in getting people the help they need, but there has to be a better way. That health care premiums and deductibles have increased so dramatically that we are faced with an unfair system that is inherently bad for our economy. Quite simply, the Affordable Care Act has made health care unaffordable.
Prior to ObamaCare, there was a group of Americans who could not get health insurance because of preexisting conditions, or because they legitimately could not afford it. But “fixing” those problems by causing health care costs to more than double for the rest of us was an astounding governmental failure that must be rectified.
ObamaCare should be repealed and replaced. We need laws that take care of that tiny minority legitimately cannot afford health insurance premiums, which in many cases is often only temporary, while simultaneously ensuring the costs on the average, hard working, American family does not continue to serve as an unbearable tax.
As a Christian, I know that ‘all men are created equal’ and that we as humans were created in God’s own image. I hold absolutely no ill-will towards anyone who seeks to make a better life for themselves, or a better life for their families. One thing I cannot and will not abide is an open border immigration policy. Borders are central to any nation’s sovereignty, and ours must be secure.
It is often said that we are a nation of immigrants, but the truth is, that we are a nation of legal immigrants. Our nation’s laws, traditions, and values, including our immigration policy should reflect the melting pot traditions of our forefathers. Likewise, it must reflect the inherent value we place on every one of God’s children’s inalienable rights, but this cannot come at the cost and safety of our laws, systems, and citizens. Our immigration policy must always reflect a clear and unambiguous distinction between those who abide by the law, those who complete the process necessary to come into this country legally, and those who do not.
First and foremost, we must secure our borders. Then, and only then, can we have a rational discussion about the illegal immigrants who currently live in the US, and the importance of a fair, values-driven legal immigration policy.
The United States has no more loyal friend and ally than Israel. The Jewish state is a lighthouse of liberty and stability in the tyrannical and unstable Middle Eastern sea. Standing with Israel, on the world’s stage, and ensuring our small but vital ally maintains its qualitative military edge in the region, is both the right thing to do and is in the best interests of the national security of the United States.
The modern state of Israel is a light unto the nations. A nation whose innovations, humanitarian heart, and firm commitment to Western values of freedom and democracy should serve as an inspiration to the world. No country, in the world, has the right to dictate to Israel what steps that nation should or should not take to ensure the safety and security of her people.
The land of Israel was deeded to the Jewish people by God. Those who bless her will be blessed. Those who support her are on the right side of history and morality.
I will always stand with Israel.