Bethany from Wright State wrote:
I am doing personal research on the candidates running in the upcoming primary. Could you tell me (briefly, yet thoroughly) what your stances are on the following issues?
- Education: Do you support No Child Left Behind? If not, what do you suggest replace “the system”? Do you think the governor’s position of absolving the State BoE is a wise one?
- Homosexuality: Do you support homosexual marriage? Why or why not?
- Abortion: Do you support the right for choice or the right for life? Why?
- Health Care: Do you believe it is the government’s responsibility to provide health care? Do you support universal health care?
Thank you for your time in answering these questions. My vote depends on your answers (no pressure).
I’m going to preface- that the hot button issues of homosexual marriage and abortion are questions that I believe shouldn’t be used in determining a candidates score- sort of like the questions on the exam that a professor throws out because there is guaranteed to be about a 50/50 split on the correct answer- making them statistically insignificant.
But- here we go:
Education: The governors decision about the State BOE is not within my purview since I’m a running for a Federal position. I believe that our State should be working first and foremost on finding a way to fund schools that is Constitutional – as the State Supreme Court ordered them to do over a decade ago. The BOE issue is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
No Child Left Behind is a Federal program that imposes a lot of unfunded mandates. I believe in national standardized testing to provide a tool to measure quality of the overall system- that which isn’t measured, can’t be improved (at least that’s what I learned in Stats 101 with Dr. Cleary at WSU long ago). The use of it to penalize schools that aren’t working with the same caliber of students- ie. poor districts vs wealthy districts- is a misguided idea. I have written extensively on ideas to improve the Dayton Public Schools on this site- and encourage you to look at them.
There are two areas I believe are critical to changing education in this country- laptops for all students, and sponsored Day Care/Head Start programs to make sure children start school properly prepared. As to how to pay for an improved education system nationally, I would like to see a flat rate Internet Sales tax on goods bought online- to be distributed per student, equally, nationally with a simplified collection system- not based on what State a company does business in, or where the buyer is. Eventually – this consumption tax, along with the proceeds of auction of public bandwidth would also provide national free wi-fi to students.
Homosexual Marriage: A hotbutton topic. I believe that our Constitution says all men are created equal. The bible says to love each other. The fact that some of us love people of the same sex- and others love people of the opposite sex, isn’t an area where Government should be imposing value judgements. Marriage is marriage, and love is love. If two people love each other, and want to make a formal commitment, I’m in full support. We need more love in this country and less hate.
Considering how flip Americans have become about heterosexual marriage- with a divorce rate that boggles my mind- the fact that anyone wants to get married and stay married is a home run in my book.
Abortion: I personally don’t like abortion- and my simple answer is, we should spend more time teaching planned parenthood and family planning- that’s SEX ED and CONDOMS and BIRTH CONTROL methods and trying to prevent unwanted pregnancy than fighting the practice of it. Abortion is a lousy form of birth control.
However, if a woman wants to have an abortion, I can’t think of one area that the government should have less say in than this. I fully support a womans right to choose- I just wish we’d have more choosing their partners and their forms of birth control before we get to the abortion issue.
Health Care: I support 100% coverage of all Americans- with the same access to health care granted to members of Congress. How we do it- well, that’s a pretty tough question. Single payer systems like Medicare and the VA seem to do a reasonable job- however there is always room for improvement.
My main complaint is the “Bookie” we use in this country to provide “Health Insurance” instead of “Health Care.” Imagine if we just paid doctors directly to take care of us- instead of paying the bookie to decide what we can be covered on and what we can’t? Considering we’re spending over 30% of our “Health Care” dollars on “Bookies” instead of on providers of “Health Care” I think we have a way already in place to solve the problem- cut out the middle man.
You left out the other hot button question: Assisted suicide. While I believe in the sanctity of life, I also believe in dignity in death. This is very personal to me. Katie Jones, my first true crush (in the third grade, no less) contracted MS at the age of 27. By 33 she had been living in a hospital bed, unable to feed herself, work, move, and eventually talk with ease. She was lucky to have a physician who helped her end her life according to her wishes. She didn’t want me to visit in her last months- because she wanted me to remember her how she was- a beautiful woman, who had worked her way through Ohio State law school- who always had a smile and a ton of energy.
I remember Katie that way. And, for her- I hope to give people the option to end their lives as they wish, without stigma, without criminal charges and without Government telling them that they can’t.
Excuse me while I shed a few tears.
I guess I should also cover the Death Penalty. Although I consider myself a peace candidate, and don’t like abortion, there are some instances where I believe the death penalty is appropriate instead of life in prison. (You can read some other thoughts on prison here). In the case of iron clad proof of murder, with absolute witnesses and no questions, I believe a jury of peers should have that option. I don’t see the use of keeping the likes of a Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy Jr. or Charlie Dalmer alive at our expense. Life is a privilege, as is living in a free and open society, those who choose to take another’s, should be willing to suffer the consequences.
I don’t know if those are the answers Bethany was looking for. But, they are mine.
Vote accordingly- although, I’m reminded of a question from my friend Dave Bowman in his podcast interview:
Q: What’s the difference between an ad campaign and a political campaign?
A: In an ad campaign, if we don’t tell the truth, we get sued. In a political campaign, you get elected.
These are my honest answers. Try getting the same from others.