Solutions don’t come from political parties, they come from people. I am determined to take the partisanship we see today out of politics, replacing anger and hostility with insight and acceptance, so we can see growth occur economically, environmentally, and socially. We can achieve more by having legislators from all points on the political spectrum that listen to, respect, and acknowledge each other, instead of point fingers, place blame, and fight for power. The infrastructure for our success is in place, we only need to relearn how to use it for everyone’s benefit. I talk about some of the issues I believe we can use this approach on below. While there are many issues that are important to us all, there are a few that stand out above the rest due to their direct impact on us and their indirect influence on so many other issues. These issues are the economy, the environment, and healthcare.
The economy is a vast and complex topic, and I believe there is too much emphasis on growth, and not enough on stability. When I talk about the economy I’m talking about the employees, the employers, the taxes and the flow of money throughout our states and country. Basically, the economy is the relationship between all of us. It reflects how we make decisions, what our priorities are, and how we value each other. It’s this physiology which largely determines the stability of where we live, the size and effectiveness of the government, and overall happiness which people feel.
When people struggle in the most basic desire of providing for themselves and their families it reflects the failure of the governing institution that is in place. It is not the government’s role to provide for these citizens, but it is their role to provide the rules and landscape which the individuals and businesses either fail or succeed. To reach a state where more people are able to provide for themselves without the aid of the government we need to reevaluate the rules of the game.
The 1st District is full of small cities and towns. Their future largely depends on the success of the small businesses in these communities. Part of this involves looking at the tax code for small businesses and part of this involves recognizing the importance that small business plays in stabilizing communities. When you have successful, stable small-businesses with happy employees, making enough to provide for their families, you have the foundation of a sustainable community. This defines the 1st District. If we are worried about our economic future we need to create an atmosphere of stability and choice where our children and grandchildren can have a future of their own. Stopping the brain-drain in our district, and districts like ours across the country, is a serious matter, but one where solutions are achievable.
A growing global-economy, one where there are genuine fears of job loss due to automation or outsourcing, is a reality we face right now. Fighting it will only go so far. Solutions for this unique situation can be difficult to visualize, but I believe we are in a solid position to face it. Fighting globalization is a losing battle, so instead we need to embrace it by focusing our efforts locally. By creating stable and sustainable small cities and towns we can alter the landscape of globalization, instead of fighting to stop it.
For some reason the importance of this issue it debated, but it shouldn’t be. We need the planet. We need to take care of it. It’s that simple. I've heard so many politicians say this isn't a partisan issue, but if that were the case we would be well on our way to solving it by now. There are many ways we can begin to address this issue, but there is no single approach or answer that will solve all the problems we are facing and will face. The first hurdle we must overcome is reaching a consensus on the seriousness of this issue. Until we accomplish that goal we will continue fighting with each other and achieve nothing. The importance of working together on this and recognizing the importance of how we proceed cannot be understated. This has to be something that we do together.
Technology can help us error correct to some extent, but the major change that has to occur is how we proceed in making decisions about our future. Our norms have to be adjusted to account for our impact on the environment and climate. Technology can be used to get us so far, but we cannot rely on it to fix all of our mistakes. If we don’t take responsibility for what we do, we will continue to make mistakes in the belief that technology will continue to fix them for us. It’s not sustainable. We need to be accountable for our actions, past, present and future.
I want to take a holistic approach to improving our relationship with the environment; from addressing climate change, to evaluating our transportation infrastructure, to exploring new and beneficial technologies, to encouraging innovations and support for local farming.
This is also an issue that will define who we are as a country, as a people. A leader doesn't wait to see what others are doing. A leader doesn't feel the water before jumping in, A leader is the one who is unafraid to take that first step. They admit their faults and errors, but remain undeterred in their trek forward. They are not afraid of adversity, or a challenge, and will never take the easy path if it means doing the wrong thing. We need to ask ourselves who we are. Are we a leader in this world, or have we given up that title? We cannot claim to be a leader if fail to take the reins on one of the most important issues any of us will ever face. There should be no kicking the can down the road, downplaying the importance of it, or taking half measures as a means to solve the issue.
There are few things that can impact an individual and their family’s life more than unplanned medical expenses. The ever-rising costs of healthcare in the US are a bane to much of the population and a black eye for our development as a country striving to become better. I’ve yet to see or hear of a person or family who has not needed medical assistance at some point in their life. I can’t recall meeting someone who has not had a friend or family member been touched by cancer. Of all the people I know, not one of them has ever expressed how inexpensive or reasonable healthcare was, regardless of whether or not they were lucky enough to have health insurance. I have been fortunate enough to have lived this long without having suffered a traumatic event or been diagnosed with something that could ruin me financially. Many people aren't that lucky.
I realize we have varying opinions on this subject, but what is not an opinion is that every one of us needs medical attention during our life. We seek healthcare at our most desperate moments, not our best. We need it when we are sick, not healthy, injured, not strong, when we are under attack from within, not when we are free from battle in our own bodies. Healthcare is not something citizens look to cheat the system of. It is not something that they can pocket and sell to someone else. If someone breaks their leg, the cast goes on their body to heal their bone. Someone getting chemotherapy is getting treated for their cancer. They cannot sell that to someone else. My point is that healthcare is for the benefit of those who receive it and for the benefit of the country as a whole. It is for the safety and security of every citizen of the United States. Those who don’t receive it are the ones who suffer. And as a country we should never be content with our own friends, family, and loved ones suffering when we can do something about it.
We would never accept a group of our own citizens being attacked by a foreign foe. We would never leave our men and women to fend for themselves in times of war if we could do anything about it. If we would defend every American from an enemy abroad, why would we not do so from an enemy within? The health of our citizens is as paramount to our stability and strength as a country as defense from a hostile power and proper education of our children are. This is an issue that needs to be addressed, and there are many things that can be done to improve this issue. It cannot be kicked down the road any more. Preventative medicine and healthy living should be taught and practiced to ensure we are at our healthiest, and that we are doing our part to avoid any unnecessary health problems. There are many things that preventative medicine and healthy living cannot stop. This is where we need leaders who will propose stable solutions, take practical approaches, and achieve sustainable outcomes.
Other issues will be added as the campaign continues, but these are the major ones that have the biggest impact on us in the 1st district.