As a soldier, I was trained and served to preserve our rights and protect our freedoms — to uphold the Constitution above all else. I have shaped my life and my principles around the belief that we should be free to make our own choices and not live under threat or fear.
I have seen firsthand how the freedoms that we may take for granted can impact our lives when they are gone — but also when they are truly realized. I know what it is like to live in fear of the next medical bill or getting sick. I have been to countries where governments turn on their people and neighbors slaughter each other over race, religion, and politics.
I believe in a government by the people and for the people. We must have leaders that listen to the people that elect them because they are the ones living with those decisions. Decades of being told who to blame for our troubles or why we need to live in fear has not left us better off. I seek a path that will raise people up, show them how we can succeed in America, and defends their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
We must restore our rights as individuals to be free and live with security and opportunity. We will restore our right to Privacy and recognize it as fundamental. We will affirm that we are afforded the opportunity to succeed and build a life for ourselves and our families.
While we spend trillions of dollars in foreign conflicts that have dragged on for decades, we have seen our quality of life go down living here in America.
We have watched as our jobs were shipped overseas and our hospitals close. We see our costs for everything from a cart at the grocery store to critical medications and health care soar — all while we are told to make do with less.
We must reconsider our national priorities so that we are ensuring that the America we are fighting to protect is not one where we are unable to live free, with peace, and hope for the future.
Our country saw the greatest economic boom ever witnessed in history after World War II. This was in no small part because we built some of the greatest infrastructure ever envisioned. Our cities soared, and we made it possible to make things 1000 miles away and have them in your hand within days. But now that infrastructure is crumbling and billions of dollars behind in neglected care.
Infrastructure means jobs — building the critical networks we need, and it means having the water systems, electrical grid, roads, rails, transit hubs, and high-speed data that makes our economy worth investing in. We need to stop relying on local governments to beg, borrow, and give away tax credits hoping to attract business. This is a national priority, and it is a matter of national security. We must have the best infrastructure in the world to compete.
Life, as stated within our founding documents, is an inalienable right. One cannot have life without health and access to the care that assures it. Healthcare is a service that should be provided for by the public and by the public.
Public health and a healthy community are essential not just to our ability to compete and succeed economically — but to the very security of the nation. History has shown that healthcare does not operate within normal market parameters. Competition only exists within the insurance marketplace. A patient does not get to choose their care when they are in a car accident or when they are born with a congenital disease. Americans pay double what other developed countries spend on healthcare, yet we are sicker and have higher rates of chronic disease. Expanding the public option to include all Americans is an economically logical and socially just move that will benefit all.
Americans should have the choice to purchase private insurance if they want more, and they should never be left without coverage. Americans should not be left choosing between health insurance with deductibles that they can never afford or medications they cannot risk being without. No one should be forced to choose between food and care.
Any failure of our education system ripples throughout our country and has dire consequences. We must go back to why we have invested in education as a critical part of who we are as Americans. Every child must have an equal chance to achieve greatness, and that starts in the classroom — and we must make that investment as a matter of national interest.
Any commentary on education must include teachers and the people that run our schools. We owe them an apology. We have underpaid them, neglected their retirement, and their concerns. While doing so, we have added more regulation, more expectations, and made them social workers along with teachers.
Having the best schools means having the best teachers, aides, support staff, and school leadership. Building them up, paying them fairly, and not making them be all things must be part of our new education priorities.
There is more to Justice Reform than what happens in our courts and with our law enforcement. There is ensuring that our neighbors are free to live their lives without fear of discrimination and retaliation. Individuals own their bodies and have rights over them that other individuals, groups, and governments may not violate. We must restore these rights to self-determination and give people back the ability to live their lives as we intended rather than how we have behaved in practice.
I embrace the concept that all people are born with inherent rights. I condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant. Our government should neither deny nor abridge any individual’s human rights based upon sex, wealth, ethnicity, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference, or sexual orientation. Members of private organizations retain their rights to set whatever standards of association they deem appropriate, and individuals are free to respond with ostracism and public shaming. Organizations that engage in commerce are subject to the rules of the land to include anti-discriminatory laws. The pursuit of prosperity and property are integral to the creation and passing of generational wealth. When those rights are infringed poverty and dependency ensue. It is incumbent upon the public to assure those rights are protected.
Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals, be that marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration, or military service laws. Consenting adults should be free to choose their sexual practices and personal relationships.
We must see this as a fundamental issue that when we interfere, we create problems that cascade and create poverty, homelessness, mental health crises, violence, and fear. We can do better — we will do better.
The progress we are making in our justice system must continue. We must restore the Department of Justice’s work to be the watchdog over our local systems and ensure fairness and our civil rights. We must continue to examine how we can do better to protect our communities and our first responders who serve them. Now is the time to continue progress on multiple fronts:
Just as importantly, we must work to restore the trust between our law enforcement and the people they serve. Every day that we see violence and anger spilling over is another day when we have parents and families afraid that their loved ones are going to leave and not come home. This is unacceptable — we must do more to rebuild our communities with Law Enforcement as a critical part of that process.
Our economy cannot be based on the short term, race to the bottom strategies. When we allow our manufacturing, our infrastructure, our energy markets, and our labor force to be undermined solely by next quarter’s earnings report, we have seen how that only hurts our communities.
Our government must do more to protect our farmers, our inventors, and our producers so that we are not undercut by international interests trying to take our markets and our creativity, but lock us out of their economies. We must move away from simply seeking open trade to Fair Trade:
We have seen how to reclaim our position as the global economic leader — and American workers can compete with any market anywhere. Now is the time to remember the pride of Made in America.