Born of evangelical, Republican parents, I was raised in Sterling Heights, Michigan. In 1995, I went to James Madison College, inside of Michigan State—Go Green. My major, Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy, made me more curious about American government. I voted for Dole in 1996 and W. Bush in 2000 (and for McCain in the primary). But I wasn’t a “party member,” even after having worked for Republican State Representative Caul my senior year. Since 1995, I have thought of myself as an independent who, if forced to run for office, would run as a Republican. In 2008 I voted for Obama. In 2012, I picked up my six-year-old daughter, gave her the pencil, and let her choose.
A political candidate makes two commitments: the first to the people, the second to the party. Strong candidates are congruent, or, said differently, a good candidate will have the same message for the people and the party, and go about implementing the platform in agreement with both the party and the people. For example, I favor economic gardening, and I think it should be expanded. Have you heard of it?
I would affiliate with the Republicans because my message to the people will be most likely captured by the Republican Party. Basically, I believe in God, capitalism, and good governance. Economic gardening is good governance (see here, page 22). Capitalism, based on Locke’s meaning that people have a fundamental right to property, does solve many problems without government’s help. But capitalism isn’t going to maintain roads because roads are a public good. And no one believes that local governments should privatize the police force. Yes, we designate government to solve many collective action problems, especially the protection of our blessed country.
And we must also protect our children’s future. Real capitalism requires that everyone have a fair chance to develop and succeed. As a Republican, I will advocate more efficiency in education and higher education. On the one hand, no kid should be in a school that Average Joe would feel is dishonorable to his or her basic sense of justice. And we must rapidly reduce the chance that our brightest are not attending college due to financial costs. The people have been making great investments in higher education and workforce development. While I agree that Obama’s student loan program is an improvement, future investment into education should do more to link job growth skills needed with high schools certifications. Every student should have the information to become his or her potential every step of the way. This is a promise we make as a united people.
Teaching political science (2006-2013) allowed for countless conversations about politics. In general, Republicans see a moral hazard in governmental interference in capitalism. Rather a non-profit run a hospital or a school than the government. I certainly don’t think that healthcare should have for-profit institutions in its structure, but much lee-way should be provided for costs when it comes to the non-profit’s investments into research and development—even paying for promising kids to go to college. The government does have a role in creating new technology and educational endeavors, and successful endeavors should be released to either non-profits or for-profit industries at the earliest convenience.
As Americans, we expect that tomorrow will be better than today. This is because we believe in bettering our own place through freedom. The government has no right to infringe upon our responsibility to better ourselves, and therefore bettering our community. This is our goal. This is our responsibility. All people have a right to life, liberty, and property–to freedom and happiness. Today, I believe that our government should recognize Gay marriage, and that no government should disenfranchise felons after released from jail. In both cases, the government is labeling these groups as second-class citizens. No one in America should ever be a second-class citizen.
Good governance is difficult, but we are half-way there. For example, unemployment benefits really work, but people on unemployment should do community service (8 hours the first month, 20 hours each additional month). And if the recipient chooses not to complete the community service, then the government would reduce the payoff amount. The cost-benefit savings will be good. The unemployed will be doing a service for being paid, and this would be a good place to recruit people for workforce development. This would mean increasing the bureaucracy, even though the Court system already has a list of community service places. Perhaps in time a non-profit would do this work. As for now, this is an issue of good governance.
Yes. I believe in God, capitalism, and good governance.