· On this page, you'll find a brief look at my take regarding several important political issues. More on the way.
I'm unapologetically Pro-Life and believe we need to ensure no taxpayer dollars ever go to fund such a heinous act. Nothing says it better than our Pledge of Allegiance: “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” born and unborn. The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence says we have "inalienable rights" amongst these are “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” before we can exercise our liberty and pursue that which makes us happy, we must first be allowed to be born. Also, we need to encourage adoption and work to make adopting within Tennessee and the United States easier and less costly.
Americanism & Family
This is an area we can't afford to fail, we must create a culture of hope and optimism, by believing our best days aren’t behind us. President Reagan described America as a “Shining City on the Hill,” I believe it's still within sight, we must only lift our heads. We must put our great American families first and instill the American values that our founding fathers fought so hard to achieve for this country and generations to come. To do this, we need to get back to the basics of American culture and instill the watchwords “duty, honor, and country” throughout society. We are still exceptional people who believe in hard work and strong family values, by restoring faith and optimism in America, we can ensure that our youth have a strong foundation to succeed.
Budget, Deficits, and National Debt
The Federal government wastes Trillions of our hard-earned dollars and has borrowed and squandered Trillions more. We should all work to ensure that Tennessee doesn’t become like Washington, and continues to balance our budget and never kicks the can down the road.
Children & Youth Health
There are four areas of major concern, catastrophic illness, intellectual disabilities, immunization, and before and after-school care programs. Every child has the right to a good education and a safe place while parents work. More importantly, no family should have to bury a child due to an inability to pay mounting medical bills.
I first swore an oath to the Constitution at the age of 18 while still a senior in high school when I entered the Army's Delayed Entry Program and have sworn that same oath on many other occasions, in the military and outside. My oath(s) have no expiration date and they never will. When it comes to the Bill of Rights, of particular importance are the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Amendments.
1st Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
To me the 1st Amendment is clear, and I will fight to ensure that Americans are never deprived of these all-too-important rights. Sadly religion, especially Christianity has been under assault for decades, and as Americans, we have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion, which means a person is free to exercise their religion as they see fit, and those who disagree don’t have the right to shut them down. Additionally, every citizen has a right to have their grievances heard and taken seriously and should never be hindered in any way. Also, students on our nation's college campuses should never have their ability to express their political views shut down by being forced into a "free speech zone" as every place on campus should be a “free speech zone.”
2nd Amendment: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
As the saying goes, “Without the 2nd Amendment, there wouldn’t be a 1st Amendment” which means the 2nd Amendment is not something that can be thrown away or taken for granted. I promise that I will advocate for the rights of law-abiding citizens including our Military Veterans, who can keep and bear arms. Additionally, I’ll never support nor vote for any gun legislation such as “Red Flag Laws” or any other legislation that hinders law-abiding citizens from legally purchasing, owning, transporting, or using firearms and ammunition. We have a background check system in place, but like many things, the government has dropped the ball and failed our fellow citizens, our students, and our communities. I say we review those policies and initiatives to reduce the likelihood of future gun crimes but hindering law-abiding citizens does nothing to make society safer, in fact, it makes it less safe.
4th Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.”
This is simple, as Americans, we're innocent until proven guilty and not the other way around. The 4th Amendment is threatened so if "Red Flag Laws", “Civil Asset Forfeiture” and other bad legislation are allowed to continue to be a weapon for governments and law enforcement to use at will.
5th Amendment: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
We need to raise the bar when it comes to proving that a greater public need exists when it comes to Eminent Domain. We also, need to ensure the property owner is compensated at the true market value plus any expenses associated with moving as well as purchasing or renting a new home. Additionally, "Red Flag Laws" fly in the face of the 5th Amendment as well.
6th Amendment: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”
We've seen over the past three-plus years how the government can be weaponized against the citizens as evidenced by how President Trump was targeted. We've also seen how easily the FISA Courts can be used to attack private American citizens. We need to institute protections at the State level to ensure Tennesseans are protected against FISA Court and "USA Patriot Act" abuse and others like it. The 6th Amendment is another amendment in which "Red Flag Laws" fly in the face of.
8th Amendment: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”
When it comes to many Americans who wish to get on the right side of the law, many times they become hopelessly entangled in the criminal justice system because of mounting fines, this must be addressed as it only costs the American taxpayers in the long run. When it comes to Bail Reform, I think our judges get it right, I believe the bail should always fit the crime. We don’t want to end up like New York and the problems they’re facing with their ridiculous “Bail Reform” measures.
9th Amendment: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
The second paragraph of the Bill of Rights outlines our “Inalienable Rights” which are rights that come from God, these rights are defined as “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” At the same time, the Constitution restrains our government, yet our government, especially in Washington has taken it upon their selves to callously disregard this fact.
10th Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
Tennessee needs to step up and disregard overreaching Federal laws and pass legislation that makes sense to us and push back against the bloated government in Washington.
Economy & Trade
The most efficient market is a free and fair market, where government interference is minimal. All Tennesseans and Americans should have the freedom to decide, in other words, we need to embrace capitalism, which increases competition, raises quality, lowers cost, and increases jobs. Additionally, we need to commit ourselves to advancing free and fair-trade policies, for American workers to benefit in national and international markets. Remember, we declared our independence because our trade was stifled by a King. We have some of the best and brightest innovators in the United States, and there’s an entire global market wanting the goods and technology we produce.
Quality education starts by having effective and common-sense policies that guide not dictate. The saying “the government nearest the people governs best” rings true when it comes to education, which is why we need to bring authority back to states and our local boards of education by fighting back against the Federal Department of Education and pushing for its elimination.
Academic excellence starts by hiring and retaining the best educators not keeping ones that are failing their students, to do this we start by providing great pay and benefits. We also need to eliminate the need for teachers to teach to a test as this does nothing to help children learn. We need to empower parents as every child has the right to have a good education and a safe learning environment that’s free from politics and indoctrination.
We need to work to lower College/University costs and improve higher education by expanding options. Also, college campuses should be open to debate and discussion, all ideas and thoughts should be welcome and never shut down by any group. Administrators shouldn’t be allowed to bar one group or speaker because they lean one way or the other politically, students and student groups have the absolute right to “Free Speech,” there should never be a small area termed “free speech zones” as every place on campus should be a free speech zone.
Immigration & Border Security
Like many Americans and Tennesseans, I support building and maintaining a wall on our Southern border. I also support and stand with the men and women who defend our battered borders with the best training and the best resources to do their job. After all, a nation that fails to protect its borders is one that is failing to protect its people. In other words, we must protect our borders to protect our citizens. We need to solve the problems that stem from having open borders, sanctuary cities, and sanctuary states, as well as all the related problems such as human trafficking, illegal drugs, guns, gangs, and the issues caused by having cheap undocumented labor. Congress and the Executive Branch must implement practical solutions to America’s broken immigration system and porous borders. In fact, they should seek a common-sense solution instead of taking a do-nothing approach. Without serious changes, the illegal population will only grow and the burden on the American taxpayer will increase. On the other hand, with a few pieces of legislation, a willing Congress working with a willing Presidential Administration can enact responsible immigration reform and finally achieve comprehensive immigration reform.
I’m pro-Israel! The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 was overwhelmingly passed by the 104th Congress on October 23rd, 1995, and became law on November 8th, 1995, my senior year of high school. It took the U.S. 22 years, 6 months, and 7 days to finally move our embassy to Jerusalem and I'm glad we finally got it done. I've served in the Middle East and have been to the region many times in my 20-year military career and I'll always stand with Israel, our staunchest ally in that region. Moving the Embassy to Jerusalem was one of President Trump's campaign promises and I'm glad he delivered on it.
Law & Order
First and foremost, the Leftists in this country for too long have attacked the “Men and women in “Blue” who protect us daily here at home. They’ve extended their identity politics to encompass our nation’s law enforcement professionals, this needs to end, it only hurts the brave men and women who are sworn to protect us and thus hurts the communities they serve. The Police aren’t the enemy, the left has done those they purport to serve a true disservice and they should be held liable for the carnage they’ve caused as a result, just look at Chicago and New York.
National & Homeland Security
Our nation’s armed forces including the National Guard and our States Homeland Security elements must be ready to act anytime and anywhere in the State and world if called upon, especially where our vital national interests are threatened, this includes meeting our commitments to our allies and responding to natural disasters. This starts by equipping our Armed Forces by giving our military leaders the resources they need to keep us safe and maintain our freedoms. I've served 20 years and 29 days in the U.S. Army and retired in 2016, I've held numerous leadership positions, worked closely with the Department of Homeland Security and federal law enforcement agencies, and have served overseas on numerous occasions which includes serving the White House and the Vice President in a Diplomatic capacity when traveling abroad as well as having served multiple combat tours. The bottom line, this is an area I have a lot of experience in.
We must simplify the tax code and end class warfare and corporate welfare. We truly need to fundamentally overhaul the tax system, and work to alleviate the harm caused by the current tax system, reforming the tax codes will significantly strengthen the economy and grow the shrinking middle class. The current tax system significantly disadvantages the working poor, the middle class, and our nation’s small business owners. Real tax reform when done correctly will go a long way in restoring prosperity, increasing jobs, and growing wages. We need to alleviate the burdens placed on the folks trying to give themselves and their families a fighting chance. For decades, we’ve heard Congress rail that something needs to be done, but if something were done it would be one less thing to campaign on. Congress has failed us, I say congressional leaders (sarcasm intended) need to work on tax reform and make it a priority, as it's a priority for hundreds of millions of Americans both on the left and right, but sadly for decades we’ve seen little effort from Congress. I understand it’s a complicated issue, but simply saying it’s complicated isn’t an excuse, “We the People” demand action, if we want to grow the economy and middle class, and create good-paying jobs this is an area that needs to be at the forefront.
One major concern from voters is the issues caused by career politicians at all levels, this is why I've come to support term limits.
In the Army, we had what is called the “Army Values” and the acronym is LeaDeRSHIP, which stands for “Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity & Personal Courage” or in other words “Leadership.” These are values I apply to every aspect of my life, every day.
They served us, now we need to serve them, let’s ensure our Veterans get all the care and benefits they've earned, need, and deserve. We need to work to reduce Veteran suicide, by ensuring they can get the physical and mental care they need. Additionally, protecting Veteran educational benefits is very important to me, I used the “G.I. Bill” to help me complete my education as have countless other Veterans. As I always say, "An educated public is an employable public" and the more Veterans we can help get a degree or technical training the better off our nation will be. We can and must do better, I’m personally invested in this issue as a Veteran of more than 20 years of service in the U.S. Army and I’m enrolled in VA Healthcare.