by Michael Halliday
At the upcoming debates between JD Hayworth, John McCain and Jim Deakin on June 16th in Phoenix and the17th in Tucson, Republican Senatorial hopeful Deakin says he is “…pleased to be part of the American experience and look forward to the opportunity of exposing the records of two entrenched politicians.” Sounds promising, but coming from an Ivory Tower position of invincible inexperience; hence, no real appreciable record with which we can contrast him to the other candidates, I’m more than a little interested in what his proposed real-world solutions are to Arizona’s spiraling list of intractable problems.
So, how do we realistically assess him? We go with what we know.
What we do have is a record of Jim’s promises and words to describe his positions on several issues. So, let’s focus on what he’s telling us he’s about. Number one on his list, from his own campaign website is: “Protect Freedom.” Sounds good on the face of it. Who doesn’t want to protect freedom? Jim then goes on to say, under this rubric, “Government regulation used to control individual freedom and liberty must be stopped.” Then, “Government oversight to protect individual freedom and liberty is required.”
Sounds OK at first blush; however, aren’t regulation and oversight the same thing? Or, can you have one without the other? What oversight, specifically? What regulation, specifically? Who, what, why, where, when, how? In other words, nice glittering generalities but no meat or substance to Jim’s proposal is given. However, it sounds populist, distinctly Tea Partyish in flavor, and rather appealing to our raw emotions.
Under the heading “Protect Freedom,” Jim reiteratively paints with a broad brush and asserts two mutually exclusive goals that seem to contradict one another: “win against terrorism” and “end the Patriot Act.” Isn’t the primary goal of the Patriot Act to aid us in the war against terrorism? Again, on the face of it, it sounds good. However, I ask once more “who, what, where, why, when, how?” But at the core of it, this is what bothers me. Jim says he wants to win against terrorism (we all do) but then seemingly takes the reckless, liberal ACLU position of ending the Patriot Act altogether.
Does Mr. Deakin want to end the whole Patriot Act or only those portions that potentially infringe upon the rights of US citizens? Are there any good aspects to the act? Once again, it sounds like he’s trying to have his cake, “Government regulation…must be stopped” and eat it too, “Government oversight…is required.” Would someone please open the window of reality and let in a fresh draft of common sense because I think Jim’s been breathing the rarified hot air of empty rhetoric and sloganeering a little too long; hence, he sounds a bit light headed, and possibly out of touch with reality.
Let’s focus in a little on the Patriot Act that Jim, along with the ultra-liberal ACLU, wants to put an end to because it’s not often that you see such a destructive organization siding with a conservative candidate of Jim’s pedigree, or should I say, one having Jim’s lack of legislative experience.
There are actually parts of the Patriot Act that are good. What we don’t need is excessive fear mongering, either for or against the Patriot Act, simply to gain votes. Terrorism is a much more serious subject than that!
Some good points of the Patriot Act are:
- It prohibits Aliens who commit money laundering from entering the U.S.
- It provides grants to first responders to help respond to and prevent terrorism.
- It provides airlines the names of suspected terrorists before they board flights.
- It prohibits any investigations on citizens who are carrying out activities protected by the First Amendment.
- It provides for the enforcement of trade sanctions against communist North Korea and Taliban controlled Afghanistan.
- It provides for the much-needed employment of foreign translators for the FBI.
- An official or employee of the government who acts corruptly — as well as the person who induces the corrupt act — in the carrying out of their official duties is subject to being fined.
- Aliens, and their families — who are part of or representatives of a foreign organization, or any group who endorses acts of terrorism — are prevented from entering the U.S.
So, you see, to the authentic conservative mind, there are some positive aspects of the Patriot Act. However, it’s much more convenient, and intellectually lazy, to just write the whole Patriot Act off as a further step toward the implementation of the New World Order, rather than to examine its positive, security-enhancing effects. I have my own personal objections to parts of the Patriot Act, as do most patriotic Americans, but maturity, experience and a solid grasp of the issues dictates that I not be so irresponsible as to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Jim says, “end the Fed.” That’s nice. And what to you propose to replace it with? Nothing? Does the Fed provide any good functions or are they all bad? Would you rather that we turned the printing of money over to an out of control Congress? “Balance the Federal Budget.” Again, how?
Jim seems adept, at pointing out a lot of problems while offering little in the way of practical solutions. Perhaps he’s bitten off a little more than he can chew. Maybe he will make his positions a little more clear on what he’s going to do, and how he’s going to do it, rather than simply attacking the opposition. Or, as one political blogger so aptly put it, “Please afford us an understanding of why you are a good option.”