A few hours ago, I finished up the first debate of the general election: a Candidates’ Forum hosted by the Northern Virginia Tea Party in Ashburn.
Today’s debate cast the decision we’ll have this November in a very stark light. We have three choices:
1) Frank Wolf, a 30-year incumbent who can’t be bothered to show up for campaign debates. The Republican nominee was busy dodging the tough issues, and wouldn’t join us today to talk about his ideas. Handily, his decades-long record allows us to form reasonable conclusions about what he might have said: had he joined us, he would have said “no” to almost any policy with a hope of improving our economic outlook.
2) Bill Redpath, a third-party candidate who thinks, among other things, that there are “some benefits to global warming” and that the pending environmental catastrophe is actually just a “minor problem.” Bill wants to eliminate the Department of Education and endorses a plan that would privatize Social Security . Can you imagine what would have happened if America’s retirement savings had been tied to the destructive Wall St. manipulations that almost sunk our economy in 2008? Finally, Bill supports a deficit reduction “plan” that will cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and functionally destroy Medicare, SCHIP, Medicaid, and Social Security, all without actually reducing the deficit.
3) Jeff Barnett. I’m a proven military and business leader with a lifetime of service. I’m going to promote investment in renewable energy, grow the next generation of jobs, preserve the strength of Social Security, and draw down deficit spending the correct way: with a combination of trimming spending, increasing revenue, and growing the economy.
It’s easy to call for spending cuts. It’s more difficult to identify how you’ll meet the important needs the threatened programs serve. One of my opponents didn’t show up today, and the other opted for the recitation of talking points instead of offering meaningful solutions. Frank Wolf and Bill Redpath, though they have different ideas, share a common philosophy of governance, and it can be summarized in a single word: “No.”
The plans my opponents have presented, if enacted, would be disastrous for America. Mr. Wolf and Mr. Redpath support changes that would abdicate many of our most important responsibilities: to our children, to our environment, and to our future.
The choice for the 10th District is clear. I’ve never been more excited for this race.
I want to thank the Northern Virginia Tea Party for organizing today’s debate. The tea party and I have very fundamental disagreements about the government’s role in society. Despite the strength of that disagreement, I am pleased to say that today’s discourse was characterized by civility from all involved.