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PLATFORM

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Less is More: I’m a Professor at Colorado Christian University.  After ten years working as a political scientist in China, a failing, increasingly authoritarian socialist state, I returned to Colorado in 2020 as some in our country hoped to build such a state here.  We can’t allow that.  In both Colorado and across our nation, taxes are too high, government intervention in our lives is too deep, national debt is too high, dependence on government is too great.  We need a return to the principles our nation was founded on, principles which made this nation the greatest in the world, principles such as pro-life, pro-fiscal responsibility, constitutional originalism, and a strong national defense.  Coloradans live in the greatest state in the world’s greatest nation.  Please join me as we seek to rescue our state and our nation from the failed utopian big-government, debt-inducing, growth-inhibiting, freedom-limiting policies of incumbent Senator Michael Bennett and President Joe Biden.  
LIST OF ISSUES
Pro-strong national defense (like Reagan)

My training and professional expertise are in international relations and national security, with significant experience working on security issues concerning China, Russia, North Korea, and US foreign policy in East Asia.  I advocate a strong national defense and strong military policy along the lines of Ronald Reagan’s “peace through strength.”  Weakness invites aggression, particularly in the case of the United States, which is the most powerful nation on earth and plays the role of global backstop as it regards stability, peace, prosperity and security.  If the US is not there to stand up to tyranny and injustice, to uphold international order, the world is worse off.  The US must stand up to the increasingly aggressive policies of China’s Communist Party and Russia’s Putin in particular, and we will need a strong military and strong foreign policy to do so.  

Moreover, Colorado is home to much of the nation’s core defense establishment facilities and key parts of the military industrial complex.  Colorado plays an outsize role in the nation’s defense and we need representatives who understand the issues, who will fight to protect Colorado’s assets, and will (as an important example) fight to keep Space Command in Colorado (not Alabama, where it is slated to be moved).  We must also do what we can to better support our veterans, for this impacts many in Colorado who’ve faithfully served their country.
 

Pro-life

Life begins at conception.  I am against abortion, period.  Abortion is the taking of human life, which (outside of law enforcement, self-defense, or national defense) is wrong whether from a legal, moral or faith-based perspective.  Even for rape and incest, I think it is wrong to in effect punish the child for the sins of the attacker and would counsel adoption if the mother does not want to keep the child.  For issues of danger to the mother’s life, as C. Everett Koop put it, “In thirty-five years of medicine I have never seen one case where abortion was necessary to save a mother's life.” Abortion, as conceived of today, presents us with a moral dilemma.  For example, if a pregnant woman is assaulted while walking in a park and the baby she is carrying dies, the perpetrator would rightly be charged with murder in most jurisdictions.  Yet the same woman could go to an abortion provider in most jurisdictions and have an abortion which would be considered perfectly acceptable.  In one case taking the baby’s life is considered murder, yet in another, it is considered acceptable.  This is a problem.  Pregnancy termination has been framed as a women’s rights issue.  The rights of women involved are fundamental, but they must be integrated with the rights of an unborn human to life.  We must find a better approach to the issue of unwanted pregnancy than at-will abortions at all stages of pregnancy, an approach that seeks to honor both the rights of pregnant women and the rights of the unborn child they carry.  

Pro-fiscal responsibility 

Unfortunately for the US, the Democrats love a big state and big state spending.  They put their faith not in individual excellence or entrepreneurial creativity and enterprise, but in socialist notions of statism, state control, and mandates.  In other words, they put their trust in the state, not in individual initiative.  This is not what made America great and, in fact, it threatens American greatness.  The Democrats’ financial overreach and mishandling of their fiscal responsibilities have endangered our nation’s present and future economic prosperity.  We must lower taxes, cut excess regulation, and undo the Democrats’ massive deficit spending, lest we suffocate our present economy and leave an enormous debt burden for our children’s children to repay.  The only way to do that is to put more fiscally responsible Republicans in office, people who understand that the true source of prosperity does not lay with the shackles of the state, but by unleashing individual enterprise.  

Pro-small/limited government

Our Founders built this nation on a platform of small and limited government, which unleashes the forces of human potential like no other.  Today we are in danger of losing the freedoms that made this nation great because of the policies of Democrats and socialists who believe that a larger state role, a more deeply penetrating government, and higher taxes will cure all our ills and save our nation.  The Democrats’ opportunistic overreach on covid policy is a case in point, illustrating their statist, big-government approach to governance.  On the contrary, the solution lies in a Reagan-style return to small/limited government, less regulation of businesses and human activity in general.  As we can see with the Biden Administration at present, failing to follow this formula only leads to stifling of prosperity and economic growth, and to high prices, inflation, etc.

Pro-Business and Pro-Worker 

A successful business is good to its workers, and happy workers are good for business.  The left (socialists, communists, Marxists) creates a false dichotomy between labor and capital that we should reject.  Former President Trump succeeded in bringing workers back to the GOP and we should build on that success, for increasingly the Democratic Party is the party of anti-capitalist, socialist thinking.  We must fight against this trend and be ever vigilant, for the spectre of communism (and all the misery, suffering, and bloodshed it represents in history) lurks in our educational institutions, main-stream media, and increasingly in halls of power in this country.  

Pro-secure borders

The border policy under President Biden and Vice President Harris has been an unmitigated disaster.  They know that allowing more illegal immigrants into the United States increases their potential voter base and they are disingenuous in saying they take the problem of illegal immigration seriously.  America needs the wall, and local border-facing governments support it for the most part.  While welcoming legal immigrants, who have contributed so much to our national greatness and prosperity in history and will do so in the future, we must ensure that no rewards are provided for the bad behavior of law-breaking illegal immigrants, as is the case with the Democrats’ approach to our borders and immigration policies at present.

Supporting a Big Tent approach to conservative politics in Colorado to turn Colorado red once again

Let’s work to attract conservative Latino, Asian and Native Americans and others back to the GOP!  Let’s work to attract conservative black Americans back to the Party of Lincoln! Let’s work harder in urban, recently more blue areas, to bring some of these voters over to the Republican party.  In line with an appeal to business as well as workers, let’s work to attract more workers back to the Republican Party.  Let’s advocate a more Libertarian Republican Party to win back Colorado independents and libertarians as well.  Conservatives live in urban and rural areas, work in blue and white-collar vocations, consist of members of every race, ethnicity, and religion in our state and our nation.  We cannot turn Colorado red again without the support of this vast array of independent, libertarian, and conservative leaning individuals.  The dream of our founders was e pluribus unum —“out of many one,” and our diversity has always been a point of strength.  Conservatives of every stripe must work together to advance the principled and compassionate conservative values that made this country great and that remain our nation’s only hope for the future.           

Advocating election integrity

Americans are greatly concerned with election integrity and I will do my best to ensure we have free and fair elections.  The November 2020 election was contested and many Americans have lost faith in the integrity of the election process in state and national elections.  This is an enormous problem for a democratic country like ours.  I will work to defend free and fair elections and ensure that states are the final arbiters of those elections, not the federal government.  I will also work hard to refute the Democrats’ argument that our attempts at election reforms are meant to suppress the vote.  Au contraire!  We want more people to vote – we just want to make sure voters are US citizens and voting is done according to the law.

Advocating strength in the face of Chinese, Russian, Iranian, North Korean, etc., intransigence  

I have professional expertise on national security and China, North Korea and Russia, etc., that will benefit Colorado and US national security.  The reach of China’s Communist Party (CCP) and countries like Russia are no longer simply the domain of the national security community.  The CCP is stealing American technology and know-how, and cheating Americans out of their hard-earned cash by selling counterfeit/fake products on American websites like Amazon as you read this.  China in particular has done damage to the American economy for decades.  Both China and Russia have attempted to manipulate the outcome of American elections in the past two elections.  While they have been unsuccessful in impacting the outcome of our elections thus far, we must be more vigilant against such incursions and the planting of damaging and divisive false narratives throughout our national information infrastructure.  All of this impacts Colorado and the entire nation, and we need strong leadership in Washington to take a tough stand on the CCP, Russia, and other adversarial actors around the world and right at home while advocating strengthened commitments to US alliances.                     

Pro-gun rights 

The Second Amendment of the US Constitution says, “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”  I am a member of the NRA and I believe we must abide by the Framers’ intention and protect the rights of law-abiding citizens to bear arms for purposes of sport and self-defense.  Taking away our second amendment rights will not put an end to crime and mass shootings.  It has been said, “guns do not kill people, people do.”  The sources of mass shootings are systemic, cultural, and spiritual in nature, and attempting to remove guns from American society will only make it easier for persons with evil intent to perpetrate evil than is the case now.  


In support of these points, I urge the reader to view the two short videos below of a Texas church shooting in 2019 wherein the shooter was taken down almost immediately by the church’s own armed security team members.  If this had happened in a church/jurisdiction where self-defense weapons were prohibited, one can only imagine the carnage the shooter would have caused.  
https://nypost.com/2019/12/29/texas-church-shooting-leaves-2-dead/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YiZ8zImNQo
 

Pro-family, traditional values

The traditional family is the foundation of our nation’s, any nation’s, national strength and prosperity.  Our present and future prosperity is rooted in the strength of our families.  While not denying the right of persons to love whom they choose and to be who they want to be, our nation’s policies and policy-makers must not undermine or penalize the traditional family.

Pro-school choice

School choice is an important right that must be preserved and must not be infringed upon by over-zealous advocates of big government and/or moral authoritarianism.  Parents have a right to educate their children as they see fit.  Government should not infringe upon the rights of parents to choose where their child goes to school, how their children are educated, whether or not they are exposed to problematic curricula like critical race theory (with its leftist/Marxist roots).  As taxpayers, parents that choose to homeschool their kids and parents that put their kids in private schools should be allocated their education tax dollars to use as they see fit for the benefit of their child.  As an example, In 2017, not a single student in 13 public high schools in Baltimore could do math at grade level (https://blackcommunitynews.com/larry-elder-yes-on-school-choice-but-it-requires-parental-involvement/). With results like this from Democrat-led, competition-quashing policies, no wonder that 35% of Baltimore public school teachers with school-age children sent those children to private schools.  In sharp contrast, note the success stories of Sahara Aden and the thousands of students like her, who benefitted from school choice policies: https://www.badgerinstitute.org/Commentary/School-choice-A-success-story.htm. With such contrasting results, school choice is clearly the best policy.          

Pro-free market/capitalism, anti-socialism 

Data show that capitalism is the greatest engine for prosperity the world has ever seen: between 1990 and 2010 alone, world poverty was cut in half (https://fee.org/articles/extreme-poverty-rates-plummet-under-capitalism/).  Capitalism is not evil.  Nor are wealth and profit.  These are leftist/Marxian narratives that have crept into our body politic (and academic institutions), and which threaten to undo decades of prosperity that our free-market capitalist system has brought us over the years.  Coupled with democracy and the rule of law (which holds both corporations and individuals accountable), capitalist, free market systems will continue to produce great prosperity, and will again (as they have in the past) lead to an “all boats rise” scenario.  This is the case in our country and around the world.  Even the communists in Beijing cannot deny the developmental power of capitalism and employ it in limited fashion, though they fear unleashing it completely, lest it undermine their totalitarian control.  We must not give up on the forces that made our country great, but must work to ensure that corporate tax rates are better than anywhere in the world so that we stay competitive, that we use tariffs only sparingly, and that we protect US businesses and technology against predatory practices and intellectual property infringements/theft at home and abroad.

Supporting environment-friendly policies for real people (not utopian schemes)

While it makes sense to advocate conservation and environment-friendly policies, we must reject utopian, statist, big government schemes that drive up oil/gas/electricity prices as is currently in vogue with the Democrats running our state and national governments.  Democratic policies of limiting fracking, closing down pipelines, and ending exploration for new fossil fuel reserves have driven energy costs through the roof in the past year.  This hurts real people, real families, and the economy, as we’ve all seen first-hand.  

Living in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Coloradans are rightly concerned about our environment.  We have much to cherish and protect in Colorado.  As we protect our environment, we must move carefully and sustainably, incentivizing private industry to go green, not seeking to achieve greener outcomes via government fiat as is the fashion on the left.  Yes to viable alternative, economically viable energy (solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, even nuclear), but no to policies inducing high oil/energy prices and to utopian schemes that hurt humans alive today.  Yes to electric cars, but no to dependency on Chinese batteries and solar panels.  For example, China controls 80-90% of global supplies of rare earths like lithium, nickel, and cobalt, which are needed to produced car batteries!  The US must be more proactive at exploiting sources in the US as well as getting more aggressive in sourcing in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, the world’s lead supplier of cobalt, where China dominates cobalt operations.  Republicans should advocate a pragmatic, well-thought-out, entrepreneurial, green future for real people, not for yet more big government programs.  This is good for both our state and our nation.
 

My own 4 Dimensions of Conservativism Sum up My Views
  1. Social Conservativism (traditional values/moral perspectives, pro-family, pro-life)

  2. Political/Philosophical Conservatism (small government, checks, and balances on power, decentralized    
    decisions, all based on a realist view of human nature) 

  3. Defense Conservativism (strong defense is imperative, based on a realist view of human nature)

  4. Fiscal Conservativism (small government, market primacy, maximum economic freedom = prosperity)

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