Principles Make Georgia Great

First United Methodist Church of Jonesboro, GAFaith comes first. The people of Georgia are a prayerful people. The freedom to worship in a manner of one’s choosing should be defended.

Families are the backbone of a strong nation and its communities. The best way to build strong families and communities is to provide economic and education opportunities so that families in every zip code thrive.

Individual rights were central to American Revolution and continue to shine as a beacon of liberty for all. Individual rights have been the cause which affected the American colonies’ separation from England, the end of slavery, universal suffrage, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Individual rights come from God as well as the laws of nature and no other source. Property rights are a form of individual rights. The US federal government cannot grant rights to individuals but can and should protect them. Such is the cornerstone of the United States as a nation as well as the moral character of its diverse citizens upon which all else depends.

Free enterprise and voluntary exchange which is its hallmark, are among the highest expressions of individual rights. Free enterprise has affected more prosperity and happiness for more people than any other economic form. Reducing regulations on businesses and individuals is the best way to grow the US economy and jobs.

Bailouts of banks or any private enterprise are not the proper role of government and should be opposed.

Trade is the best hope for mutual security and prosperity of all nations. Yet, the federal government is obligated to protect US citizens as well as their property and economic interests against harm. For these reasons, it is wise and beneficial for the nation and the state of Georgia to pursue a balanced approach to global trade which encourages free trade with nations of good will while holding bad actors accountable for their ignoble actions.

Savannah Port
Container ships load and unload at the container berths at the Georgia Ports Authority’s Garden City Terminal. (Georgia Ports Authority/Stephen B. Morton)

Global travel and trade with other nations are in the interest of the US. And, given their close link in economy and jobs with the Hartsfield/Jackson International Airport, the Savannah Port Authority, and agriculture, the communities in Georgia are directly impacted by US’s international travel policies. It is in the interest of the nation and Georgia to support travel policies which enable peaceful travel and trade with other nations while protecting US citizens and their property.

Legal immigration enriches our nation while illegal immigration impoverishes it. Many legal immigrants living in Georgia are recently naturalized citizens whom we welcome to our communities as our neighbors, co-workers, and friends. The US should maintain and incrementally improve its current process for legal immigration for individuals who obey our laws and wish to be US citizens. Existing immigration laws should be enforced and our national borders should be protected. Furthermore, worker visas should not be administered in a way that disadvantages US workers.

Human rights abuses threaten the universal dignity of human life as well as US’s national interests. The US should join other civilized nations to condemn terrorism, murder, mutilation, human trafficking, slavery, piracy, theft, and other human rights abuses.  The US should also act in concert with other civilized nations to end human rights abuses.

The environment affects the entire planet and is vital to all its inhabitants. Available evidence suggests that there is a trend in global warming linked to industrialization. Private ownership by individuals is often the best way to ensure good stewardship of natural resources. The US should pursue international agreements to curb global warming which do not impose undue restrictions on the economy, sovereignty, or finances of the US, its citizens, or its allies.

Foreign wars must end. Ceaseless wars in the Middle East have failed to achieve regional stability and have proven to be expensive in both American lives as well as tax-payer money. The US defense policy should prioritize the sovereignty of the US and its allies, security of its citizens, and peaceful trade with other nations. But, it should also seek to reduce over time the number of US military bases in the interiors of other nations.

Veteran heroes should be honored with access to quality medical and mental health care for injuries sustained in defense of the US. To honor their sacrifice, the root cause of veterans’ healthcare needs must also be addressed by ending US involvement in ceaseless foreign wars. As the son of a military family, Travis understands the importance of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to provide services to our veteran heroes. To him it is personal as every member of his immediate family has received healthcare from a VHA hospital.

Healthcare costs continue to rise at an alarming rate and is impacting the financial welfare of American families. Healthcare will need continuous and bi-partisan reform so that all Americans can obtain affordable services. A full repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, is unlikely. Regardless of which version of healthcare reform is ultimately adopted further reforms are necessary to lower costs. Specific measures are needed to lower cost, protect patients, and deregulate healthcare.

Federal taxes are burdensome on businesses and individuals. Tax reform measures are needed in order to simplify tax filing, force a balanced budget, reduce the national debt, and are maintain a regressive tax policy.

National debt is one of the more serious threats to the US’s long term stability and the liberty of its citizens. Legislation should be crafted and proposed that will force a balanced budget, the gradual reduction of national debt, and ultimately, a return to fiscal responsibility.

Gun rights are the rights of the people and shall not be infringed. Preserving individual rights requires the 2nd Amendment is preserved.