Why Run As An Independent

“We are not building this country of ours for a day.  It is to last through the ages.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

Independent

Despite our Nation’s occasional missteps throughout history – with industrialized, race-based slavery being the most egregious – I still believe we live in the greatest country that has ever existed in the world because our SYSTEM of government was founded on time-tested principles which are intended to balance the competing demands espoused in the phrase “with liberty and justice for all”.  If these competing demands are effectively balanced through our political process, public policies, and most importantly, through our personal behavior, we can sustain the benefits and the blessings which emerge from this “more perfect union” for our posterity.  However, I am running as an independent candidate for US Congress because I believe our children and our grandchildren run the risk of missing out on these benefits and blessings because our political process has been hijacked by special interests and my sense of duty will not permit me to stand idly by while our Nation is being held for ransom.

Before continuing with this essay on what it means to be an independent candidate, a voter needs to understand a candidate’s political philosophy on public policy.  Is public policy intended to maximize “liberty for all” – with government taking a very “hand’s off” approach and letting our hard work (and sometimes preferable life circumstances) form the entire basis for the type of legislation that is proposed?  Or is public policy intended to maximize “equality of outcome” – which some interpret as “justice” (e.g., social justice, environmental justice, etc.) – for all?  If so, do we simply pass laws with the primary objective of ensuring that nobody is left too far behind?

I think you can see the foolishness behind adopting an “either or” approach to policy making; yet this is what the increasingly powerful and vocal fringe elements of our political parties have been pushing for over a decade – resulting in the loss of common sense, a common purpose, and common courtesy towards each other.  In the meantime, our entrenched, two-party political system – and their donors – have benefitted greatly by exacerbating divisions among us, while taking no responsibility for the toxic divisiveness the parties’ public policies and rhetoric have helped foster.

This is unsustainable – which is why voting for an independent candidate is so critical at this time in our Nation’s history.

With that in mind, my political philosophy is that public policy must be “sustainable” and “promote the general welfare” – which I view through the lens of National Security.  Policy positions which are informed by sustainability and national security are inherently fact-based and are aligned with time-tested principles which emphasize human dignity while balancing the need for liberty and justice for all.

Sustainability & Sustainable Policy

IN THE CONTEXT OF POLITICAL, SOCIAL, AND ECONOMIC SYSTEMS IS ALL ABOUT ENSURING WE AREN’T TAKING MORE THAN WE GIVE IN OUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, OUR COMMUNITIES, OUR NATION, OR OUR WORLD.  SUSTAINABILITY IN THE CONTEXT OF NATURAL SYSTEMS IS ALL ABOUT ENSURING WE AREN’T TAKING MORE THAN THE EARTH CAN NATURALLY REPLENISH.

A system is sustainable when it is “able to be maintained at a certain rate or level”.[1]  That is to say, OUTPUTS from the system to support the needs of current generations must always be balanced with INPUTS to the system to preserve opportunities for future generations.[2]  While a perfect balance may remain an aspirational goal, it is a moral failure to willingly manipulate or allow these systems to fall out of balance because the consequence always results in the risk of loss of human dignity for some group of stakeholders.[3]

For example, our family’s budget is sustainable as long as our family’s expenses are less than our family’s income.  If I make decisions which cause my expenditures to exceed my income – either my family’s dignity, my debtor’s dignity, or the general public’s dignity may suffer because I can’t pay my bills in full.[4]

On a similar note, a business model is sustainable as long as it seeks to maintain a balance between “people, profit, and planet”.[5]  We know that employees, local workers, suppliers, or consumers who are unfairly exploited in an effort to maximize executive level compensation or stock prices results in the loss of human dignity; businesses which seek to hide profits offshore to minimize taxes which pay for government-funded infrastructure (e.g. roads) and services (e.g. fire and police) results in the loss of human dignity as the costs are born by those of us who are paying our “fair share” of taxes; and businesses which fight regulation to monitor the quality of our air, water, or other natural resources contribute to the loss of human dignity when environmental quality is degraded for all of us.

In other words, public policy[6] is sustainable if it promotes behavior in our political systems, our economic systems, our social systems, our biological systems – and every other system that we depend upon for a happy and healthy life – which enables future generations of American citizens to have the same, or better, opportunities that we enjoy now.


[1] Accessed via Google search (Oxford languages) on 12/2/2020.

[2] This could mean future generations of people – but it can also mean future generations of decision-makers, who should have the same freedom of maneuver to make sound investment decisions on behalf of their organization.

[3] I believe we are created in God’s image and as a result, the dignity of the person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. https://ccsww.org/about-us/catholic-social-teaching/#:~:text=The%20Catholic%20Church%20proclaims%20that,principles%20of%20our%20social%20teaching. (accessed 1/24/2021).  I am not Catholic, but I believe many, if not most, of the views expressed in this document are in alignment with most faith-based – and secular – ethical systems from around the world.

[4] My family must deal with stress and missed opportunities (education, leisure, etc.).  My debtor must deal with a collection agency, lawyers, or just going unpaid.  The public is penalized because they must bear higher costs in the store or higher taxes to fund additional government oversight and regulation.

[5] “People, profit, and plant” are the “3Ps” or the triple bottom line espoused by conscious capitalists and sustainability experts and advocates. See: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/triple-bottom-line.asp#:~:text=Triple%20bottom%20line%20(TBL)%2C,%2C%20people%2C%20and%20the%20planet (accessed 1/24/2021).

[6] Laws, regulations, legal decisions, etc.

National Security Issues

BOTH FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC – EMERGE WHEN WE VIOLATE PRINCIPLES OF SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS.

Of course, we all know that “we the people” have not been making sustainable policy decisions for generations – our National debt, our social fabric, our planet, and most of our other systems have been neglected or exploited to the point that they are all stretched beyond the limits of their carrying capacity.  As a result, EVERYONE – even those who don’t know or don’t care about public policy, sustainability, or politics – FEELS the looming consequences on the horizon.[7]  This collective apprehension, fear, anger, and distrust has prompted many of us to retreat to our natural “tribes”[8] and has prompted a growth in movements across the political spectrum and around the world over the past two decades: TEA party, Occupy Wall Street, Arab Spring, Black Lives Matter, ANTIFA, rising populism and ultra-Nationalism, white supremacy, etc. – which is why we ABSOLUTELY CANNOT CONTINUE WITH THE CURRENT TWO-PARTY STRANGLEHOLD ON OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM.

However, blaming “others” – like political parties – for all our problems has greatly contributed to getting us into our current mess in the first place.[9]  Let’s be clear: our political parties – enabled by corporate media, social media, and corrupt special interests – don’t CREATE the problems, they are just REALLY good at exploiting the natural divisions WE have created OURSELVES.

Therefore, INDEPENDENT and sustainable policy decisions can only be formulated and implemented when we proactively decide to accept that WE THE PEOPLE have the power and the DUTY to choose another path beyond what our two political parties, demagogues, and divisive forces have been dictating to us.  The best way to make INDEPENDENT and sustainable policies STICK is to remain laser-focused on ensuring that WE THE PEOPLE are collectively “looking at the man (or the woman) in the mirror” and proactively using our:

  • HEARTS: Love our neighbors – especially those who don’t look, think, speak, or behave the way that we do. This does not mean we need to accept or condone all forms of behavior, but it does mean we need to treat others with dignity and respect and “seek first to understand, then to be understood.”[10]
  • HEADS: Speak the truth in love – and hold others accountable when they fail to do so; and think CRITICALLY about what you read online or hear on your favorite podcast or your favorite talk radio program.
  • HOMES: Raise our children in stable family environments – because NO government program or politician can undo the mess created if we aren’t preparing our children to thrive in an increasingly complex and competitive world.

All while adhering to Constitutional principles which ensure a proper balance and distribution of political power at every level of government to provide “liberty and justice for all”.

“Principles are like lighthouses.  They are natural laws that cannot be broken.  As Cecil B. DeMille observed of the principles contained in his monumental movie, The Ten Commandments, ‘It is impossible for us to break the law.  We can only break ourselves against the law.’”
– Stephen R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

[7] National debt, economic disparity (aka “hollowing out” of the middle class), and climate change are three of the most obvious effects of these unsustainable policies, which is why I consider them the three major threats to our National Security.

[8] Liberal versus Conservative, CNN-viewer versus Fox News viewer, native-born whites versus black and brown “foreigners”, rich versus poor, young versus old, religious versus secular, and the list just goes on and on.

[9] In addition to BLAMING OTHERS, the other part of our nature tends to look the other way when our policies or activities contribute to the EXPLOITATION (or poor treatment) of others when it suits our interests.  One of the most tragic examples of exploitative behavior in human history was the industrialized trans-Atlantic slave trade and this will be explored in other essays.

[10] Stephen R. Covey’s fifth “habit” from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change.

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