The sovereignty of the American people is being destroyed. To address this crisis we must restore our moral sovereignty, beginning with the truth that all people are endowed by God with certain unalienable rights, starting with the right to life itself. I therefore support ending legal abortion, outlawing human cloning, as well as forbidding all forms of scientific research that require the destruction of human life at any stage after fertilization. We must also restore the integrity of our physical sovereignty, using all appropriate means, including physical barriers, electronic surveillance, and the creation of a U.S. Border Guard to control our national borders. We must strictly enforce our immigration laws to take down the "Y'all Come" sign corporate factions have erected to lure cheap labor across the border and steadily erode the economic equity American workers have achieved through hard fought social and political battles. To restore our constitutional sovereignty we must impeach and remove from office judges who stubbornly seek to dictate the law rather than apply laws made by our duly elected representatives. If elected I will of course not appoint such judges, but more importantly I will act on the President's sworn duty conscientiously to follow the constitution, rather than the contrary opinions of dictatorial judges. To restore our economic sovereignty I will vigorously seek to abolish the Federal income tax and replace it with the Fair Tax system, funding the Federal government by means that do not require the surrender or violation of fundamental Constitutional rights.
Male; Age:54; Married; Spouse:Jocelyn; Children:Francis, Maya, and Andrew; Place of Birth:New York, NY; Home Town:Baltimore, MD
Cornell University (no degree)
Harvard University, B.A. government affairs, 1972
PhD, government affairs, Harvard University, 1979
Diplomat, talk show host
Ran for President, 1996 and 2000
Ran for U.S. Senate in 1988 & 1992 (MD), and 2004 (IL)
Catholic; third-degree Knight of Columbus
If the Declaration of Independence states our creed, there can be no right to abortion, since it means denying the most fundamental right of all to human offspring in the womb.
The Declaration states plainly that we are all created equal, endowed by our Creator with our basic human rights. But if human beings can decide who is human and who is not, the doctrine of God-given rights is utterly corrupted. Abortion is the unjust taking of a human life and a breach of the fundamental principles of our public moral creed.
Some people talk about "viability" as a test to determine which human offspring have rights that we must respect, and which do not. But might does not make right. So the mere fact that the person in the womb is wholly in its mother's physical power and completely dependent upon her for sustenance gives her no right whatsoever with respect to its life, since the mere possession of physical power can never confer such a right. Therefore, medical procedures resulting in the death of the unborn child, except as an unintended consequence of efforts to save the mother's physical life, are impermissible.
Source: Candidate Website (04/13/2008)
Barack Obama is so committed to the abortion position that he has even opposed legislation to stop the heinous practice of live-birth abortion--the Infants Born Alive bill that was considered by the Illinois state legislature, that still languishes in the legislature now.
He has done so three times.
The bill would end a practice in some Illinois hospitals in which a child who is born alive in the course of a botched abortion--where they have tried to kill the child and failed, and that child comes out of the womb alive and is separate from the mother, being held in the arms of a nurse--will just be set aside to die. That is literally infanticide.
The practice is so heinous that, when it came up in the Senate of the United States, the practice was rejected, 98-0. Even hardcore pro-abortion Senators like Teddy Kennedy and Barbara Mikulski voted against the continuation of this practice. And yet, Barack Obama is somebody who has voted to allow it to continue.
It seems to me to be incomprehensible how someone could be as hard-hearted as that, and it's one of the things that drew me into serious consideration in this race. This is somebody who pays lip service to compassion and yet, when you get right down to it, he is willing to countenance things that are deeply shocking to the conscience to our people.
Obama's position on the Infants Born Alive bill clearly illustrates that he's not just committed to abortion, he's committed to it in the most extreme form possible.
If we ignore these kinds of things, I think it bespeaks a hardening of our own consciences that is unacceptable.
The idea of the "pursuit of happiness" in our great Declaration presupposes the right of property, a right our Founders understood was inseparable from all other unalienable rights. Without the right to pursue our individual version of the American Dream--independent of unjust interference from government or other sources--there can be no right to life or liberty. The individual pursuit of sustaining wealth and the control of that wealth is central to a free, open, and healthy society.
The right of property has long been threatened not only by unsound schemes of taxation, but by intrusions into the personal control of private property. The result has been a pervasive loss of opportunity in the marketplace for the common man and a disruption of normal principles of supply and demand, those necessary to competition and to the creation of fair prices for such things as housing, undeveloped property, and a broad range of goods and services. Today, disruption of the right of property is threatened additionally by extreme environmental values that place greater importance on the so-called "rights" of animals, trees, and streams than on the legitimate and essential needs of mankind--extreme notions that increasingly strip human beings of normal and reasonable economic opportunity. I support responsible human stewardship of God's creation, but I also whole-heartedly seek to include in that stewardship conscientious and vigilant respect for the fundamental human right of property.
I believe that there are certain circumstances in which the death penalty is in fact essential to our respect for life. If we do not, in our law, send the message to everyone that by calculatedly, coldly taking a human life--in a way that, for instance, assaults the structures of law in a society, or shows a cold-blooded and studied disregard for the value of that life--if we are not willing to implement the death penalty in those circumstances, then we are actually sending a message of contempt for human life. We are encouraging people to believe that that step is not in fact a terminal step when they premeditatedly and fatally decide to move against the life of another human being. So I believe that there are circumstances under which it is essential, in fact, that we have and apply the death penalty in order to send a clear moral message to people throughout our society that we will not tolerate that kind of disrespect for life.
Costly domestic government programs to prevent and control crime actually deal with problems resulting from the breakdown of societal standards and personal self-discipline. Our first priority should be to restore the moral and material strength of the marriage-based, two-parent family.
Family disintegration and the refusal to take personal responsibility are the primary contributing factors in crime, violence, poverty, and numerous other social problems.
We must pursue policies that will not only preserve our liberties, but keep those who wish to harm law-abiding citizens off the streets. Barack Obama has taken his stand. He has voted to coddle gang members and protect the rights of sex offenders. He voted against extra penalties for gang-related crimes. He voted against making it a crime for accused gang members free on bond or bail to associate with other gang members. He also voted against prohibiting early release of sex offenders. I will vote to put these criminals away.
Gang violence is a serious cancer that threatens our neighborhoods and local communities. Our children are caught in the crossfire of drive by shootings, young children are inducted into a life of crime and drugs. This is a huge national problem with tentacles that reach across the globe. We need leaders in Washington with the willpower to get the gangs off the streets, to go after the criminals and stop them before they reach our local communities. How many more children must we sacrifice to this dangerous lifestyle?
Human sexuality is primarily a matter of moral and not just physical health. So-called "health-based" sex education programs have done more harm than good. They too often encourage adolescents to consider sexual activity apart from marriage and family life. Especially in government schools, where teachers feel they must deal with sexual matters without reference to moral authority, these courses result in a vapid, context-free presentation of sexual mechanics which degrades and debases the meaning of relations between the sexes.
Sex education is, as a rule, the private responsibility of parents. The government should not usurp this role. Where parents choose to encourage school-based instruction, I strongly support abstinence-based approaches for young adults.
The court-initiated prohibition of school prayer is only the symptom of a deeper problem--the neglect of moral education and character formation. The value-free education offered by the government-run schools has all too often proven to be education without value. This is especially true now that Outcome Based Education has been used as an excuse to establish curricular elements that amount to the politically correct brainwashing of our children.
Government money is increasingly used to enforce a low quality, crass form of vocationalism in the School-to-Work scheme, while the same educrats debase traditional academics with such fads as Whole Language Learning and Fuzzy Math. Parents and local citizens often know better than their educrat masters, but find themselves unable to resist the power of an entrenched and costly monopoly. Education reform is thus a question of liberty and self-government.
I strongly favor school choice approaches that empower parents to take control of their children's education, in accordance with the parents' faith and values. We not only need prayer in schools, we need schools that are in the hands of people who pray. Above all, we must break the government monopoly on public education.
Our national creed, the Declaration of Independence, tells us that our rights come from the Creator, yet we have forbidden our teachers in the schools even to mention His Name. All our claims to liberty and legitimacy as a free people rest on the premise that our rights should be exercised with respect for the authority of the Creator, yet we have practically expunged the very concept of Him from our public discourse.
Any acceptable proposal for reforming the way that American political campaigns are financed must be based on the premise of the Constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of association. The right of free association includes the right to associate our money with the causes we believe in, and to do so in any amount that we think is necessary to get the job done. For government to dictate what we can do under the rubric of "campaign finance reform" is a total violation of our Constitutional rights, and we should force our politicians to abandon it.
We must take away the government's credit card. With limits on both tax revenue and borrowing, the Federal government would finally be forced to get serious about spending cuts. That's why a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, with barriers to both borrowing and spending, is the best way to secure budget discipline.
The real key to saving the family farm is not economic reform, but a renewed understanding of why the family farm is worth saving in the first place.
The family farm is not crucial because we need to have family farms in order to eat. Actually, a consolidated farm system of big agri-businesses could theoretically feed the country. Rather, we need family farm for its indispensable value in sustaining our nation's strong moral character. We must remember what men like Thomas Jefferson thought was required for us to survive as a free people. He pointed out the connection between the maintenance of liberty and the characteristics that develop from a strong population of what he called yeoman farmers. Yeoman farmers were characterized by a certain combination of discipline, common sense, independence of spirit and mind, love of liberty, and a deep sense of duty, responsibility, and obligation--of a sort that comes only from strong family farms. The characteristics that have provided the foundations for much of this nation's success in the world are rooted in the moral culture of the family farm.
The key to rediscovering our commitment to the family farm is to rediscover our commitment to renewing, strengthening, and preserving the moral character that America needs to survive in freedom.
If we are to remain free, we had better preserve the seedbeds of liberty. We had better preserve those parts of our society and culture through which we pass on the moral allegiance to American life, and the kind of heart, mind, and character that will sustain it. Throughout the history of our country, this task has been one of the primordial results and responsibilities not only of the family--but of our family-based system of agriculture.
It is a choice that involves behavior.
In terms of civil rights discrimination, it is wrong to treat sexual orientation like race, for race is a condition beyond the individual's control. Sexual orientation, however, involves behavior, especially in response to passion.
If we equate sexual orientation and race, we are saying that sexual behavior is beyond the individual's control and moral will. We cannot embrace such an understanding of civil rights without denying the human moral capacity, and with it the fitness of human beings for life in a free society.
The effort to equate homosexual and lesbian relations with legal marriage represents a destructive assault on the heterosexual, marriage-based family.
The first principle is that there will be no dollar vote without a ballot vote. Only people who can walk into the voting booth and cast a vote for a candidate should be able to make a contribution to his campaign. This means no corporate contributions, and no union contributions, except from unions truly acting on the authority of members freely associating and intending to make a contribution. There must be no financial contributions whatsoever from any entities that are not actual, breathing voters.
The second principle is that when anyone casts a dollar vote, it should be publicized immediately. The whole world should know who is giving how much, and to whom, so that the voters can enforce the result.
I therefore absolutely oppose the McCain-Feingold / Shays-Meehan bill, and I urge all grassroots Americans to lobby tenaciously for its repeal.
I am a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment.
The right to keep and bear arms was included in the Bill of Rights so that when, by a long train of abuses, government evinces a methodical design upon our natural rights, we will have the means to protect and recover those rights.
In fact, if we make the judgment that our rights are being systematically violated, we have not merely the right, but the duty, to resist and overthrow the power responsible. That duty requires that we maintain the material capacity to resist tyranny, if necessary--something that is very difficult to do if the government has all the weapons. A strong case can be made, therefore, that it is a fundamental DUTY of the free citizen to keep and bear arms.
The gun control agenda is based on the view that ordinary citizens cannot be trusted to use the physical power of arms responsibly. But a people that cannot be trusted with guns cannot be trusted with the much more dangerous powers of self-government. The gun control agenda is thus an implicit denial of the human capacity for self-government and is tyrannical in principle.
I don't believe in government-controlled health care, and I think that what we need to look at is ways in which we can put the consumer in proper charge of their own health care plan, so we can drive the cost down, instead of up.
Part of the problem with our present system, which I think has contributed to skyrocketing costs, is the fact that we have a third-party-payer system. You go home after you get the service, and you don't even know what it costs. If we bought cars that way, what do you think would happen to our car industry?
We also need to redefine what we are trying to pursue. I think the objective of the system should be health, not just health care, and that means taking what we've learned about the importance of diet, exercise, and fitness and including those in our concept of health care.
We need to start putting together an approach that will aim at keeping people healthy, by using the knowledge we have about what needs to be done. Studies show that a lot of the diseases that are now debilitating people, especially in the area of cardiovascular disease, could be eliminated by changes in diet and exercise.
Our country's immigration policy should encourage legal immigration to be maintained or expanded, and illegal immigration to be curtailed. The policy should be enforced through existing laws.
It's a travesty when those who have abided by the law and become citizens through the proper means are considered no different than those who have not. If we start extending all the privileges of life and citizenship to people who are not citizens and who are not here legally, then we're breaking down our own laws.
And in breaking down those laws, we're creating a situation that will eventually damage our economy, damage our ability to deliver social services, damage our ability to maintain schools on an equitable basis, and so forth. It doesn't make sense.
That's why I believe that we have to enforce our immigration laws, and that we shouldn't be putting laws on the books that will extend to non-citizens the privileges of citizenship, because I think you are actually inviting people to violate the law when you're doing that, you're decreasing the respect for the law.
Nearby countries like Mexico have policies on immigration citizenship that are a lot tougher than ours, and they will actually peremptorily deport people whom they find to be in the country without proper papers and everything. But if you're in America and you're found to be in that condition, you can get a lawyer, and you can go to court and defend yourself--and draw the process out for a long time. We've got to end that imbalance.
As the leader of the free world, America has a right and a duty to do all in her power to protect herself at home and abroad. We must vigilantly defend our sovereignty, independence, and identity as Americans. In doing so, we must be certain that our policies, military might, and foreign relationships are executed with prudence and justice.
The Constitution places on the federal government a solemn obligation to provide for our nation's "common defense" and to undertake those policies that best fulfill that goal, including the nurturing of alliances with friendly nations.
It's important to remember that government does not create jobs. You can't have jobs without businesses. That's one of the things that I look at in my opponent's record, how he supported Gov. Blagojevich and all of the taxes, regulations, and fees that are strangling and destroying the business environment in Illinois. And then he goes around talking about jobs.
How are you going to keep jobs if you are killing businesses, and how are you going to attract new businesses to Illinois if you won't address the problem of malpractice insurance rates that are driving doctors out of the state? How are you going to attract businesses to an area where there is not proper medical care?
I think it is obvious that medical care, schools, and things of that nature are a vital part of the business environment. When you take steps to hinder the business environment by putting fees and regulations on businesses and related things, then you're killing jobs.
I think you have to create an environment that is friendly to businesses in order to create jobs.
In the 1960s, the civil rights movement sought the assistance of government to enforce the fundamental principle that all men are created equal. But today's civil rights groups have abandoned that principle in favor of preferential treatment for groups defined by race or sex. This is simply wrong. We cannot cure a past injustice with another injustice.
Moreover, preferential affirmative action patronizes American blacks, women, and others by presuming that they cannot succeed on the own. Preferential affirmative action does not advance civil rights in this country. It is merely another government patronage program that gives money and jobs to the few people who benefit from it, and breeds resentment in the many who do not. It divides us as a people, and draws attention away from the moral and family breakdown that is the chief cause of the despair and misery in which too many of our fellow citizens struggle to live decently.
I am opposed to quotas. I am against the idea that you should be deciding on the basis of race what positions people should have in the workplace. I believe in helping people get to the starting line--but not determining the outcome of the race.
We need to get a handle on malpractice lawsuits, by sensibly capping malpractice awards.
The trial lawyers are drawing hundreds of millions of dollars from our health care system every year through unfair or unreasonable lawsuits against doctors. These lawsuits force doctors to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in malpractice insurance. When you visit the doctor, part of the cost for that visit is to cover the malpractice insurance. The real crisis happens when you need a specialized doctor in an emergency and the closest one is four hours away, because the cost to practice medicine in the state of Illinois is just too high.
We're driving some of our best doctors from the state. My opponent sees nothing wrong with the situation, and refuses to seek limitations on malpractice suit awards.
We need to adopt plans, such as the one that President Bush is talking about, where people can set up tax-deductible medical savings accounts and combine that with catastrophic insurance that will guarantee them against the major liability and at the same time give them greater freedom, greater control, and a greater reward when they are making good, effective judgments on how to get their health care.
This would put them in a better position to actually monitor the relationship between price and quality--and help them keep prices down by not giving their patronage and services to inefficient health care providers.
I believe that our best and most trustworthy alliances are cemented in shared principles. The nature of America's special relationship and commitment to Israel, for example, is a moral obligation--not a matter of real politik, or of calculation of the military odds, or of strategic advantage.
America's friendship with Israel reflects a moral truth about who we are and what we stand for. In our foreign policy and international alliances, we must never be subservient to merely pragmatic considerations of money, oil, or any other expediency. We must set our course mindful that we are morally obligated to always stand foursquare with those who fight on the front lines of freedom and representative government--especially if they do so with the kind of decency, courage, and integrity demonstrated by the valiant people of Israel.
To help lower health care costs, we also need to allow the importation of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada and Europe, and do other sensible things--based on free-market principles--that will give consumers greater choice of health care options.
I strongly support a fundamentally new approach for younger workers, placing them in control of the investments made with their savings dollars. The elimination of the income tax will make tax-privileged "retirement" accounts irrelevant--all savings will be tax free. So while I favor the transitional policy of replacing Social Security with individually-controlled tax-free investment accounts, the ultimate solution to the problem of long-term and retirement savings is to return responsibility for this crucial function to the citizens of the country, along with the freedom necessary to accomplish it.
Two principles must govern any reform of Social Security: (1) promises must be kept, and (2) future generations must have more choice, as well as a higher return on their savings, through market investments. We must keep the promises that have been made to current participants of the system, while returning control of current earnings and future security to each individual citizen.
American "free trade" policy in recent years has increasingly involved grants of excessive authority to international organizations of questionable political legitimacy. The GATT/WTO agreement was a big mistake. The World Trade Organization undermines America's sovereign international economic interests.
The American people must repudiate the policy of establishing unelected international bodies that act like the Supreme Court of the United States, striking down our domestic laws. We must repudiate disgraceful, profit-driven alliances with the despots in Beijing. And we must refuse to permit our representatives in Congress to volunteer for Constitutional impotence by granting "fast track" authority to the president to strike back room trade deals without the advice and consent of the Senate.
I have always been a staunch defender of free enterprise and an opponent of the domineering bureaucracies, both national and international, which try to suffocate it. But I cannot stand with those so-called conservatives who believe that "free trade" is more important than free government, or the "fiscal conservatives" who seem to believe that money and economic advantage matter more than our right to constitutional, elective self-determination. Trade socialism must be defeated root and branch, even when it is called "free trade."
I think we gave away a portion of our sovereignty that we should never have surrendered when we entered the WTO. It violates the fundamental principle of our way of life: no legislation without representation. I'm not interested in protectionism or withdrawal. But folks ought to be paying a premium price to enter this market, or else giving us something concrete in return that's of tangible benefit to the American people.
I believe we need to move away from negotiating multinational trade agreements, and ought to focus instead on cutting better deals by bargaining one-on-one with individual countries.
I believe we should impose tariffs on countries that undercut American farmers and manufacturers with cheap products.
Most of our costly government welfare programs aim to deal with problems related to the breakdown of moral standards and self-discipline. We will go bankrupt as a nation if we continue trying to pay the ever-increasing costs of society's moral disintegration. We must end government programs like the family-destroying welfare system and sex-education courses that encourage promiscuity. These programs actually hasten the moral breakdown.
Our first priority should be restoring the moral and material support for the marriage-based, two-parent family.
I think that's vital to the future of the country. I believe that we need to mobilize folks, and get them to think in faith terms instead of in terms of selfish interest--I think most of our politics in recent years has been about vote your money, vote your pocketbook, vote your jobs. These are critically important issues--but the truth is, when we think it through, that a lot of the money issues we face are rooted in the fact that we have to spend large amounts of money compensating for our moral defects, for the breakdown of the family structure, the rise in crime and violence, the increases in poverty that come about because of the decline in the family structure.
We're paying a deep, huge cost for the moral weakness of the society, and then we act as if that's a money problem. I don't believe it is, and I think we know it's not.
We need to start addressing the real underlying cause of these challenges and to recapture a sense of the moral foundation, so that we can restore the moral discipline, restore the sense of commitment to true family life that then provides the basis for economic strength in our communities, for better performance for our children in our schools, for a greater sense of responsibility on the part of parents toward those children, and so forth and so on. We know that these are the keys to real progress, and it's time we got out and voted like we know.