I often agree with conservative values but find that conservative policies don’t reflect those values as well as I’d like. In many cases J.D. Scholten, candidate for U.S. Congress, supports conservative values better than incumbent Steve King.
For example, most conservatives consider themselves “pro-life”. A pro-life stance should make people in favor of universal health care, since lack of health insurance caused about 45,000 deaths a year according to a Harvard University study. Steve King is for increasing deaths by repealing the Affordable Care Act, which gave health insurance to millions. He wants to put health care in the hands of for-profit insurance companies who make money by NOT paying claims on time (or at all) and by denying coverage to people who need it most. J.D. Scholten is for universal health care with an eventual (but not immediate) shift to Medicare for all. A pro-life person should support sensible gun regulations that make us safer. Scholten is for them, King is not. A pro-life person should be for taking action against the climate change that is threatening the planet. Scholten is, King is not. Scholten is not in favor of abortion, but is against government prohibiting it. Even if you disagree with Scholten on abortion, if you agree on those other issues, vote for him.
Steve King talks a lot about obeying the Constitution. We all agree. King’s website says “Our Constitution is timeless and is just as legitimate today as when it was first written.” When it was written, people couldn’t vote for president or senator, women couldn’t vote for anything, black people counted as only 3/5 of a person, and it was unconstitutional to pass laws against the slave trade. King has argued that some people born in the USA should not be US citizens, in direct violation of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. He introduced a bill to override the Constitution, which can’t be done by law—only by amendment. This bill, like all but one of the bills King has introduced in 16 years, is sure to fail. King argued that the US should default on part of its debt to avoid raising the debt ceiling. This is also expressly prohibited by the 14th Amendment. Perhaps King doesn’t believe in enforcing amendments ratified after 1800? If you like obeying the Constitution—as amended—vote for Scholten, who is not in favor of either of King’s unconstitutional views.
“E Pluribus Unum,” Latin for “Of Many, One,” appears on the Great Seal of the USA and on all U.S. coins. Nearly uniquely of the major countries of the world, the USA is defined by ideals and institutions, not by ethnicity, religion, or birthplace. If you want to make America great again, use the formula that has always made us great — acceptance and assimilation of immigrants. King tweeted last year: “Wilders [a Dutch racist-JE] understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” Many Iowa businesses rely on immigrant labor and would be bankrupted by the immigration policies advocated by King. Undocumented immigrants who get jobs with fake Social Security cards are penalized because they pay into Social Security like the rest of us but can never collect any for themselves. Scholten is for strong borders, but for immigration reform that will allow the immigrants that our economy needs.
Most conservatives tout their “family values.” Separating toddlers from their mothers at the border is hardly a way to strengthen families. King said this was no worse than summer camp. Except kids who go to summer camp do so voluntarily, they know they will soon reunite with their families, and they don’t spend 20+ hours a day indoors in large cages. Many kids who sought asylum are still in detention, their parents were deported without them, and the kids may never see their family again. Scholten is against such draconian measures.
Conservatives like to reward hard work. So does J.D. That’s why we need to raise the minimum wage and strengthen the rights of unions so those who do hard work can get their share of the value they produce. Scholten agrees; King does not. In the last 35 years worker productivity has risen greatly but wages have not. The money generated by this increased productivity has gone to executives and shareholders, not to the working class. Scholten wants workers to get their fair share; King doesn’t. Some years ago, I asked King the following at a town hall: Is it fair that a stock trader who makes a $70,000 profit from stock transactions pays less tax than a person who makes a $70,000 salary? He said it was fair. I think that a person who works for a year creates far more value for society than a stock trader. The salary should NOT be taxed more; if anything it should be taxed less.
Conservatives like freedom. We all do. But freedom isn’t just absence of legal restrictions; it’s also the presence of resources needed to make choices. You aren’t free to go to college if you have no money, have to work full time and also need to take care of younger siblings. You aren’t free to run a business if none of your customers can afford to buy what you’re selling. Conservatives frequently point to people who rose from poverty to great things. Sure, the immensely talented can often overcome adversity. But the modestly talented should be able to achieve modest success. These days if you are poor that’s a doomed dream. The USA has less economic upward mobility than most other developed countries. We need investment in people: better education, and social services that give people the time and resources to pursue their dreams. Saving tax money by denying these services wastes vast amounts of human talent and denies our economy much of value. Scholten is for that investment; King prefers tax cuts for the already rich.
I’d recommend that you ask Steve King about these issues, but he has hardly any public appearances and has refused to debate.
Many Republicans think that government works for the taxpayers. This leads to a possibly unconscious ethos that those who pay more taxes — big corporations and the rich — deserve more from government than those who pay less. J.D. thinks that government works for the citizens, not the taxpayers. Everyone should have an equal voice. One person one vote, not one dollar one vote. Don’t give up your right to help determine who runs the government. Exercise your power and vote for J.D. Scholten.