In August of this year, Connor Boyack, previously with the Mike Lee for Senate campaign and currently a Scott Bradley supporter, submitted eight questions to the Constitution Party, Democrat Party, and Republican Party candidates for U.S. Senate from Utah, asking their positions on a number of issues. Only the Constitution Party candidate, Scott Bradley, elected to respond to this questionnaire, and his rather lengthy response was published on Boyack’s blog site. I have chosen to respond to Boyack’s questions, listed below, from Mike Lee’s perspective.
1. What should be done in regards to our current military engagements in the Middle East, and why?
2. What should be done with the Federal Reserve, and why?
3. What is your position on the war on drugs, and the legalization of marijuana?
4. What is the constitutional authority for our current immigration law? What reforms, if any, do you support?
5. Do non-citizen terrorists have any constitutional rights?
6. Are you for or against term limits, and if for them, in what form?
7. Is a balanced budget inherently problematic, or only because it may possible trigger a constitutional convention?
8. How should tariffs be used? How do you define economic protectionism, and do you support it?
Several of Connor’s questions are already addressed on Mike Lee’s website, although perhaps not in the detail that political aficionados would like. Mike addresses the issue of the current war on terror as manifested by the actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his views do not differ greatly from those of Mr. Bradley.
Mike has also clearly expressed his position on illegal immigration: secure the borders, no amnesty, no more anchor babies (via original intent of 14th Amendment clarified by legislation as Mr. Bradley explains), no healthcare/welfare benefits for illegals, and enforce current law including preventing employers from hiring illegal workers so they will pack up and go home.
Mike Lee is also in favor of a balanced budget amendment, and has expressed his view on his website that members of both chambers of congress should not become career politicians, but serve no more than 12 years.
Mike has also outlined his views on fiscal responsibility, smaller government, strengthening national security, preservation of freedoms and tax reform. Mike Lee is a constitutional scholar undeniably committed to returning to constitutionally limited federal government.
As for the other questions, they concern controversial issues where simple answers are insufficient with a public that is unschooled and uninformed regarding current libertarian issues and thought such as the role of the Federal Reserve.
Without such a foundation for discussion, a candidate’s well-reasoned position in these areas will be easily misunderstood and motives misconstrued. However, there is no doubt that Mike Lee will adhere to the Constitution on all issues.
The comments here predominantly commend Mr. Bradley for his straightforward response to each of the questions. His responses are detailed and lengthy and are evidence that Mr. Bradley dedicated significant energy and effort to this work. I was personally disappointed, however, that he deftly side-stepped some of the major concerns regarding these issues.
Mr. Bradley’s proscription against war is well taken, however, when we are attacked by an enemy we have the right and the obligation to defend ourselves. It is undeniable that Congress has the power to declare war and the executive branch has the power to wage war. Abuses of executive power must certainly be stopped. And the United States should not have a mission of nation building.
The difficulty is that the Taliban government of Afghanistan was willingly hijacked by al-Qaeda and served as a base of operations for attacks on the West. Even now, if we were to abruptly pull out, the Taliban/al-Qaeda insurgency will return to dominate and abuse Afghanistan as a base for terrorist attacks. Without some “nation building” assistance, how will the Afghan government ever become strong enough to resist on their own a Taliban/al-Qaeda takeover?
After further terrorist attacks we would have to return to Afghanistan again to finish the job we justifiably started after 9/11. In the interests of our very real national security needs and a mission to eliminate the root of terrorism that threatens our land, we cannot afford to go down this road. I would like to know how Mr. Bradley would address this part of the issue.
As far as illegal immigration, as others here have pointed out, Mr. Bradley deals with the constitutionally designated federal control of naturalization, but fails to mention that the Constitution does not give the federal government jurisdiction over immigration, which is a separate issue.
In such cases, the power to control immigration is constitutionally relegated to the states or to the people. While state control of immigration may be difficult and impractical, if we are to adhere to the founder’s intent of the Constitution, that’s the way it is.
Also, Mr. Bradley says that we should enforce immigration laws and then penalize any illegal caught after a grace period who has not submitted to forced self-deportation. In the past, enforcing immigration laws has meant in practice primarily detecting and deporting illegal workers.
Mike Lee believes that by enforcing laws that prevent employers from hiring illegal workers, jobs for illegals will dry up and they will pack up and go home without any coercion. Where does Mr. Bradley stand on employer enforcement?