Tuesday, August 30, 2016

GOP Election Kickoff Speech

Together, we can demand better.

I chose these five words to be the slogan for our campaign because I believe them to be a necessity. The first two words evoke plurality: together, we. It is not I, you, or me—it is we, together. I can’t do this without you.

Together, we can demand; we have to make our voices heard. We have to make our votes count. Together, we can demand better. We aren’t saying that the system is broken, but neither are we pretending it is perfect. We have a chance—a duty—to make improvements.

Together, we can demand better for schools. As a substitute teacher in my second year with the Union County School District I have seen firsthand what underfunding has done for our students. I realize that the solution is greater than simply throwing more money at the problem, but I also believe we consistently get short changed when money is allocated from Columbia. While larger districts understandably get a bigger piece of the pie, we are left having to do more with less. When other districts are buying new iPads for each of their students, we are left with cuts to the budget and consolidation of our buildings. I’ll be the biggest cheerleader for Union County Schools, and if you’ll help me, we can demand better.

We can also demand better for our taxpayers. I recently signed the South Carolina Association of Taxpayer’s Pledge to oppose any and all new taxes, and yes, that includes a gas tax hike, which I have consistently opposed. I also joined the Balanced Budget Amendment Taskforce, vowing to use the Article V Convention of States method, if we have to, to amend the US Constitution to force the federal government to operate on an annual balanced budget and begin to seriously pay down our debt.

We can demand better for drivers. I’m committed to repairing our roads. We had a 1.3 billion dollar surplus last year, and we didn’t use it to fix our roads. We must stop spending money on non-essential projects until our infrastructure is improved. I’m prepared to roll up my sleeves and do what we have to do.

We can demand better for workers and their families. Our state has succeeded in bringing new business to South Carolina, and while we will see some of the results of that here, what we really need is to see is these jobs come to Union. I’ll work with our local officials to make Union County open for business.

We can demand better for people of faith, especially employers. We need to pass a form of the Pastor Protection Act that is now law in Texas and Georgia, but we can expand it to cover all business owners, including those bakers, florists, photographers, and others who are being put in a tough position of compromising their convictions or suffering a public backlash. It’s happening here as we speak.
We can demand better for the unborn. Pain Capable was a great start, but frankly, it will save only 28 babies a year; I won’t rest until we save the other 6,600 babies aborted each year in our state. Some have suggested that I not talk about abortion as much, saying it’s a national issue. But I am talking about it today because 18 South Carolinians were aborted today, in our state. This is a local issue. It’s also my most personal issue. I have vowed to author and introduce the Life Begins at Conception Acts, where we can tell our tiniest citizens that they are entitled to not only the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but to the right of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Together, we can demand better—better schools, better roads, better jobs, better finances, better lives, and a better future. I can’t do it without you, but together we can. Together, we can—and will—demand better.