Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Sep 4th, 2008

Various media and other organizations have begun publishing their voter guides for the 2008 election. Today, I feature information from the League of Women Voters of Minnesota Voter Guide.

United States Representative District 6

Republican Primary Election — Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Aubrey Immelman — Republican

P.O. Box 117
Sartell, MN  56377
(320) 240-6828

Occupation: College professor, security consultant

Education:  BA (political science), MA (clinical psychology), PhD; University of South Africa, University of Wyoming, University of Maine, Nelson Mandela University

1.  Why are you seeking a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives?

I’m gravely concerned about the unintended consequences of the Iraq war and do not see any other candidate taking on national security as a core issue.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq has exacted a huge toll in American blood, treasure, and loss of international stature. Tragically, the Iraq war has created a vastly more complex national security challenge in the Middle East.

I offer Sixth District voters strong national security credentials, with military training in conventional warfare, counterinsurgency and anti-terrorist operations, and professional experience as a military consultant on nuclear counterproliferation, threat assessment, deterrence, and psychological operations.

2.  What measures should the U.S. Congress take to address rising food and gas prices and related economic concerns?

As a first order of business, take legislative action to curb printing and borrowing money to fund unnecessary wars.

Printing money, deficit spending, and going deeper into debt to pay for the war and occupation create inflation and drive down the value of the dollar, which adds to the high price at the pump and the grocery checkout counter for U.S. consumers.

Congress must work to increase the oil supply by supporting expanded drilling and reduce demand by supporting measures to conserve energy and develop alternative energy sources.

3.  What next steps should the U.S. take in the Iraq conflict? How would you work to get other members of Congress to agree?

We must reduce the U.S. military footprint in Iraq without jeopardizing recent security gains. We should exercise caution in the level of military training and weapons we provide the Iraqi military, which is infiltrated by radical Islamist militias with links to Iran. We cannot ignore the possibility that these weapons and training could one day be turned against us.

We face formidable challenges in Iraq. In Congress, I will attempt to secure cooperation for sensible policies by making reasoned arguments based on vital U.S. national security interests, not ideologically clouded arguments serving to justify past policy failures.

4.  Do you believe healthcare is the responsibility of business, government and/or individuals? What is your vision for healthcare in the United States?

I believe healthcare is a personal responsibility; however, government of the people, by the people, for the people, as envisioned by Abraham Lincoln, has an obligation to provide a safety net for those among us who, despite their best efforts and through no fault of their own — for example, catastrophic illness — cannot shoulder the full responsibility for their own health care.

5.  What are your top three foreign policy priorities?

Restabilize Iraq as much as possible after the ill-conceived decision to invade it, prevent Iran from filling the power vacuum left by the removal of Saddam, end the U.S. occupation as soon as possible, and shift those resources to counterinsurgency and anti-terrorist operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Continue our successful deterrence policies against North Korea and prevent nuclear proliferation in the Korean peninsula.

Restore the international stature if the United States by advancing less unilateralist policies and developing a stronger coalition of nations to buffer the United States against emerging national security threats.

6.  What federal action to do you support to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which energy, environment, food, health, and security impacts on the nation and the world?

I have not studied the issue of greenhouse gas emissions and have no preconceived position on the matter. As someone trained in the scientific method, I will look objectively at scientific data and avoid the pitfall of ideologically tainted or emotional arguments. If federal action is required, I will support any reasonable proposals to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, provided it is affordable, does not require a tax increase, and does not result in big-government overregulation.

7.  What steps should be taken to lower the United States deficit?

One step at a time: Stop borrowing money to fund unnecessary wars.

8.  Is there a role for the federal government in assisting to alleviate the mortgage loan crisis?

The fiscally conservative approach is no bailout, but we face a crisis where relief may be necessary to prevent further damage to the mortgage industry and the real estate market.

It’s in our national interest to help homeowners and prevent a market collapse, but we need safeguards that will prevent the enrichment of mortgage lenders on the taxpayers dime.

9.  What should the federal government do to address the state of the nation’s infrastructure?

Get its priorities straight. We spend hundreds of billions on bombing and rebuilding Iraq, while our own critical needs remain unmet.

10.  What, if anything, should the federal government do to address the student loan crisis?

Recently, Congress passed and President Bush signed the “Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act” of 2008, which provides the Department of Education with new authority to address concerns about capital liquidity in the student loan market.

I support this legislation and would urge swift implementation to ensure students obtain the loans they need to pursue their higher education.

Despite this legislation, we have a continuing problem in that the 2008 Act reduced profitability for lenders, making it more difficult for them to raise capital. As a result of the persisting capital liquidity problem, some lenders have left the market.

3 Responses to “On the Campaign Trail: Day 52”
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  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » September 4, 2010 Says:

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