Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Why Sharon Angle Scares the Bejesus Out of Me

Sharon Angle has spent the majority of her life in education. She served twenty-five years as a substitute teacher, five years as an art lecturer at Western Nevada Community College, and even ran a small Christian school for couple of years before entering the political arena.

In 1998, she was elected to the Nevada State Assembly and would serve there until 2005, when she began her bid for United States Congress. After narrowly losing the 2006 GOP primary, she geared up for this year’s race and was backed in the primaries by conservative power houses Tea Party Express, Joe the Plumber, and Pat Boone. She and Senate majority leader Harry Reid fought one of the most heavily contested races in a heavily contested midterm election season and she lost by a narrow margin.

So who is this Tea Party dark horse and what were her stances?

Church & State

She has stated repeatedly that Thomas Jefferson “was addressing a church and telling them a wall of separation had been put up precisely to protect the church from being taken over by a state religion.” She believes that private religious schools should receive the same government funding as public schools do. 

My question is what constitutes the “church” that Jefferson was supposedly trying to protect from the state? Jefferson grew up in the Church of England which was the “established church” in Virginia and received taxpayer money. All other churches had to fend for themselves and Jefferson‘s call to prevent such an environment from reoccurring is one of the founding principles of this country. The idea that Jefferson, who never joined a church as an adult and did not even believe in Trinitarian doctrine, wanted to protect churches from the very government he helped shape is laughable. What horrors was the Church of England being subjected to? Overfunding?

Angle’s views set a dangerous precedent because it puts politicians in a position to essentially choose which religions we are forced to pay taxes to. I find it ironic that one of the founding principles of the Tea Party is smaller government and less taxes yet this portion of her platform relies on funding both public and private schools. This combined with her push to dissolve the U.S. Department of Education, means that I could essentially found a private school under the banner of whatever religion I chose, receive taxpayer money, and the state I reside would bear the burden of making sure that my pupils were actually learning to read. I can almost smell the cost savings.

Mark my words; one of the single greatest dangers to the very fabric of this country is the integration of church and state. Our founding fathers were wise enough to protect us from the threat of such a union because many of them had seen its debilitating effects first-hand. Their wisdom has saved the American people a great deal of internal strife throughout our nation's history.  

Healthcare

As a state legislator, she had sponsored a bill that would allow health insurance companies to opt out of paying for colonoscopies and mammograms because she believes that government overreaches its boundaries by placing any mandates on insurance companies. I couldn’t agree more. I, for one, am sick and tired of these insurance companies overprotecting my health with yearly tests and checkups. Who do we think we are asking them to help prevent cancer in return for exorbitant premiums? Besides, I am sure that left to the honor system our healthcare will only become cheaper and more effective.

Public Services

She believes that Medicare should be privatized and that Social Security should be phased out. She defended her position by pointing out that her grandfather “wouldn't even take his Social Security check because he said he was not up for welfare.” It is about time somebody stood up to all these freeloading elderly who had money taken out of their paychecks for the best decades of their life. Everyone knows that it is unconstitutional to ask the government to redistribute any of the money it takes from you.   

A brief overview of her other ideas:

  • The United States should withdraw from the United Nations – That will teach those pansies not to bring countries together and strive for peace and understanding.  
  • The Federal Government should impose a ban on same-sex unions – Because gays like the United Nations….
  • Making alcohol illegal again – Why not? Ideas like this always work better the second time around.
  • Drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and utilizing more coal-fired power plants – Suck on that, Asthmatics of America!
  • Keeping fluoride out of drinking water – The epidemic of improving oral health must be stopped, and it begins with you!
I cannot fathom the thought process that would denounce the U.S. Department of Education as an “unconstitutional” infringement of state’s rights and in the same breath advocate that the federal government tell the states who they can and cannot legally marry. It cannot work both ways.

The fact that a candidate with views like this can gain traction in Nevada makes me wonder if many of us are guilty of voting against what we don’t like instead of identifying what we do. I completely understand unhappiness with many of the legislative decisions being made, but it is imperative that we research the candidate first. Otherwise you might find yourself unable to order a Daiquiri after a long day of teaching at the Reformed Holy Orthodox Temple Academy that you involuntarily helped pay for.  

There is, however, one view with which Sharon and I see eye to eye and that is tax code. Angle thinks that the federal tax code is unnecessarily confusing and should be abolished in favor of something fairer and easier to understand. In that respect, she is preaching to the constituent-funded choir. 

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