Monday, December 29, 2003

James Broadwater Interview

I'm proud to present an e-mail interview that I did with Mississippi 2nd Congressional District GOP candidate (bit of a mouthful, doncha think?) James Broadwater. My questions are in bold, his responses in regular font (or blue if your browser supports the "font" tag).

1. What qualifications do you have that would make you better equipped to serve in Congress over your Republican primary opponents?

Leadership, my steadfastness in holding to Christian principles, and
the fact that, if elected, I will represent all of the people of the Second District of Mississippi.

One of the things that we need in Congress is leadership - the determination to have some backbone and to do the right thing. I think one of the most important things
that makes me a better candidate than my fellow Republicans who are my opponents in this election is my ability and experience as a leader. I have led as pastor of a church with almost 900 members. I have led as a Baptist associational leader, directing collegiate ministries for a Baptist association in California in an area that covers all of San Bernardino County and Riverside County, and the southeastern corner of Los Angeles County - an area which has 150,000 college students on 23 campuses, and I had six other directors under my leadership. I have led as director of two Baptist Student Unions - Baptist Student Union is an on-campus ministry to college students. I led disaster relief teams from my church into Los Angeles eleven times after the Northridge earthquake, working with the American Red Cross and the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief people. I led local ministers to adopt a Community Marriage Agreement in Bogalusa, Louisiana, to strengthen marriage and lower the divorce rate.

I have experience in political campaigns as well. I volunteered with the Tony Perkins for U.S. Senate campaign in Louisiana, and the Haley Barbour for Governor campaign in Mississippi. I served in a combat unit in the Mississippi Army National Guard. I led as a member of our student government in college. And I am ready to lead in the United
States Congress. If the people of the Second District of Mississippi trust me with their vote, I will not only be a member of Congress, I will be a leader in Congress. Not only have I been proven as a leader, I have also held to Christian principles against tough opposition - sometimes from unexpected places. God has told us to love that which is good and to hate that which is evil, and I have done my best with His help to do so - and that against even fellow Christians as well as close family members. I have worked for the pro-life cause for years, preaching and teaching from a pro-life perspective, attending a national Rally for Life on the Mall in Washington, DC, being a part of prayer chains and attending candlelight vigils for the murdered unborn, and serving as the treasurer for Campus Right to Life at The University of Southern Mississippi. I have preached against hypocrisy in the Church, even when church members who could affect my job didn’t want to hear it. I have done what is right even when it has not been popular, and I have not backed down. One of the verses that has been a great encouragement to me is Hebrews 11:25, which says, "(Moses) chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time."

If I am elected to Congress, the people can count on me to do what is right, even when pressured by liberal groups, the media, and certain Democrats to do what is wrong. And let me say that when what the Republican Party wants goes against what God wants, I will choose God over my own political party every time. I do not change my mind just because public opinion changes. Some things are always right and some things are always wrong, and that is true in every culture, in every place, and in every time period in history. I do not need a poll to tell me what to think or how
to vote. I have the Word of God, and it never changes - God’s Word will endure forever. And if we will live by it, then we will be a happy people.

Not only have I been proven to be a leader, not only have I held to Christian principles under pressure, but I will also represent all of the people of our district,
not only the ones who are like me. One of the other Republicans in this primary got his undergraduate degree at an all-Black college. I intentionally attended mixed colleges, having received a degree from Mississippi Delta Junior College in Moorhead, MS - a mixture of Black and White students, having received a degree from The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg - a mixture of students literally from around the world, and having received a Master’s degree from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary’s Southern California Campus - a school which has no ethnic majority, but like USM, has students literally from around the world. Even when I was starting junior high school, my parents offered to send me to a private, all-White
school, and I declined their offer because I wanted a diverse environment. I cannot imagine intentionally separating myself from everyone who is not exactly like me. Even my own wife is from an Asian country. We have friends of every ethnicity and every color of skin, and that is intentional. Racism is a sin, and we reach out to all people because God has given a mandate to do so. When He said in John 3:16, one of the most well-known verses of Scripture, that He loved the world, He meant the whole world; and when He said in Revelation 7:9 that there will be people in Heaven -who will be together for all of eternity - from every nation, tribe, people, and language, He meant that, too. Since all of us who have accepted Christ are going to be together forever, and we are of different colors and languages and accents and backgrounds, then we had better be getting along here on earth as well.

If I am elected to be your next Congressman, I will represent all of the citizens of the Second District of Mississippi, not just the ones who look like me. And since two African-American organizations - Century 21 and BAMPAC - are reporting that one-third of all African-Americans are conservative, and one-third consider themselves independent, and since those African-Americans care more about where a candidate stands on the issues than what political party he belongs to or what color his skin is, then I have a very good chance of willing this election, because I share the values that most of the people of our district believe in: the pro-God, pro-country, pro-family values that have made our nation great, and will continue to make our nation great if we adhere to them.

Why do you believe that Bennie Thompson has not been a good Representative for the 2nd District?

His anti-God, anti-Christian voting record. He has voted against a ban on the most hideous form of abortion - partial-birth abortion - three times, and has only a 12% percent pro-life voting record, according to one pro-life group. He is pro-homosexual - he has received a 100% rating from a radical homosexual group called the Human Rights Campaign. He is in favor of raising taxes, ignoring the fact that the way to run government is to make taxes low and keep them low, do only what government is ordained to do, and eliminate government waste. For his entire tenure of ten years in Congress, he has voted the opposite of the way he should have voted. And he has personally become wealthy while - as he admits himself - our district has remained - to our shame - one of the poorest in the nation.

I also said that one of my Republican opponents attended one all-Black college. Well, Bennie Thompson attended two all-Black colleges, intentionally separating himself
from all who were not just like him. And in talking with a lot of people from around our district, I have heard a lot of talk about how Thompson not only represents only
Blacks, but that he does not represent all of them, but only the ones who agree with him. Now, these are the stories I am being told. I believe that we need someone who will represent all of the people of our district, not only a select few. These are some of the reasons why I believe that Bennie Thompson needs to be replaced by someone who would do a better job with our trust.

3. Do you think Representatives and Senators should be term limited? If
so, how many terms should they be limited to?

I definitely do not believe that Senators and Representatives should be term limited. I even have my doubts as to whether the Presidency should have any term limits placed on it. It did not have any term limits in the Constitution originally. I believe that the people should be able to elect whomever they think will do the best job in any office. They can always term limit someone who is not doing a good job by replacing him or her with their vote in the next election.

4. What are your general thoughts on the new Medicare drug benefit just signed into law by President Bush? Do you support or oppose it?

I hate to say it, since I am going against the President, and he is of
my own political party, but I oppose the new Medicare drug benefit. Some of our older citizens may need some help paying for their prescription medicines, but not all of them.

And the real problem is that the pharmaceutical companies are greedy. That greed is what has driven the price of medication up. I believe that we would be better off to put a price cap on prescription medications, and that is not socialism or communism, that is putting a fair limit on how much companies can charge for the things that they make. Teddy Roosevelt was staunchly against socialism, but he also said that no one individual or no one company or corporation should have too much money, and I agree with him, because he was right. I know a family medical practice that is in our congressional district in which three doctors practice together. Two of them charge $75.00 for an office visit; the third one charges $25.00. The difference in the charges for services is that two of them are greedy, and the other one is not. Two of them want the material things and the pleasures that money can pay for, and the other is content with what he has and is willing to charge a fair price and still make a decent profit. Two of them know that Medicaid and Medicare will pay their charges, and the other has more of a conscience and is willing to help people get well and help them manage their checkbooks, even though he knows that he could get the easy money for doing the wrong thing and overcharging his patients. I know that we need tort reform, but we also need medical reform, and that means that doctors need to remember that they are in the profession to heal, and not to get rich.

So, I am against this new Medicare drug benefit, because it is wrong. It is increasing the size of our government, not reducing it. It is one step closer to socialized medicine, rather than a capitalistic, free-market economy. And when you think about it, 75 percent of the assets in this country are owned by people 50 and older. These older folks want for someone else to pay for all their medicine, just because they have made it to a certain age. Guess who is going to pay for all their medicine. Younger people, like me. I’m 40. I can’t afford to pay for their medicine. They’ve lived long enough that they should have their own house paid for and have a sizable nest egg in the bank. I have a wife, and a child in school, and we sure don’t have a house and a piece of land paid off. Most of them are much better able to pay for their own medicine than I am. We should help the people who really need help, and that includes the poor, the homeless, the infirm, the weak, the needy, etc. But that does not include everyone who makes it to be 65 years old, or 60, or 55, or whatever the AARP decides the age should be. Maybe they are moving toward socialized medicine. But I am not in favor of it.

5. Do you support the Federal Marriage Amendment?

Yes, I support it 100 percent. But the FMA is not the final solution to
the real problem which is at hand. What the FMA is trying to do is to protect our people, the citizens of the United States, from activist, liberal federal judges, including Supreme Court justices. We already have a Constitutional provision for taking care of activist federal judges. It’s called impeachment. Although these judges are appointed for life, they are appointed only during periods of good behavior, according to the United States Constitution. When they start legislating from the bench, and when they start willfully misinterpreting the law rather than going back to the writings of the Founders to see their obvious original intent, then it is time for members of the U.S. House of Representatives (for which I am running) to grow a backbone and begin the process of impeachment. This constitutional power has been grossly underused in the history of our country, but it is not too late to repent of that sin and begin to use it as it was intended. If I am elected, I will begin impeachment on these activist, errant
judges, whether I think the Senate will vote the right way or not, because it is the right thing to do.

And I know that the liberal media may try to label me as being “crazy,” “radical,” or some other such term (or they may just use the tactic of just ignoring me like they do some people), but the people who have done the right thing in the past have not always been recognized in their lifetimes as the ones who were right. The thing is not to do what you do for the fleeting recognition of other people; the thing is to do what you do in order to bring pleasure to God and to get His approval. Nothing else matters nearly as much.

6. Did you support invading Iraq and removing Saddam Hussein from power?

Yes, I definitely supported the invasion of Iraq, as well as the
removal of Saddam Hussein from power. As everyone who loves and seeks the truth knows, weapons of mass destruction were not the only reason we invaded Iraq. Saddam Hussein murdered, tortured, and raped his own people, and even tortured little children while he made their parents watch. Anyone who does that should be killed. He was found, fittingly, hiding in a hole like the rat that he is. Yes, we did the right thing in invading Iraq and removing Saddam Hussein from power, and that is one
of the areas in which President Bush has done a good job.

7. Do you believe that the situation in Iraq is being handled well by the
Administration? Do you think there are areas for improvement?

Yes, I do. We make some progress every day. We won in Iraq. We have captured Saddam Hussein. We have killed both of his sons. We are making good progress toward breaking up these tribes in Iraq who are causing trouble for our troops. I know that we have taken casualties, but not nearly as many as it could have been. And while I grieve for the families who have lost loved ones in the War on Terror, we are losing far less American lives than we would be losing had we allowed this War to be fought on our soil. If we were not going after these terrorists, then they would still be bringing this war to us, just as they did when they attacked us, without provocation and without warning, on September 11, 2001. I believe that the administration is handling the situation in Iraq very well, and no, I don’t think there are any areas for improvement; I think the situation in Iraq is being handled about as well as it can be handled.

8. What Mississippi politician, past or present, do you respect and admire the most? Which one do you least admire (not counting Bennie Thompson)?

Well, considering the little bit I know about him, I kind of admire
former Governor Mike Conner. Although he was a Democrat (as were all of our governors for about 100 years, until 1991) and I am a Republican, and although he instituted the general sales tax (in 1916), I admire him because when he took office, he inherited about a $3 million deficit from Bilbo, and he got our State out of debt within four years. In order to do this, he did institute the general sales tax in Mississippi, and a crowd of people mobbed his office at the State Capitol. But he stuck to his guns, and when he left office after only one term, he left Mississippi with a $6 million surplus. Now, I am not in favor of raising taxes, and I think I would have returned that surplus to the people, but I admire Governor Conner for getting us out from under that debt, even though there are other, better ways to do it.

I could say that I least admire Theodore Bilbo or Ronnie Musgrove or many others for embarrassing us as a State, but I can also say that I was very disappointed in Governor Kirk Fordice, because I expected more from him. He was the first Republican to be elected Governor of Mississippi in about 100 years, and what he did hurt the progress of our party, and I believe that it cost Mike Parker election in 1999. Of course, we all should say, "There but for the grace of God go I." It should serve as a reminder that all of us need to be careful to walk very closely to God because sin is always crouching at the door, and the temptations are different for different people. So, I guess it would be easy to say that there are a lot of politicians from the past who we could all put down, but I’d rather focus on who is doing a good job now, and on who has done a good job in the past, learn from their example, and see whether we can outdo them in doing good.

9. On a similar theme, who do you think was the best President in the 20th
century? Who was the worst?

I think the best President in the 20th century was Teddy Roosevelt
(1901-1909). He was a godly man, strong, tough, and unafraid. He tried to do the right thing, no matter what anyone thought. His whole life was a great story. He overcame the asthma that he had as a child by strenuous workouts. He had seemingly boundless energy. He endured the deaths of his mother and his first wife, which both occurred on the same day. He recovered, and remarried. He adored his wife and his children, and spent meaningful time with them. He was a lawman, bringing outlaws to justice out West.

As President, he strengthened our military, and because of his efforts, we were prepared to enter into World War I. His “Big Stick” diplomacy caused America to be known as a world power. He was the first President to fly in an airplane; he was not afraid to try new things. He worked to protect and to preserve our natural environment. He not only tried to be the best that he could be, he also encouraged others to do the same. And best of all, he was a committed Christian. He said that the Bible did not teach us to avoid obstacles, but to overcome them.

He also submitted to proper authority. After his presidency ended, he petitioned the President for permission to raise troops to go to Europe and fight in World War I.
100,000-200,000 men stood at the ready to volunteer to go with him. The President denied his request, and Teddy Roosevelt complied with the President’s wishes. Just as he expected people to obey his orders when he was President, he obeyed the orders of his Commander-in-Chief when he was no longer President. I admire that kind of commitment to the will of God to appropriately obey those who are in authority
over you (Romans 13:1-7).

I believe that George Washington has been our greatest President so far, and Abraham Lincoln has been our second greatest, but after them, my pick for the # 3 spot is Teddy Roosevelt, and I believe that he was the greatest President of the 20th century - with Ronald Reagan not too far behind him.

As for the worst President of the 20th century, I say that would be Bill Clinton by a long shot. Others may have been bad enough - Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F.
Kennedy, but in my opinion, Bill Clinton wins the title of worst President of the 20th
century hands-down.

Not only is Bill Clinton guilty of committing adultery while President, which is cause for
impeachment, but I believe that he is probably also guilty of treason in that I believe he sold our nuclear weapons secrets (or at least some of them) to the Chinese. I also believe that he may be guilty of other high crimes which maybe I shouldn’t mention here. (Please refer to the Jerry Fallwell video on the subject.) There were four articles of impeachment drawn up against him, but he was only impeached on two of those counts in the House; and he should have been convicted by the Senate, but some of our U.S. Senators didn’t have the character to declare him guilty, even though he clearly was guilty. (By the way, Bennie Thompson voted against all four articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton in the House.)

Bill Clinton had opportunity to capture Osama bin Laden, but according to LTC Robert “Buzz” Patterson (one of the military personnel who carried the nuclear “football” during the Clinton administration), in his book, Dereliction of Duty, Clinton failed to do so because he was too busy playing golf to be disturbed, even by his National Security Advisor. Bill Clinton did not help the economy (it was boosted more by the sale of computers and computer software than anything else), and he left President Bush with a declining economy.

The country is worse off because he was elected President, but as a Christian minister has said, I believe that we got the President we deserved, and that his election showed more about the character of our people at the time than it showed about the character of Bill Clinton. However, Bill Clinton should never hold any position of authority again, and neither should his wife, the hyphenated Hillary Rodham-Clinton.

10. What's your general view on the whole Israel/Palestine conflict?

Because of Genesis 12:3, in which God has said that He will bless
anyone who blesses Abraham (and this is also transferred to the Nation of Israel), and curse anyone who curses him, I will always stand behind Israel. I believe that Israel has the right to be where they are, and I believe that there are plenty of other places where Palestinians can live. I believe that the Palestinians should be put out of Israel, and especially out of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

11. Are there any policy positions that you disagree with President Bush?

Yes. I believe that President Bush is 1,000 times a better President
than Al Gore would have been, but there are some of President Bush’s policies with which I disagree.

Human Stem Cell Research
In August, 2001, President Bush announced to the nation via television while on vacation at his ranch in Texas that he was basically against human stem cell research,
but that he was going to allow research to be done with about 60 lines of stem cells that had already “harvested” from preborn human babies who had already murdered by abortion. This is tantamount to using the research done by Nazi “doctors” to be used to improve the lives of others still living. It is morally wrong, and the President made a bad decision. Promising research can be done using the stem cells of willing adult human volunteers without killing anyone, and if we need to do any human stem cell research, then this is the way that we need to go.

President Bush had appointed some homosexuals to some mid-level government positions, and the people in these positions do research for and influence the decision-
makers. President Bush is also meeting with a homosexual group called the “Log Cabin Republicans” once a week. Neither of these can be considered Christian behavior, and I take issue with these actions. And if “Log Cabin” is supposed to refer to Abraham Lincoln, he would have been appalled at the idea of homosexuality. Americans in his day considered it a sin so abhorrent that they wouldn’t even mention it by name.

I want to see the President affirm that Islam is not a religion of peace, but a false religion. Our Founders knew that the only true religion is Christianity. Our Nation
was founded upon Christianity, and it is upon this basis that we have prospered and have become great. Our Founders’ definition of “religion” was “denomination.” Therefore, when they said that we would never establish a national religion, they didn’t mean that Christianity wouldn’t be our national religion; it already was. They meant that we would never establish a national denomination - that America would never be officially Anglican, Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, or any other “religion,” as they would have put it. But they did establish a Christian nation. And America’s leaders should affirm that we are a Christian nation, and that all other religions are false and misleading, that the wrath of God is being revealed from Heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness (Romans 1:18), and that Jesus Christ is the only way for anyone to get to Heaven (John 14:6) and that all other “religions” lead people to Hell for eternity, from which there will be no escape.

The Medicare Drug Benefit
As I have said above, the Medicare Drug Benefit is unfair to younger people, because we shouldn’t have to pay for people’s prescription medications just because they
have reached a certain age. Besides that, it is their generation that allowed abortion to be legalized, and one-third of all babies conceived for the past thirty years have been murdered before they were ever born, leaving one-third less people to pay for their “freebie” medications. I think that their generation has gotten far too much of everything they’ve wanted, and they should be ashamed of themselves for how selfish they have been their whole lives.

Ag/Jobs Bill
The so-called Ag/Jobs Bill that is going through Congress right now, and that President Bush has indicated that he might sign, is another area of great concern for me. The bill provides that illegal immigrants, if they have been in America for at least three years, if they have “kept their nose clean,” and if they are offered a job, can be given immunity and granted the privilege of working in this country legally. This is encouraging illegal immigration, which is unacceptable. The President’s rhetoric is that he is in favor of “matching willing workers with willing employers,” but when people have already broken the law to get into this country, possibly carrying a disease that could be spread throughout America, possibly being terrorists with evil intentions to harm American citizens, then they are not operating in good faith, and should be deported back to the country in which they are a citizen. My wife immigrated into this country legally. She went through all the paperwork. She got her medical exams to prove that she did not have a disease. She paid all of her fees. She got into this country the right way, and we should welcome immigrants who love America and want the best for this country. Anyone who wants to cross the borders into America should be made to do it legally -in order to protect American citizens.

12. What tax system do you wish Congress would enact, e.g. flat income tax, national sales tax, etc.?

I want to get rid of the federal income tax, and I want to reduce the
size of government and get rid of all of the unnecessary government programs that we are supporting with our tax dollars today. There are some programs that the government is supporting which should be done by individuals, families, and churches; they do a much better job with programs like helping the poor and the homeless, and
for much less money, and they also share how people can be saved eternally, not just temporarily.

The people who serve in government work and deserve to be paid, but the average Mississippian, for example, can expect to pay 31 percent of his total income in taxes this year. Now, since God demands only 10 percent of our income to be given back to Him (of which it all belongs to Him anyway, and He has given us the strength to work and earn money), it is wrong for government to claim that they should receive more than that which God requires. Therefore, we should never have to pay more than 10 percent of our total gross income in taxes, and that means federal, state, and
local taxes combined.

13. On you website, you state that "...[P]rogramming and commercials which
undermine the Christian moral foundations of our country need to be prohibited. When television was starting to be broadcast into people's homes, they promised us that TV would always be a welcome guest in our homes. They have failed to keep their promise. It is time for us to rein them in." How would you respond to those that would argue that such an attempt to regulate what television companies air would run afoul of the First Amendment?

Freedom of speech means that we the people have the right to air our grievances to our elected government officials without fear of punishment. It does not mean that the government must agree with you, and it does not mean that anyone has the right to say whatever they want. We have laws against libel and slander, but they are not being enforced because of the fear of being accused of violating someone’s First Amendment rights. Some speech is harmful, as defined by the Word of God, and should be prohibited. We are, in every case, only given the freedom to do what is right, and we are never given the “freedom” to do that which is wrong.

14. Also on your website, you mention that you advocate limited government, strong property rights, lower taxes, and no governmental involvement in health care and charity, and you declare your opposition to socialism and communism. However, under the "American Businesses / Free and Fair Trade" section of you website's "Issues" page, you say that US automobile manufacturers should sell their vehicles at a "decent price." Furthermore, you state, "A new vehicle need not cost much over $10,000 - and it doesn't matter what kind of vehicle it is," and go on to declare, "And if automakers won't lower their prices voluntarily while still turning out a product of the highest quality without laying off workers or reducing employee benefits, then government has the right and responsibility to lower the prices for them by setting price caps on how much they can charge for a new car, truck, SUV, or van. It is time to return to common sense in America." Aren't the price controls that you are advocating for the automobile industry at conflict with your other beliefs in smaller, less invasive government? Isn't centrally setting prices by the government a
feature of socialism and communism?

No. I believe in free and fair trade, and that means that trade cannot be totally unregulated. Laissez faire (leave it alone) economics does not work, because people do not do well when left alone. That’s why we have three branches of government for a system of checks and balances, and that is also one reason why we have government in the first place.

There must be order in a society, and in this case, even though we as Americans could survive without automobiles, we have become dependent on them. They are like a necessity. Therefore, if we allow all automobile manufacturers to charge, let’s say, $40,000.00 or more for an automobile, then what’s to stop all grocers from charging $20.00 for a pound of hamburger? Some may say that the free market system would prevent that from happening, but if all grocers agreed to implement that plan, then people would have no choice but to either buy the meat at the inflated prices, or to start buying some other type of meat, or to start eating only vegetables. But what then if all the grocers agreed to sell all of their food at highly inflated prices? Sure, a few of us could grow our own food and make it all right, but what of the people who live in apartments or just don’t own their own land, or don’t own arable land? What then? What if people actually couldn’t afford to buy food at their local grocery store? Do we really want to live that way, just because all of the grocers in America agreed to sell at highly over-inflated prices?

And what if everyone got greedy, to the point where every husband and wife in America was working, and they still couldn’t afford to pay all of their bills, and they couldn’t afford daycare, so their children had to stay home alone while mom and dad were both at work? Or is that what some people want - government childcare for all of our children, so the government can be the main influencers of our children, playing both Mommy and Daddy to our own kids? Christianity supersedes capitalism, socialism, and communism, and government needs to do what is right and best, even if it doesn’t always fit into a neat little political definition.

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