Posts Tagged 'Radionian'

More From My Interview With Joe Tegerdine

A few days ago, I posted an article I wrote for the May 2010 edition of The Radionian, which was based on interviews I conducted with U.S. Congressman Gene Taylor of Mississippi’s 4th district and his potential November opponent, Joe Tegerdine. Due to the constraints of an article, I was not able to include all of the information I garnered. Also, since it was strictly a news article and not an opinions article, I witheld my impressions and thoughts to preserve the integrity of the medium (besides, had I included my impressions, they would have been edited out anyway).

So, I’m going to post some more quotes and impressions from the interviews with the candidate and the Congressman. Here’s more from my conversation with Joe Tegerdine. Later, I will post more from my conversation with Congressman Taylor as well.

The Town Hall Meeting:

Joe Tegerdine went a little more in depth on the Town Hall meeting that spawned his candidacy. According to him, Taylor was dodging questions of other attendees and refusing to adequately answer one of his own, which was about The Give Act.

“I couldn’t believe how arrogant and condescending our congressman is. You know, you watch it on television and you just see these guys spin questions and never answer questions, and you expect it because it’s TV.”

“At the end I answered questions of people he had refused to answer, and then his comment to me was ‘This is my town hall meeting, not yours.'”

On the Political Establishment and His Candidacy:

“I called around our Republican leadership and talked to some of our elected leaders and nobody believed Gene Taylor could be beat.”

“I said ‘No, we can beat him. If we run the right campaign we can win.'”

“I think even some of the Democrats are starting to realize that they’ve put our country in a precarious situation economically.”

“If you have people in there who are making decisions based on re election and based on special interests–lobby money that they get through PACs–then the problems are not going to subside. We’ll continue on the same destructive path.”

“On our state level I’ve met a lot of are representatives. They’re pretty excited. They look at this as the future of politics of America. This is going to help us get back on track.”

“There’s always that negative element–the power structure, the powers that be–they don’t like to be challenged, and they don’t like someone like me who is an outsider to their politican network–coming and rattling the cages a bit.”

“I truly believe that if I wasn’t a viable candidate they would just ignore me. But based on the attacks I’m getting from both of my opponents, I’m pretty sure they both feel like ‘Okay, this guy is a challenger.’ And for Taylor, I’m a challenger. For Palazzo, I’m the guy he’s got to try to beat.”

“I’m not coming in ignorant. You know, just yelling and angry. I actually have some substance to what I believe and what I’m saying and what I think we need to do to get things back in order.”

On Education:

“I think that at some level you have to say, ‘Let’s stop treating the symptoms’– you know, all these different programs–Let’s put the responsibility back on the parents and say educate your kids.”

“There’s a lesson to be learned from winning and there’s a lesson to be learned from losing. I played on championship football teams and I played on teams that didn’t win a game the entire season and I learned valuable lessons from both. That’s life.”

“You’re going to probably fail more times that you’re going to succeed. So why are trying to insulate ourselves from that? Why are we trying to insulate our children from that lesson? It’s really absurd.”

On Welfare:

“I think the government has to slowly wean the states off of federal aid. It’s not Constitutional. I think you have to slowly wean them off. You can’t do it overnight or you’d have a humanitarian crisis.”

“We have to incentivize people to work. So if somebody can make $1000 a month working a job but the federal government gives them $1200 to do nothing, you have to remove that equation.”

On Term Limits:

Under Joe Tegerdine’s proposed Constitutional amendment, Senators would only be limited to only serving two terms (twelve years) and House Representatives would be limited to four terms (eight years). I asked him, however, why Senators should get twelve years when House Reps and even the President was limited to eight. He agreed that it would make sense to limit them to only eight years as well.

“I could see them having four years terms so that they would be like the President. I think that would be fine. I don’t think Senators have to be in there six years. I think it’s not as crucial for them to serve six.”

“I feel like we’ve been experimenting the for the last three-hundreds years with no term limits and I think it’s time we did a little experimenting with term limits.”

But how would we ever get Congressman and Senators to place limits on the offices that they themselves hold?

“Put in an exemption that this law only applies to new people coming into office,” he said.

On Faith

“As a candidate, I feel that it’s important that people know what my faith is.”

“I think people in our district expect to know where people stand on faith and religion. They want a leader who is going to be a strong Christian. I appreciate the other elected officials in our state who will mention their faith, their commitment to Christian principles.”

“When I think about the Establishment Clause, I think it’s definitely been misinterpreted. I don’t think that our founding fathers ever intended for the bill of rights to take religion out of government. If their intent was that there would be a state religion or a preference given to one denomination. I think for some reason we got way for off to where people think that Separation of Church and State means that there is no place for religion. There’s a reason why we traditionally have opened our sessions of Congress with a word of prayer. There’s a reason why at the inauguration there’s a prayer. It’s part of our culture, our heritage–our Christian faith. And to try to deny that or remove that from the public square is to take away from a necessary part of our culture.”

On Abortion:

“Ideally, Roe v. Wade would have never been put before the Supreme Court and it would have remained a state issue. But we know that some of the people in minority position will manipulate courts or push things through to get the court’s recognition and the approval that they desire.”

“I’ve considered before ‘What do you do with abortion?’ It’s really difficult because of that precedent that has been set with Roe v. Wade because they can’t legislate and say ban abortions. I think the only way to ban abortions would be a Constitutional Amendment that prohibits abortions. Otherwise I’m afraid it’s always going to be with us.”

“I would support anything that would help eliminate abortion.”

“Abortion affects our culture in ways that we sometimes don’t even realize. It permeates our thoughts about life and the sanctity of life and our relationship with others.”


Philanthropy Promotes Small Government

Philanthropy Promotes Small Government

The Radionian
By Ashton Pittman, Opinions Editor
May 2010, Volume 86, No. 7

Americans share an inherited desire for independence and small government. At the same time, several generations of transformative social welfare programs have caused us to adapt to an expanded view of the role of government in our lives. The clash of these two ideals evokes in us a curious contradiction; even as our classic American spirits resist the threat of emboldened bureaucracy, our acquired taste for public assistance begs for more.
This contradiction manifests itself in our daily lives. An American citizen will drive by a dilapidated building on a street peppered with potholes and ask himself, “Why hasn’t the government fixed this?” Moments later, he will come upon a traffic stop where a homeless man with a cardboard sign begs for food. “How can our government allow this to happen in America?” he will wonder, shaking his head, before continuing his drive to work. Later on, he will ask another question: “Why is the government taking so much of my hard-earned money in taxes?”
He, like most Americans, will fail to see the irony.
The tax question represents a growing concern among Americans. Rasmussen Reports shows that 66 percent of Americans believe themselves to be overtaxed. Meanwhile, Gallup polling reports that 63 percent of Americans expect a tax increase over the next 12 months. On April 15, hundreds of thousands across the nation demonstrated their concern at the Tax Day Tea Party protests.
However, as long as we cling to the notion that government alone is responsible for supplying all our basic needs, we should expect no different; low taxes and expanded government duty are two competing ideals that are wholly irreconcilable.
Instead of only complaining and protesting, perhaps we should also be consistent; if we choose to complain about high taxes, then we should also be willing to take up jobs that the government has not. We can do this by volunteering our time, effort, and if at all possible, money to community projects and restoration efforts. Instead of asking why the government has not taken care of needy families and individuals, we should offer compassion at our own initiative. Simple gestures of good will and assistance go a long way.
We can also aid in lessening the burden of social programs by supporting charities and volunteer groups that build homes, provide healthcare, feed the hungry, fund scholarships, aid in adoptions, and give children the opportunity to receive quality educations.
In America, we can argue over taxes and the role of government all day long. However, one thing we can all do to promote lower taxes is to prove to our government that we are not only self-sufficient, but also more than willing to help our fellow man. Where philanthropy exists, tax money and bureaucracy are not needed.

Victim Mentality Offers No Legitimate Excuse

Victim Mentality Offers No Legitimate Excuse

The Radionian
by Ashton Pittman, Opinions Staff
April 2009, Volume 85, No. 6

In Tyler Perry’s most recent film [at the time of this writing], Madea Goes to Jail, there is a scene that takes place in a prison support group in which the minister admonishes those in the group to forgive those against whom they are holding grudges, in order to release themselves from the bondage of unforgiveness. When one woman protests, insisting that “You don’t know what my father did to me,” Madea speaks up, and begins lecturing her by telling her that she is fed up with people using the victim card and thereby excusing themselves from ever being successful in life.

One of the gravest vices in modern American society is this victimhood mentality that has been adopted by those who can point to unavoidable life circumstances, and then make the case that because of these circumstances, they will never be successful, and therefore even attempting to be such is futile. They eschew every opportunity for betterment that is presented to them, and resign themselves to a mundane existence in which the status quo is never challenged.

Some might say, “I am poor, and because of the greed of the rich, will always be this way.” What about women like Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who rose from being a poverty-stricken single mother to being the world’s first billionaire author?

From Rags to Riches: J.K. Rowling, once a struggling single mother on Welfare, worked diligently on the Harry Potter series and eventually rose to international fame as the world's first billionaire author, due to a determination to emerge from the endless cycle of poverty and welfare that so many resign themselves to.

Still others may contend, “I am black, and because of racism, I will never be allowed to advance in life.” What about Michael Steele? He was raised by a widowed mother, who chose to work for minimum wage, refusing dependence on government assistance. By his mother’s example of personal achievement, he forged on to become the current chairman of the Republican National Committee, with a host of other offices and achievements under his belt.

Charges of sexism and recounts of tragic events in one’s personal history are some other oft-used justifications for a lack of ambition. The truth is, almost anyone can find a sticking point either in past or present circumstance upon which the victim card can be played. Some people will then enslave themselves to the government, placing their lives and financial security in the hands of a politicians and taxpayers. For others, it simply means settling for a dull, unfulfilling job and casting aside personal dreams and aspirations. It can even go beyond the financial side for many, affecting the emotional and psychological sides of life.

But isn’t this kind of thinking the exact opposite of what made–and hopefully, will continue to make–America great? What if our founding fathers and the people of the American colonies had practice such a mindset? What if they had given into the demands of King George III and Parliament, and relinquished all claims to freedom and independence, due to a belief that they had no chance of breaking free of Britain’s empirical bonds?

America as we know it would have never existed. But instead, they started a revolution.

“It is incredible that soldiers composed of men of every age, even of children of fifteen, of whites and blacks, almost naked, unpaid, and rather poorly fed, can march so well and withstand fire so steadfastly,” observed one French officer during the American Revolution.

Regardless of the circumstances of the time, these people moved onward, because they had a goal in mind.

“We have it in our power,” wrote Thomas Paine in Common Sense, “to begin the world over again . . . the birthday of a new world is at hand.”

This is the power that was endowed to all people by God; the power to choose the course of their own lives; to pursue new opportunities, and to overcome opposition. We should care for the least among us–not by appeasing a victimhood mentality–but by lovingly challenging them to achieve their true potential.

Claims of victimization as an excuse for failure may be applicable in some countries, but not in America; here, if we choose to become slaves to circumstance, we alone are responsible. It is our duty, not only to ourselves, but to our fellow man, to cast away the chains of victimhood and reach beyond what our circumstances tell us we can achieve.

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