I announced my candidacy for Congress in the 52nd District on August 19, many people have asked me the simple question: “Why are you running?” This editorial gives me an opportunity to answer.
I’m running for Congress for three fundamental reasons:
1. To create a better America for my children
2. To fix a broken and corrupt system in Washington
3. To enact Real Reform, Real Change, and Real Opportunity
I have a unique story to tell the voters of the 52nd District. It's a story about immigrants. Immigrants who came to our shores, built businesses, founded churches, raised their families, learned the language, and honored their new flag. I am that immigrant story and you, dear reader, are that immigrant story. Dr. James Veltmeyer represents what we Americans believe: working hard, facing challenges, keeping the faith, and not asking government to do for us what we can do for ourselves. I have lived the American Dream and shared in America's Promise. Coming to this country at age eleven after suffering homelessness and hardship in a distant land, I don't just talk about poverty and injustice like some politicians. I lived it!
From my struggles, I learned that the problems of the poor and downtrodden can't be solved by another government program or more government coercion, but only through freedom, through opportunity, and through giving people the tools they need to succeed on their own.
Obamacare, which I know something about being a doctor, is a typical example of a failed government solution. It relied on coercing young, healthy people to sign up, taxing them if they didn't, bribing insurance companies to go along with it, and it wound up making health care even less affordable than it was before, with crazy deductibles and skyrocketing premiums. Bureaucrats in Washington don't have the answers, but you and I -- the American people -- do!
Beyond Obamacare, much more needs to change. We need to reform our outdated immigration laws that encourage lawlessness and chain migration rather than merit and skill. As an immigrant to our shores, I know something about that!
We need to reform our policies on welfare and the homeless to encourage job creation and personal responsibility. Growing up in poverty and on the streets, I know something about that!
We need to reform our college loan system to stop incentivizing massive tuition increases. As a medical student who borrowed heavily to become a doctor, I know something about that!
We need to break up the failing public school monopoly and enact school choice. As the father of two young children in parochial school, I know something about that!
And, we need to cut taxes across the board to re-charge our stagnant economy and I think we all know something about that!
Even here in San Diego, we have politicians who tell us the problem of homelessness can be solved by throwing tens of millions more of our tax dollars at programs that have already failed, that our economy is better off with higher taxes, and the answer to illegal immigration is amnesty and sanctuary cities. Yet, as always, what are the results but more homelessness, fewer jobs, and more illegal immigration and crime?
Our out-of-touch Washington elites like Nancy Pelosi shed crocodile tears over the poor while sipping Chardonnay and munching Brie at their tony Georgetown dinner parties. I didn't have that luxury and still don't. I spend more time with my kids at In and Out Burger and Taco Bell than in places like that!
I work eighty or more hours a week healing the sick and saving lives. Whatever success I achieved can't be attributed to the heavy hand of government, but to my faith in God, my faith in my family, and my faith in myself. That promise of success—anchored by faith and freedom – is one I can bring to the thousands of my fellow San Diegans trapped in the dark basement of despair, poverty, and hopelessness.
The winds of change blow strong. The professional politicians like Scott Peters are agents of the status quo, telling us to be happy with the way things are and just keep quiet and re-elect them. I reject such cynicism.
That is why I am running for Congress in the 52nd District, to fight your fight for REAL reform, REAL change, and REAL opportunity for each and every American who knows a better life lies just ahead. We can turn lost opportunities into new possibilities, past failures into future successes, and make the dreams of our children again the guiding light of a new American renaissance. It will be an honor and privilege to serve you in Congress.