As a libertarian and a member of the Republican Party of Virginia, the 2012 U. S. Senate race in Virginia is a huge opportunity. Much like 2008, when I supported Bob Marshall in his nearly successful bid for the party’s senate nomination, 2012 will be an opportunity to support and campaign on behalf of a grassroots, liberty-minded candidate against the establishment lion George Allen.
For a while it seemed as though no viable candidate would emerge. Bob Marshall, who many expected to run again, had apparently decided against another shot. Regardless, his crusade against gays, highlighted by the repeal of DADT, had made it virtually impossible for me to support him once again. Jamie Radtke, the “tea party” candidate and first official candidate to enter the race, is nothing more than a Sarah Palin redux. The archetypal product of the tea party, Radtke has no voting record to campaign on, no experience in an elected position, and her crowning achievement has been organizing a tea party convention. She has defined herself as merely the anti-George Allen candidate.
A few other minor candidates appeared: David McCormick and Bishop E. W. Jackson. The former’s initial website listed several anti-free trade positions, while the latter is a staunch social conservative and member of the religious right.
Then there is Tim Donner. A successful businessman, Donner founded Horizons Television and One Generation Away. But it is not his business ventures that make Tim a great candidate – it is his specific, limited-government proposals. Unlike other candidates, who are merely followers or who offer vague ideas as solutions and merely repeat the same tired conservative rhetoric of tax and spending cuts, Donner actually has concise ideas. Take, for instance, his Medicare proposal:
We can create permanent, sensible and politically feasible solutions to the impending Medicare crisis that will sustain the concept of guaranteed healthcare in retirement.
We can achieve what should be the ultimate goal of bold, visionary reforms: allowing people to keep more of their own money, make more of their own decisions and take greater control of their own lives. The only way to solve the problem of Medicare while sustaining the concept of retirement healthcare security is by evolving to a system of retirement health savings accounts, or RHSA’s.
If we give Americans the choice to re-direct their Medicare taxes to RHSA’s, they will start to build nest eggs that will grow into substantial amounts by retirement. These accounts, (which should be supplemented by high deductible, catastrophic insurance policies) will re-envigorate the doctor-patient relationship, while providing consumers with greater choice, better quality of care and lower costs as it builds a genuine free market in healthcare. This program would wean Americans off of their dependency on government while simultaneously solving the impending Medicare crisis and dramatically decreasing government obligations.
And here is the foundation upon which this solution rests: because it is based on allowing people to put money into their own accounts, as with IRA’s and 401K’s, it is likely to be not only politically feasible, but downright popular.
Another element that makes this program feasible is that it would evolve over a period of 20 to 25 years, guaranteeing uninterrupted benefits to those currently at or near the age of eligibility who have planned their retirement around the availability of Medicare, while restoring confidence, security and self-reliance among those more than 20 years away from retirement.
Most politicians are virtually terrified of addressing entitlement reform, going only so far as stating that our current system is “unsustainable” while offering nothing to solve the problem.
Donner has also endorsed The Red Card Solution, a pragmatic attempt at solving our immigration issues. While not entirely in tune with my view on immigration (I support open borders) this plan takes a free-market approach to reforming our current system that allows immigrant workers to be documented and cross the US border with the swipe of a card, allowing them to return to their families safely and legally.
Unlike most of his fellow Republicans, Tim Donner has admitted to the “pointlessness and recklessness” of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while opposing entirely the military intervention in Libya. Donner’s top two opponents for the GOP nomination, George Allen and Jamie Radtke, both fully support the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. This highlights Donner’s libertarian leaning views, which he recently admitted to the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner:
He said the “bulwarks of liberty” – including limited government and free markets — “are really the foundation of my campaign. As I’ve traveled the state, I’ve drawn a lot of libertarian support because I think that people can see that my views are largely libertarian.”
Donner drew a contrast between himself and his principal primary opponent, former Senator George Allen, who has asserted a “libertarian streak” of his own.
“I think it’s a little bit of a stretch to claim that you’re a libertarian,” Donner explained, referring to Allen, “when you voted for large expansions of federal power in education and in health care, as he did when he was in the Senate.”
Allen, he said, is “either libertarian and is misinterpreting what that really means.”
Putting it another way, Donner said that Allen “either believed in those programs (No Child Left Behind and Medicare Part D, for example), or he didn’t believe in them but he voted for them anyway. I don’t know which would be a bigger problem.”
For his support of specific, limited government solutions and his commitment to liberty-friendly ideals, Tim Donner gets my endorsement for the Republican nomination for Virginia’s U. S. Senate race.