YOUR VOTE, YOUR SENATOR
There are people serving in Congress who have been there since I was in college, some since I was in high school. Our campaign finance system and gerrymandered districts have institutionalized this stagnant incumbency. The longer they stay, the more entrenched they become, making it seem as if it is always a battle to get even modest things accomplished. These politicians have had their time. Incumbency is now an institutional weakness. If they cannot create the solutions our nation needs then we need to change the players.
Until we have an amendment that sets term limits I will promote voluntary term limits in the Congressional ranks. I will serve one term and dedicate it to fulfilling the job I was elected to do, legislate on behalf of South Carolinians. Rather than waste the time you have entrusted me with on securing my re-election prospects, I will be working for you, working to change the political culture in Congress and return it to a body representative of our citizens. When there is a finite time in office there is a motivation to get things done. And where I succeed, others will follow. We’ll be able to set the agenda, and generate the solutions for the problems that affect real people’s lives — the mother with a diabetic son, the disabled vet, the students who struggle with college debt.
I will give six years of hard, honest service to the citizens of my state and country. I won’t be taking money from corporate PACs, and I won’t be angling for lobbying jobs and lucrative speaking engagements afterwards. At the end of my term in the Senate I will become Citizen Joe Reynolds once again and leave the door open for another fresh face with new ideas. I hope you will look back and say we are all better off for what we accomplished together.
We must have a system that ensures all Americans can access healthcare. Lowering the costs of premiums and prescriptions drugs is an imperative. Pre-existing conditions are the very definition of the need for affordable, ongoing care and should never be penalized or excluded. Building on the systems we have, rather than threatening funding for public programs or replacement of private plans can achieve this goal.
Our country can only thrive when people feel secure in meeting the needs of their daily existence. This includes a steadily increasing wage to match the inflationary costs of housing, education, health care, and childcare. Our workforce should enjoy a secure retirement. I will work to ensure that Social Security is funded to keep pace with the cost of living. I will promote pension benefits in the workplace, which were a big part of creating the comfortable middle class we once had.
I support streamlining the bureaucratic process to see projects more quickly become reality. Our road, rail, sea, and air systems need to be improved now, not ten years from now. A major infrastructure bill is required with a commitment to produce 22nd century standards of safety and efficiency, creating a shining example of modern transport.
The recurring flooding of our rivers and coastal areas demands protective solutions from our Army Corps of Engineers. I back the expansion and accelerated access to funding for these projects. FEMA’s resources should include the capacity to upgrade restoration efforts with prevention measures against future catastrophes.
I will work toward a comprehensive overhaul of our immigration system that includes border security, increased processing capabilities, and a crackdown on those who overstay legal visas. Our country will continue to embrace a rigorous and legal immigration system, which has always enriched our nation and its economy.
The structure of our democracy is by the people, for the people. We should not prevent nor deter access to any of our elections. A high priority should be placed on safeguarding election outcomes from foreign influence and cyber attacks. Independent committees should oversee the redistricting process, eliminating the gerrymandering that favors incumbents and political parties.
I will preserve your Second Amendment right, and also protect public safety. These results can both be achieved with popular, commonsense regulation recognized by the Supreme Court. Universal background checks, red flag laws, and terrorist watch lists are measures that can accomplish both goals.
Our military and our veterans are a vital part of our society. I will promote greater participation in our armed services. The VA should be state of the art, streamlined, and serve as the model of public benefits for all public service agencies. Our veterans, wounded both physically and mentally, deserve the best and we will give it to them.
As we work to make America a more perfect union, I will apply that same principle to our interactions with nations around the world. Our allies deserve our respect and support. I will look to preserve and promote partnerships where we can work together on cybersecurity, climate change, intellectual property rights, military security and intelligence.