Is Ken Buck an Extremist?

Posted on October 6, 2010 by

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There are a lot of people out there trying to label Ken Buck as an extremist.   In the world of politics the pen is mightier than the sword and often these words can be lethal to a person’s career, so I decided to delve a little deeper into Ken Buck’s political ideology to determine what this man running for United States Senate for Colorado is all about.

I started off by going to Ken Buck’s website and seeing what he had to say about the issues.  The information on his website pertaining to his political views was sparse and vague, so I then went out and gathered information from other reliable sites.  The information gathered on his site and others about his ideals paint a picture of Ken Buck.  This is my assessment of that information.

On Social Security

Current retirees have planned their lives based on these Social Security benefits and the government shouldn’t change those benefits.   For older workers approaching retirement, we need to ensure that Social Security is solvent. We should consider pegging the retirement age to the fact that people are living longer, and we should consider means testing.  For younger workers and future generations, I propose “Social Security Plus.”  Younger workers will know that Social Security is there for them as a safety net, but they should also be encouraged to save more through tax-preferred accounts.

This says to me that Ken Buck supports rising the age that seniors receive social security benefits.  In addition it seems that he is proposing a cut back of Social Security for younger workers.  I disagree with this for several reasons; one I feel that older people who are already working need to receive the benefits in the timeline promised to them.  I am also uncomfortable with how vague his plan for the future is.  I would feel uncomfortable voting for a man that I knew planned on changing the benefits I would receive, but who didn’t tell me exactly what his plan for the future was.  I feel like it could be possible that he would vote to get rid of Social Security all together.

On Energy Independence

For now, we must continue to depend on our traditional sources of energy — coal, oil and especially natural gas. It means we must aggressively expand energy production in our country, including stepping up drilling and looking to nuclear power as one of our best sources for non-carbon energy.

This is completely backwards to me.  Now I understand that we must wean ourselves off of carbon based energy, but to not set an aggressive standard and strategy to achieve independence is akin to doing nothing at all.  Let us take Germany as an example.

“Germany’s Reichstag in Berlin is set to become the first parliamentary building in the world to be powered 100 percent by renewable energy”.  They have a solid plan in place to be completely powered by renewable energy by 2050.  In addition this plan will add an estimated “800,000 to 900,000 cleantech jobs by 2030”.

In addition America didn’t even make a recent list of eco friendly countries. The top ten countries were Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Costa Rica, Austria, New Zealand, Latvia, Columbia, and France in that order.

Why didn’t America make this list?  Probably because America still gets more than half of its energy from coal, in fact there is a coal power plant powering Congress.  “Coal is the dirtiest of fossil fuels”,  and the fact that the plant is still there is a testament to the power of the dirty energy companies and the stranglehold they have on certain spineless members of Congress.

As a final point Nuclear energy is going nowhere in this country.  Since the Three Mile Island incident in 1948 not a single new nuclear reactor has been built.  Even ignoring the fact that families will not want a Nuclear plant anywhere near them, there is still the matter of the toxic waste.  We cannot keep dumping it off on the Navajo people, or pretend like burying it in a mountain is a sensible solution.

As a proud American I believe that America is  a nation of innovation and creativity.  This is the nation that invented the assembly line and revolutionized the production of goods for the entire world.  I feel deeply concerned and insulted when politicians insist that America is not ready to meet the demands of the clean energy challenge.  There should be no way that these countries are capable of turning things around but we are not.  The kind of rhetoric I found on Buck’s website makes it sounds like he would be another one of the “Dirty Energy Coalitions” many lackeys in Washington.

On The Stimulus

The stimulus bill that was rammed through Congress in February was counterproductive. It was such a bad bill that a new word was coined “porkulus.” Since it passed, both unemployment and the federal deficit have continued to rise. No new jobs, just huge new debt.

Record-setting deficits will continue to grow as the billions in “porkulus” spending continues to unfold. Our kids and grandkids will pay the price.

Now this is just foolish.  It has now become relatively accepted that the buildup that led to the burst in the economy’s inflated bubble was a result of policies dating back a decade.  How can a problem 10 years in the making be solved in a year?  The answer would obviously seem to be that it can’t.

I’m not saying that I agree with all the stimulus stipulations, and I will agree that there is a lot of pork; but I refuse to blame job losses and unemployment on the stimulus bill alone.  The plain truth is that unemployment and job loss were rising before the bill and the full effects of the bill won’t be seen for several years.  So whether we agree or disagree with the stimulus package I think we can agree that the jury is still out as to its overall effects.

On Women’s Rights

It’s clear that Amendment 62 and personhood are being used interchangeably. This is not the case within the pro-life community–there are many people who favor the concept of personhood, but are opposed to personhood amendments. Eagle Forum is one example. Eagle Forum is strongly pro-life, but they are strongly opposed to any type of personhood amendments. In Ken’s case, he supports the concept of personhood, but is not taking a position on any of the state ballot initiatives, including Amendment 62.

When a politician refuses to take a side it is usually because they believe that their position will be unpopular.  The kind of double talk that is in this statement indicates to me that he is trying to distance himself from certain more extreme members of pro-life movement but that he also supports a bill that will take women’s rights to their own body and put that power in the hands of government.

In addition Buck said he would introduce a constitutional amendment to ban abortion even in cases of rape and incest.  Buck also “answered another survey saying he would never confirm ‘pro-abortion’ candidates for any government job, including judgeship”.  His explanation was that according to his interpretation “pro-abortion, to me that doesn’t mean pro-choice, that means someone who is an activist, someone trying to find ways to promote abortions”.

I can tell you that people do not enter the decision to have an abortion lightly.  There is no one out there promoting abortions as birth control, someone who is pro-life is not anti-children, they are not heartless Jezebels who laugh all the way home after a procedure. The continued assertion of that is completely false and ridiculous and accounts to little more than hate mongering on the part of the Christian Conservatives.

On Immigration

First, we have to secure the border to stop the flow of illegal immigration. It is essential to our security that we curb the number undocumented immigrants coming into our country.
Second, we need to establish a program that will help make legal immigration a feasible option. This will allow legal immigrants to fill jobs that American labor cannot fill.
Finally, we need to stand firm and say ‘no’ to amnesty. Illegal immigrants must return to their country of origin to enter the United States with respect to our laws. This will ensure that immigrants receive the proper protections of law and not be forced into the shadows of our society.

I agree with some parts of this.  I believe that amnesty encourages people to try to enter this country illegally. There is a perception that it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission and that needs to change.

A good way to change that is to allow more immigrants to enter the country legally.  I also agree that increased opportunity for immigrants would increase the quality of life for a newly expanded population of legal immigrants.

I do believe that amnesty should be granted in certain cases.  Criminals and illegal immigrants who are not working need to go back to their home countries.  People who are working and helping America rebuild its economy should be considered for amnesty on a case by case basis, with special consideration being granted to families with children in America.

On Education

Buck wants to “revamp” the Department of Education, I truly believe he would like to get rid of it.  In a Q&A Buck had with college Republicans on the matter he said,

In the 1950s, we had the best schools in the world. And the United States government decided to get more involved in federal education. Where are we now, after all those years of federal involvement, are we better or are we worse? So what’s the federal government’s answer? Well since we’ve made education worse, we’re gonna even get more involved.


The problem is that the Education Department was not formed until 1980.  In 1954 the Supreme Court ruled against segregation in public schools (Brown vs. Board of Education).  Is this the government action that Ken Buck claims is ruining education in America?  If so it certainly paints a chilling picture for any minority in this state.

On the Relationship between Religion and State

I have a bias in this field.  I strongly believe that all forms of organized religion are inherently corrupt organizations.  I especially believe this about the three monotheistic religions.  I believe that they all take messages of peace, love and understanding and turn them into messages of violence, hatred and intolerance.  For those who don’t agree all they must do is look at the Palestinian/ Israeli conflict, the Basque in Spain, the Protestant/Catholic feuds in Northern Ireland.  I don’t believe there is anything inherently wrong with the message of these religions, the fault lies in the establishment of houses of worship.

Contrary to popular belief, not all founders of this country where Christians and they had in them a foresight and wisdom to make a stipulation in the Constitution to forbid the establishment of a state church in this nation. However Ken Buck, who seems to have adopted “the intent of the founders” as his battle cry, has a very un-constructionist view on religion.

For a year and a half, Ken Buck campaigned as an extreme candidate who wanted to privatize Social Security, support a budget plan that would end Medicare as we know it, while driving up the national deficit, and sought to repeal the tradition of separation of church and state.

Conclusion

It is not my intent to tell anyone what to think; I merely considered the facts and offered up my assessment of those facts.  The choice is yours as part of an educated electorate.  I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

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