Congress has largely been inept of representatives with strength, accountability, and the will to represent those that elected them. In effect of this, the American people are thirsting for such candidates to represent their districts. However, of recent times, no such candidate has surfaced. Well, of course, not until now. New York's 2014 22nd congressional district Republican candidate, Michael Vasquez, is here to quench the American people's thirst.
Mr. Vasquez grew up in the Bronx and graduated from a Bronx high school called Evander Childs High school, which is no longer in operation. He graduated 6th in his class and was quite the strong academically-focused student. After high school, Michael continued to college at Rutgers University, where he studied English, Philosophy, and Chemistry. This diversified area of academic study was a good representation of Michael's love of thinking, as well as his passion for understanding the various aspects of the world. Although not finishing his college experience, he went on to join the U.S. Marine Reserve.
During the time in Russia, Mr. Vasquez lived in Moscow, Riga, and Tbilisi during which he experiencing the attempted coup of the Soviet government and the Soviet Georgian civil war. It was during these turbulent times that Mr. Vasquez learned first-hand the daily impact of Communist socialism on the lives of average citizens and the extreme differences life in America provides. (Link to full site).
Michael has experienced the failures of other systems such as the Soviet Union's and can give first hand testimony to the fact of its inadequacy and destruction. During my interview with him, Michael stated that:
"While I was in Russia, I saw an extreme lack of food for the people. Many shops were out of products and had to close."
It was through experiences such as that, that Michael was able to appreciate America's exceptionalism to the fullest. He could go back to America and truly feel grateful for living in a country with such wealth and opportunity. In that, he strived to take advantage of that wealth and opportunity. After returning from Moscow and leaving the reserve, Michael eventually made his way to California, where he put great time and money into business ventures. Unfortunately, despite his hard work, Michael lost everything and went through two periods of homelessness. It was due to the strength of the American community that inevitably helped get Michael back up on his feet. A local church helped him out in every way possible until he could start over again.
Michael told me that it was through the various people he associated with after returning from homelessness: friends, doctors, and colleagues, that helped him to find is way back on a career path.
"They told me I should become a stockbroker."
Michael loved reading the business and stocks sections of newspapers and would always share their information with everyone he came into contact with. Eventually, it came to the point where people would just say "why don't you just become a stockbroker?" After repeated exposure to such encouragement, Michael did, indeed, become a stockbroker; for which he remained for 7 years. On the other hand, in the early 2000's, Michael foresaw future downfall in the markets. Therefore, he advised his clients to play it safe, and he too, decided to make a swift change; leaving the business in 2002. That was not the end of Michael's investment quest. He then started an investors relations company with a friend. Despite great success, yet again, Michael hit a brick wall. Due to the recession of '08, he ended up losing all of his clients.
"I am currently working for an auto insurance company in New York as an agent, and I am also a member of the press; covering most all topics that congress covers."
As with his past, the strength of his character and work ethic helped him get back on his feet. Michael then got a job at an auto insurance company and remains there as an insurance agent. On the side, he is also a member of the press and has held countless interviews and political commentating sessions.
Throughout my interview with Mr. Vasquez, he shared an in-depth analysis of his views and hopes for his campaign with me.
What would you say is the reason for you running?
It's because, well, look what we are getting out of congress today. Everyone is fed up. In fact, congress ONLY has an 8.8% approval rating. Look at our current status: we have an economy that is spiraling downward in debt, we have a lack of jobs, a president running amuck, and a congress who is sitting around playing partisan politics and ignoring their constituents. It is the combination of all of that, among other things, that has pressed me to go on my political quest.
Accountability is the first and foremost principle of my campaign. I will speak about the issues that the people of the 22nd district ask of me to speak on. I will also support reform within our nation's spending: spending less and spending what we spend more wisely. As far as foreign policy, I would like to restrict NSA spying and drone usage both nationally and internationally. Just look at the national US drone usage that has occurred under federal agencies since 2006 that we are now just finding out about. They should be used properly and regulated through a set of laws. In many cases, with our spying and drone usage, we are picking on people who have no reason to be picked on. What if we worked with reliable sources throughout the region and shared our intelligence? Wouldn't that be more efficient than just going off on our own and bombing anybody who we suspect could have any ties to terrorist activities? As many in the 22nd district also were curious, I continue to wonder what possible interests we ever could have in the Syrian situation. As Ron Paul even pointed out, there is no positive American interests that can come from getting involved in the Syrian crisis. In fact, congress couldn't even find a good reason for going in. The president, as well, just wanted to go in and drop a few bombs in order to be able to say we did something. That is no different than the rather irresponsible activities that occurred under George W. Bush's foreign policy.
(On "gun control")
What is your stance on gun control legislation? Would you say you support universal background checks?
I think the biggest concern is the criminal use of guns. However, none of the laws that have been passed, as well as Barack Obama's proposed 23 executive actions, are even the slightest effective. I would agree, however, with background checks because they are reasonable. It makes sense for the sellers of arms to be aware of their customer's backgrounds before they sell to them. Furthermore, it would also make sense to have mandatory training courses for those who want to purchase a gun. That way, we are better wielding out those who are not responsible or experienced enough to use a gun.
Although we can talk all day about techniques and laws, none of it will matter unless we get down to the root cause of the rise in shootings. Instead of going straight to making laws, how about go to the root cause of the problem and start there. The fact of the matter is, mental health is the core cause of these mass shootings. Therefore, we should continue to strengthen our research and awareness about such issues so that we can help identify these individuals earlier on.
We cannot have a government run on split-second, impulsive decisions. Most of these "gun control" laws are a direct consequence of such thinking. Instead of making these impulsive decisions and getting nowhere, how about we stand up for the people and work from the ground up on the issue in its entirety.
(Writer's contributing thought): The mandatory courses actually make quite sense, and is something that I have never given much thought to. Often, gun supporters like to equate the ability to own and drive an automobile, which can be used to do harm, to the ability to own and shoot a gun. I will add further to that: since you have to get lessons and get licensed to drive a car, the same should reign true for a gun.
What is your stance on poverty and education, and do you have any initiatives that you are interested in pursuing for the community that you will be representing?
For one, I am against common core. Even the best of educators are against it, for it is a real mess. Forcing kids to memorize information, that of which is also heavily edited and partisan, is wrong and detrimental to intellectual growth. As for poverty, I believe in the CDC, which was the original creation of welfare. With this, everybody who received welfare, worked. Whether that be through cleaning up the streets or some other form of service to the community, you had to do some form of work. The basic concept is self-sustaining: you give to your community and the community gives back to you. As for education, 1970's education was good. It prepared me for college and harbored strong thinking skills for me that have stayed with me ever since.
One of the biggest problems with today's education is that it does not promote a creative learning environment for our children. We are not promoting at the lower levels: art, wood and metal shop, and reading. We aren't even playing diversified music. Basically, we should be exposing our children to a creative environment at a younger age in order boost their creativity and thinking skills. Why always force children to learn Shakespeare and learn in such a procedural environment? We should allow them to grow by exposing them to all sorts of different works, as well as fun and enjoyable ones. At the end of the day, our focus is wrong. Not every kid is going to be a computer genius or going to Harvard, so why try to treat every kid as if they are or should be? We need people to support and fix our infrastructure. If our focus continues only on promoting specific paths, such as computer scientists, we will lack in other more important areas. Instead of doing what people think you should do, do what you do best.
Knowledge is power, which is why, as a young boy, I read the newspaper from front to back on a daily basis. If only we also promoted the interest in world affairs and the differences and similarities of people around the world to our children, we might have the potential of creating the great thinkers and leaders that we supposedly believe we are crafting under the current system.
(The Federal Reserve and The Pentagon)
Do you think that we should audit the Federal Reserve and the Pentagon?
The FED, yes, but the Pentagon, not entirely. People do need to be accountable for our excessive spending. In fact, we all should be aware of our spending. Furthermore, it is not the intent of government to micromanage the people. They always end up messing up what people and private industry do better.
I am against Obamacare because it places the life of the government above everything else. It doesn't address health care costs. Tort reform would help end the number two reason that is raising health care costs: lawsuits, which would change things significantly. Furthermore, I believe that we should have interstate competition. Allow for people to buy health care insurance across states. With increased competition, the cost of plans will greatly reduce.
I believe in legal immigration. Illegal immigrants, on the other hand, are criminals, and they need to be held accountable for their action of breaking the law. If you have a law without a consequence, you have anarchy. Immigrants should all go through the same immigration process; including illegal immigrants. By continuing to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, we are promoting the destruction of our system of law; creating a self-eating entity. All of that being said, we do need to improve our immigration process by easing the process and making it more efficient.
I do not despise immigrants, I love immigrants, legal immigrants that is, for they have done much for the growth of America for decades.
(Drugs and Society)
What is your views on drugs and the supposed "war on drugs?"
Well, I grew up in the Bronx and watched the most brilliant minds destroyed by drugs. I am against drug usage; especially illegal drugs. They take away people's motivation, and yet, our society continues to glorify their use. Now, as for the "war on drugs," we have a great way of spending a lot of money on something that does very little to curtail the problem, if not, cause more problems in the process. Even though I do not support drug usage, such as the use of marijuana, I will support what my constituents require of me. Now, that does not me that I will change my views and remain quiet on the matter. I will continue to speak out against drug usage but will uphold my constituent's wishes.
My job is to represent, not to serve myself.
Although this may seem rather corny, I must ask, what makes America so great to you?
After being in Russia, while under the Soviet Union, and serving in the military; seeing the lack of food and products for the people, hearing stories such as that of people who spent 12 hours traveling to the world's largest Mcdonalds as a family vacation that took 5 years to save up for, only to eat a big mac and fries, I became very appreciative of the high quality of life and opportunity that exists in America.
On a more personal note, my father was a victim of Agent Orange and also lost both an arm and a leg. Despite the pain and agony that he suffered with by serving our country, he never complained about being an American citizen. That has inspired me ever since, and I make it a point to try not to take my American citizenship for granted.
This is the greatest nation that ever existed, and that is why thousands upon thousands of people come here every year.
America is in deep need of candidates that are willing to be strong, keep true to accountability, and to represent their constituents: us. Michael Vasquez has proved, with his diverse history of military service, experience living within a communist country, periods of homelessness, experience with building up businesses at great risk, commitment to education and improving his thinking, and his experience of growing up in a rough and poor neighborhood: the Bronx, as well as his reasoning for wanting to run, that he is that candidate that the American people have been thirsting for. He will represent you even if he disagrees with you, and will also put your interests above his own, which is exactly what our representatives *should* be doing.
VOTE FOR MICHAEL VASQUEZ, VOTE TO QUENCH AMERICA'S THIRST FOR REPRESENTATION!
Read another article about Michael here
"The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant." —Max DePree
"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves." —Lao Tzu
"Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes."—Peter Drucker
"The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly." —Jim Rohn
"Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out." —Stephen Covey
"Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be lead." —Ross Perot
"We live in a society obsessed with public opinion. But leadership has never been about popularity." —Marco Rubio
"A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit." —John Maxwell
"Earn your leadership every day."–Michael Jordan