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Are all Republicans the same?

If you want an honest answer to the headline, read all of this.

In the news item done by YNN on December 2, 2013, the candidates for the New York 22nd Congressional District (including myself) were painted with a broad and eerily similar brush. The depiction was one that seemed to imply that there is no difference between Rep. Richard Hanna, myself, or any other Republican. Which is silly.

The implication, which may have been unintentional, is like saying that there is no difference between Gov. Chris Christie, Rep. Rand Paul and President G. W. Bush. Or put another way, President Jimmy Carter, President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama and President John F. Kennedy were the exact same Democrat. It’s preposterous at every level.

But the brush can be painted on any number of candidates and incumbents of the same political party. Many of the same beliefs will of course be a common thread. Many of the same issues will of course be part of the platform (a question that I can directly state was never asked of me in the YNN interview). The question for voters is not what is the same, but what is the difference – unless there is a purpose to blur what is being presented. But that is a question for another day, and very unclear.

What makes a candidate different is their experience, their convictions, and what they believe is their motivation for elected office, in my opinion.

Representative Richard Hanna presents himself as a staunch Conservative and Republican. That’s what he ran on in 2010, and helped him get elected in a wave of Tea Party support and Conservatism. But he himself has said, in 2010 to Time Magazine and in other media since (National journal rankings for one), that he is not a Conservative but a Moderate.

Rep. Hanna is firm in his opposition of Obamacare, except he has clearly stated in a little viewed interview on Youtube (Minute 1:10 – 1:58) that his votes are merely symbolic. Worse yet, when faced with standing by the conviction of his votes Rep. Hanna folded,

Hanna was one of two Republicans who voted against delaying Obamacare…”

“Only two Republicans, both from New York — Reps. Chris Gibson and Richard Hanna —broke ranks with their party to oppose the one-year delay in Obamacare. Both had backed the previous government funding bill defunding Obamacare entirely.”

Something numerous news media noted immediately.

Rep. Hanna believes, apparently, that drones are essential to domestic security. Yet he is willing to invite abuse by not seeking to restrict the way they will be used, which is essentially selling the 4th Amendment for a literal handful of jobs as I see it.

Rep. Hanna is more than willing to sit on the sidelines, without opinion in the face of clearly expressed opinion from constituents, the nation, and in some cases the globe – as he did as President Obama sought to take unilateral action in Syria (against the will of the public, much of Congress, and even international allies).

This is the Republican that I am running against in the 2014 New York election. And there is very little that is similar.

I am a fiscal Conservative because I believe that a Government should be, at the least, as careful with its spending as the people it represents. I am Conservative because I believe that the Constitution and Amendments are not just a list of ideals, but guidelines to preserve freedoms in a way that no other nation as done. I am a Republican because I believe that the ingenuity and innovation of individuals always surpasses that of Government, and advances the world. I believe these things strongly enough to have served my country in military service, and to speak out in commentary for the world to see and discuss.

I oppose Obamacare, not because of symbolism meant to build up political credibility or a vague love of the healthcare system that proceeded it. I oppose the fact that is established a power of Government over the people – which I see as a long-term danger to the nation. I oppose the ACA because if fails in its primary objective to lower healthcare costs. I object to the Health Care Reform because the unintended (and apparently well known among Democrats) consequences are numerous, and to be expected from a partisan law that barely had the ink dry before it was passed. And I’ve been saying this since 2009, publicly. Just do a Google search.

I fear abuses of power, like drones without laws limiting use against average citizens, or invasion of privacy by the NSA, or even sidestepping Congress by a President that believes Executive Orders are a perfect means to ram his ideology down the throats of Americans that disagree. I support Bills like the Amash Amendment (that Rep. Hanna voted against) that the public agrees with and protects our Rights. I stand, vocally, in opposition to those that would sell our Rights (on the cheap no less) and our citizenship piece by piece under a banner of universal benefits that never come to pass and are never needed anyway.

I defend the freedoms of Americans to bear arms, and speak freely – even if I disagree with what is being said and even when the criminal and insane misuse such Rights. To limit what is said is to cage a mind. To weaken protection (even from the Government itself) is to invite attack. I defend these and other issues with a knowledge of what is being discussed, the ramifications of the decisions, and an understanding of what the public actually values.

I hold my positions as I have for years, as is documented and readily available. Not without an ear to hear other options, nor without the willingness to debate pros and cons in an effort to reach the best solution. I have no delusion of grandeur, nor do I believe any 1 person is so wise as to have all the solutions to all problems. But I have the passion and strength of my convictions to face opposition with facts and logic on issues that matter and have mattered over the years, without bending to and fro because of a misplaced desire to maintain a political advantage.

Long before I felt the need to represent the many people of the NY-22, long before the political landscape required a clear, decisive, consistent representative (or several dozen) I believed these things. Don’t take my word for it, see my Youtube videos, my speeches, my political commentary. You won’t agree with it all, but then again you shouldn’t. Because the politician that everyone agrees with is most likely the same politician lying to everyone.

Don’t be fooled though. I am not they media driven image of what a Republican is supposed to be. The image of an old, White male that hates gays, immigrants, and non-Christians. An image of intolerance fueled by greed and avarice. That’s not a Republican, or a Conservative. That’s not any political party of worth in America. That’s just a great way to sell newspapers and get eyeballs on TV.

I am a Black Puerto Rican, 45 years old. I am a Conservative, a Republican, a small business owner, a homeowner. I am a brother and uncle. I am a son. I am most of all an American. I cannot be boxed into a forgettable category, or mashed into some mass of made up media hype.

This is not a 30 second soundbite, nor is it the limit of what I stand for but the beginning. My platform may sound familiar, but that’s only because it is not being addressed and most Americans think it should be. I am running for the 22nd Congressional District because I want to make an effective difference, and the nation as well as the NY-22 are in desperate need of people in Congress that want to be effective and not just in office.

If you have read this far, and you see the worth in what I am saying, share this. Because we have enough cookie-cutter politicians that are all painted with the same brush. The approval rating for Congress reflects how effective that is. Time for someone else, and all I ask is for voters and the public, to hear me out and then make their choice.

Sincerely

Michael Vasquez

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