CORE ISSUES

Term Limits, Faith, Healthcare, Fiscal Honesty, and Gun Rights

Term Limits

In the words of one of my political heroes of recent years, former Senator and Presidential Candidate Ron Paul, “term limits will increase performance and prevent corruption.” Those two outcomes he stresses are truly needed in both houses of Congress – it’s as simple as that. I am proudly and without reservation signing a pledge for the organization US. Term Limits: “. . . that as a member of Congress I will cosponsor and vote for the U.S. Term Limits Amendment of three (3) House terms and two (2) Senate terms and no longer limit.”

You may see my signed pledge at https://www.termlimits.com/doug-bell-pledges-to-support-term-limits-on-congress/. You may also see that Representative Mike Rogers is NOT on the list of ninety current members of congress that have signed the pledge at https://www.termlimits.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/117thCongressPledgeSigners.pdf

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Fiscal Discipline: Restoring Credibility to Our National Motto Printed on Our Currency

Heritage Action was founded by one of the leading conservative advocacy groups, The Heritage Foundation, for the purpose of holding politicians accountable based on their voting record. A simple scroll through the votes by Representative Mike Rogers on the Heritage Action website reveals why he is given a 69% lifetime voting scorecard by them. Representative Rogers may be “conservative” on some issues, but he is not a fiscal conservative. He supports big federal government spending packages that pass on enormous amounts of debt to our children. One must look no further than his “yes” vote on the $1.5 trillion Omnibus and Supplemental Package that passed in March of 2022 to get a glimpse about where Mike Rogers stands. Heritage Action wrote the following about the spending bill:

A 2,741 page, $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package filled with Biden policy priorities along with an attached $13.6 billion for aid to Ukraine. It fails to reverse the COVID-19 emergency [use authorization] or the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates, as conservative leaders have called for, and doubles down on the Green New Deal style government subsidies for green energy and climate policies.[

Someone may ask, how could someone who represents a professed conservative district like Alabama’s 3rd vote for a bill laced with big-government spending and liberals’ “pet projects?” The answer is that the U.S. Congress is the place where everybody gets a little more of what they want and everyone’s wallet stays fatter for a little longer. Meanwhile, we plunge faster down the fiscal cliff and into the valley of economic ruin that will be very difficult for future generations of Americans to climb out of. If you take the time and probe a little deeper, it becomes apparent why Representative Rogers would vote for such a bill.

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Your Business Should Be Your Business

In the 2020 landmark Supreme Court case, Bostock V. Clayton County, the gender component of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was judged to include sexual orientation and gender identity.  Though the case primarily involved a local government entity, the ruling regarding the gender component of Title VII also applies to private employers (with 15 or more employees) since Title VII applies to both government and private employers.  For those who are not aware, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was where the federal government began to tell employers what characteristics they could not consider when making hiring decisions.  The five components, or what many call “protected classes of people,” are race, skin color, national origin, gender, and religion. 

In writing the majority opinion for Bostock V. Clayton County, Justice Neil Gorsuch made it clear that it was the ambiguity surrounding the gender component of Title VII that led him to render his verdict.  Many Republicans such as Representative Mike Rogers have consistently voted against attempts to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the protected classes of people in Title VII.   The 2020 Supreme Court case left this addition unnecessary since now the gender component of Title VII includes sexual orientation and gender identity.  However, if our representatives in congress such as Representative Rogers really want to stand for the freedom of employers to consider sexual orientation and gender identity when making hiring decisions, they can introduce a bill that amends Title VII to bring clarity to what gender means in Title VII.   

If elected to the U.S. Congress, you will not find me in support of any such bill that does not address the fundamental problem.  Along with Republican office holders in the past, such as Senator Barry Goldwater and Congressman Ron Paul, I believe that the federal government dictating to private employers what characteristics they cannot consider when making hiring decisions was unconstitutional from the start.  It is the one who funds the payroll that should decide what characteristics they consider when making hiring decisions in accordance with their own religious and moral values.  In accordance with the First Amendment, this is regardless of how much I may agree or disagree with those values.    

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Healthcare Reform: Take it Back to the States

When we talk of compassion and individual responsibility as they pertain to healthcare public policy, I believe they must be balanced. I do not want to be guilty of going too far to the extreme in either direction. We can err too much on the individual responsibility side. Some people have adverse health conditions they are born with, but we know that others have conditions that are a result of unhealthy choices they have made. In the case of the latter, it is easy to become callous, not remembering the words of Jesus, “to him who is without sin let him cast the first stone.” At the same time, in that same biblical narrative, Jesus also said, “now go and sin no more.” I personally believe that Jesus saw a broken and contrite heart in the woman caught in adultery. I do not think that the actions of Jesus would have been the same if he saw a defiant attitude. In accordance with what I call the “whole counsel of God,” I believe that there is a place for “tough love” to be administered and being “too compassionate” is not the most loving route in helping people learn to take responsibility for their decisions.

When applying this to public healthcare policy, I do not claim to know the perfect balance between compassion and individual responsibility. What I do believe, not just about public healthcare policy but a myriad of other issues, is the following: There are elected representatives in all fifty state legislatures that should be committed and tasked to calculate and maintain that balance for the people they represent. I will not quote the words of Jesus this time but the words of Thomas Jefferson which reflect my core political philosophy: “The government closest to the people governs best.” I will stand with like-minded Republicans and anyone else who desires the reduction of federal power to mandate and the increase of states’ rights and power to develop and implement healthcare policy. This translates into repealing the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Being people of compassion is important to receiving the blessing of God for any nation; I just don’t believe it is the role of the federal government to define or mandate it.

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The Right to Keep in Check the Power of the Government

Power corrupts.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Need I say more about where I stand on our right to bear arms?  If anything, we need to try to enforce the laws that are already on the books in order to be responsible stewards of this foundational right.  Some in the government seem to be hell-bent on systematically taking away our freedoms, including the one afforded us in the 2nd amendment.  For reasons given to us by our founding fathers, we need to be very diligent about preserving our right to bear arms.

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As I continue to develop this page, I welcome and value your comments, central concerns and your thoughts on my core issues.  I want America to be the best possible place for all of us. It does not matter to me where you are in the political realm, everyone’s thoughts matter to me and will be considered.c

Doug Bell for US Congress - Alabama's 3rd Distrcit
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