Friday, April 3, 2009

Introducing Bradley Rees, Republican Candidate for Congress (VA-5)

I want to follow in aznew's footsteps and introduce Dem Bones readers to Bradley Rees, who is currently seeking the Republican nomination to run against Rep. Perriello. I learned about Rees' candidacy a couple days ago, and I want to pass on what information I have.

Rees, 30, has a lively twitter feed; much of my information comes from there. He lives in rural Bedford, and he is married with a son and a daughter. Politically speaking, he is a self-professed Ayn Rand Objectivist Libertarian/conservative, and like aznew, I wonder how he resolves the philosophical tensions therein. Interestingly, today he celebrated Iowa's decision on gay marriage (I think; it was re-tweeted three times). His main issue is the Fair Tax.

Importantly, Rees is planning on primarying former Congressman Goode (and other rumored candidates) for the Republican nod to run against Tom. Or has he accepted a position on Goode's staff? That, however, was an April Fools joke, I think. Or is he going to run for a third party? For some clarification, his most recent tweet on the matter suggests he is running for the Republican nod.

His campaign website is SonsofLiberty2k10 and his personal blog is SonofLiberty2k10. His main platforms are to institute the Fair Tax, to commission a 10th Amendment Review Committee to return power to state/local governments, to marginalize and cripple lobbyist influence, and, curiously, to never be a lawyer. His personal bio page begins in sweetness:
For once in your life, you are about to meet a politician who can actually live up to the first 6 letters in the word “candidate.” Prepare to be amazed.
Interestingly his bio page doesn't offer his name or other pertinent biographical information, but he does offer this:
If we are truly ready to embrace “change,” then how about we ditch the status-quo and join up with a true ”maverick” who will give you “straight talk” and “hope.” That’s right, me. The guy with no money to speak of, who has no influence to peddle. The guy who simply wants to help put an end to the cycle of the common man feeling left out of the process. Isn’t it still “we, the people?”
His blog, on the other hand, has the following (anti-Perriello) purpose:
Here I will catalog faithfully the steps (and/or mis-steps) of freshman Congressman Tom S. P. Perriello. If I agree with his stance on a given issue, I will admit it here. If I don’t agree, you can expect to read my take on the issue, and the vote I would have made as your Congressman.
His "One The Issues" page does not (yet) contain any issue statements, and his initial post details his political and Libertarian philosophy.

Also of note, there is a Tax Day Tea Party in Lynchburg on April 15th, and Rees apparently will be a speaker. So will Goode.

If Rees is going to run against Goode, it will, of course, be an uphill battle, made worse if other rumored candidates decide to challenge. In this light, however, I can't help but conclude with aznew's thoughtful sentiment:
[We are] dedicated to electing Progressives, not Ayn Rand Objectivist Libertarian/Conservatives, so we can't endorse you. But in the spirit of pluralism, and with an abiding belief in American Constitutionalism, even if we interpret that differently than do you, we nonetheless salute you for putting yourself out there, caring and participating constructively in the political process. We hope you give Virgil a run for his money.


JCWhite said...

Nice post, but I believe I'll just ignore him for now..............

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting on me, Drew.

I suppose I should clarify my philosophy a bit, since the description is kind of open-ended and sounds contradictory. I meant that I have borrowed from these different philosophies in the following ways-

Ayn Rand/Objectivism: The notion that man is an end in himself and is, ultimately, a rational/logical being, thus all of his knowledge and decisions are, whether consciously or not, wholly dependent on logic and rationalization. The man who is completely ruled by emotion has chosen to do so and, as such, is in denial of rationality. So it follows that he is actually a worshipper of death, since life is a series of self-generated and self-sustaining actions, dependent on logic and emotion, but logic first and foremost, as emotions on their own have no power to sustain life.

Libertarianism: Similar to Rand (but separate, since Ayn Rand despised Libertarians). Man is an individual. Natural rights (life, liberty, and property, as laid out in the Declaration) are conferred on each individual, and all individuals equally. In a moral and civilized society, an individual has every right to swing their fist. That right ends where another individual's nose begins. No entity (especially government) has the right to initiate force to achieve their ends. Hence, compulsory education and compulsory wage withholding are absolutely immoral, if we wish to claim that we live in a civilized and moral society.

Conservatism: Again, the point hinges on liberty. The individual, having property rights (without which the pursuit of happiness is impossible) conferred upon them not by man, but by virtue of being human, cannot therefore be stripped of their property under any moral claim, by any earthly entity. When government (which produces no product and creates no wealth on its own) gets wealth from individuals, it is designed to be voluntary. In being a citizen, it is an individual's duty to provide a portion of the monies by which government funds certain enumerated functions, but only those functions that absolutely cannot be performed by individuals. These functions are few. Our imperial Federal government has far over-reached those limitations, and has been reaching even further for well over a century, as the Framers predicted. This is, quite simply, unsustainable.

I hope that clarifies things a bit.
:-) Thanks again.
Bradley S. Rees