For the past 35 years I have filled virtually every role in public education; teacher, coach, bus driver, principal, and superintendent. I know better than any of my opponents how insidious federal assistance programs lock school districts into vassal servitude with funding, then use that leverage to force “woke” programs into the teaching curriculum. These programs reduce the capabilities and potential of our children by lowering the bar for academic achievement and attempting social indoctrination through gender/race-identity programs, driven by Leftist ideology that has nothing to do with education. These “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” initiatives actually cause more confusion and division among our youth, and parents who voice their disagreement with these programs may receive a visit from the FBI or end up on a Department of Homeland Security list. Education is supposed to teach children how to think, not what to think. Ethics and values are supposed to be taught at home by parents, and every state and region will have its own character based on established community values. These are the choices allowed to a free society, and the federal government’s attempts to force-indoctrinate our children need to stop. If elected, I will fight to resist federal interference in Texas schools and encourage competitive excellence in education by supporting school choice.
FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS
The Founding Fathers chose freedom of religion, speech and press, and peaceful assembly as the subjects for the First Amendment because these are the most necessary conditions to guard a free people against the overreach of government. Today, all of these are under serious attack by liberal factions with anti-American agendas. The term “hate speech” has been co-opted to apply to anyone who disagrees with the nascent socialist / Marxist narrative. The First Amendment is being flipped upside-down and weaponized by Big Tech, government, and mainstream media to silence conservative voices, and push gender, race and fear-based political propaganda, designed to further polarize our society. This threat cannot be overstated, and I intend to lead the fight against it.
The truth about the depth and impact of “irregularities” noted in the 2020 election may never be known, but it is clear that American’s confidence in the integrity of our elections has been seriously shaken. Internet-connected voting machines are vulnerable to hacking, and the big business of mass ballot mail-ins and harvesting add to the perception of a compromised process. The inappropriate and shocking spread of states allowing non-citizens to vote in their elections should highlight the additional danger posed by the Left’s open border agenda. Efforts to dissolve the Electoral College are naked pretexts to put all political power in a handful of metropolis cities, which overwhelmingly vote Democrat. No one else’s vote would matter, and the age of mob rule in America would begin. Allowing this erosion to go any further is to risk the future of our country. I will not support any legislation that may further compromise our electoral system.
The mess at our southern border is the result of decades of do-nothing politicians who violated our trust with so many unfulfilled promises to fix it. Don’t believe the anti-American rhetoric you hear from uninformed Leftist politicians. America is extremely generous and welcoming to immigrants; just ask the 46 million who live here, including the 1.5 million that legally immigrated last year. Border security is the right of every sovereign nation, and the push for open borders is just another pretext to accuse conservatives of racism and to bolster the illegal voter base for the Left, who don’t seem to care that it also enables human smuggling, kidnapping, slavery, terrorism, and the drug trade. The drain on our resources in dealing with the consequences of illegal immigration is unsustainable, and implementing common-sense solutions will be one of my highest priorities.
An elected representative should serve for the right reasons; passionate dedication to their country, a desire to help formulate solutions for our challenges, and to represent the opinions and positions of their constituents. This service should be selfless, not self-serving, but unfortunately, power and money drive our political system. It is antithetical to honest public duty that a legislator, elected at a reasonable salary, should somehow become a multi-millionaire while in office. Politics has become a business, and the politician the product; no different than the naked corruption we see in other countries. This situation is created by special-interest lobbyists who lure career politicians with lucrative benefits and campaign donations to keep them in office. Of course, it is a quid pro quo relationship, and when the lobbyists call for a favor, that politician is expected to deliver, assuring that special-interest lobbies have an oversized influence on the outcome of legislation.
Career politicians have also learned that conflict equals job security. Instead of debating the merits of workable solutions and getting things done, they resort to elevating conflict, with no room for progress. The result is a stagnant, bloated and hostile bureaucracy that does no one any good.
The solution to this dilemma is to get rid of career politicians and put new rules and oversight into place regarding financial dealings. By adopting term limits, individual politicians’ influence is lessened, and therefore their value to the lobbyists is greatly reduced. Financial incentives will be harder to hide within more narrow timeframes, and it will be easier for politicians to conduct business without being beholden to the lobbyists because they will be less concerned with re-election. If elected, I will propose the adoption of term limits to reasonable timeframes that allow for stability and effectiveness, while limiting the influence of money.
This very controversial issue has been a dividing point in American life and politics for decades, and it’s only fair that each candidate seeking office explains his or her position to potential voters. Any candidate who doesn’t is just trying to avoid alienating voting blocs by not articulating how they would vote on the issue. If elected to Congress, I must follow the values instilled in me through a lifetime of learning through the church, and 35 years of experience as an educator of children. In my view, abortion is morally and ethically wrong and damaging to the fabric of our society.
SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS
The Second Amendment was not enshrined in the Constitution to protect recreational shooting or hunting; those are simply by-products. Rather, it recognized every individual’s right to self-defense, and their further right to assemble for defense against a tyrannical government. Without the Second Amendment, none of our rights are worth the paper they are printed on, because we must trust that the government will protect and honor them. History has taught us the lesson of regimes that first disarmed their people before violently abusing them; China, the Soviet Union, Cuba, and most recently Venezuela. Look at the way Australians are being dominated by their bureaucrats today. With over 300,000 gun laws already on the books, and liberals calling for even more, it is clear they will not be satisfied until gun ownership is outlawed. A disarmed America cannot defend the Constitution, and as a member of the NRA and a CHL holder, I will not support any further gun-control legislation.
PROTECT THE MIDDLE CLASS AND BLUE-COLLAR WORKERS
The middle-class is the backbone of every American success. My parents were blue-collar workers, as was I, growing up in Texas and later working working on hot, dusty oil rigs in Louisiana as a roughneck to put myself through college. I understand very well the struggles and concerns of the middle class because I am one of them.
In contrast, my opponent, Van Taylor, comes from a background of wealth and privilege, which he used to secure a vacant office to add political influence to his resume. I don’t intend to run a negative campaign or attack him personally, but the truth is that he simply lacks the perspective to understand middle-class issues, and some of his voting behavior has been criticized by Texas Republicans as “self-absorbed,” and unhelpful. I believe my background and value system is more representative of the people of the 3rd District, while Van Taylor is out of step with his constituency and his party.
AMERICA FIRST FOREIGN POLICY
With the national debt now over $28.4 trillion, the Biden/Harris administration still handed out over $300 billion dollars to other countries in 2021. How does it make sense to keep borrowing money at interest, just to turn around and give hundreds of billions of dollars away every year? Notwithstanding certain responsibilities and support of allies, our national interests should be the federal government’s primary concern. America needs to put a stop to the shell game of companies moving overseas to take advantage of sweat-shop labor and tax havens, only to turn around and sell their product in the U.S. at prices that American manufacturers can’t match. The playing field must be leveled. Countries like China, that use government resources to artificially reduce costs and steal intellectual property, should be barred from trade or punished through high tariffs. A continued commitment to national defense and fair competition will ensure that America retains its position of military and economic leadership, which is good for the entire world.
ALIGN WITH PATRIOTS
I am a strict Constitutional conservative, which means that I believe in the original Republican values of our Founding Fathers, which prioritized limited government. Today, the House Freedom Caucus is the conservative group most closely aligned with those values, which is why I will join the caucus on Day One. Together, we will lead the important legislative and judicial work that needs to be done to bring transparency and accountability to a host of issues that the Left wants to sweep under the rug. The Democratic party has become a menagerie of misfits, with members who actually declare themselves Socialists/Communists, which is completely antithetical to the American concept. We will stop them by standing together and enforcing adherence to Constitutional standards and traditional Texas values.
If you're nodding your head YES to these positions, please consider making a contribution to the Rickey for Congress campaign today.