Opinion: Trammell for Virginia’s 7th district

Virginia’s 7th District is currently facing a choice: vote for moderation and well founded ideas, or accept the ideological extremism that has brought activity in our current Congress to a standstill.

While Jack Trammell has presented ideas that are both popular and well-founded, his opponent, Dave Brat, has continued to try and sell failed ideas as the innovative approach of a “Washington outsider.”

In his attempt to ride the Republican Party’s brand to victory, Brat has staked his candidacy on several politically popular (at least in the 7th district) but fundamentally unsound ideas: radically restricting immigration into the U.S., repealing Obamacare and instituting term limits on members of Congress.

Let’s take a look at candidate Brat’s responses when he was pressed about his platform.

When Brat was asked about what to do with the millions of illegal immigrants currently living in the United States, he stated, “Nations that function under the rule of law do well.”

Brat’s opaque claim hides an ugly undercurrent of America’s anti-immigrant past.

We can only assume by following the “rule of law” that Brat seeks to rid America once and for all of its immigrant problem through the easiest method possible: deporting them.

In seeking to repeal Obamacare, Brat ignores the advice of top members of his own party such as Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the number four ranking Republican in the House, who urges members of the Republican Party to move on to other issues after having voted to repeal Obamacare more than 50 times.

Term limits are also a popular idea on the surface, but the consensus on their effectiveness in creating more competitive elections as Brat asserts is far from apparent.

The main method for voters to hold politicians accountable is the ballot box, and term limits would hardly make gerrymandered districts more competitive between the parties; they would simply lead to a newly entrenched incumbent every X number of years.

By contrast, Trammell has courageously defended a consistent set of issues that speak to our country’s fundamental problems.

Whereas Brat would leave providing relief to students with crushing amounts of debt to his panacea, “the free market,” Trammell recognizes that while free markets have provided America with the incredible wealth and relative luxury we enjoy today, the free market has so far failed colleges, universities and their students by forcing them to accept the increased costs of education and thus pass that cost off to the most vulnerable group of Americans: our young people.

Trammell proposes not to repeal Obamacare, but to fix the parts of it that are not working.

This is where Brat’s rhetoric turns up an empty path; he has no solution for the 9.3 million Americans now insured under the act. Trammell uses a scalpel where Brat wields a sledgehammer.

Additionally, in contrast to his opponent’s insensitive approach to immigration reform, Trammell supports the bipartisan Senate bill that would take this country a step in the right direction toward reforming our system of immigration.

Candidate Brat seems more concerned with fence-building than with improving America, considering he labeled Eric Cantor’s approach to immigration as “amnesty.”

Trammell is also a courageous advocate for women in the military and in the workplace, whereas his opponent Brat remains silent on so many issues that are important to the women in America.

Trammell stands firmly behind equal pay for equal work for women, and he has pledged to take steps to end violence against women and harassment in the workplace.

“Unfunded mandates” will only take you so far if you continue to ignore fundamental issues that are affecting women in America every day, candidate Brat.

Both candidates claim they will fix what is wrong with Washington. Who will truly be part of the solution?

The man who painted Cantor as soft on immigration and continues to associate with Tea Party extremists? No.

Jack Trammell is the right candidate for the 7th district. He deserves your vote.

-Henry Ashton ’15, Senior Politics/Opinions Editor

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