Human life begins at conception and deserves legal protection at every stage until natural death.
Abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, should not receive taxpayer funds or grants from federal, state, or local governments.
I support the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which requires health care providers to provide life-saving treatment for infants who survive an attempted abortion.
Under what circumstances should abortion be allowed?
The government, in particular at the Federal and State levels, should have nothing to say about abortion. I do not trust politicians to make it anything but a political football, to divide the country for their own benefit, but not that of the general population, or the parents, or the baby. No one should be 'allowed' to get an abortion. Do we 'allow' our children to misbehave? Does the Lord 'allow' us to sin? Everyone, however, should be allowed to make abortion decisions, including the completely wrong decision, for themselves, with no interference by politicians. This is what the god in my Bible says. He tells me to trust in the Lord, for both punishment and reward, not the King. One additional note. Our goal should be to minimize abortions, not eliminate them. As with most things where humans are involved, one is possible, the other is not. There is a place where our acts are ultimately judged, it is not on earth.
It is the government’s responsibility to ensure everyone has a livable income.
Free enterprise and the right to private property are essential elements of a productive economic system.
How would you guarantee Social Security benefits for future generations?
There are only a few possibilities. 1) raise taxes, 2) decrease benefits, 3) increase the working age population so it is always in proportion to the Social Security population. These three are just math problems - if the math doesn't work out, no amount of pontificating will change the answer. The alternative I prefer is - 4) privatize the retirement system, as Sweden has done. This is simple and direct. Personal accounts will always be protected from thieving politicians who want to spend your retirement money. People can save as they wish, rather than as the politicians demand. Should someone die before they have run out of benefits, the balance will be passed on to their heirs. Should someone run out of benefits before they die, public charity will always be available (note: the simple purchase of an annuity would completely eliminate this possibility). Social Security should not be a political football. Politicians of every stripe should simply turn it over to the actuaries
What government spending would you reduce in order to balance the budget?
All of it. The proper role of government was defined in the Constitution. I would eliminate all government spending that is not authorized in our founding documents and their Amendments. It really only boils down to defense and judiciary. The Federal government should protect us from foreign enemies, and provide us with a means to adjudicate Federal disputes. After that, go back home to your respective States.
Under what circumstances should taxpayers help pay off existing student loans?
The short answer is none. But, if the student loan program were completely eliminated, forever, I would consider a partial pay off of existing student loans, based on income, because loans are a classic case of government 'help' making the 'problem' worse. All guaranteed student loans did was increase college tuition by exactly the amount of the guaranteed loans available. Nothing changed (certainly education did not get better) except now relatively poor people graduate with lots of debt.
Governments should not discriminate against individuals, organizations or small businesses because of their belief that marriage is only a union of one man and one woman.
Religious liberty is at risk in the United States and deserves the highest level of protection in the law.
I promise to protect the freedom of Christians to share the Gospel and to practice Biblical principles.
What does "separation of church and state" mean to you?
The government shall not interfere in any of the activities of any church, or in any of the activities of any individual, so long as those activities do not harm other people, or deprive them of their property.
It is the government’s responsibility to ensure everyone has health insurance.
I support the elimination of private healthcare insurance.
How would you promote healthcare coverage that is adequate, affordable and accessible for all?
Completely eliminate the role of Federal and State governments in healthcare. 100% hands off. Private markets will develop private health insurance in a plethora of policies that meet everyone's needs, just as they do with automobile and house insurance. This may take some time, so I am willing to listen to proposals for a 10 year transition process.
The best way to maintain peace is through a strong military.
What should the United States do to help eradicate the threat of radical Islamic terrorism?
The threat of radical Islamic terrorism was created by the United States government, not by radical Islamists. Were we to pull our troops out of every Muslim country, radical Islamists would cease to pay us any attention at all, and the tiny number that might mistakenly do so would be quickly, easily, and inexpensively eliminated by our security forces. There is a single sentence in the Bible which by itself makes it the greatest book ever written. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. When the United States government violates this principle by putting our troops in foreign countries, where they are not wanted, radical Islamists put their troops in America, where they are not wanted.
I am in favor of construction of a wall and other necessary infrastructure on our border that gives complete control over entering and exiting the United States.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should be abolished.
State and federal funds should be denied to any public or private entity, including but not limited to sanctuary cities, that are not in compliance with immigration laws.
Employers should be required to use E-verify to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States.
Who should be allowed to immigrate to the U.S. and under what circumstances?
Anyone who can pay the one-time entrance fee of $50,000 should receive a lifetime green card. [Weeding out the criminals, of course, not many of whom will even be able to afford the $50,000, and those with communicable diseases.] The lifetime green card will be good for only one person. Should a man or woman wish to bring their spouse and children along, they will come as tourists (welcome to America! spend your money! tourists are not eligible for welfare!). Should any of them wish to work in America, at any time in the future, they are welcome to pay the $50,000 fee. The fee can be adjusted upward, if it is necessary to limit the number of immigrants in a certain year, following the law of supply and demand.
Taxpayer-funded public education should be guaranteed through college.
Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which is necessary for our system of limited government.
I support adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as protected classes in non-discrimination laws.
Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.
I come from a long line of Scotch Presbyterians and was raised in the Church. As a young adult I became disenchanted with what I saw as a church more interested in the ways of the world than the ways of the Lord. I decided to center my spiritual practices in my own heart, in my own home, and in private. Since then I seldom engage in religious conversation, publicly or privately, unless I am speaking to a true searcher, in which case I share my own story. My father was a plagiarizer - he stole the words of Jesus, and used them every day. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This is how I lead my life.
When you consider your views on a wide range of issues from economic and social matters to foreign policy and immigration, which of the following best describes you overall?
Please provide publicly available information validating your answer to the previous question.
These labels are political pigeonholes and I firmly reject all of them. I am a libertarian, and a proud Libertarian. We have enduring principles, they are available for everyone to read at lp.org. We grant everyone the right to lead their own lives, so long as they do not hurt other people or steal their stuff. This makes me an extreme conservative on economic issues, as I believe the only role of government is to protect our rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Some might call me very liberal on social issues, but all I ask is this - government, mind your own business, not mine. All my views are widely disseminated in public. You can start at my website rickstewart.com and then move on to a Google search of Rick Stewart Iowa politician sheriff senate libertarian.
Have you ever been convicted of a felony or been penalized for sexual misconduct? If so, please explain.
Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?
My life is an open book. Google me and find out. Use the Wayback Machine and find out even more. In 1994 I was Iowa's Small Businessperson of the Year, and First National Runner-up. My company anticipated just about every good thing private businesses routinely do today, and avoided all the bad things they were doing 44 years ago. We were on the Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing companies in America, and for three years in a row Working Mother Magazine named us one of the top 100 companies in America for working mothers. When I retired at the age of 49 we had 300 employees, today there are still 300 employees and sales are 5 times more - that's productivity growth. I was in Afghanistan before the Russians got there. I was in North Korea before Kim Jung Un took over. I watched Castro give his last May Day speech in Havana. I studied French in Paris, Spanish in Spain, Chinese in Beijing. I worked on a kibbutz in Israel, in an ashram in India, and as a street sweeper in the Hague.
Mandatory minimum sentencing should be required and enforced for violent crimes.
What restrictions on gun ownership are needed to protect public safety?
Is this supposed to be a trick question? None! Allow me repeat myself - None! Or, let me re-phrase the question. What restrictions on butcher knife ownership are needed to protect public safety? None!
I support BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanction) against Israel if they refuse to allow the creation of a Palestinian state.
I support the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Reparations should be given to people on the basis of race.
The Electoral College should be abolished.
In priority order, what three areas of legislation do you propose to author or sponsor if elected?
I will eliminate the racist Drug War. Nothing makes America a more unequal country than incarcerating people who prefer a different recreational drug than you do. The Drug War costs trillions of taxpayer dollars, destroys more lives than drugs ever could (30,000 opioid deaths a year, 98% preventable with a simple change in the law), and it produces zero positive results (every possible recreational drug is easily available at a very low price in every corner of the country). Did I mention it is racist? I will end all foreign wars. Bring our troops home to defend our country against those who would do us harm. Quit trying, at great expense and with no success, to be the world's policeman. End tariff wars. Tariffs are a tax on Americans, not foreigners. They don't even protect the jobs and companies they theoretically claim to protect. America has the greatest economy in the world for exactly one reason - free markets. Free markets will always win, in every competition, period.
Is racism a threat to domestic security in the United States? Why or why not?
Absolutely yes, in the form of the Drug War, which Nixon specifically started in order to persecute African-Americans, and which has decimated entire black families and communities (must be noted - blacks and whites use recreational drugs in exactly the same proportions). After the Drug War is completely eliminated we will still have racism in America, because humans are tribal. When the government finally gets out of the business of judging people by their color, racism will begin to gradually decline. As with abortion, however, racism will never disappear completely.