Jumping in Pools is proud to bring you our 69th interview in our on-going series. Today, we are honored to talk to James "Skip" Mercer, a Republican running for Senate in the state of Washington. A professor, Dr. Mercer sees himself as a Reagan conservative that can help our nation. You can check out his campaign website here. I would like to personally thank Dr. Mercer for taking the time to answer our questions. Now, without further ado, the interview:
Why are you the best choice for Washington?
At 63, I am the most senior candidate that I have met, and with that age comes some very valuable experience. I am a Professor in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences, and a Principal Physicist at the Applied Physics Laboratory, both at the University of Washington. In my 43 years at the UofW I have conducted classified research for the US Navy and basic research in acoustics and ocean physics. I have also conducted research in global warming, nuclear waste disposal, energy alternatives, and I am well prepared to understand and choose appropriate solutions for our nation's and state's future. I am also keenly aware of the weakness of our educational system. I am a history buff who cherishes the wisdom of our founding fathers and the providence related to their efforts. I did not come from a privileged background. I was raised by a single mother in the south end of Seattle. I am a Christian and outspoken enough to become the Chairman of the Board for a 5,000 member church. My wife and I are currently Representatives for Christian Ministries in Africa and have helped lead a group to Kenya. We also provide and prepare breakfast on a regular basis for homeless kids in Seattle. Finally, I am also disciplined physically, and have a black belt in karate. I mention all of this because I think a well-rounded individual should be developed in the mind, spirit, and body.
You say that you are a Reagan conservative. Do you believe that the Congress has forgotten the lessons that President Reagan taught us during his time in office?
Yes, for sure. Although he did not keep government as small as he could have, I am sure he would be alarmed at its size now and at the new taxes that are coming down the road. He would also be disturbed at the loss of our individual freedoms and the continual 'progressive' re-interpretation of the Constitution.
If elected, what plans do you have to help Washington economically?
To begin with, I would concentrate on a better trade relationship with Asia. Secondly, I believe that Eastern Washington with its inexpensive land and energy is ripe for high-tech development in certain industries. Nuclear energy should be developed in this state. And it should go without saying that our existing companies need to be given incentives to stay in Washington State. For the longer term, the Federal Government (without the need for a Department of Education) should only provide money for K-12 education if the student is allowed to take that funding to any school he wishes.
If given the chance, would you vote to repeal ObamaCare? Why?
Yes, because it does not address the fundamental problem which is the cost of medical care and it is fundamentally inappropriate under our Constitution.
You are a Professor in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences. How would you experience as an educator help you govern Washington?
For one thing, I am certainly familiar with the liberal mind set and its weaknesses. I have also become experienced in explaining technical issues to those who do not yet have the background to evaluate them for themselves. In addition, I have first-hand knowledge of the weakness of our students compared to those from Asia and Northern Europe, for example.
If you are nominated by the Republican Party to represent your state, in your opinion, what are the chances that you will win the state-wide election?
The best political pundits have learned to not predict elections. One thing is certain - change happens. I will go forward as if the election is won already.
So-called Tea Parties have swept across the nation in the last year. What is your opinion of this movement?
This movement is a healthy demonstration that our people are not all asleep and that they still value their freedoms.
Anything more you would like to add?
In traveling the state with many of the other candidates I have found that most share the same conservative political viewpoints. It is easy to rah rah the talking points, but the time is near for people to explore the experience and character of the candidates. I don't have any high-ranking political friends, I don't need a new career, I am not throwing money at this campaign and I am upset at the cost of these campaigns. I have no reason to change once I get to WDC.
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