By Rebecca Price
On Monday, Nov. 18, Conservative Republican Matt Bevin, who is running against Mitch McConnell in the senatorial primary next May, visited Asbury’s campus. Bevin’s strategy for beating McConnell is simple: “This is a race that needs to be won on issues,” he said. “It needs to be won from the bottom up, and I intend to win it that way. It’s a grassroots effort.”
Bevin owns several businesses nationwide, including the last bell-making company in North America. His campaign motto is, “Let Freedom Ring,” and his logo has a bell on it like the ones he manufactures.
However, for the American public to be truly free, there needs to be monetary responsibility. If Bevin makes it to Washington, his first plan of action will be to implement fiscal reality and common sense. He believes that he is qualified to accomplish this because of his entrepreneurial experience. “I understand how the wealth of the nation is created,” he said. “And that is something that is remarkably absent in many of the people who represent us.”
In fact, Bevin seemed disgusted by much of the behavior exhibited by many individuals presently in the Senate, McConnell included. “I strongly believe that 12 years is the maximum that people should represent us in Washington,” he said. “Very little, if any, good comes from people who have been there for their whole careers. They end up becoming creatures of the very environment that they think they went there to fix.”
Bevin is also worried about the next generation, many of whom are coming out of college with a staggering amount of debt. In fact, the reason he got into the senatorial race in the first place was because he saw that something needed to be done about the insurmountable debt that America was saddling their next generation of leaders with. “The piper will get paid at some point,” he said. “So how is that going to be possible if we do not start to curtail the spending?”
But Bevin is the first to admit that there is no perfect candidate. However, he does believe he has had a wide variety of experience, which includes growing up in a lower-income home, working his way through college, serving in the Army for four years and working as a successful businessman. “We need to be represented by men and women who know what it’s like to make their own way,” he said.
Bevin also stated that he is the living embodiment of the American Dream. Nobody ever handed him anything while he was growing up, but no one held him back, either. “The American Dream is what we’ve always offered people in this country: the ability to come here and make a better life,” he said.
Bevin emphasized that the American people are becoming too dependent on the government to take responsibility for everything, which is a dangerous precedent. “We’re starting to rob people of the incentive to take risks, to create jobs, to be willing to step out and be entrepreneurial — that is what has always made this nation great,” he said.
He continued, saying, “We talk a lot about the ladder of success, but unfortunately, as a society, as an economy, we are continuously knocking the lowest rungs of the ladder off.”
Bevin explained that the lowest rungs of the ladder are critical because you can’t climb the ladder without them. So, Bevin argued that the American Dream is a window of opportunity that is getting smaller as lower-income jobs are being eliminated.
One of these instances of government dependence, Bevin believes, is the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. He acknowledged that America does not have a perfect healthcare system and that some problems needed to be addressed; however, he also believes that individuals should be able to take their policies with them and also buy insurance across state lines.
Bevin is of the persuasion that competition between insurance companies is healthy for the economy because it drives policy costs down. “The Affordable Care Act is… forcing young people who are healthy and may or may not want a policy to buy the Cadillac of policies — to have coverage of all sorts,” Bevin explained. He suggested that the government should give block grants to the states because he believes that Kentucky would be more monetarily frugal than the federal government.
But while Bevin does not agree with Obamacare, he thought that the government shutdown was completely irresponsible. “They waited until the eleventh hour and 59th minute before they even started talking about things,” he said, explaining that we haven’t passed a budget in this country since 2009.
This is just one instance of what Bevin believes is irresponsible financial management on the part of the government. “I will vote against indefinitely raising the debt limit,” Bevin stated, explaining that we can’t borrow or print our way out of debt. He emphasized that the American government is 17 trillion dollars in the red. “Because we have men and women who refuse to make hard financial decisions leading us now in Washington, we’re mortgaging your futures,” he said.
But, more than anything, Bevin strongly encouraged Asbury students to vote and be informed, regardless of the candidate they vote for. “Don’t just reflexively vote,” Bevin said. “Do the homework. Kick the tires. Say, ‘Who do I believe is best able to represent me, my interests, my needs, in the years ahead? Who do I think is best able to help me find employment?’” The senatorial primary is May 20, 2014, and the general election will be held next November.