Following his formal campaign announcement on Monday, I had the opportunity to ask Republican Senatorial candidate Mark Zaccaria about four areas of policy likely to receive considerable attention in the next session of the United States Senate…
Anchor Rising: The United States Senate has a special role in the making of American foreign policy. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, bigger than any one single President, there hasn’t been a guiding principle or vision in this area. What should the guiding principle or vision be?
Mark Zaccaria: The guiding principle and vision should be that America is an ideal of individual responsibility and individual authority, that the individual is enshrined in the US Constitution as the core unit of strength of our nation. That never existed before America. It doesn’t exist, in a lot of places where we are competing in the Middle East, or with China or Russia now flexing their muscles.
What we need to do is be that beacon we once were around the world of how people can live happily. Now, to do that, we have to defend our national interests, and we may have to project force as a method of protecting our national interest. Right now, nobody thinks we are are going to do it. That part has to change for sure.
MZ: The first thing I would want to figure out about the current law is to figure out anything that could be done to put a stop to it, because its entire structure is an anathema to the American way and, worse yet, it won’t work.
If there was a way to get the enforcement process out of the hands of the IRS, you can bet on that being one of the first things I would look at. If there were some way to reduce the IRS staff by the 16,000 human beings that they hired just to do this, let’s do that right away.
The people in bureaucracy don’t care. They don’t have any motivation to do anything for those who are their healthcare clients, they don’t even regard them as customers. You’re going to get the VA all over again, so we have to take it out of the hands of the government.
It won’t be just up to me, but I fully anticipate to play on a team, that is the majority team, that has a mandate from all of its members to go do that, and I look forward to participating on a committee and helping pick the thing apart, as fast as possible.
MZ: Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan had it, they had breakfast once or twice a month, either at the White House or on Capitol Hill, in a day where the Republicans had the White House and the Democrats had the Congress. They sat down and said, what’s for the good of the people. We need to do that. We need to have collegial relationships with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle. We can’t just go in there thinking Yankees/Red Sox all the time, because governing is about getting things done.
AR: Last question. On the issue of illegal immigration, many Republican voters would say — actually, I’ll speak for my myself — I’ll say that there is not a lot of trust that the elites, of either side, are telling the whole truth on this issue; it seems as if the agenda is passing an amnesty without much concern about what happens after. What do you do to restore the trust of the people on this issue?
MZ: First thing, we go back to this antiquated, idealistic position that we are a nation of laws, and that we operate under the rule of laws. We’ve got laws. We’ve got laws on immigration, the same way we’ve got laws on interstate transportation. Let’s start enforcing those laws. We’re not doing that right now.
290,000 human beings, in the first six months of this year…50,000 of them children, unaccompanied, have flooded across our border, basically because the signal sent from Washington is it’s OK, come on down, we’ll see what happens, you probably won’t be hurt. We have to stop sending that signal immediately.
Immigration is a wonderful thing. It is the cornerstone of economic growth for our nation. My grandparents came from Italy. Everybody’s grandparents or great-grandparents came from someplace. We have to have immigration, but it’s got to be regulated. We’re not doing any of that right now, and we’re seeing all sorts of bad things that are going to result from it, not the least of which is that laws don’t mean anything, and people ignore them.
I talked about people tuning out the government in my prepared remarks, and they’re tuning out the government because it doesn’t tell them the truth. It doesn’t say anything to them. They don’t get that government is helping them in any way, shape or form. That may be the worst thing we’re up against today.