September 10, 2006

Vote For Tan Nguyen

Or not.

Tan Nguyen is the Republican candidate for our little district, California's 47th, for the upcoming Congressional election. Tan has been most notably known for his neon green "Go With Tan" signs found approximately on every street corner and vacant lot in the area. In addition to being very obnoxious and very green, they all sport his mantra, "Not afraid to tell it like it is." Kevin has written about Tan on this occasion (with a particularly amusing comment left by a reader), and again here.

But I come here today to talk about yet another campaign flyer delivered to our mailbox. This one proudly declares, "Tan Thinks Like You!" Well I'm sorry Tan, but you really don't.

This particular flyer focuses on 4 Tan positions:
*Protection of workers' pensions
*Protection of American jobs (by discouraging companies to outsource jobs to other, cheaper countries)
*Opposition to NAFTA and CAFTA
*Protection of retirees and the aged (in the form of permitting the re-importation of medicines from Canada)

Since this flyer covers 3 of 5 of Tan's election platform (found here) we'll go ahead and tackle these first.

*Protection of workers' pensions.
Do I think that workers who contributed for years to pension plans deserve that pension when they retire? Absolutely! Do I think it's so important it should be one of the cornerstones of an election campaign? Uh, no. Out of all of Tan's positions, I find this one the most baffling. Why campaign on an issue that affects so few people while ignoring the retirement program nearly all Americans are relying on or will be relying on in the future: Social Security? Sure, it's not particularly important to me but is important to some--but is it really so important it should be a cornerstone of Tan's election campaign? I'm going to go with "no."

*Protection of American jobs
Tan's flyer reads: "Outsourcing of jobs to third world countries should be discouraged by offering tax breaks to companies who don't leave the U.S." While I'm not a fan of his solution, at least this is a legitimate concern for a number of people.

*Opposition to NAFTA and CAFTA
Again, I disagree, but it's an actual issue that more than 1 person cares about.

*Protection of retirees and the aged
Tan's solution here is to permit the re-importation of medicines from Canada. Talk about a stop-gap solution. Allowing medicine to be imported from Canada doesn't address the issue of why medicines are so expensive here. This is hardly a viable long-term solution and a complete failure to address the real problem. In addition, how on earth can you advocate the protection of retirees and the aged without addressing their two most important issues: Social Security and health care (Medicare)?

Tan's other two positions are immigration and securing our borders. All 5 can be found here. I realize that there are 4 issues above with 5 total and 2 more to go. This is because on his website he doesn't mention NAFTA or CAFTA so we can presumably roll that into "Protecting American jobs."

Nice hot-button issue here. Tan's position on immigration is, "I support LEGAL immigration and I’m against anything that encourages more illegal immigration." That's nice, but how do you propose to do that? What are you for? What is your solution then? It's easy to say "I'm opposed to that" but you really need to follow that up with an alternative.

*Securing our borders
Another nice hot-button issue. Here's Tan's position. Once again, I have the same question as above. What do you propose to do about it?

Tan's issues page is linked with the cute little logo reading, "Things people care about." Oh really? Here's a list of polls asking what people care about. We'll give Tan 1 and a half points for hitting things people really care about. He gets a full point on immigration, but only gets 1/2 a point for jobs because some polls combined jobs and the economy while others separated it out. As we all know, the economy is much more complex than jobs and NAFTA/CAFTA, so that's why we're only getting partial credit.

Here's Tan on the issues of "Things people care about."

War on Iraq
Tan: " "

Tan: " "

Homeland Security
Tan: " "

Health Care
Tan: " "

Social Security
Tan: " "

Tan: " "

Foreign Policy
Tan: " "

Tan: " "

Moral issues such as abortion or gay marriage
Tan: " "

Gas Prices
Tan: " "

Civil Liberties (including the Patriot Act and things like NSA wire tapping)
Tan: " "

And so forth. I have to say it really blows my mind that Tan feels that pensions is a more important issue than the war in Iraq, but there you have it.

Tan, please don't claim that you think like me because you really, really don't.

Posted by Shelby at September 10, 2006 04:48 PM
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