As the nation remains enamored with the 2016 presidential election, countless other elections are shaping-up around the country that should have more-direct impacts upon the lives of everyday Americans.
From national defense to Obamacare, the biggest decisions that will be made will be made in the Senate and the House and real leadership is desperately needed in our bicameral body if we are to survive and prosper as a republic.
Of all the races taking place, none may be more intriguing than the race shaping-up in Arizona to oust career politician John McCain, a longtime moderate re-branded as a “maverick” as a means of disguising his unwillingness to stand strong on traditionally-Republican issues.
As in the national election for the presidency, the race in Arizona has taken-on a decidedly anti-establishment vibe and two of the strongest contenders have been Dr. Kelli Ward, a former state senator, and Alex Meluskey, an Arizona businessman.
Recently, PolitiStick sat-down with Meluskey to discuss his campaign and some of the more-pressing issues that are likely to face the next Senate.
“Going around the state, the repeating answer I get all the time is ‘We don’t dislike John McCain; it’s just time for him to go,’” Meluskey begins by pointing out.
“I’m the only candidate that holds firmly to Ronald Reagan’s three-legged stool of conservatism- fiscal conservatism, social conservatism and national defense,” Meluskey claims. “McCain- I’m the only one going after him on his foreign policy, or his failed foreign policy.”
Our conversation shifted gears promptly towards Israel, a key ally to whom the Obama Administration has repeatedly turned their back as failed foreign policies have helped to further destabilize the Middle East.
“Israel, without a doubt, is our biggest ally in the region and standing all alone as the only military might in the Middle East that can face Islamic State terrorism. There’s nobody else there strong enough,” Meluskey stated.
The candidate also explained that though other nations in the region are against ISIS, Israel remains the only steadfast ally with the military might to stop the rise of terror in the region- a fact that should prompt American leaders to remain committed to supporting Israel in a much stronger fashion than that which has occurred in recent years.
“[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is in a precarious position and he is being backed into a wall,” Meluskey began. “He’s not comfortable where he is and America has not shown that we are as strong of an ally as we can be. We are not here to dictate to Israel what they need to do; we should be here understanding that we are another unified nation- a nation that believes in the freedom of their people- that understands that we need to stand-up to that kind of terror.”
From the discussion of the dangers facing Israel and the U.S., the conversation naturally flowed to the disastrous Iran deal that infused Iran with a tremendous windfall of cash and lifted sanctions in exchange for the mere promise of slowing-down their march towards the development of a nuclear weapon.
When asked if there is anything that he believes can be done about undoing the Iran deal, Meluskey quickly shot-back, “Sure, nobody signed it. Is it a signed deal? Is it on the table? It’s not really a treaty deal because they bypassed the Senate. John McCain… said the president makes treaties and that [the Senate doesn’t] deal with that. Come on, this is a man who has been in political office for 34 years and he doesn’t know who makes treaties? Seriously? That’s going to be my job- to make and present it to the president and hopefully we have a good president next who understands the issues in the Middle East and we will get rid of this Iran deal.”
As we jawed-over the presidential election that dominates headlines, Meluskey revealed that he had not yet picked his preferred candidate, noting that there is something to like about each one.
“Like I’ve said on the campaign trail: if you like Donald Trump for being self-made, for not being able to be bought-out by anybody, then you’ll like me. If you like Ted Cruz for a lot of his values, for his moral, his fiscal issues and his foreign policy, then you will probably like me quite a bit. If you like Marco Rubio because he’s a good civil statesman that usually gets along well with others and communicates well, then you’ll probably like me.”
Arizona is inarguably one of the most conservative states in the union and the fact that John McCain has made a career out of representing the state with his brand of moderate politics is indicative of the formidable political apparatus against which Americans are increasingly growing resentful.
Whether Mrs. Ward or Mr. Meluskey, it seems that the people of Arizona may be in the market for a new leader who will more-closely represent their values at a time when the Republican-controlled Senate seems thoroughly incapable or unwilling to take the opportunity to advance a Republican agenda in any meaningful way.
With this growing discontentment, all eyes should remain fixed on Arizona; we may see yet another ousting of an entrenched politician at a time when we need it the most.