GOP candidate Fred Karger is the topic of this discussion. Herein I will lay out what information is available about Mr. Karger’s platform and a bit about his personal/public life. I will try to focus on the issues, at first, then wrap up the discussion with a section entitled “Opinions” wherein I will lay out my take on his platform and my appraisal of his chances to snab (that’s a technical term) the GOP nomination for president in 2012.
Well, let’s get to it, then, shall we?
MEET THE MAN
Former Senior Consultant (Ford, H.W. Bush, Reagan)
Founder Californians Against Hate
Birthplace: Glencoe, Illinois
Family: No information available.
Current job: Political consultant, gay rights activist and watchdog and candidate for the Republican nomination for the 2012 US Presidential election.
Previous experience: Worked on nine presidential campaigns and served as a senior consultant to the campaigns of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford. Karger was a partner at the Dolphin Group, a California campaign consulting firm.
Most Recent Book Written: None.
PAC: No information available.
Total 2010 Receipts: Unknown.
Cash on Hand: $5-6 million.
PROS: Experienced in the behind-the-scenes functioning of a presidential campaign, fiscally conservative, sense of humor and a down-to-earth approach, openly gay (the first openly gay candidate in American history).
CONS: Openly gay (the first openly gay candidate in American history), almost no name recognition, no party support, is too far left on social issues to attract the base of the conservative/Republican party.
This is where Mr. Karger sets himself apart from the other Republican candidates. His official site (Fred Karger for President lists the following issues:
Jobs and the Economy: Mr. Karger believes in the private sector and wants to work with corporations and incentivize them to keep jobs in America. He is a self-described fiscal conservative and wants to bring back the optimism of the Reagan years.
Education: Mr. Karger believes in education and building a strong educational foundation to elevate America. Mr. Karger quotes a worldwide ranking of 21st and 25th in math and science. He wants to keep kids in school longer (in terms of the dropout rate) and focus on a strong curricula.
Mr. Karger believes that teacher’s unions are an impediment to school growth and limits the learning involved. He advocates for the Charter school “phenomenon,” and wants to explore a blending of corporate, labor unions, and high net worth people support schools.
He also wants the schools to get the kids out of the classroom where, he says, they are bored. He wants more field trips and learning experiences with hands on, rather than books only.
Foreign Policy: Mr. Karger holds James Baker in high regard and wants to bring back real diplomacy, rather than “nation building.”
Iraq and Afghanistan: Mr. Karger wants a new surge: A surge OUT of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Crisis in the Middle East and Israel: Mr. Karger wants a strong Israel and believes in defending it “at all costs.” He wants to get Gaddafi, who he describes as “the ultimate terrorist.”
Immigration: Mr. Karger’s view on immigration is to strengthen border security while giving those immigrants already in America a path to citizenship. He wants to discourage future law-breaking.
Energy Independence: Mr. Karger wants to start energy conservation in America now and not later. He wants to explore alternate energy sources, such as wind, solar, and says that California will have one-third of its power coming from renewable energy by 2020.
Lowering the Voting Age: This is another area where Mr. Karger sets himself apart from the rest of the Republicans. He proposes a 28th Amendment to the Constitution lowering the voting age to “16 or 17” to foster interest in politics.
He also wants schools to teach kids about political campaigns as they are happening, again to foster interests in politics.
LGBTQ Rights: Fred Karger supports full marriage equality and wants to repeal both DOMA and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He wants to pass the Federal Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and “make finding a cure for HIV/AIDS and a vaccine to prevent HIV a new national priority.”
Reproductive Rights: Mr. Karger is pro-choice and believes (correctly) that government should stay out of decisions that are better left to the woman involved and her doctor.
Marijuana: Mr. Karger supports the full legalization and taxation of marijuana and says this will change certain “onerous laws” and help ease an overburdened prison system.
American Spirit: Mr. Karger believes in civility and wants to bring back “the civility, optimism and humor that Reagan had.” He wants an end to the partisan rancor and says he would work from a bipartisan stance.
(The preceding section was paraphrased/quoted from: Issues).
Mr. Karger has a long climb ahead of him if he wants to secure the GOP nomination. His stances on social issues will be a HUGE stumbling block for many hard-line conservatives.
Of all the GOP candidates, Mr. Karger is the closest to a moderate Republican than anyone else. He represents the Old GOP, a true small-government, Libertarian Republican.
Despite his attractiveness to swing/moderate voters, he will probably not secure the nomination. He’s being routinely ignored by all the major media outlets and doesn’t have the money to run an effective campaign.
Which is really too bad, since he’s the most attractive Republican out there for me. While I am concerned with the partnering of businesses with schools (smacks too much of The Corporation is Mother, The Corporation is Father indoctrination to me) I do like his stances on LGBTQ issues, as this is something near and dear to my heart.
Were I to vote Republican, and I’m not saying I will, and I’m not endorsing Mr. Karger in any official capacity (I’ve not made my mind up who I am supporting, as yet), I would vote for Fred Karger before I’d vote for any other Republican.
The issue of experience will be a problem for him, as he’s never served in Congress and doesn’t seem to have much practical experience in the day-to-day running of a government.
He does represent a new voice, though. One that might, just might, get a lot of votes, if he can get the exposure he needs.
Percentages of votes received by demographic:
White Evangelicals: 5%
Fred Karger is an outsider, gay, and, while he comes from the Regan era, won’t excite the conservative base enough to capture the nomination, if he’s even allowed on the ticket and into the debates. (He’s not been allowed, so far).
Chance to be Nominated for President: 15%
Percent of the total vote in a general election: 49% (Obama retains the White House).