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Joseph Kaminski

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November 24, 2017

George Pataki Drops From GOP Race


George Pataki, 2015

George Pataki, 2015

George Pataki is a strange political case. A moderate conservative in an era of radical Republicans, George Pataki has gone almost unheard of throughout his entire campaign for presidency. Yes, that’s right, George Pataki was running for President, in case you, like the majority of American voters, failed to realize. Now, we can make as many jokes as we want to, but when it boils down to it George Pataki was perhaps the most sane (and politically central) candidate the right had to offer in this election. Now, does that make him the proper choice? Not necessarily, depending on your personal political foundations. However, in an election being dominated by an air-headed racist with a history with bankruptcy, a brain surgeon who doesn’t believe in evolution, and a female CEO (who was fired from the job) who hates women’s rights, someone like George Pataki doesn’t necessarily look like a bad choice, either.

It’s kind of funny, in an ironic sense, that George Pataki is getting more media awareness and publicity (albeit on social media platforms like Twitter he’s being ridiculed for being “irrelevant” in the first place) after announcing the suspension of his campaign than he ever did while running for the highest office in the “democratic” free world. Some could easily call George Pataki the Lincoln Chafee of the Republican Party — making him someone so unimportant to the overall jest of the polls that anchors nearly fall asleep trying to say his name.

When one of the most searched topics for a presidential candidate’s name is what party they represent (either Democrat or Republican), you know they really don’t have a chance. If someone struggles that much, you tend to not remember them. Pataki, like Democrat Chafee, is the 2016 equivalent to Tim Pawlenty in 2012. Exactly. A dull, uninspiring man who seems to be against his party’s new core foundations that had a very small fan club of fallibility. This, in a nutshell, was Pataki’s entire campaign.

If you’re under 30 or not interested in politics, you still don’t know who the Hell Pataki even is. But there’s the major problem — Pataki comes from a different “generation” of the Republican Party. One that lacked the radical nonsense of pseudo-celebrities like “The Donald” and had a more centered foundation. But now, in a world plagued with a Five Ring Republican Circus with three-fifths being more radical than the average anarchist in an insane asylum, someone like George Pataki really can’t generate the “buzz” that people like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump can. As someone interested in politics, watching Pataki’s campaign was about as interesting as watching paint on a wall dry. But, even more unfortunate for his campaign, we all were busy watching the Republican walls crumble, making the paint even more irrelevant to the situation of 2016 politics.

George Pataki and his Platform

Lets take a look at George Pataki’s platform, something that might have been heard had he ever been allowed on the larger debate.

Abortion

George Pataki claimed to be pro-choice with limitations in May 2015, and throughout his career he’s claimed that he could overcome the overall majority opinion that the GOP has on the subject (a rather large objection towards any pro-abortion stances). He favors abortion rights, but had the idea (which he announced in August 2015) to legislate a ban on abortion after the first twenty weeks of pregnancy. Throughout his earlier career, however, he was supported by members of the early Anti-Abortion Movement, with several key supporters coming from Right-To-Life groups in his 1990 campaigns for New York. In June of 1994 he voted to cut off all Medicaid abortion funding, showing that he (at one point in his career) decided to change his stance on the subject.

Economics

George Pataki is proud of his economic history, repeatedly stating that he shrank the size of New York’s state government during his short campaign for the presidency. In his earlier career (throughout September 1998), Pataki maintained and enforced spending caps, claiming that they needed to be preserved in the future. He has a strong state-centered platform for spending, claiming in October 2015 that the Federal Government should “get out of the market and let rates go up.” His 2006 economic plan included slashing “job-killing” regulations and cutting taxes. His Bankruptcy Reform (February 2001) attempted to protect states’ roles in spending and taxation).

Civil Rights

Pataki’s state-centered platform makes its way into his civil rights platform, as well. He has a long history of keeping such “problems” within the state levels of government, deciding that all Indian casino and gaming regulations should be decided at state level and not in federal court in July of 1999. He, personally, opposes same-sex marriage, but he (since at least 2007) has supported gay and lesbian rights. His stance on same-sex marriage, announced in May of 2015, is that he believes that the topic should be left to the states themselves. The Federal Government “should stay out of the subject”. After the Supreme Court Decision of June 26th, 2015, which federally legalized gay marriage across all states, Pataki announced his stance again. Although he personally opposes the idea, he declared that anyone who refused to accept federal law should be fired. He, unlike the majority of Republican candidates, sided with the Supreme Court.

Corporations

Pataki seems to take a Democratic swing at corporations, claiming in October 2015 that “Wall Street and Washington are too close” for his comfort. This is coming from a candidate that was losing to a so-called business “mogul” (Donald Trump), a disgrace of a chief executive officer (Carly Fiorina), and several governors/senators who seemed interested in the establishment way of government (Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Scott Walker, etc.) Of course, his own party tends to disagree with him, regardless. His plan was a 12% manufacturing tax rate (announced in September 2015) which, according to him, would force companies to make things in America and not overseas. In January 2006, however, George Pataki claimed that cutting taxes on businesses would make things better for America.

Crime & Rehabilitation

George Pataki, as Governor of New York in 2005, abolished any possible parole for violent felons. He completely supported Operation IMPACT that same year, focusing his police force in high crime cities in upstate New York. He instituted the death penalty in his state in 2000, claiming that people must be held accountable for their actions and any crime they may commit. Throughout his political career, he supported flexible federal grants for any crime programs, especially after September 2001.

Marijuana Legalization

Another fairly moderate stance when compared to the rest of his party, George Pataki is pro-marijuana. He’s claimed that his administration would let each state decide upon marijuana legalization, stating that it would be “alright with him” as long as we can “contain addiction and kids’ access”. In October 2015, when asked about the subject, Pataki responded with “Let’s see what happens in Colorado with their legalization.” However, in the past (August of 2000), Pataki supported federal funding for the Drug War.

Education

George Pataki can be quoted as saying “Common Core is a horrible idea”. His stance on education would be to fund charter schools as independent non-profit entities, allowing them to expand throughout the states and eventually take over private schools. His 2001 plan for education focused educational resources to help those with the greatest needs, and he required state standards to be placed upon the students. His current hatred for Common Core seems to be new to his educational platform. Unfortunately, like too many politicians since Eisenhower’s National Defense Education Act, he supports an increase in sciences and maths, putting down humanities, in an attempt to out-perform Russia and China.

Environment

Here’s a big one, ladies and gentlemen. The American Republican Party is one of the only political platforms in the world that denies climate change. As a Republican, George Pataki accepts climate change as a science. In October 2015, he stated “Of COURSE pouring CO2 into our atmosphere causes global warming!” He showed obvious anger towards Republicans “who deny such obvious facts.” He’s claimed that the Federal Government has the role to incentivize innovative energy technology, and he’s desired to reduce “expensive, polluting, and terror promoting foreign oil” since January 2006. He supports making renewable fuel tax-free for mass transit and cars, attempting to lessen American usage of nonrenewable oils. He’s stated multiple times that it is our job to preserve and enhance the “national treasures” of our environment for future generations. The Hudson River was cleaner than it had been in generations while Pataki was Governor of New York in 2005. My personal favorite platform coming from Pataki’s past was when he supported the idea of making the Environmental Protection Agency a Cabinet department in May of 2002.

Government Reform

Pataki is incredibly anti-lobbyist,  proposing a lifetime ban on elected officials ever becoming lobbyists in September of 2015. He’s also for banning former members of Congress from lobbying. He’s for “empowering the citizens to take back our government”, according to a statement given in May of 2015. His main platform for this topic is “active but limited government”, which he’s stood by since early 2006. Reducing the government size, including the branches of military, were high on his list in September of 1998.

Gun Control

Another controversial platform for George Pataki in this day’s Republican Party. He enforces federal gun laws, with himself signing New York state’s strict gun control regulation while Governor. He’s proposed banning assault weapons and requiring trigger locks, and has openly supported gun control legislation through his entire political career.

Health Care

“ObamaCare is the worst law in my lifetime,” according to George Pataki in May of 2015. He’s stated he would have worked to repeal ObamaCare and all Medicaid expansions, taking decisions out of the hands of the “government bureaucrats” and leaving it up to the states, a running theme in his overall political foundations. This seems to fall more in line with his party’s beliefs, comparative to many of his so-called “controversial” ideas. He wouldn’t, however, reduce social security benefits, and would maintain many aspects of Medicare.

War

A big one, especially with the war mongering Republican establishment itching for oil. But George Pataki has already told us he doesn’t like oil, so what’s his standing? According to Pataki, the Iranians have already broken the nuclear deal, so we should tear it up. He’s against “Radical Islam” which “poses threat” in America, making him support anything anti-ISIS. He believes 9/11 is the most important factor in the war against terror, and that we entered Iraq as liberators but became occupiers by staying after the deed was done. He believes the biggest threat against America is radical Islam, and that we should all unite against it. A bit radical, he’s for collecting phone data and monitoring mosques, stating that (more or less) “preaching anything jihad isn’t in our freedom of speech, so we should listen in to make sure nothing is happening.” Although he’s stated he wishes to shrink the military, he’s stated that we need to strengthen it as well to keep America safe.

Jobs

Fairly short. Pataki is for blue-collared work. He’d prefer seeing “skilled people” than college educated people.

Immigration

A big topic in 2016, thanks to the hatred of anything anti-American that’s been brewing up for years. George Pataki has stated that he only wishes to deport criminals, but has supported the ending of sanctuary cities. He’s all for birthright citizenship, hating the idea of deporting children back to their parents’ original countries. In July 2015 he announced his idea for haing legal residency after only 200 hours of service. He’s for English immersion over bilingual education, as he claimed in July of 2001.

And that’s George Pataki, ladies and gentlemen. Perhaps the most moderate Republican that attempted to run for President in 2016. The former Governor of New York believed he had a shot at becoming our 45th President, and he fell short after months of polling insignificantly. He suspended his campaign on December 29th, 2015. While I, personally, was happy to see people like Scott Walker (perhaps the most dangerous of all of the candidates besides Trump himself) drop out of the race, I was not as happy to hear of Pataki’s inevitable demise. Just look at the details, people. It doesn’t matter what party you associate yourself with, and it doesn’t matter who you actually support. If you’re looking at this as a whole, wondering who would be better for everyone in America, and not just the radical conservative base?

Who would you rather win the nomination, getting even one step closer to the Oval Office…

George Pataki or Donald Trump?

References

“Former N.Y. Gov. George Pataki Announces 2016 White House Bid”. NBC News. Retrieved May 28, 2015.

Former NY Gov. George Pataki says he’s planning to drop White House bid, ABC-TV 13 KTRK-TV, December 29, 2015.

“George Pataki Biography”. Archived from the original on 2006-04-15. Retrieved 2006-04-21.

Moore, Stephen; Stansel, Dean (July 26, 1996). “A Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors: 1996”.

Moore, Stephen; Slivinski, Stephen (March 1, 2005). “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors: 2004”.

“Crime Drops for Eleventh Straight Year Under Governor Pataki”. Project Vote Smart. Press Release.

On The Issues — George Pataki Retrieved December 30th, 2015

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