Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Combat-Decorated Green Beret Takes On a New Enemy: The Washington Swamp - Elise Cooper

by Elise Cooper

Michael Waltz, a 22-year veteran of the Green Berets, terrorism expert, and small business-owner who is running to replace gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis in Florida's Sixth District, spoke with American Thinker in a wide-ranging interview

Many politicians in Washington, D.C. are more concerned with getting elected than with governing this country. Veterans see this as something that goes against their spirit. They served in the military to protect and defend, and now they want a chance to serve in Congress to fight for their fellow Americans. Their mission is to get results and not constantly be lame-duck representatives. One such candidate is Michael Waltz, who is running in Florida's District 6, the seat Ron DeSantis currently holds as he runs for governor. He interviewed with American Thinker about why he is running for office.

He told American Thinker, "I have been serving my country my entire life, twenty-two years as a Green Beret. I wake up in the morning thinking about the issues this country is facing. We can either yell at the TV or roll up our sleeves and serve in the political arena. When someone is in the foxhole, he does not care about differences in race, religion, creed, sex, or economic or political background. It is all about mission and country. There is a commonality of service on how we should move this country forward."

Waltz's résumé shows that he has multiple kinds of experience. A retired Army lieutenant colonel, he was awarded four Bronze Stars, including two for valor. A counterterrorism adviser during the George W. Bush administration, he worked in the Pentagon as a defense policy director for secretaries of defense Rumsfeld and Gates, and in the White House as Vice President Cheney's counterterrorism adviser. He is a small business-owner, CEO of Metis Solutions.

The credit goes to his mother for instilling in him the drive to be someone who strives for success; leading by example; and putting forth the value of delivering results, not excuses. 

"My mother truly represented someone who lives the American dream. She worked three jobs when my sister and I grew up, sleeping only between 6 A.M. and 10 A.M. Her jobs included a night security guard, dental hygienist, and a claims clerk. We ended up graduating college at the same time because it took her fifteen years. She ended up retiring as a vice president of a company."

Because the #MeToo movement is playing a role in current events today, Michael was asked about his views. 

"The men being exposed in Hollywood, like Harvey Weinstein, or in New York, like Les Moonves, deserve to be exposed. As a father of a teenage girl I have zero tolerance for them. But we need a balance. People's lives should not be ruined because of a spurious accusation."

Furthermore, he wants people to understand that the extremist Islamists want a society that would keep women down. Many countries do not believe in freedom, equal opportunity, and human rights for women.

"I spent my life fighting Islamic extremists' ideology. We need a broader strategy that goes after it. Think of the quote by Malala, the Indian girl shot for going to school. She said the thing the extremists fear the most is a girl with a book. It is a global issue. The cover of my book has schoolchildren. This school was burned down multiple times just because it taught girls, but we rebuilt it."

One of the important issues facing America is border security. 

"President Trump offered a deal on DACA that would allow about one million more people than what President Obama offered. I think it is reasonable to move away from a lottery system and chain immigration because border security is national security. Let's remember: Hezb'allah has a track record of working with the Mexican drug cartels when they attempted to murder the Saudi ambassador in Washington. If they can infiltrate by moving drugs and human-trafficking, then they can cross our southern border. It is certainly possible to be used for all types of bad activities. It is not as if the smugglers discriminate what they move across our border."

He gives President Trump high marks for getting things done. 

"I cannot tell you how many speeches I wrote for the defense secretaries asking our NATO allies to live up to their defense commitment. They shrugged their shoulders and blew us off. No longer with this president."

On the domestic front, he is grateful to the president for reducing so many regulations.
"When I tried starting my business, I could not get capital or loans under the past Democratic administration. Then we had to take the Obamacare compliance that exploded our overhead costs. Year after year, we had sky-high deductibles."

Andrew Gillum, the Democratic choice for governor of Florida, is a progressive who wants Medicare for all and to abolish ICE. Along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is running for Congress in New York, Gillum and others in the Democratic Party have socialistic ideals. Waltz shakes his head and points to socialist nations around the world.

"What has socialism given to people? Look no farther than Venezuela and Cuba. It is mind-boggling this is the direction they want to take us. They believe in Medicare for all and a single-payer health system yet cannot explain how they will pay for it, with the estimated cost about $32 trillion. Let's not forget that Pelosi and now Gillum say they will raise taxes."

What he wants Americans and Floridians to understand is that "I am in a tough race. The Democratic Party is sliding toward socialism with an open border agenda. They call for an impeachment of our president that will grind his positive agenda to a halt. The question voters need to ask: Which America do they want? I hope to run a positive campaign that highlights what the Republicans have done so far. Frankly, I wish the White House would talk more about their accomplishments. I am focused on results and what has been done to affect American lives for the better. Anyone with the ability to work hard should be able to achieve the American dream as long as he plays by the rules."

Elise Cooper writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.


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