Rob Carlson, Democrat for US Congress
New Jersey District 1
Rob Carlson, Democrat for US Congress
New Jersey District 1
Where I Stand On the Issues

My Positions

We Have A Problem In America

Here's The Deal

We have a problem in America, and it goes beyond Donald Trump.  Don’t get me wrong, Donald Trump is a traitor to the United States.  He is a crook whose only option for financing his corrupt and failing business empire was through Russian criminals. He became so indebted to them that he allowed them to run a campaign of disinformation and outright election fraud to aid him in becoming their puppet.  The Russian criminals have succeeded.   They have a wholly-owned puppet occupying the most powerful office in the world.  Yet, Donald Trump is not the worst of our problems.  Yet, Donald Trump is not the worst of our problems. That dubious honor belongs entirely to the Republicans in Congress who allowed this to occur and enable its continuation.

Trump only holds office with the willing acceptance of Republicans.  The entire national apparatus of the Republican party have entered into a deal with the Devil, where they have sold America out and placed the whole world in danger so they can enrich their donors – and have Trump appoint judges (from a slate they chose) who will ensure unfair elections, increased inequality, regressive social policies and the continued destruction of the environment.

Family Values-Touting Republicans have pretended to be aghast at Trump, but they have supported him every step of the way.  They did not mind overt racism and threats of violence during the 2016 Presidential campaign if it helped elect Republican senators.  Leadership at the highest levels (most notably Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan) refused to back a bipartisan declaration in the summer of 2016 with President Obama which stated that the Russians were interfering with our elections.   Republicans undermined investigations into Trump malfeasance by limiting scope and refusing to appoint an independent prosecutor.  Republicans dutifully endorsed – to a person – every single one of Trump’s disgraceful cabinet appointments of persons inept in the field to which they were assigned. Republicans changed a Senate rule to ram through an illegitimate Supreme Court pick who will inflict cruelty, plutocracy, and kleptocracy on America for the next 30 years.   Republicans in congress may claim they are trying to control Trump, but Trump and the congressional Republicans are one and the same.

Republicans have proven themselves un-American by their complicity with Trump’s treason and promotion of injustice.  Loving America isn’t waving a flag, standing for an anthem, wearing a red cap or flag lapel pin, or putting stickers on your cars. Loving America isn’t applauding when the President speaks. Loving America certainly isn’t wrapping yourself in the mantle of God while denigrating human beings.  True patriotism and love of country is caring about its people, about realizing we are all in this together, about working for the common good and protecting the rights of everyone, not just the few.

So we have a problem.  The problem won’t go away until the Republican party is destroyed as a political force in this country.  This starts with telling the truth and not mincing words about what is going on.  The Republicans have long played the game of accusing others of being unpatriotic while they themselves serve the forces of division and hatred.  When Democrats respond we get weak media figures and Republican apologists claiming “both sides do it”  or “both sides engage in hyperbole”  or “both sides abuse the rules of the game”.

This is quite frankly, pure and unadulterated stupidity .

The difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is this:  Democrats are like average people– some are flawed, some are principled, and most are somewhere in between.  Democrats would like society run by the rules of the game.  We value diversity and know that our differences are our strength.  Republicans, on the other hand, value one race and one gender only, and can be counted on to stick it to all of us at every opportunity.  Equality is anathema to them, as is evidenced by the fact that they can only achieve majorities through breaking the rules – most notably through dark money, gerrymandering and voter suppression.  Don’t let “The Principled Republican” myth fool you: the occasional opposition vote is the very rare exception, not the rule.

So what to do about this?  First, Democrats must be aggressive and unwavering in their opposition.  We must be as as fierce in telling the truth as the Republicans have been in lying.  We must quit playing with the pretense of compromise. We cannot compromise with criminals, we cannot compromise with rule-breakers, and we cannot compromise with those without human compassion. Second, Democrats must be on message.  Many like to claim that the Democratic party has no coherent message and that no one knows what it really stands for.  This is a misconception that has been repeated enough to become accepted as dogma, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The Democratic Party at its heart– its liberal, progressive, caring heart– stands for three things:  fair play, compassion, and the common good.

We believe in playing by the rules, and that no one should have undue advantages over others.  We believe that whatever class you were born into you deserve a chance at education and that money shouldn’t determine your worth.  We believe people shouldn’t be ripped off by unregulated markets and banking interests.

We believe in compassion– in caring for children and families, the old, the unemployed, the poor and the oppressed.  We believe in forgiveness, in second chances, in healing the sick and injured and preserving the good health of our citizens.

We believe in the common good– our infrastructure, our roads, our schools, our public spaces, our environment, our courts, and our collective safety.

We believe in the inherent decency of the American citizen.

These beliefs are cornerstones. They are the foundation of a healthy society, and they must be emphasized loudly and repeatedly so there can be no mistaking our message.  There is a difference in the two parties.   It isn’t a matter of conservatism or liberalism.  It is the difference between savagery and community.

Our message is our sword.  We fight armed with this message of truth and fairness in a conflict that we must and will win.

Every concerned citizen must engage in this fight.  We all must do what we can, in ways that challenge our intellect, our stamina, and our imaginations.  For me this means finding a way to amplify this message.  It is in this spirit that I announce that I am running for Congress in New Jersey’s first district.

I am a happily married father of four, and I am an Information Technology professional by career and an artist by choice.  As a manager I have to see the big picture. I have to understand how processes work and how people and systems interact.   I have a vision of how things could work better, and what is possible if the right people are involved. This is what I hope to accomplish as a member of congress.  I hope to help implement a process where communication with your elected representatives in Congress is more fluid, more dynamic, and more effective.  I want us to focus on doing the job now.

This means that we have to assume the ability to do things.  We cannot rest and say something is not possible, we just have to find the right people.  Sometimes these people are experts. Sometimes these people are advocates.  Sometimes, and most importantly, these people are voters – the real change-makers.  Voting matters!  It is both a civic duty and a fundamental right that should never be undermined through barriers of any kind.

I will be a voice for fairness and the common person.   I am not a career politician, nor am I wealthy or well-connected, but we are not a country made from the wealthy and well-connected.  The common people’s voices should be heard.  I hope to speak what conventional wisdom dares not say, but needs to be said.  I hope to listen to disparate voices and help find common ground that gives birth to ideas and solutions that help America.  This isn’t about a small corner of New Jersey, it’s about all of America finding their voice.  Will you join me?

Rob Carlson, Running for US Congress, NJ 1

Women's Rights Are Human Rights

A popular meme is sometimes true. In this case, it sums up how I feel about Women’s rights: Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.