State Sen. Jim Carlin’s remarks as prepared for delivery at his announcement speech for U.S. Senate seat open in 2022:
Freedom isn’t free.
Generations of Americans have paid a heavy price to protect it. Six-hundred thousand union soldiers fought a war to demand it. Two generations of young Americans fought in world wars to preserve it. Thousands endeavored here and abroad after 9/11 against an evil that wanted to destroy it.
Ronald Reagan once said that ‘Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.’ Truer words have not been spoken.
In this campaign for the United States Senate, I will speak for Americans who cherish their freedoms, and wish for a Senator who will fight to keep them, preserve them, protect them, advance them.
Those who want to worship God as they please and attend a church of their choice.
Those who find wisdom in the Bible and are tired of being called bigots because they believe what’s in it.
Those who affirm that all have a right to life, the right to protect themselves and their loved ones, to say as they see fit absent fear of being shunned or silenced.
Those who believe we have a right to raise our children with the values we know will sustain them through life’s journey.
Those who want to work hard to scale the economic ladder, having the freedom to be who they are, to flourish as they see fit, to live a life authored by God, and the right to bequeath to their children the fruits of their labor.
More than a million American soldiers have paid the ultimate price to preserve this most precious gift bequeathed by our founders.
They have stood tall by this cause, the worthiest of all causes known to humankind.
Today I honor their sacrifice. And sound the alarm about the challenge we face to preserve that which makes America unique among all nations.
To declare that American freedom is under assault. To declare that more than any other single cause, none is more important than preserving freedom for next generation, and generations to come.
I am a trial lawyer and proud of it. I’ve made a career of fighting for the underdogs of this world. Fighting for every-day Iowans, the working people, the Forgotten Man of Iowa.
That’s what I do.
I had a case come to my office a long time ago that I will never forget.
Nineteen years or so years ago, I was getting ready to leave on a Friday evening. It was about five o’clock when the phone rang. I picked up the phone and the heard the voice of an anxious woman. She said, “I want to sue Planned Parenthood!” “So, do I,” I replied. “Why?” “They told me eight weeks ago when I had an ultrasound that I was not pregnant. I now have one week to have an abortion.” “Why are you getting an abortion?” “My husband just left me. I have three kids. I work at the pizza place down the street and I can not afford a fourth child.”
“Can I ask you something?” “Sure,” she said. “Is your problem mainly an economic one?” “Yes,” she said. “Have you considered giving up the baby for an adoption?” “No,” she replied. “If I were to help you with five hundred dollars a month to help until the baby is born and for several months after, would you consider it?” She said, “You would do that for me?” “I have a check in my hand, come down to the office,” I said.
She was there ten minutes later. She was very emotional and grateful. “I will see you next month,” I said. She did not come back the next month. I thought the life of the baby had been lost until one year later. I received a very sweet thank you note with a picture of a beautiful baby girl. Her daughter had been adopted by a family in Nebraska. She was allowed to visit the baby and was very grateful. I received another letter a year later with another picture.
Fourteen years later I was running for the Iowa House. I was door knocking in Morningside area of Sioux City. I knocked on a door when a man I did not know, said, “Jim! C’mon in!” I followed him in and he acted like he knew me.
A few moments later a woman I vaguely recognized walked in. “You look familiar,” I said. “Jim, I am _____.” I immediately recognized who she was and asked, “How are you, how are you?” She was doing well and had her life on a good track. “I want to show you something,” and she walked me into the kitchen. She pointed to a picture of a pretty, young girl on a horse. “That is my daughter.” I was overcome with emotion at that moment. We talked about her for several minutes.. I gave a her hug and asked her to stay in touch. I thanked God as I left. I thought that if I never get to do anything else in my whole life atleast I got to be a part of that. I know her to this day.
I never felt more alive than I did that day. Standing up for others is a big part of who we are.
It was my motivation for serving on the Board of an organization that helped orphaned children living in Kenya.
I have abided those same values as a State Senator, with 3 of my Senate colleagues, Rick Bertrand, Brad Zaun and Jake Chapman, we lead the effort to pass the Heartbeat bill, and give a voice to the unborn. Led the effort to make Iowa schools safer with mandatory active shooter training, give kids trapped in failing schools the option of going to a better one. I stood against and stopped a bill that would have stripped injured workers with pre-existing injuries from being part of a workman’s comp reform bill. Fought sex trafficking by advocating for stronger penalties and more resources to catch the culprits. Been an advocate for Iowa’s seniors and fought for property tax freeze.
I believe that God is the author of life, that He created each one of us for a unique purpose for the good of all. To expel Him from our culture would destroy our humanity towards one another.
I am here now because I believe that our country is under assault from abroad, from within, and that much of the freedom we treasure is in peril absent a new direction, a new vision, and some new energy in the United States Senate.
For years, the political class looked the other way as China manipulated its currency, ran up huge trade surpluses, and stole our defense secrets.
What was happening was known to our ruling class. American companies reaped enormous profits by locating facilities in China to exploit cheap labor. They in-turn contributed generously to the campaigns of politicians who let it happen.
In 1986, our trade deficit with China was $6 Billion. In no month since have we had a trade surplus. Last year it was $679 billion. An all-time high.
Today we pay a price. By some measures China has already become the world’s largest economy. By all measures it has the world’s largest Navy. It now occupies international shipping lanes in the South China Sea, and constantly threatens our allies and trading partners.
It’s hard to believe that someday we’ll just put aside our differences with China and suddenly decide to become friends. China is a surveillance state that locks up minorities in concentration camps. There’s no such thing as free speech. Democracy does not exist. Criticism of the government will get you killed. They persecute Christians who worship the same God we do.
In the face of this threat, we must maintain our military superiority, and rid American soil of Chinese espionage and spies who are stealing our technology. We must form a NATO like pact with freedom loving nations which regard a violation of trade rules on one country an assault on all countries.
The most important institution in the United States is the American family. Wrong- headed policies coming from Washington threaten it. Some of what the political class has done is destroying it.
Too many kids in America are growing up in homes without a father. Forty percent of children raised by single mothers live in poverty. Children who grow up in single-parent families are more likely to perform poorly in school, drop out of school, attempt suicide, commit crimes and end up in prisons. Even scholars from the Brookings Institution concede that the breakdown of the American family is root cause of society’s ill.
Our welfare system needs to be rethought and turned upside down. It penalizes parents who stay together. It fails to lift people out of poverty. It snares too many into a cycle of dependence too often lasts for generations. The goal of welfare and public assistance should be to keep families together, quickly get the needy to back on their feet and to a place where they are no longer dependent on the government for help.
Our tax code is an abomination of special interest tax breaks and loopholes purchased for Wall Street equity firms, banks, multinational corporations, and companies that export American jobs to foreign lands. The ones who need tax relief are the parents trying to raise a family, the struggling small business owner trying to survive, and middle-class Americans who can’t afford health insurance or the cost of raising children.
Too many of our children are trapped in failing schools. Too many of our children are being indoctrinated to hate America, hate our history and hate our culture. We need to give them a choice…vouchers to attend a charter school, a private school, or a public school with higher standards — schools that teach the truth of our history and graduate kids properly schooled in math, science and English.
These are many of the things President Trump sought to and did address.
During the last thirty years, the political class has left rural America behind.
It started in the 1990’s when Washington signed trade deals that emptied our factories. It was made worst when the cities and suburbs were wired for internet rural America was forgotten. It will get worse when urban America gets 5G and rural America is told to wait.
Little wonder that rural America feels aggrieved by empty storefronts on town squares, closed factories that used to pay a living wage, where many now live paycheck-to-paycheck in low wage jobs that don’t offer health insurance.
America needs to preserve rural America.
High-speed internet is for every state and county in America, for the same reason that every state and county has electricity. To be told we have to live without the infrastructure provided urban Americans is to be told that rural Americans are second-class citizens.
Rural America deserves access to affordable and accessible health care, doctors in every county, modern medical facilities, and access to telemedicine technology.
Our farmers must be allowed to make a living—trade agreements and environmental policies that increase the value of corn, soybeans, hogs and cattle, and the opportunity to profit from bio fuels, wind, solar and carbon credits. The time has also come to abolish the death tax on family farms or we’ll someday see the day when there are none left.
Never again should millions of Americans be left to question the legitimacy of an election, or given so many reasons to doubt the veracity of what they were told about who won what state, when and how the votes were counted.
Never again should the political class abdicate its responsibility to investigate and hold hearings when millions of Americans had doubt about the legitimate winner of an election. People we relied on to tell us the truth let us down by not seeking the truth.
Absent efforts to reform and same the set of rules for all guarantees that the United States will again endure what we just did.
In some states, voter ID is required. Others not.
In some states, ballots are automatically mailed, others not.
In some states, ballot harvesting is permitted, others not.
In same states, drop boxes are common, in others scarce.
In some states, and excuse is needed to vote absentee, in others none.
In some states, ballots are counted if received within two weeks after an election. In others, they are tossed if not received by election day.
We are equal in the words of the constitution and we are supposed to be equal in the eyes of the law. This past election proved were a not. Not when there are different standards about who gets to vote, how they can vote, when they are allowed to vote, and who supervises the count when votes are tabulated in the dark of the night.
The American democracy will crumble if voters lose faith in the integrity of elections and those who count the ballots.
There are a handful of people in the United States more powerful than the leader of the free world. Two of them silenced the President of the United States. Another controls the planet’s largest search engine with the power to decide what we can find in the world’s largest library.
No man. No Woman. No Monopoly should have that kind of power in the world’s greatest democracy. This past election they proved something that should chill the spine of anyone who takes seriously the Bill of Rights. This handful of people has the wherewithal to silence whoever they please and to stifle the free exchange of ideas. They have dominion over what we are allowed to see, to hear, to read; the power to tell us what we are allowed to think.
Nor should any tech monopoly have the power to leverage the discourse of the elected and those they serve. On this we now have something in common with China. In China, the government does it. Here, we let private monopolies do it.
The time has come to do with Big Tech what we once did with Standard Oil, the Railroad barons, ATT, IBM and Microsoft.
1/. Break them up into smaller pieces. Make it possible for smaller companies and startups to compete.
2/. Reign in their practice of gobbling up competitors and stifling competition.
3/. Write a new set of laws that protect the privacy of those who voice their opinion, and the right to tell social media monopolies that their personal data is not to be collected, sold or used.
These are the battles we face to keep America free. These are the battles we must fight to keep America the greatest democracy the world has known.
Ours is the effort that must be made to stop the incessant assault from the left that wants to control what we say, stifle our dissent, upend the values we hold dear, constrict our freedoms and put us on a path of decline.
Sometimes you can know who a person is by their enemies. No one knows this better than President Trump. The same people who threaten our freedoms and seek to control what we see, read and hear from one another hated him. You have to ask yourself why? Still, he stood up for us for 4 years. China was confronted for its weaponized economic practices, Constitutional rights to preserve freedom and self-determination were reflected in his Supreme Court nominees, meaningful peace deals were negotiated in the middle east, the economy boomed, and the working middle class saw a $6,000.00 increase in salary. I commend and am grateful for all his efforts to keep America a free and prosperous nation. He stood up. We can do no less.
I am not running as a purveyor of grievances, for we must offer to Iowans and Americans a 21st century vision for a country beset with monumental challenges. But neither will I back down from a fight with those who belittle our culture, undermine our way of life, or relegate the patriotic and the God-loving to second class citizens in a country we love.
Our freedom is really what they are after. The question we must ask ourselves is, “will our children and grandchildren be free?” That is a question we must answer with a stand. We will stand up for our children, freedoms, our faith, and our America. That is our shared responsibility. Stand up.
It is on the journey that I ask your hand, your help, your support and your prayers. God Bless You. God Bless Iowa. God Bless America.