By Felicia (Fee) Benamon
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Steve Beren, former anti-war activist is now a Republican running for Congress to represent Washington state's 7th Congressional District. Beren recognizes the importance of fighting the war on terror, less government, and the protection of our borders. Issues which our current leadership has abandoned (save fighting the war on terror). Issues that matter to many americans right now, given our current global and national situation.
Less government and the protection of our borders are what the Republican party usually stands for and definitely what Steve Beren will fight for. and it's a given that we must continue to fight the war on terror.
as a writer and speaker, Steve Beren focuses mainly on the subject of international terrorism, keeping the issue to the forefront of the minds of the american people. His opponent, Jim McDermott takes a far left, soft view of the approach to the war on terror, (actually a more careless view on the war on terror) and like many Democrats, decries the use of Federal wiretapping to ferret out terrorist plots by phone.
McDermott has ranted against most of what the House has done to address concerns on terrorism. His response when Congress passed a resolution to withhold aid to Hamas...it's Republican "show-boating" for Israel, McDermott complained.
When the House passed a measure to refer Iran to the UN Security Council, McDermott voted "nay."
In an interview, Steve Beren pointed out to me the reasons why the state of Washington needs a change from the far left candidate to the more sensible, no-nonsense candidate of which he exemplifies:
Felicia: Your story is compelling, you were a former anti-war activist, now running as a Republican for Congress.
Steve Beren: In the 60s and 70s, I was anti-war. I am now living in a city that's represented by an anti-war congressman. as a former anti-war activist, I am really the perfect candidate to run against McDermott. I know how he thinks, I know how his supporters think, I know how the anti-war movement thinks. The people who vote for McDermott are sincere, but they are not being well-served. He is misleading the people of Seattle, and his foreign policy views are not in the best interest of the people.
McDermott went to Iraq before the war and met with the Iraqi government, earning himself the nickname of "Baghdad Jim." at the time, he held a press conference and said that he trusted Saddam Hussein more than he trusted President Bush. That's outrageous, that's an extremist view. That is not responsible leadership.
If during World War II, a congressman had said he trusted Hitler more than the President, this of Hitler for example, he would never have been re-elected. The people of Washington's 7th District need someone who will work for the people. Congressmen should lead the people, and leadership includes explaining the true danger we face from terrorism. Instead, McDermott encourages people to minimize the threat and to oppose the war.
Felicia: He desensitizes them to the threat of terrorism.
Steve Beren: Desensitize? Yes, that's a good way of putting it.
Felicia: What made you switch parties to the Republican side?
Steve Beren: I consider myself a 9/11 Republican--I became a Republican at age 52, same as Ronald Reagan. I had voted Democrat during the 1990's. I was no longer an anti-war activist--I had become pro-military and very patriotic. I was shocked and disappointed when the Democrats started to take an anti-war stance during 2002. It became clear to me they were weak on national security, and I felt that they were offering a wrong direction for the country. I became actively involved in the Bush re-election effort.
Felicia: Would you say that you are more centrist Republican or straight Conservative?
Steve Beren: I like to let my positions speak for themselves. I consider myself generally conservative, but have received strong support from both moderate and conservative Republicans. I believe in a strong, Republican Party, with tolerance of disagreements. My views are made clear in my campaign platform--support for a victory strategy in the global war against terrorism, tough border security and opposition to amnesty, and limited but effective government.
Felicia: Unlike many politicians in Washington D.C., you were not born with a silver spoon in your mouth, but you are a regular guy hoping to change the climate in D.C., correct?
Steve Beren: I was a middle class kid from New York, neither rich nor poor. I've worked for a living, sometimes in offices and sometimes in factories. In the 1980s I worked in a New Orleans clothing factory, and I was a Boeing machinist. I know what it means to be on unemployment. I'm not wealthy and I am not a professional politician--this is the first time I've run for office. But many Republicans--and some Democrats and some independents--are excited to see me challenge Jim McDermott.
I am running an aggressive campaign to try to convince people that they should vote for a change and replace Jim McDermott. Jim McDermott is practically a poster child for the extremist excesses of the Democrats. We can't allow Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean, and Harry Reid to set the national political agenda.
Felicia: Many americans have become dissatisfied with the job performance of Democrats and Republicans. What do you say to them?
Steve Beren: I understand and share people's frustrations, especially on issues like the deficit and illegal immigration. I am a candidate who is for border security, for national defense, for winning the war on terror, for reduced spending to help control the deficit. I will replace a far left, pro-amnesty incumbent.
Felicia: Washington state's 7th District is largely liberal. How do you plan to get your message across to those who favor a more leftist candidate?
Steve Beren: My goal is to reach everyone. To the anti-war crowd, I want to encourage them to come over to my side. Even many Democrats admit that Jim McDermott has not been effective. Some people only vote for him out of habit simply because he's a Democrat. McDermott has had a free pass, but this year it's different. He has lost a lot of support and is vulnerable. McDermott has been in Congress for 18 years, but in those years he had not been a good representative. He's taken a stand against Israel. He says we should believe the Iranian government when it says it is seeking nuclear technology only for peaceful purposes. Instead of leading and representing the people, he spends all his time spouting his extremist views.
Felicia: Well you certainly give strong reasons why someone should consider you at the polls. I wish you well. We need more people like you.
Steve Beren: Thank you Fee, I appreciate it.
The people of Washington state and people of this nation need the clearheadedness of candidate Steve Beren. Not someone who will be a hindrance to Congress to effectively protect this country against terrorism.
Steve Beren asks the people of Washington state's 7th Congressional District for their vote. For the protection of Washington state's freedom and the freedom of the U.S., we need Mr. Beren's strong leadership!