Ultimately, I believe that many issues have an impact on our national security. From the Department of Defense, to healthcare, to gun rights, our national policies can weaken or strengthen our national and international security positions and our ability to protect Americans.

I am a big believer in maintaining America's position as a global military leader and guardian of freedom. To that, we need to fully support our military through state-of-the-art technology, as well as top-notch care for service members and veterans.

If anything, the COVID pandemic has taught us of the frailty of our healthcare system. I support a national healthcare coverage program, on par with what we offer our veterans. A third grader should not receive less healthcare than a veteran.

Women (and men) should have autonomy over their bodies. I believe that laws banning abortion violate the 13th Amendment -- the abolition of slavery. Forcing someone to go unwillingly through childbirth constitutes forced involuntary servitude.

Our most sacred function of a democracy is the right of a citizen to vote. That is why it does not require payment, a special identification card, or unreasonable obstacles to exercise our right to vote. Laws that seek to make voting more difficult and only accessible to a privileged group are inherently anti-democratic and run counter to the very ideals of government of the people.

Law Enforcement
Those in law enforcement have always had a special place in my heart. It could be that my hearing loss kept me out of military service and federal law enforcement. Yet, I will always have the backs of our fellow citizens who have dedicated their lives to protecting the rest of us.

People entering the U.S. to seek better, safer, and more stable lives are the backbone of our nation. I fully support a lenient acceptance policy of those who wish to come here, with the caveat that newcomers should have those basic skills that most Americans should have: A basic command of the English language, simple math skills, some U.S. civics. I think it is reasonable for most new immigrants to be given the opportunities to gain such qualifications before attaining full citizenship.

The world has fallen down disastrously in this fight for freedom. The U.S. and its allies and the Free World should be doing everything short of directly attacking Russian military elements inside Ukraine. I would give serious thought to giving Ukraine emergency accession and acceptance into NATO, thereby forcing President Putin to confront the entire NATO alliance. Had Ukraine simply folded from the invasion, Putin would be further emboldened to invade elsewhere.

Second Amendment
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." That is the entire wording of the Second Amendment. This amendment was to guarantee the colonists some measure of defense against tyranny - from an abusive domestic government to British aggression that involved muskets and six-pound cannons. To interpret this as to allow private citizens the same armaments that the British have today would see your neighbor on one side carrying an SA80 machine gun and on the other side fueling an F-35 fighter jet. I believe in a federal ban on carrying concealed weapons without a federal firearms permit, which would be available to those in private security and the like. This policy would not interfere in homeowners or businesses protecting their property. It would prohibit someone from carrying a weapon in a public place, such as a movie theater, school campus, bus, government building, restaurant, etc. Carrying a pistol into a concert is not going to help fight off a squad of British commandos or a platoon of Russian paratroopers.

The world is all we have. As much as I love space exploration, I have no desire to live on Mars. I enjoy breathing in fresh, clean air. As such, I fully support regulation that reduces or eliminates pollution. I believe in preservation and conservation of our resources. Once something has been done to damage our environment, it is staggeringly difficult to correct it, as we are witnessing in the current global climate change.

A recent National Public Radio article reported that on March 29, 2022, wind power electricity generation exceeded that of coal and nuclear combined. We have just scratched the surface of a new era of electricity generation. Wind, solar, and eventually fusion energy will propel us from the carbon-spewing contaminants of coal and natural gas and the uneasy specter of spent nuclear materials. To that, we must be able to fund research into developing these exciting technologies that will provide not only domestic growth but bolster our national security by becoming energy-independent.

America needs to ensure that family and independent farmers continue to thrive. As our national defense policy during the Cold War was to diversify aircraft manufacturing so that no single company's disaster would hinder national security, I believe the nation should maintain a widely diverse network of agricultural suppliers. We cannot live without food, and we need to protect that system of production. By supporting all levels of farming, we are protecting the country from a wide-ranging calamity, such as a computer system attack, regional weather events, food-borne illness. By maintaining a multitude of independent farmers, the nation's food security can be better shielded from a major catastrophe.

I support programs that offer high school graduates free two-year community and technical college education. An educated populace is likely to have more economic advantages and fewer criminal interactions. To maintain our global leadership, we must up our education game and realize that education is not only for the privileged but a way to increase American stature. To that, public education programs, policies, and standards must be regulated by education professionals, not by a few disgruntled political bullies.

Gender Identity
All persons should be treated equally - it is that simple. We need to be aware that everyone has a place in our society, and our government has no place in telling us who we can or cannot be. Think of your favorite color. Now, imagine that the government told you that your favorite color is illegal. We do not know how and why we each have a favorite color, but certainly, the government has no business changing or intruding on our inherent identities.

Rainwater Law