Tommy Hanson: Candidate profile, U.S. House 5th District
Republican Tommy Hanson is challenging incumbent Democrat Mike Quigley of Chicago in the race for the 5th Congressional District, which includes parts of Hinsdale, Oak Brook, Schiller Park, and Chicago's North and Northwest sides.
Q: What has Donald Trump's unconventional leadership taught us about politics in the United States? What is the best thing his presidency has done? What is the most significant criticism you have of it?
A: He is a DISRUPTOR. Every industry faces a disruptor. It is necessary for growth, but can often be uncomfortable as it takes you out of the known and into uncharted territory. Politics isn't immune to change any more than industry is. This country was back at work and bringing jobs home until COVID set in. That is one of his greatest accomplishments. I wish he could have a better Twitter filter.
Q: Many critics of governmental process complain that both Barack Obama and Donald Trump governed too much through executive orders rather than in collaboration with Congress. Is our system in danger of veering toward authoritarianism? From a structural standpoint, does Congress need to place stronger limits on the power of the presidency? If so, be specific on what some of those limits might be. If not, please explain your view.
A: If they had a workable Congress, they wouldn't have had to govern by executive order. If anything, Congress needs to impose some checks and balances on themselves so that issues don't become a stalemate but are able to be resolved on all levels.
Q: Protesters have massed in the streets throughout America calling for greater social justice. How significant a role does systemic racism play in limiting equal opportunity in America? To the degree that it exists, what should be done about it? Do you favor reparations? Should police be "defunded"?
A: Isn't it interesting that in a city and county governed by Democrats for over 50 years that there has been no racial justice and the unemployment rate in the inner city tops 30% when other areas are around 10% or less. The biggest injustice is the political machine that has used the black community as a pawn for decades in order to secure votes for their own agenda. If Oprah and Obama can become wealthy and successful, that is proof that race is not limiting, only your thoughts limit you.
I do not favor reparations. What happened in the past is a lesson for us all to learn, however, we have to leave our baggage behind and strive to never repeat past mistakes. Let's not forget our history, painful or pleasant.
I do not believe the police should be defunded.
Q: Does today's climate of polarization reflect a natural and necessary ebb and flow in the tone of civic debate? Or does it reflect a dangerous divide? What, if anything, should be done about it?
A: Prayer changes everything. This is a country that should be on their knees before God praying for forgiveness. What is wrong in America is a heart problem. It is a spiritual issue. People have lost hope because they don't know the truth. God created us equal, He loves us all. I remember the song as a child "red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world." If we could all love like He does we wouldn't have these issues. It's not about color, it is about character. Race should never be brought up. Each individual is a person, with a soul, wrapped in a beautiful package that God created.
Q: Is there a "cancel culture" in America?
A: There is a cancel culture among a younger generation that have been raised in homes without a moral compass and don't have an understanding of our constitution, history, or even basic political procedure. I am all for a one-way ticket to a country they think will best suit their particular tastes.
Q: What do you see as the most important issues to address regarding immigration reform? If you oppose funding for a wall, what steps do you support to try to control illegal immigration?
A: There has to be a clear, legal path to immigration.
Q: Please define your position on health care reform, especially as it relates to the Affordable Care Act.
A: The Affordable Care Act has failed miserably. However, the problem isn't the Act, the issue is the medical networks that control the doctors. I have interviewed dozens of doctors about the state of American health care. They all say that the medical networks hold them hostage as doctors demanding 'x' number of visits a day, limiting their ability to prescribe prescriptions that would actually help their patients, in exchange for 'big pharma' prescriptions that provide the medical network with large kickbacks. It is all about referring the patient to as many other doctors in the network as possible to keep them hooked, and fees being generated. It is a completely broken medical system. The least of the issue is the insurance that covers it.
Q: Should everyone wear a mask? Should our schools be open? What has the country done right about the pandemic? What has it done wrong? How optimistic are you that we'll ever get back to "normal?"
A: NO masks! Masks are not a cure. If someone chooses to wear one then they should be allowed to without judgment. However, masks do not prevent the spread of the germ according to medical evidence. It actually causes medical issues for those who continually wear them. Yes our schools should be open. The emotional and mental repercussions from not being open far outweigh any exposure to illness. The pandemic created a new urge to deep clean and I think that has been a fabulous overall benefit to this country. No, there is no going BACK. It's over. This is new water to navigate and make something out of.
Q: What do you consider America's role in world affairs? What are we doing correctly to fill that role? What else should we be doing?
A: We should cautious watch and keep an arm's length. We don't want it to spread to our soil.
Q: Do you believe climate change is caused by human activity? What steps should government be taking to address the issue?
A: Climate change is not real. Sorry Al Gore!
Q: What role does Congress play with regards to the growth of conspiracy theory groups like QAnon?