Saxon hopes to bring ‘common’ approach to Congress
By Kathryn Purcell
Tenth District Congressional candidate Bobby Saxon spent last Thursday visiting Madison, stopping to speak with various local business, organizational and government leaders.
Saxon took a break for lunch at Perk Avenue, where he dined with members of the Morgan County Democratic Committee, sharing his background and answering questions about his platform.
Saxon, 46, is a native of Oconee County, and currently resides in Jackson County.
He is a graduate of Georgia Southern University, where he also received his commission into the U.S. Army. After his service with the Army was over, he returned to the South, eventually opening his own business, PC POWERUSER, Inc., in Georgia.
Moved by the events of 9/11, he said, Saxon re-entered the Georgia National Guard. He was appointed to active duty in March 2003, and commanded 80 troops on a Homeland Security mission. Five months later, he was again called to active duty and returned home two-and-a-half years later. Saxon was in Afghanistan three times, spent a year in Iraq, served two tours in D.C. and seven months at the Pentagon.
Saxon feels, if elected, he will be able to bring a non-elitist perspective to Congress.
"I think that I bring to the table a true common man approach to what we really need in Congress," Saxon said. "Most all of our Congressmen are doctors, lawyers or millionaires. I don't happen to be any one of those three, and most everyone I know is not either."
Being an Iraq war veteran, Saxon favors supporting the troops stationed there, but is opposed to the war.
In order to leave the country successfully, however, Saxon favors a plan to transition out while still providing support for the Iraqi government and military, forcing the Iraqis to take responsibility for the governing of their country.
"First of all, we have to begin to think that we want to come home," Saxon said. "I don't think this current administration has any plans of wanting to come home. We have to have the resolve that the best solution in the Middle East is for Middle Easterners to be in charge of and to run and to conduct policy in the Middle East. We as Americans have gone and done what we've done, whether you like it or not, we've done it already. We have to find a way to get out of Iraq in an orderly fashion without creating instability as soon as we can. In my opinion, that means that we leave a small contingency over there to provide security for the government, to continue to train the Iraqis and to continue to support the Iraqi security forces...We need to support them while they continue to support and grow their military, because, if we just pull out tomorrow, Iran's going to control Iraq, and the situation's going to be worse than it already is over there."
Further, in his feelings on foreign policy, Saxon expressed that the United States government needs to take a more open approach in talking with other countries, friendly or otherwise.
"We've got to get back to setting the example, and that means sometimes sitting down with people we don't like and saying 'Look we have to come to an agreement here,' not simply threatening them and then attacking them if they don't agree with us," Saxon said.
While he doesn't feel it's the government's responsibility to provide healthcare to everyone, Saxon supports the idea of affordable healthcare for Americans, especially if the lack of healthcare is keeping people from being inventive.
"I don't think it's the government's job to provide everyone in this country free healthcare, but I do think the government has a tremendous amount of influence in making sure that everyone has access to affordable healthcare," Saxon said.
"If you live in this country right now and you're 50 years old and you've got a heart condition and you're in a job you hate, you can't change jobs. If you've got a brilliant idea and you want to go start a business, you can't go start a business because you won't have coverage for your heart problem, you won't have coverage for your cancer. If our healthcare system keeps people from being innovative and from going and doing other great things, then there's a problem with our healthcare. Pre-existing conditions in this country - that's not an anomaly, it's a real world problem for most people in this country. We have to address that and give people the ability to move between jobs."
Using his "common man approach," Saxon addressed the troubled American economy, blaming the situation on the current administration's lack of awareness.
"All of us have known that the economy's been slowing down and not doing well for quite some time, but the president and the Congress acted like they just found out 30 days ago," Saxon said. "It's like this most recent budget...it's $3 trillion, it's $400 billion worth of debt now. This is from the party that talks about wanting to be fiscally conservative, yet every single budget they've submitted in the last seven years has had a deficit and it has grown the national debt. If you and I don't have the money, we don't spend it; if we borrow, we have to pay it back. If we would take that basic approach to how we run our country, we would be in much better shape."
Saxon's experiences and service to his country have inspired him to run for the District 10 Congressional seat; he is the sole democratic candidate.
"I have always wanted to be involved," Saxon said. "It's been more of a personal sacrifice than I ever imagined, but it's something I believe very strongly in."
Representative Paul Broun, the incumbent, is being challenged for the republican nomination by state Representative Barry Fleming.
The seat will be filled based on results of the November 4, 2008 General Election.