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Why are you running for Congress?

I care about our country and regard its Constitution as its greatest contribution to World Civilization.  We must defend it, and we must hold our government to it.  I'm well-suited to the task.  I fight for our freedom of speech.  I fight for our right to bear arms.  I fight for our religious and health freedoms and parental rights.  I believe our economy prospers to the extent it is unfettered by government regulation, so I fight for a free market.  With the exception of taking care of those damaged in service to their country, I think government should limit welfare from disempowering those in need and commit to warfare only when justly declared.  I believe we should fortify our borders.  My allegiance is to these United States and its citizens, not to foreign or corporate interests.

While I am passionate about such causes, my tipping point to run is the extended stubborn rejection to sensible drug policy in our state and federal legislatures, particularly concerning medical cannabis (marijuana). Recent polls in North Carolina indicate almost 80% of our population supports medical cannabis legalization, and yet our state legislature continually dooms each attempt to die.  Our federal government holds a patent citing health benefits of one part of cannabis (CBD) and approved a synthetic version of another (THC) in 1985, yet still considers it as having no accepted medical use.  The cause of cannabis enrolls progressives, conservatives, libertarians and green party activists alike because they know people are senselessly suffering and dying as a result of lack of access to medical cannabis.  Can you think of a more unifying issue in these divisive times?

- Dr. Kevin Baiko

Why do you advocate medical cannabis legalization?

Cannabis is a safe and effective alternative to many medicines (including opioids) and often works better with less side effects.  My patients who have benefited from medical cannabis (numbering in the thousands) are testimony for the need to end its prohibition.  Drug addiction is spreading across our country in epidemic proportions.  North Carolina currently ranks second in the nation for drug overdose related deaths!  Too many, including our veterans, are suffering because laws prohibit its use. Too many are suffering in jail or with stigmatizing criminal records because they self-medicated.  Too many have displaced their families to live in states where medical cannabis is permitted.   The drug war against cannabis has done more harm than good and needs to end.

What's the most important issue facing America today?

We NEED to rein in our federal government, both in terms of over-reaching policies & regulations and over-spending.  Its involvement in any area of policy undermines the ability of states and individuals to manage their own affairs, maintains largely unaccountable bureaucracies which cater to big business, and does so all at great expense to taxpayers.  Federal government should stay out of the businesses of healthcare, education, housing and welfare. It's time we START to withdraw our over-reaching military presence around the globe, to more wisely allocate military resources and funding.  Financial aid to other countries at the devaluement of our own currency makes no sense.  Our prosperity depends on a strong dollar, not a currency inflated into oblivion for futile attempts to prop up an unsustainable warfare-welfare state.

-Dr. Kevin Baiko

How do you regard the free market?

America should have a free market and operate on the principle of free trade.  That is the most likely setting for win-win transactions, wherein mutually beneficial exchanges can take place.  While our country largely operates as a free market, in many ways it is not actually free, but rather tethered by a great deal of governmental intervention and control, too often for the benefit of big corporate interests at the expense of everyday people.  Many blame the ideal of free markets for the economic disparities which result and cry for more governmental intervention in the pursuit of equity, but socialism is not the answer to the injustices of Crony Capitalism.  Free markets are.  Liberty is in everyone's best interest.

- Dr. Kevin Baiko

What immigration policy would you pursue?

Borders define a nation's geography.  Laws and cultural values define its identity.  Unregulated borders offer little incentive for people who wish to live here to adopt our customs and values, placing our national identity at risk.  I would fortify our borders and enforce firm immigration policy.  I would also minimize the incentives motivating illegal immigration, including ready access to healthcare, education and citizenship.  And it seems prudent to reevaluate our foreign policies driving these immigration patterns as well as our VISA policy enabling birth tourism.

- Dr. Kevin Baiko

How would you support our troops?

During my time serving as physician to military dependents at TriCare Prime clinics, I became resolved that we should not send our precious sons and daughters to war unless war is justifiable enough to declare by act of congress. And when our veterans return, our government should provide them the best healthcare possible.  Medical cannabis must be made available to them because it so safely and effectively treats pain and post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from the physical and emotional traumas of combat.   I pledge to do my part in defending our country by defending our constitution. 

- Dr. Kevin Baiko

How do your beliefs and values factor into your politics?

I believe individuals should be compassionately judged by their merit and behavior, not their gender, skin color, ethnicity or religion.  I fight for equality of opportunity for all, including the unborn.  I believe individuals and charitable institutions are better equipped to care for people than government programs and that people of faith should not be required to sacrifice their beliefs in the operation of their businesses.

- Dr. Kevin Baiko

What is the role of science in government?

I believe science should be regarded and applied conservatively in government.  As my wife Michelle says, "God gave us everything we need.  It's when man plays God that we get into problems."  Government should closely monitor technological advancements, especially in areas like artificial intelligence and genetic manipulation.  But government should not cater to corporate interests, particularly in the development of medicines.  While I encourage climate science, I find climate alarmism unscientific and am wary when it calls for regulating human behavior without convincing evidence that such regulation will actually benefit humanity.  I support a balanced approach to energy production, encouraging development of technologies that harness alternate sources without abandoning established fuel sources (though I am wary of fracking out of environmental and health concerns.)

- Dr. Kevin Baiko

What is your position on protecting the environment?

America is rich in natural wonders and beauty.  We should hold polluters, whether neighbors or regional industries, accountable. All God's creatures are healthier in clean habitats.  As a Currituck resident I don't want seismic testing or drilling taking place in my backyard, and I'd extend that courtesy down the coast.  It would not only endanger our local communities and wildlife.  It would also threaten local industries like fishing and tourism.  I oppose collectivist directives like U.N. Agenda 21 and the Paris Climate Agreement, which undermine private property rights.  Governmental agencies should be held in check from over-extending their regulatory control and abusing property owners.   Property rights (along with privacy rights) are essential to a free society. 

- Dr. Kevin Baiko

How will you approach representation & accountability?

I will dedicate a website and a phone line for my constituents to voice concerns and offer feedback.  I will regularly visit to maintain awareness of regional and local issues, ever willing to listen to and learn from my constituents.  I will thoughtfully consider everything my constituents share with me. When confronted with a question for which I have no answer, I'll admit it, do my research and I will get back to you.  On my website I will publish my every congressional vote, explaining my reason(s) for voting the way I did.

- Dr. Kevin Baiko

What fiscal policy do you advocate?

I believe in sound money. Our currency has devalued to a factor of over 25x since the creation of our Central Bank (which is actually privately owned), meaning that one dollar today has the same buying power that about 4 cents had in 1913. Prosperity is a function of liberty - not of artificially inflated currency.  Our government must adopt conservative fiscal policy with the requirement that it operate within the confines of a balanced budget.  I'm in favor of downsizing our federal government and auditing, if not ending, the Federal Reserve.

- Dr. Kevin Baiko

How would you affirm family values?

Healthy family dynamics teach us the true value of love, respect and responsibility, which in turn form the basis of healthy societal dynamics, including charity, civility and service.  Governmental policy, especially from the federal level, must take great care not to impose itself upon this natural arrangement in a manner that undermines any of these values.  Involuntary taxation and welfare programs should not be mistaken for voluntary love and charity. Such policy fosters resentment and criminality rather than self-respect and civility and rewards victim-hood and entitlement rather than responsibility and service.  Many call for more taxation and more welfare in the name of social justice, not recognizing how the Welfare State dis-empowers those it purports to help at great cost to society.  No approach to easing societal suffering will fix poverty, but I believe the less government tries to fix such matters once reserved to charitable organizations and caring community members, the more healthy family and societal dynamics will naturally find expression, affirming compassion, gratitude and prosperity.

-Dr. Kevin Baiko

How should Congress approach healthcare?

With the exception of serving active duty military and veterans, federal government should stay out of healthcare. Its involvement over-reaches its constitutional mandate and inevitably undermines quality, limits choices and drives up prices (for most people). Federal regulatory agencies cater to big pharma and the insurance industry, at the expense of common folk. Federal laws infringe on rights to self-care and to cultivate one's own medicines. I would leave such matters to individual states, though even at that level, individuals are more empowered to care for themselves and one another to the extent government stays out of medicine.

-Dr. Kevin Baiko

What are your thoughts on congressional term limits?

The relationships that career legislators can develop with lobbyists and bureaucrats too often contribute to congressional representation of corporate interests and big government itself rather than representation of their constituencies, where it belongs.  I support legislation, if not a constitutional amendment, that would set term limits for members of Congress.

-Dr. Kevin Baiko

Committee to Elect Kevin Baiko, M.D.
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