Despite several missteps in interviews with the mainstream media, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's campaign to take the congressional seat in New York's 14th district is taking a lot of airtime.
The GOP candidate for the district, Dr. Anthony Pappas, has not received the same wall-to-wall coverage that his democratic socialist opponent has been given.
The following is an interview with Dr. Pappas about his stance on the issues, including his take on social issues, President Donald Trump, and the economy of New York City.
Q: Have you set up a debate with your opponent?
Dr. Pappas: We haven’t agreed or discussed it. My attitude is that I can’t just announce that I’ll show up in Central Park tomorrow, right? The debate has to be hosted by a radio show or television show or a local civic group. When that happens, I’ll be happy to debate her and anyone else.
Q: Where do you stand on abortion? Are you pro-life? Pro-choice?
Dr. Pappas: I don’t like these either/or questions. Generally, I believe that life begins at conception. I also think people should be responsible. There’s no reason for a million abortions a year.
Some people advocate for freedom of choice or however they want to characterize it. I’m not in favor of the federal government banning abortions. The effort should not be on whether or not you’re for it, but fostering personal responsibility.
Q: As a democratic socialist, your opponent approves of raising taxes through the roof on what she calls the highest income earners. Where do you stand on the issue of taxes and taxation?
Dr. Pappas: I would criticize that viewpoint that taxes should be raised. There is some necessity for taxes. Some are appropriate, but I would do this calculation. If you take the New York City budget, which is about 89 billion dollars while the population is only eight-and-a-half million, that works out to about ten thousand per person or forty-five thousand for a family of four.
That’s an average, so if someone isn’t paying into it, that burden falls on someone else. When you compare that average to other major cities like Philadelphia or San Diego, it’s only about three thousand. Generally, those cities are able to accomplish things with regard to city safety and education.
New Yorkers are taxed out of the wazoo and we’re getting some things, but one should ask whether it is justifiable. Many are saying it is not and they are leaving the city and the state.
Q: We’re seeing this new crop of candidates who are running for Congress in districts that they don’t even live in. Do you live in the 14th district?
Dr. Pappas: Yes. I’ve lived in the district for many years. I was born in Manhattan, but I moved here when I was really young. I’ve had some education and jobs outside, but I’ve lived here for 20 years at various points in time.
Q: The Democrats are running against Trump this midterm election. Do you think that the Trump name will help you, hurt you? Are you a Trump supporter?
Dr. Pappas: Trump is not popular in the district, so from that perspective you would be hurt. All you can do is bring out the issues you believe in and hope they resonate with the voters.
As for the president himself, some of his policies are commendable and other are not. He tends to be more controversial than he has to be. As for my views on it, I’m an independent thinker. I don’t believe you have to follow the leader on every single point. We can have a "big tent" approach to the (Republican) Party.
Q: If you had a message that you wanted your potential constituents to hear from your campaign, what would it be?
Dr. Pappas: I want to bring out a Constitutional and moral crisis. The judiciary branch thinks they are above the law, and in a sense they are. The judges have conferred a self-appointed immunity upon themselves. I feel that doctrine needs to be changed and I’m hoping to make it a big aspect of my campaign. I regard it as unconstitutional, immoral, and I want it stopped.