I had no intention of doing any research on the Republican primary challengers to the sitting President, but my cousin asked me to – and former Massachusetts Governor Weld happened to do one of those WMUR town halls that I enjoy. So here goes.
Pro-Choice, Small Government, Fiscal Conservative. Decent Guy.
Bill Weld is pro-choice and seems to be in favor of some very modest gun control measures. He appears to be pretty reasonable on immigration, understanding that reform is necessary, ports should be the focus of control, and a wall is ridiculous. He also talks a decent game when it comes to criminal justice reform, acknowledging that our criminal justice system is racist–particularly our drug policy. As far as agreeing on policy, that’s probably where he and I part ways.
However, personal qualities are important to me, too – and he seems to be genuine, admitting when he hasn’t considered a particular topic or idea, or when he just isn’t enough of an expert to provide a reasoned opinion. He openly admitted to reconsidering some of the decisions he made while with the Justice Department. That kind of honestly and self-awareness go a long way with me. He does talk like an old man, and that’s not a shot at his age so much as his phrasing and vocabulary. While I honestly believe that he is and has been on the right side of history on things like LGBT and racial disparity issues, he doesn’t have the modern language of the social justice movements at his fingertips. That’s okay – but it is kind of a liability.
I oppose the fundamental conservative approach, but I respect him.
Weld is a traditional small government, states rights, fiscal conservative, which is basically anathema to my own view on federal government. For example, Weld believes in school choice, expansion of home schooling, and abolishing the federal Department of Education, in favor of making education a state’s responsibility. I strongly disagree, and think that the coming automation revolution makes a strong federal education policy even more critical than ever, and that public schools need more funding, not less.
At the end of the day, Weld is a traditional Republican and I would vote against him in the general election. However, he’s a respectable man with a solid moral compass who has reasoned, intelligent arguments for his point of view. If he were elected President, I would do everything in my power to convince people that he’s wrong on small government – but I would do it with respect and pride.
I wish I believed there was even a chance that he could get the nomination. But alas…