Blue Louisa: A blog Covering Central Virginia & national politics from a progressive perspective
Ben Hixon is campaigning for delegate in Virginia’s General Assembly to represent the 30th District, which includes part of Culpeper County and all of Madison and Orange Counties. He will fight for your freedoms – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. If you don’t think they are under attack, think again. The evidence is everywhere around you.
Here’s one example: Did you know that you can be pulled over for a broken tail light, and then have your money, your car, and its contents confiscated by the government? Good luck on getting it back. Virginia gets a D-minus grade in terms of its “civil assets forfeiture system.” One recent proposal would redirect some of that confiscated property towards treatment and rehabilitation for addiction. Seriously? Taking from the impoverished communities where many drug addicts come from in order to pay for one step in the recovery process for those addicts not already caught up in the net of the criminal justice system is simply a way of enforcing the status quo while patting yourself on the back. Not only is this more of the same, but allowing government to steal taxpayers’ property to pay for public works is the antithesis of freedom. Ben Hixon would work to reform that system, as well as working to end “prisons for profit,” where thousands of nonviolent offenders unjustly languish.
A resident of Culpeper, he launched his 2017 campaign for delegate of the 30th District with a vision to build the local economy and help Virginians get back to basics: freedom and opportunity for all. His family’s southern heritage dates to the American Revolution. Hixon is a native of Louisiana and he has also lived in Tennessee and Washington state. He is a computer programmer and former National Science Foundation research fellow with multiple publications in the field of artificial intelligence, and holds an engineering degree from the City University of New York with doctorate studies in computer engineering at the University of Washington. A champion of personal and economic liberty, Hixon supports concepts such as universal healthcare, broad access to education, and limited government regulation as fundamental American freedoms. More information on Ben Hixon’s background, viewpoints, and ideas can be found at http://benhixon.com.
Ben is a genuine person who says what he means and means what he says. What some may see as a mild demeanor belies a toughness that is apparent when he advocates for his policies and positions. Ben is a fresh, young face in Virginia’s staid political scene. He simply doesn’t fit the hackneyed politician stereotype. In many ways, Ben is the unlikely candidate. His skills weren’t forged in the public eye—instead, he worked diligently in front of a computer screen where he built artificial intelligence programs which allowed machines to adapt to new environments. He’s humble, and sometimes quiet. He doesn’t have the look of a politician. He’s a perfect example of the distinct, young breed of patriots that have stepped forward since November to fight for the idea that the future doesn’t belong to spotlight-obsessed reality stars, but to motivated, dedicated thinkers that have been inspired to public service out of a concern for their country’s future.
How many of us are frustrated by the lack of broadband internet coverage in our rural areas? How many of us despair at the lack of employment opportunities for our young people that is driving them to the big cities? Without rural broadband access, this is just another empty promise. We support parents being given the option to homeschool their children, and we think vocational training is crucial, but rural counties like ours will not be able to compete in a modern economy without the freedom of a developed, modern infrastructure provides. Lack of broadband short changes our children’s education and prevents farmers from learning market conditions in a timely manner. Ben Hixon has plans for not only increasing broadband but also for vocational training that can prepare our high school students for a brighter future.
The country, the Commonwealth, and Culpeper need a new beginning. The astonishing spectacle that has embroiled the country for the past few weeks has got to come to an end. It is time for all political parties to put aside the extremism and partisanship that has torn America apart for the past few years and the past few months. It is time for compromise and working together with common purpose to truly further the interests of the working people of this country. It’s time for a new birth of Freedom.
Editor’s Note: This op-ed has been reposted with the authors, permission and originally appeared here.
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