If you can’t make it to Melgaard Park in Aberdeen this evening to visit with Jay Williams, you can check out the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate’s comments to the Brown County Democratic Forum right here in YouTube-nicolor.
Williams gave fourteen minutes of prepared remarks on his background and why he can represent South Dakota and solve problems better than Senator John Thune. He then gave a 24-minute extemporaneous tour de force, responding vigorously and intelligently to audience questions and expanding on a variety of domestic and foreign policy issues.
The short assessment: yes, Jay Williams can be your Senator. He can be a darn good Senator.
Here’s Williams’s stump speech:
Then came the questions. First, Williams addresses the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He says he’s skeptical, but President Obama’s strong support for TPP keeps him from outright opposing the trade deal:
Williams then tackles a question on Syria and expands to address Iran, Israel, and our general Middle East policy:
Notice Williams’s comment on how he would have responded to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks: send American Muslim clerics overseas to distribute humanitarian. “Return good for evil… the Christian sort of thing to do.”
Asked about fracking, Williams acknowledged the technology’s usefulness but called for a complete change in our energy paradigm: build a smart grid and get off fossil fuels in ten years. Williams said America can do such a moonshot, but not under Republican do-nothingism. He noted that Republicans can’t even offer a coherent replacement policy for the Affordable Care Act, which Williams would improve with one simple reform that he thinks everyone would love: the public option!
Williams took a question on student debt relief and emphasized the need to prioritize education:
As Williams noted in his opening remarks, he’s a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He worked on an aircraft carrier and flew Navy jets and helicopters. He says the only military force that can challenge the United States Air Force is the United States Naval Air Force. But, returning to a theme from his response on Syria, Williams says we have a force more powerful and appropriate for fighting terrorism: our benevolence.
Williams wrapped up by noting that he’s eager to debate Senator John Thune, whom he is sure is a fine person but doesn’t do much more serve as a “Republican bobblehead for Mitch McConnell.” Even more significant in assessing Thune’s political character is his endorsement of the “odious”, “racist” Donald Trump, which Williams says is unacceptable:
Maybe John Thune will want to weasel out of the Dakotafest debate and other public forums with Jay Williams. The Democrat’s performance today shows he is a serious, formidable opponent ready to explain to South Dakota everything that is wrong with Thune and his party and everything that Williams and the Democratic Party can do better.