Phillip Owen Wood: 2022 candidate for 8th Congressional District
Office sought: U.S. House, 8th District
City: Carol Stream
Occupation: Pastor and licensed clinical professional counselor with DuPage County Health Department and Meier Clinics
Previous offices held: None
What needs to be done to get Congress to work constructively, whether that be senators and representatives of both parties working with each other or Congress itself working with the president?
First, we are a Constitutional Republic not a Banana Republic. The people and representatives of this greatest nation on earth have a good history of coming together and getting it right when we need to. Our government is inherently a system of checks and balances. We don't want a monarchy or an oligarchy where the senators and representatives rubber stamp directives. While many elected officials end up in office far too long, especially those who put private family fortunes or political party interests ahead of the good of the people, every 2, 4, or 6 years we as citizens have the opportunity to correct our mistakes. Everything rises and falls on leadership. It takes a wise and mentally competent president to skillfully lead a country. The reason our government is in a log jam, getting little done or, even worse, creating more division and contention, is the result of getting the wrong person in the White House in 2020 and reelecting the wrong people in the Senate and Congress.
What is your position on changing voter access?
I would love to see every law-abiding citizen registered to vote and exercising that right with their fellow citizens on the same day with the shared experience of casting their ballot in free and fair elections. If providentially hindered, other provisions can be made such as mail-in ballots so that every legitimate voter has a voice.
My hope is that every citizen of the 8th Congressional District in Illinois will not only register to vote but will exercise that right at the primary this year on June 28. Please choose a Republican Party Ballot and vote for Phillip Owen Wood for U.S. Congress.
Do you recognize that the election of Joe Biden as president in 2020 was legitimate and fair? If not, why?
I recognize that Joe Biden is the lawful President of the United States. Regardless of that, having been born and raised in the Chicago area, what surprises me is when people are surprised at the corruption of politics and elections. Whatever happened in 2020 to get President Biden elected was either the most brilliant political strategy exploiting the unique features of a pandemic era election or the most widespread and corrupt conspiracy ever executed in our history. How on earth an incumbent President with an inflation rate under 2%, joblessness that fell to the lowest in 50 years, leading the way in oil production with a barrel of oil under $65 in 2019, and a gallon of gas averaging $2.60 a gallon, leading the way in wage increases, the largest advancement in the standard of living for minority groups ever, and a world with our enemies at check could be defeated for what we are now seeing is beyond any human comprehension.
What, if anything, should Congress do to prevent another violent attack such as the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol?
If I were on Capitol Hill on January 6, I would NOT have hidden under a desk, but would have walked out to those Capitol steps and addressed the citizens. I would have raised my hands and told the crowd that their assembly on that day and their petitioning the government for redress of grievances was a protected right. I would have pleaded, saying, "Even though bad things are happening around the country where whole blocks and public facilities are taken over by mobs, with the liberal local governments idly standing by, we do not need to be like them. Let's keep today safe and peaceful and your point will be well taken." Instead, many people were hurt and others, like military veteran Ashli Babbitt, died. What started as a peaceful protest turned into a tragic day in American history. I want to be clear that those who vandalized and looted, which represent a very small percentage, should be held accountable.
What do you consider America's role in world affairs? In particular, what should our role be regarding current points of tension involving Russia/Ukraine, the future of Taiwan or other threats of Chinese expansionism and the Middle East?
An old friend from Latvia who escaped to the U.S. once warned me, "You can trust a communist to be a communist like you can trust a dog to be a dog." Democracy has many enemies around the world and you can count on them not to be forthright. Russia is showing their true colors as they attack the sovereign nation of Ukraine. China is another country where the violation of human rights is appalling. We help fund these nations and their atrocities through buying their oil and their trinkets.
We do not need to be the world police and send our young men and women into harm's way to fight battles that, at times, the people are not even fighting themselves. Russia is a gas station posing as a country. We need to stop buying their oil, jump start production, and dominate the oil market as we have the resources to do. In the same way, put the screws down on China with sanctions.
We have more influence than we realize and we need to exert it in ways that do not jeopardize American lives.
Do you acknowledge humans' role in causing climate change? What steps should government be taking to address the issue?
Science is pretty clear that the climate is cyclical. That was happening before the first Model-T rolled off the production line or McDonald's made cattle the food of choice. Who gets blamed for the Ice Age? So, the big question is, do I think the American government has the ability to change the temperature and act as the thermostat for the world? Hmmm. How did the government do with COVID-19? As a God-fearing individual, however, the wise and careful stewardship of all of creation is a high value. The universe reflects its Creator and that is the reason churches and religious organizations were the founders of most of the nation's top colleges and the patrons of the early advancements in science. Those who revere God also respect and care for all creation, particularly for those made in His image.
Please define your position on health care reform, especially as it relates to the Affordable Care Act.
Having worked with the homeless in Elgin and in the mental health field at the Health Department, I am aware of deficits in affordable health care. Incidentally, this problem hits very close to home as my own adult children struggled with affordable health insurance even as they trained in the medical field. The Affordable Care Act undermines some basic economic principles, such as competition and delivering the goods and services that are needed and wanted. Prices were driven up for everyone when the premiums of 50-something-year-old men needed to help cover maternity costs or the Marketplace portal greatly limited options. There is also a problem when Medicare, the behemoth of health care, is interfered from negotiating the cost of pharmaceuticals. The best way to ensure that all Americans have affordable health care is to get government and large 3rd party insurance corporations out of the way and unleash the power of the free market and the compassion of the American people.
What immigration policies do you support? Where, if at all, do you see room for compromise to produce an effective policy on immigration? Does the government have any responsibility toward Dreamers who were brought to the United States illegally as children and are now adults? How will these policies affect your district?
Immigration is a significant issue because the U.S. welcomes and receives far more immigrants than any other country in the world. I perceive that the topics of securing the border and dealing with undocumented individuals who are already here are two separate issues. In the current environment, unlike ever before, border security is about protecting our citizens, especially from drug trafficking, human trafficking, and terrorism. Even if we could fix the problem on our end with those already present, the constant and growing inflow of illegal entry to the U.S. would only repeat this issue a few years down the road. Conversely, many of the undocumented folks who are here arrived when the status quo was to jump on a plane, travel to the US, and get a job. We need to keep a clear path for legal status for peaceful individuals who love and appreciate U.S. values. America is made up of immigrants, but for the safety and health of our nation we need people to come in the right way.