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1. I like a lot of your platform. What is your take on the second amendment debate raging in our country?
A: The second amendment allows Americans to form a counter-power to the government, which can serve as a reminder that the power of the governed must not exceed the power obtained by the consent of the governed.
Firearms, in this regard, are automatically protected by the second amendment.
I agree with the amendment purposes. Common-sense gun control laws are also required to such as criminal background checks and safety classes.
It is worth noting that in general, injustice, economic oppression, and unhealthy culture lead to more crimes no matter what types of tools are used to commit these crimes. A reform that addresses these aspects will increase safety in general in our societies and will substantially decrease crimes.
2. I am Jewish. Is there a list of issues you have that should concern me and my family’s safety should you become our senator?
A: Of course not. One of my friends is a former rabbi. Regardless, I oppose the Zionist movement as much as I oppose other extreme movements such as Wahhabism.
3. Do you support medicare?
A: I support a single-payer healthcare system for three reasons: 1) the culture of the current healthcare system is inhumane; it profits off people’s sickness. It is unquestionable that helping the sick and relief their pain is one of the most honorable jobs. Our societies normalized the for-profit culture in the last century in the healthcare sector which used to be a manifestation of caring for each other without asking for something in return. This is how societies thrive. 2) It saves lives. Right now millions of Americans cannot afford the needed treatment, and thousands die from treatable diseases every year. I believe that it is a collective responsibility to prevent these deaths. 3) it saves the tax-payers up to $400 billion a year. This is a huge amount of money that could be saved and used for other developments in the country.
4. What do think of globalizing the economy and NAFTA with this regard?
A: Globalizing the economy is nothing but a disaster; it concentrates the wealth, creates monopolies, disempower the people, destabilizes societies, harms the environment, prevents democracy, and paves the way for modern slavery. NAFTA was a formal declaration of the elitists’ desire to control the wealth of the planet. Unless people pay close attention to the consequences of these trade deals, they would not understand that deals such NAFTA, TPP, and the USMCA are in fact attacks on the people economy by the global wealthy class. Notice how many manufacturing jobs were lost in our country for cheap labor in other countries because of these deals. Also, notice how much of the wealth was transferred from the people to the 1%.
I cannot stress enough about the grave danger of the current economic policies. We are losing control over our own lives. I hope that someday I can talk in details about these policies, and remember everything is connected to the economy, even your feelings.
5. Do you support increasing the number of justices at the supreme court as a way of reform?
A: It could be a good idea to have two more justices, but I do not think that the increase in itself would make a notable difference. In general, the idea of having the Supreme Court with such a huge authority is undemocratic in my view. I believe that the Supreme Court has to have an only limited authority that pertains to the relationship between the union members and their affairs in general. The power must not be concentrated in the hands of few.
6. What is your stance on Universal Health Care?
A: I am a strong supporter of the Universal Health Care system.
7. How do you describe your relationship to public lands? (public lands include and are not limited to: federal, state, and local parks, forests, natural areas, interpretive centers, etc.)
Public lands are necessary parts of our lives. In fact, we cannot live without them. People cannot be confined to their private properties if they have one. I cannot imagine not being able to use public roads which are built on public lands, forests for recreational purposes and parks to relax and connect with nature.
8. How would you prioritize competing demands placed on our public lands, and how might outdoor recreation be weighed among them?
This is a very troubling issue for me. I can see more and more public lands being taken away from the public every year. The never-ending corporate demand for expansion is hurting us economically, environmentally, and socially. The conflicting issue surrounding public lands needs a systemic solution rather than just prioritization. In the meanwhile, I would prioritize land conversation over needless corporate development and expansion, and I would fight for removing the restrictions on the right to housing over real estate developing projects.
9. COVID-19 has exposed, and in some cases exacerbated, existing challenges that some voters experience with getting to the polls. How do you plan to ensure that voting is fast, easy, and secure for all eligible voters in your state?
In Oregon, we have been using the mail-in voting system for more than 20 years, which encourages higher turnouts and eliminates the usual challenges to in-person voting such as time limitations. Of course, there are some concerns surrounding the mail-in voting system like voting integrity
10. Americans are flocking to the outdoors for recreation and health after months of pandemic-induced isolation. How can we ensure our public outdoor spaces are safe, accessible, and welcoming to everyone?
The continuation of funding public parks and recreational areas ensures such objective. Public places are crucial for mental health and the overall well-being of the community. No one should be prohibited from accessing such outdoor areas, and accordingly laws and mandates must not interfere with this essential right.
11. What role does public lands management have in addressing climate change?
First, the use of chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides damage the soil which affects its capacity of CO2 retention. Prohibiting such toxic chemicals from being used on public lands is needed. Second, leasing public lands to corporations must be strictly conditioned by adopting environmental guidelines.
12. Good evening, can someone please share with me Mr. Taher’s position on medical informed consent and mandatory vaccination?
You asked about one of the dear and challenging issues. I strongly oppose mandatory vaccination, and also oppose making them a requirement for jobs and schools. I view these laws as a government attack on the sovereignty of our bodies on behalf of big pharma.
I also fight and advocate for the issue of honesty, transparency, and informed consent.