Defund the police “one of the stupidest slogans I can remember,” Louis Meyers says
By Guy Page
The Democratic candidate for Congress who was not welcome at an April 13 debate with the other four candidates supports nuclear power, opposes reparations payments to minorities, and says ‘defund the police’ is “one of the stupidest slogans I can remember.”
Dr. Louis Meyers joined the campaign in early April, after the VTDigger-sponsored debate was arranged and publicized. His offer to participate was not accepted.
It’s unclear why. VTDigger said it “couldn’t accommodate” Meyers, according to Meyers supporter Joe Patrissi. Meyers joined the race during the first week of April, after the debate had been announced. The debate was lauded as Vermont’s first Congressional debate in which all of the candidates were women. Patrissi said he asked candidates Molly Gray, Becca Balint, Kesha Ram Hinsdale, and Sianay Chase Clifford to intervene on behalf of Meyers, but heard only “deafening silence.”
Meyers is a Rutland County physician and former probation officer with police training.
Whatever the reason for Meyers’ non-inclusion – timing, gender-based cancellation – Vermont Daily Chronicle has asked Meyers to address the topics raised by the debate moderators (also women, BTW). Here is Meyers’ unedited response.
Support Medicare for All?
No – but I do support lowering the age of Medicare eligibility to 60, which would give added security to those 60-65 who wish to retire early or are leaving (or are forced from) their jobs.
Reduce the price of prescriptions, eye care, dental care?
Medicare negotiates the reimbursements they provide to hospitals, nursing homes, and physicians – it should also be allowed to do the same with pharmaceutical companies.
It is tragic that basic dental coverage is not provided under Medicare. I have had so many patients had their teeth all pulled because they could not afford the basic dental care which would have helped preserve their teeth.
I supported decriminialization of marijuana and then (less cheerfully) legalization, but I see the push by states to monetize cannabis in order to boost state revenues as an alarming trend. Just as we did not examine all of the potential pitfalls of widespread use of opioid pain medications, I see the same trend in the proselytizing of marijuana.
I certainly do not believe we should defund the police, and that is one of the stupidest slogans I can remember. However, I do think we should dispense federal funds wisely. The federal off-loading of militarized equipment to local police departments was unwise, and the civilian forfeiture of assets is rife with abuse and should be scrapped.
There is a lot of good research on what actually helps police departments improve and build support in the community, and – just like in medicine – we should heed the research.
Committees in Congress
As a physician with a special interest in health care, I would want to be on the Energy and Commerce Committee, where most health care legislation actually is considered. And I would want to serve on the Armed Services Committee, because so much of our federal dollars is spent there, and our military can be used to protect us here and others around the world.
Members and Spouses – stocks
Members of Congress and their spouses should be allowed to hold stocks, but these should be in a truly blind trust.
As a former uniformed reserve police officer, I have previously been trained and certified in the use of firearms, but do not currently own a gun.
I did vote for Rep. John Anderson for president in 1980 and in suburban Maryland (where I grew up), for many years we were represented by moderate Republican congressmen or congresswomen, whom I voted for.
I do not believe the federal government should break up these entities, because their use is purely voluntary. I do support increased antitrust action against the huge health care monopolies around the country, because they control an essential public service, and most often are using their monopolies to escalate prices (e.g., Vermont’s OneCare program and UVM).
I did admire all three Kennedys – JFK for his intelligence, humor, and the way he energized our country. Ted Kennedy (whom I interned for) because he demonstrated what a dedicated United States senator with a strong staff can accomplish. But most of all, Robert F. Kennedy, because of his honesty, his compassion, and his willingness to take risks for what he believed in.
Republicans in Congress
Clearly Congress has become dysfunctional, and it will take time, energy, and thoughtfulness to restore mutual trust. I do have some hope for the Problem-Solvers Caucus, which includes moderate Democrats and Republicans, and I would ask to join that group right from the start. The reinstatement of congressional earmarks may also help. I am hopeful that my more moderate political views and the fact that I am a medical doctor might at least open the way for some helpful conversations.
Peter has been a good congressman and has represented Vermont well. The one vote which I did disagree was the TPP. It would have helped us form and/or extend alliances in Asia, and had enough labor and human rights protections to make it a step forward. Instead, those countries are now forced to turn to China to help their countries continue to develop economically.
Funds from lobbyists
I would not categorically rule out receiving funds from lobbyists, but would be very careful in which I accepted. It would have to be from organizations I respected for their values and goals.
Reparations for black Vermonters
A categorical no. This is far too complicated from a logistical perspective and opens a pandora’s box in terms of every other minority then expecting similar treatment. The best reparation is to acknowledge past wrongs and try and make sure they do not continue to recur.
A very difficult problem, and not unlike the challenges faced by independent medical practices. Both involve hard work, financial risk, and tremendous pressure from conglomerates. With farming, we also have to include general land use considerations and the environment. In my work as a hospitalist at Rutland Regional, I have taken care of many older and retired farmers. I have the absolute greatest respect for them. While a congressman can obtain a certain amount of earmarked funding, this discussion will have to be part of a national debate.
Transition to a green economy
Simple answer: Slow but steady, with clear goals and steps for the American public. I will say that nuclear power – especially with the smaller, less expensive, and safer new reactors – has to be part of the solution, along with wind, solar, and water power.