Red Maryland Candidate Survey: Tom Kennedy for Republican National Convention Delegate, District 7
Are you listed on the ballot as a pledged delegate?
Yes, pledged to President Trump
Do you intend to actually attend the Republican National Convention?
JD, Syracuse University (1991); MA (Political Science, English Lit), Binghamton University (1986, 1988)
Attorney; retired Lieutenant Colonel, US Army
Chairman, Baltimore City for Trump (2020, 2016); Chairman, Baltimore City for Cruz (2016); Volunteer, Maryland for Gingrich (2012)
Social Media Accounts
Why are you running to be a convention delegate?
In a year in which the incumbent will glide to the nomination effectively unopposed, the President’s campaign appears to be acknowledging — with these delegate endorsements — many of the volunteers who worked for his campaign in 2016 and supported him throughout his first term. I am running the Trump Baltimore City campaign and wish to serve as a Trump Delegate because I unequivocally and enthusiastically support a man who now rivals Ronald Reagan as the greatest Republican president since Abraham Lincoln. President Trump stands in the breech, much like Reagan did in the late 20th Century, to thwart conventional (and largely progressive) assumptions about America’s diminished role and vitality in the 21st Century. He has risen to the challenge at home and abroad. He has restored the economy, our military, and our foreign policy. He is, as Mark Levin opined, a consequential president of the first order. So I will be in Charlotte to support and thank the president for all he has done for our country.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
William F. Buckley, Jr., the founder of National Review, host of Firing Line, and the godfather of the resurgence of Conservative thought in America post-WWII. Buckley’s writings provided historical and philosophical underpinnings to Ronald Reagan’s experiential views of what America and Americans are capable of. I began reading NR during my first military assignment and was hooked. We shared a brief correspondence while I was in law school. I admire the man for the way he lived his life(read, for example, “Overdrive”) and for having introduced generations of Americans to the conservative alternative to liberal progressivism.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
“What I Saw at the Revolution” (1990) by Peggy Noonan. While Noonan is not a Trumpian, her memoir of a middle-class Irish Catholic upbringing in the NY metropolitan area mirrored my own story. She was appalled by college classmates who disparaged and mocked our Soldiers in Vietnam; years later, she found herself the only conservative in Dan Rather’s newsroom. And then she got to write speeches for Ronald Reagan. It’s a book as much about the craft of writing as it daily life in the White House.
What do you see as the role of a Convention Delegate?
While challenges to the president or his platform are unlikely this Summer, my role as delegate is to support him and see to it through my vote and voice that the GOP platform articulates the conservative values which have elevated the United States to its preeminent station among nations.
What are the three biggest issues facing the Republican Party?
1. An insufficient adherence to conservative principles (and insufficient support of those who champion them).
2. The insistence of playing by Marquis of Queensbury rules when your opponents (Democrat Progressive Socialists) are honing their skills in the Octagon.
3. Ceding the cities to Democrats. African-American urbanites who live in these corrupt, failed, mismanaged metropolises are largely conservative and can be appealed to with the right message/messenger. On the Baltimore City Republican Central Committee, we now have demographic representation of African-Americans that is equal to that of the city-at-large.
4. The exodus from Congress of dozens of Republicans. Why? Tired of owning the White House and both branches of the legislature? Or were they embarrassed by Trump? I’m of mixed feelings: while I want to keep our majority (and majorities are more easily kept with incumbents), I suspect many of the departures are by RINOs who didn’t want to fight for conservative principles. So maybe it’s addition by subtraction.
What is the most important lesson you learned from the 2018 Election?
In the General Election, your standard bearer brings out the vote. In the mid-term, your standard bearer brings out the opposition’s vote. Happened with Obama, and it happened with Trump, even though he campaigned his ass off.
What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)
I am pro-Life. I am against assisted suicide. In cases in which a patient has lived without brain function for an extended period, I can understand why some would support removal of life support.
What is your position on taxes and spending?
I believe in across-the-board tax cuts. In a society in which nearly half the country doesn’t pay federal income taxes, I don’t think we can say the “rich” — who pay a disproportionally high percentage of those taxes — are not paying their fair share. We should spend far less than we do at every level, and focus on items that benefit society: law enforcement, military defense, education, highways, infrastructure. The able-bodied shouldn’t be forced to work, but society shouldn’t be asked to provide them with a welfare check, either.
What is your position on gun rights?
I believe all law abiding citizens should have the right to own and carry firearms. Every teacher and school administrator should have the right to access firearms in their school.
Do you believe that it was appropriate for the Republican National Committee to take sides in a primary election?
Should Maryland Republican Party officers (Chairman, National Committeeman, National Committeewoman, etc.) be term-limited to eight years in office?