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VETERINARIAN STATESMAN DISCUSSES THE ELIGIBILITY ISSUE, OUT-OF-CONTROL GOVERNMENT SPENDING, AND STATE SOVEREIGNTY
by Sharon Rondeau
(Aug. 15, 2010) — Dr. Charles Thompson attended school in Fort Gibson, OK, where he was active in the band, played football, wrestled and was a member of the Future Farmers of America. While those programs taught him discipline, his work ethic developed at home working on the family farm where hauling hay and cutting firewood were the family’s main source of income.
Following high school, he worked briefly as a diesel mechanic before joining the Army. His first duty assignment after his initial training at Ft. Knox, KY was the 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea. By the age of 20 Charles was promoted to Corporal and served as a Scout Team Leader.
Charles started his Army career as a Private, worked his way to Sergeant First Class, received a direct commission and retired as a Major. During his service, he served as a Scout Team Leader, an Infantry Squad Leader, a Senior Drill Sergeant and a Detachment Commander. One of the highlights of his military career was serving in the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, The Old Guard, which is the Army’s Official Ceremonial Unit and Escort to the President. His position there exposed him to many facets of Washington, D.C.
Dr. Thompson is also the recipient of a number of military honors to include four Army Achievement Medals, five Army Commendation Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. He earned the Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge and the Drill Sergeant Badge for which he was the Honor Graduate. He has a total of 25 years of military service.
As a graduate of Oklahoma State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Thompson spent five years in private clinical practice working as a relief veterinarian and small business owner. As such, Charles successfully operated a mixed animal veterinary hospital before being called to active duty by the U.S. Army in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Dr. Thompson’s clinical experience includes both small and large animal medicine and surgery with a particular interest in equine dentistry. Charles has spent the last three years working for a major veterinary pharmaceutical company serving as a technical product and subject matter expert. This experience has provided him with valuable insight into the corporate environment. He is currently a member of the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Association of Corporate and Public Practice Veterinarians (AACPPV).
Charles and his wife Aprill have been married for nearly 20 years and have three children. Their daughter is attending college at Northeastern State University at Tahlequah and their sons go to Hulbert Public Schools where Charles also serves as a school board member. Charles and his family have attended Calvary Church of Tahlequah for over nine years where he has held many positions within the church. Since 2004, Charles has taught the Discovery Rangers, a discipleship program for third-, fourth- and fifth-grade boys.
Charles is passionate about enjoying the outdoors. He takes great pleasure in hunting, fishing and camping with his family and friends. He owns a number of firearms in a variety of calibers and gauges, which is representative of his passion for the shooting sports. He is a longtime member of the National Rifle Association as well as a member of Gun Owners of America.
Dr. Thompson’s campaign leading up to the July 27, 2010 primary was covered here. A formal statement on the American Independent Party website from him is here. He believes that “The time for self-serving politics is over.”
Charles sees many opportunities for improvement in regard to the federal government. He is dedicated to the principles of liberty and has pledged to work tirelessly to ensure the Constitution is protected. Charles is strongly in favor of a smaller federal government resulting in stronger state, local and individual rights. He is adamantly opposed to government-run health care, TARP, Cap & Trade and the bailouts. He believes the United States and its citizens perform best when not burdened by excessive taxes or heavy-handed regulations.
MRS. RONDEAU: Thank you so much for agreeing to interview with The Post & Email, Dr. Thompson. I listened to your interview with the Grand Lake Business Journal wherein you quoted Thomas Jefferson. Do you believe that Jeffersonian principles can be applied to the Congress today?
DR. THOMPSON: I haven’t read nearly as much of Jefferson as I would like to, but what I have read has convinced me that I think not only could Jeffersonian principles can be applied, but should be.
MRS. RONDEAU: You mentioned smaller government in your interview with Grand Lake. Jefferson was a big proponent of federalism, which places emphasis on state sovereignty. Do you think there’s a good balance right now between the states and the federal government?
DR. THOMPSON: It definitely needs to change. I”m not satisfied with the situation we have because I don’t think there is a balance. The federal government continues to grow in its size, its power and its influence as it relates to states and individuals. I don’t believe that’s what our founders intended, and everyone is clamoring now for smaller federal government. I personally believe that’s what we need. We need to decrease the size, the scope and the influence of the federal government and then let that power go back to the states and the people.
MRS. RONDEAU: That sounds exactly like what is written in the Tenth Amendment. I know the state of Oklahoma is strong on state sovereignty compared to many other states. Has Oklahoma produced a Tenth Amendment resolution or bill?
DR. THOMPSON: Yes, it did produce one, but our governor vetoed it.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think the bill will be revived in the next legislative session?
DR. THOMPSON: I’m not sure. It depends on which governor we have after this year. Right now we’re looking at a race between Jari Askins, the Democrat, and Mary Fallin, the Republican. So I’m not sure where the legislation will go.
MRS. RONDEAU: When you get to Congress, what do you think should be accomplished first?
DR. THOMPSON: That’s a very tough question, and I’m asked it a lot. I think there are three things that need to be done very quickly. We’re looking at five months down the road, so it really depends on how things play out between now and then. The first thing that needs to be dealt with is the unbelievable spending that Congress has done which needs to be curtailed. We need to stand up and do the right thing and stop spending money we don’t have. I think that will then lead us into some other areas that will be much better for us, one of those being the health care bill. If we cannot repeal it completely, which is probably going to be the case, we can simply not fund any of the mandates that are in it.
MRS. RONDEAU: Is it therefore your opinion that the health care bill could be “nullified” in that way?
DR. THOMPSON: Yes, it can. Nullify it by 1) not funding the mandate, and 2) going into it and digging through all 2700 or so pages and finding all the things in it that are bad for America and getting rid of them. Piece by piece, it can be done.
MRS. RONDEAU: How do you think your experience as a veterinarian and working in that field has helped you to become qualified to serve in Congress?
DR. THOMPSON: As a veterinarian, what I bring to the table that will make the biggest difference will be the business ownership side of it. Simply put, we cannot spend money that we don’t have, you cannot spend your way into prosperity; no businessman or businesswoman would agree with that philosophy; and we must cut back whenever times get hard. So that’s what the businessman side of me will bring to the table. I have 27 years of experience and 25 years of military service which combined make me well-qualified me to serve.
MRS. RONDEAU: What made you decide to run?
DR. THOMPSON: I started considering it last summer, in May or June. I spoke with my wife about it. But what made me do it was a host of things, actually. Much of it was the fact that I have children, and I am very, very concerned for their future and for the future of their children as well. The path that we’re on right now, I believe, is completely unsustainable. I don’t believe that the liberty and freedom which I enjoyed as a younger man and even now as a middle-aged man will be enjoyed by my children and grandchildren.
As corny as it may sound, I have envisioned myself in a room with our Founding Fathers, and as I’m talking with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay and Benjamin Franklin, I ask them, “Gentlemen, I’ve got a great job and I can’t afford to give up this job, and long story short, they simply look at me and say, “Think of what we gave up.” When I sit there and I put myself through that process, considering what they gave up, and I think about now, what I am being asked to give up in support of this Constitution, my sacrifice, no matter what I do, pales in comparison to theirs.
MRS. RONDEAU: There’s an email that goes around every so often about the 56 founders and what happened to them following the Revolution: many died impoverished, ill, wounded and having seen their families decimated by the British. When we look at where we are today, it seems to beg the question, “What do we all have to give up?”
DR. THOMPSON: I look at our Founding Fathers in their situation at the time, and I believe we are in a similar situation. The question they had in front of them was, “Will liberty and freedom survive?” and we have the very same question today. So I look at the Founders and ask, “What did they do to ensure that they were able to secure that liberty and freedom and pass it down?” Because when you go through all the processes, you go through everything they did, there were two basic elements that they used. The first was time: it was time to do what had to be done and know that they would be ridiculed, that they were risking their lives; and the other was sacrifice. They sacrificed tremendously. So if we will do the same thing now, if all across America, people will stand up and say, “I have the courage to make the sacrifice,” we can turn this thing around. But it needs to start in Washington, DC. People there need to see that Congress has the courage and the will to make the sacrifice.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think the current Congress is willing to do that?
DR. THOMPSON: The Congress that is there now, no. I don’t think they have the moral courage to do that. There are a few good members, but in general terms, no, I don’t think that Congress has what it takes to make that sacrifice. The question then is, “In November, how many people will be put in there who are true conservatives regardless of party and how many of them want to stand up and have the courage, because you know when you start making cuts, the cuts come in programs, because that’s what the government does: it creates social programs.
So these cuts will involve social programs of some sort, and that means that the media, at a bare minimum, will ridicule that person or persons who are standing up for that. So it’s going to take courage on the part of both the House and Senate in order to start making the cuts. I hope the American people will stand behind those of us who are willing to make those cuts.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think the American people, or even people from your state, understand that cuts may be painful but necessary to preserve freedom?
DR. THOMPSON: My concern is whether or not we have enough level-headed folks across the nation to make the change we need vs. those who are simply going to stand in line and ask for another handout.
MRS. RONDEAU: The country actually began with 13 separate republics which created a federal government which the founders did not intend to become a caretaker of the people. They knew that smaller government meant more freedom.
DR. THOMPSON: Case in point: When is the last time government passed a law that gave us more freedom?
MRS. RONDEAU: I can’t recall any such action on the part of the federal government. Earlier you mentioned John Jay, who became the first U.S. Supreme Court Justice and who also convinced the Framers to add the term “natural born Citizen” to Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution in regard to presidential qualifications. What can you do when you get to Congress about the present controversy about Obama’s eligibility or lack thereof?
DR. THOMPSON: I believe that the American people want finality on this topic. It is therefore incumbent upon the Congress to investigate that. This is something that is tearing at the fabric of our nation, perhaps not in a tremendous way, but it is something that is causing division in the country. Division is not good for us, so I believe it is the responsibility of Congress to say to the presumptive president, “We want to see your proof.” I don’t think it’s unreasonable.
MRS. RONDEAU: Can they do that?
DR. THOMPSON: The Congress can definitely do that, because the Congress is equally powerful to the president. The president, the Congress and the judiciary were all put in place to balance each other, so Congress is definitely as powerful as the president and should demand that of him.
MRS. RONDEAU: The current Congress has been receiving thousands of letters, calls and emails about the issue for the past year and a half and has been in a position to do something about it, but they haven’t. Why do you think that is?
DR. THOMPSON: They lack the necessary courage.
MRS. RONDEAU: If the American people voted in a Congress with more courage and moral fortitude and they were to take up this issue and it were found that Obama didn’t qualify to serve as president, whether because of his British father, foreign birth, or both, could the country survive it if he had to be removed from office?
DR. THOMPSON: Oh, sure. There’s no question we’d survive it, and the way that would happen, regardless of what comes against us, is going to be for the federal government to back out of our lives and let the people just handle it. People in American are not ignorant; we’re very strong and resourceful people, and the last thing we need is the government infiltrating our lives, regardless of the cause. So yes, if Obama were to be found ineligible and everything he has done since January 2009 becomes null and void, absolutely we could survive it. In fact, I would say that everything he’s done becoming null and void would be a good thing.
MRS. RONDEAU: That would provide a solution to nullifying the health care bill, as we were discussing before.
Switching topics, Miki Booth had been running in your district, and when she withdrew, she strongly recommended you and urged me to interview you. How well do you know Miki and for how long?
DR. THOMPSON: I’ve know Miki for seven or eight months; I don’t recall exactly when we met. But the way that I met and know her was on the campaign trail. It’s been a great experience for me. On the campaign trail, there were six of us. In any campaign, there are people who show up and then they’re not there, and then they are there, and then they’re not there. So there are a couple of men who were on the Republican ticket in the primary whom I never met. They just went down during the filing period, filed their papers, and I never saw them anywhere. But prior to that, there were four men and Miki Booth, and Miki was running on the Independent ticket, and three of the men, Miki and I all got along just fine on the campaign trail. We all understood that we want to win and this was a friendly competition. We know that in the end, one of us will be the victor and the others will not be. So we don’t want to be hateful or ugly, but rather, we want to support each other. So when Miki decided to withdraw, she threw her support behind me, for which I was extremely grateful, and after the primary just over two weeks ago, the two men who came in in third and fourth place in a six-way race immediately threw their support behind me the very next day.
MRS. RONDEAU: I had read that your primary was July 27. Did you come out of that on top?
DR. THOMPSON: Yes, in a six-way race, I got 34% of the vote.
MRS. RONDEAU: So are you now headed to the general election on November 2 against the Democrat contender and perhaps some third-party candidates?
DR. THOMPSON: Well, unfortunately, not yet. On the 24th of this month, we have a primary runoff, because in Oklahoma, if you do not get 50% of the vote plus one, you did not win, and you go to a runoff.
MRS. RONDEAU: Who is your runoff opponent?
DR. THOMPSON: A young man by the name of Daniel Edmonds.
MRS. RONDEAU: Is he a constitutionalist like you, do you think?
DR. THOMPSON: I believe he is, yes.
MRS. RONDEAU: So it’s the two of you on the Republican ticket, and then whomever wins that will face off with the Democrat and others?
DR. THOMPSON: At this point, it doesn’t appear that there will be a third party; I certainly hope not. Hopefully, I’ll be going up against Dan Boren in November.
MRS. RONDEAU: What do you think is your greatest strength that you can utilize to win over your opponent, assuming that you win the runoff? What can you bring to Washington that he can’t?
DR. THOMPSON: There are actually a lot of things. I come from a blue-collar family, and I’m still a blue-collar guy. I drive a 1991 Chevy pickup with over 200,000 miles on it, and that is the only vehicle that I drive. So I am just like everyone else in the Second District; I’m just a blue-collar country guy, and that’s all there is to it. But the thing that I bring to the table is common sense. I was raised on the farm, figuring things out the hard way, learning how to make a dollar stretch. I know what it is to serve this country; I’ve served in 13 or 14 different countries now, and I’ve seen firsthand what can happen when government gets too large and too out-of-control. Thomas Jefferson told us that his study of history showed that most bad government comes from too much government. So all those things, my business experience, my experience in dealing with the public both as a businessman and on a school board; having literally traveled the world in service to the country and working with foreign dignitaries and foreign militaries: all of those things together give me an advantage over the incumbent.
MRS. RONDEAU: The Post & Email wishes you the very best, and we thank you for taking the time to speak with us.
DR. THOMPSON: It’s been my pleasure.