Equality of Opportunity

Over the weekend, Sen. Rand Paul was asked about recent comments attributed to the President that have sent the media into a frenzied hysteria.

Paul responded by telling the host that years ago, before he was in the Senate and when Donald J. Trump was still a private citizen, Trump helped fund a mission to Haiti during which Dr. Paul performed charitable opthamological care for the people of that destitute country.

It seems that John Wooden's old saying is true: 'The true test of a man's character is what he does when no one is watching.'

Which brings us to the holiday we celebrated this week: Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Dr. King is famous for the leadership he displayed during trying times. He pleaded with those who would listen that Americans not be judged by race, color, or creed, but by character.

Dr. King's view was a uniquely American view. For ours is a nation that had sworn off the aristocracy of the old world in favor of a meritocracy in the new world. The success of any American would not be based on who his parents were or where he was born, but rather on what he accomplished.

King effectively argued that the American meritocracy should be based not simply on what a man could accomplish, but who he truly is inside.

Unfortunately, there are many in modern political life who would politicize race relations among Americans, and for electoral advantage, contrive to give some people unfair advantages over others -- what they call 'affirmative action.'

Yet, on the other hand, they work night and day to withhold the one thing that would ensure every single American has an equal shot at succeeding -- a quality education through school choice.

During my career, I have always rejected affirmative action quotas and opposed affirmative action reporting mandates.

In 2003, the Bergen Record reported that under my leadership, "The Borough Council unanimously approved a resolution... denouncing affirmative action and stating that 'racial preferences constitute and perpetuate discrimination.'"

And, I've always supported unfettered school choice for every child, in every community, regardless of zip code.

This Martin Luther King Jr. week I renew my pledge to the people of North Jersey to fight for a true and just equality of opportunity for every American as Dr. King wanted.

- Steve Lonegan

Steve Lonegan for Congress