ST. GEORGE — Vaughn Hatton, 27, of American Fork, is a 2014 Republican candidate seeking nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives to represent the 2nd Congressional District of Utah. Hatton is a student of accounting at Utah Valley University, while his passion lies in astrophysics, he said accounting delivers the safest path with job security.
It was shortly after President Obama was elected in 2008 that Hatton was drawn to politics. At the time he was astounded that the American people had voted based on the imagery and the emotions of politics based on a lack of political understanding, he said. Hatton decided that he wanted to become part of the solution to this dysfunction that he saw strewn across America.
“The question shouldn’t be: ‘Who do I have to vote for to get what I want in America?'” he said. “We want people to be looking inside themselves.”
His value of education was amplified during the time he spent teaching English to children in Korea. For a country such as Korea that has no natural resources, the only way for them to compete in the world is through education. It was in Korea that Hatton gained an understanding of how a successful culture views education. America needs to readjust the way it handles education, he said, and the current incentives of Common Core are not the answer.
“Common Core is based on a one-size-fits-all program that can’t work,” Hatton said. “The state has to have its own power because each state has different problems.”
The state of Utah needs solid and experienced representation in the U.S. Congress that reflects the aspirations and values of our state, not ideological divisions. Candidate Hatton is very inspired in his candidacy, said Dr. Joel A. Lewis, Dixie State University’s chair of the Department of History and Political Science.
“I praise any young person for engaging with the system, but he seems to lack specific policy proposals,” Lewis said. “If Hatton can transition his campaign from critiques of past politicians that lacked ‘substance and ideas’ by proposing his own policy initiatives, he will be able to give the incumbent Rep. Stewart an interesting challenge.”
As far as increasing the current minimum wage, Hatton said that he doesn’t agree with the establishment of a minimum wage at all because this enables people to feel satisfied with less. Americans should be asking themselves what they need to do to be worth more money, they should want to improve themselves, he said.
While Hatton agrees that the process of becoming an American citizen needs to be refined, he said that making any steps toward immigration laws is useless without first securing the borders and that there shouldn’t even be a discussion about illegal immigration until the borders have been secured.
“I would love to see a stronger economy in Mexico,” Hatton said. “But in Mexico they only have education and (required) grade levels up to the eighth grade (thereafter, available but not required). Their culture just doesn’t value education as much. We want people to be able to come here, work for awhile on visa and support their families. Let them do the jobs they like to do.”
The main thing that sets Hatton apart from the other Republican candidates is a willingness to express his voice to the American people, he said. When Republican ideas are allowed to flourish, the economy stabilizes and prosperity flows. On the other hand, when Democratic ideas are allowed to flourish, like in California or New York, you have people leaving and a shrinking economy. Taking a position and then explaining it to the people is essential rather than having a one-size-fits-all attitude with issues.
“A lot of Republicans feel that the best move is to stay quiet and not make any sudden moves,” Hatton said. “When the Democrats push (their policies) we ought to not be afraid to share our ideas. Stewart and I are very similar with our perspectives but he has been too quiet.”
“I love how technology improves our lives,” Hatton said. “GPS used to be prestigious and cost a thousand dollars to have, but now it’s available on phones.”
When it comes to technology in the form of robots and their potential impacts on jobs, Hatton said that he believes we have nothing to fear, that our robot production is more along the terms of assistance rather than excelling toward a new race of artificial intelligence.
“The highest level of technology that we have been able to produce was a little Japanese robot that researchers found to be no smarter than your average cockroach,” he said. “There is no threat, the main value of robotics in society at this point is assistance to make our lives easier. It’s a convenience machine. Robotics allow us to be more productive.”
As a younger candidate Hatton has had to move with the waves of technology. As such, one of the first actions he would take if elected as representative would be to work with other elected officials in bringing Washington D.C. up to date on the latest technology.
“There is a lot of money and time being wasted simply because the most efficient technology isn’t being utilized,” he said.
You can read more about Hatton on his campaign website.
Ed. CLARIFICATIONS added April 24: (1) Mexico’s education offered through eighth grade is required, thereafter it is not required, Hatton said. (2) Hatton’s comments on technology and robots pertained to their potential impact on jobs. (3) Parenthetical added: “When Democrats push (their policies) we ought to not be afraid to share our ideas. …”
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