MEET CHRISTOPHER STARE
Though I have never been a politician – or any sort of public figure – I have had a keen interest in the issues facing our society and the political process since I was young. As I went through middle school and high school, watching presidential debates during elections fascinated me, cable news shows engrossed me, and debating the issues with my peers fired me up. Raised by a conservative father and befriended by liberal classmates in the swing state of Wisconsin, my views were always being challenged from multiple angles.
In addition to this interest, I enjoyed my classes in math and science. Learning about the natural world and the rules governing it was an experience I savored, especially in the fields of biology and mathematics. I attended college at the University of Notre Dame, where I began studying engineering. However, I quickly found that I was far more interested in people than numbers alone, and ended up graduating with a degree that balanced my interests in science and people: psychology.
I went on to earn my PhD in Cognition and Neural Systems from the University of Arizona, where I conducted research on the biological bases of learning, memory, and sleep. However, during my time in graduate school, I once again became more engrossed in the political climate, particularly during the unique circumstances of the 2016 election. I found it deeply troubling how political vitriol began to color daily interactions, overshadowing the culture, communities, and relationships that should always take precedence over politics. It was at this time that I was inspired by then-presidential candidate Gary Johnson, whose earnest focus on individual liberty was refreshing amid an ugly fight between two authoritarians vying for control. It became apparent that the best path forward is not continued reliance on the failing two major parties, but the libertarian philosophy of putting the power back in people's hands.
Throughout my life, I’ve been consistently dedicated to community service, and have experienced firsthand – whether it’s been at a non-profit education program in Tucson, a soup kitchen in Milwaukee, or a community development center in rural Appalachia – the good that can be done in communities through voluntarism and cooperation. Though government programs attempt to have a monopoly on social welfare, it is my hope that a culture of voluntary charity and free exchange can be more firmly implemented in California in its place. In so doing, we can put the power – and responsibility – of shaping our communities back in the people’s hands, rather relying on bureaucrats in Sacramento to take our money and inefficiently do it for us.
The current political climate in California is heavily geared toward humanitarian concerns, which I take pride in. However, this focus often leads to a disregard of the numbers and psychology behind proposed policies, and the simplistic solutions routinely offered often ignore the complex systems at the root of our issues. Endlessly throwing taxpayer money at problems – such as healthcare, education, and poverty – does not address the underlying reason why things are so expensive, and instead shifts the burden to our children in the form of state debt. Similarly, creating legislation to coerce people by force – such as by criminalizing drug use, altering economic behavior through selective taxation, and drafting mounds of business regulations – often leads to a myriad of unintended consequences, sometimes worsening our situation.
I will address the very real problems that Californians face with concern, sympathy, and an open heart, all while incorporating the numbers and psychology behind policies to create sensible, long-lasting solutions. Oftentimes, these solutions are rooted in personal freedom, as I firmly believe the individuals, families, businesses, and communities of California can address problems better than the handful of people they elect to govern them. I promise to make listening to and understanding the concerns of the people in my community my top priority, and I will do my part to shift the culture of California to one that gives citizens the freedom, power, and responsibility of addressing the issues facing us today.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope to have your support this November.