Dunlap on the Issues

Tennessee values to Capitol Hill

Volunteerism, the dignity of hard work, problem solving, cooperation, and looking out for our neighbors are all Tennessee values that I plan to emphasize as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives.

Faith & Family

My mother raised my sister and me by taking us to Sunday school and worship services at a small country church in Rock Island named Berea.  I learned the essential truths from my Sunday school teachers that we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, we are to tell the truth and look out for our fellow man. My father taught me the importance of family, hard work, and treating every individual with common decency and respect.  Growing up on a dairy farm, the virtue of hard work was instilled in me at an early age by waking at 3 a.m. to milk the cows and working until sundown. A hard day’s work is a character trait that should be honored and respected, and yet many Tennessee families find it harder and harder to make ends meet and live a middle-class life in today’s economy. These hard-working families are one of our greatest strengths, along with the tremendous faith communities we have in our great state. Together, they pass down, from generation to generation, the strong values that have made us a volunteering and caring state. As a deacon in my church, a public school teacher, a faculty advisor to our school’s Interact service club, a past Sunday school teacher, a coach for little league softball in our Midway community, and most importantly as a father and a husband I strive daily to live up to these values.

Traditions & Values

As an avid student of history, I strongly support the position that we must look to our past to more clearly see our future path.

Pro-Life

Although this is a highly controversial and emotional issue, I will state my position as clearly as I am able. I believe the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision will one day be overturned.  Just as the 1857 Dred Scott v. Sanford and the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court cases were overturned several years after their majority decisions, Roe will one day be overturned.  The Declaration of Independence states that our Creator (GOD) has endowed Americans with certain unalienable rights – the first among those is life. Science and technological advances continue to prove what scripture has always taught: That we were known to God inside the womb. And today, unique life attributes are able to be exhibited in 3-D ultrasound technology – breakthroughs in understanding that simply weren’t available to Justice Blackmun in 1973. But pro-life doesn’t just stop at birth. Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat who is pro-life, we should advocate for our young people in this state and across the nation. Too many children live in abject poverty and the only warm meal they receive is in the school cafeteria.  We cannot just say we are pro-life up to nine months and then once the child has been born revert back to a policy of salutary neglect.

Marriage

I support the Holy Scriptures and the Tennessee Constitution’s definition of “marriage” as one man and one woman.

Gun Rights

I support the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution which states “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”  I support the Tennessee constitutional provisions that also protect gun rights and safety to prevent crimes.

Economic Development

High paying job opportunities in rural areas of our state have been decimated in the past decades due to global competition, outsourcing, and a global economy that is much more intertwined today than ever in American history. My plan for economic development is three fold:

  1. Facilitate more aggressive cooperation in our rural district between private-sector industries and our public school systems to supply specific skills and/or technical expertise to students, better preparing them for careers or college after high school.  For example, Bridgestone and Yorozu executives should collaborate closely with Warren County teachers to insure students are being prepared for careers after high school if college isn’t an option for them.
  2. Government leaders at the local and state levels should work in tandem to foster economic development in their communities. State leaders in this administration have given less attention to our small towns and rural areas in the realm of economic development and career placement. For example, McMinnville’s employment office was closed last year by the Haslam administration and now Warren county residents must drive to Tullahoma for access to a state career center to aid them with employment opportunities.
  3. Support policies that offer incentives to small businesses and encourage small-business growth. Small businesses are the backbones of our small town economies.  Hometown businesses employ local citizens and invest in our local economies, schools and communities. State and local government officials should encourage local entrepreneurs and businessmen who invest in, and work daily for, the betterment of our communities and small towns.

Education

There is no greater investment we can make as citizens in our district than investing in our young people attending our schools. Education is vital for our children to secure a promising and successful future in the workforce and careers of today and tomorrow. Standards and rigor in the curriculum are essential for our students to compete for high-paying jobs in a globally competitive market. Students should learn educational fundamentals, basic thinking and reasoning skills, as well as problem-solving skills. Since “No Child Left Behind” the fundamentals of Reading, Writing and Arithmetic have often been subjugated to an obsession with standardized test scores and a relentlessness from politicians that encourages teaching to the test. Too often we are squashing the joy of learning for our children. Proposals from the governor to eliminate class-size limits are indicative of an administration that seems at times hostile to our state’s public schools.