Joe Kent is a veteran, father, and a Gold Star husband — and he is currently running to unseat the pro-impeachment Never-Trumper Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in Washington.
The Gateway Pundit spoke to Kent at length about his views, his service and why he is the best person to represent the people of Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.
At the age of 18, Kent enlisted in the Army as an infantryman and climbed his way into the Ranger Regiment and then Special Forces. After 9/11, he volunteered at every opportunity to serve in combat, ultimately deploying for combat eleven times.
Kent planned to continue serving, until January 16th, 2019, when his wife Shannon Kent was tragically killed while fighting ISIS in Syria.
I’m an America First Republican running against Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler who voted for impeachment & no longer represents our community’s values. Hear my story and more about why I’m running for Washington’s 3rd District below. [Riot footage: @DrewHLive , music: Scott Holmes] pic.twitter.com/Cc7K0rKxBo
— Joe Kent for WA-3 (@joekent16jan19) March 26, 2021
“At that moment, I knew I had to step away from putting myself in physical danger so I could be there for our two young sons. Shannon was killed approximately one month after President Trump attempted to pull our troops out of Syria because we had met our military objective. This attempt to end a war brought out the Establishment’s true colors as they resisted him at every step,” the bio on his campaign website explains.
There are many candidates currently claiming to be “America First,” when in reality they are just your typical establishment hacks. To see if he was the real deal, the Gateway Pundit asked Kent what the phrase means to him.
“So, to me ‘America First’ is the combination of our domestic policy and our foreign policy. I think a huge problem that we have right now is the deficit spending that we’re seeing the Democrats really enact, which COVID really accelerated. This has been part of a multi-generational, multi-decade scam run by both the left and the right establishment to ship jobs overseas. They pretty much killed off our entire production industries,” Kent explained. “The problem that we have right now, other than the deficit spending, is that we simply don’t produce anything anymore. I view that as a huge national security issue because of what China’s been able to do by attracting all these different production lines and taking that capital that they’ve earned and gobbling up key strategic ports throughout the world.”
Kent explained that while China is stealing our intellectual property and taking over in the technology sector, we are continuing not to produce things here in America and have absolutely destroyed our working and middle class.
“It’s virtually impossible now to graduate high school and get a job that enables you to provide for your family by working in a trade or in industry. Most of those jobs have either been shipped overseas or completely decimated,” he said.
Where Kent lives, in the Pacific Northwest, it is the timber industry that has been hardest hit.
“Since I was a kid in the 80s and 90s, the left and the right were doing everything they could to destroy this industry. They package it in different ways — the left says it’s for ‘environmentalism’ and they come with the government’s hand and take away land and the ability to harvest it. On the right, we have this religion of the free market, so if the ‘free market’ says that it’s cheaper to ship in cheap goods to Walmart, it’s inherently good because the American people will have access to cheaper goods, right? Well, we can ship in cheaper lumber from Canada, so we don’t need the lumber right here in our backyards — and that right there has been a generational scam.”
Kent noted that while it is timber is taking a beating in his area, it is also happening to other industries across the nation — including steel, coal, and the energy sector.
“We told people of my generation, Gen X and the Millenials, ‘hey, the blue collar jobs that your parents and your grandparents had, those days are done. Those are dumb jobs anyways. We need you to go to college, so take a bunch of debt and get a degree, and if you’re really super smart you’ll get a tech degree. So, you can’t live in your hometown where your family is from. You need to move to a city with all this debt,’” Kent explained. “Then, you come out the other end and find out most of those jobs have been shipped overseas, or, if you’re a tech worker, they’ve imported people from India that work slave labor hours for pennies on the dime compared to American workers. So now we have a whole generation that are essentially Russian Serfs. They have no ability to get a low-skilled decent paying job.”
He added that for those who took the bait and got the college degree, all they have to show for it now is debt and the need to work in a gig economy to make ends meet. On top of that, COVID came in and essentially shut down the gig economy as well.
“These horrible economic policies have benefited the permanent ruling class — the major corporations, media elites and the political class. It has decimated our working and middle class. China is now poised to take us out economically, and they can do that because we are now relying on them. We’re relying on the Chinese Communist Party to buy up all of our debt bonds, but if you’re China or a rational actor, why would you continue to take on debt from a nation that is not producing anything? They can pretty much come and wreak havoc on our economy, crash it, and make the 2008 housing crisis look like a day at the park.”
For these reasons, Kent is a firm believer that bringing manufacturing home is a national security issue of the utmost importance. He said that this crisis needs to be treated like a wartime issue to get production here back on track. When asked what he would do if he could get one piece of legislation or policy through without any pushback, this was the one he said was most important to him, besides adjudicating the election.
To make this happen, Kent said that obviously COVID restrictions have to go out the window and we need to incentivize companies to bring manufacturing back with a grace period — then slap them with massive tariffs if they fail to do so by a hard deadline.
Kent suggested that in order to revitalize the heartland and small towns, the government could also have some degree of control over where the manufacturing moves to. In his area, he noted, it would be easy because they could just free up federal land that isn’t being properly maintained by the government and sell it to the timber industry — as long as they agree to put job-creating mills back in.
Along with bringing manufacturing home, he believes that having protectionist trade policies is “absolutely critical.” He also pointed to Biden’s border crisis and the fact that we have low-skilled labor pouring into the nation that will continuously undercut American workers.
For this reason, Kent supports an immigration moratorium.
As far as foreign policy goes, Kent wants to stop the endless wars that took his beautiful wife’s life far too early.
“We need to go back to using our economic power, as opposed to going off on these silly military interventions for multiple decades,” he said.
When asked if he believes that Big Tech censorship is a problem, Kent did not hold back.
“I think it’s a major issue. The obvious thing here is the First Amendment, which Big Tech has infringed on, but I don’t think we all realized how quickly these companies were becoming an essential part of our lives, It’s not just that you get deplatformed and they take away someone’s voice, which is obviously wrong, but they can demonetize people. We’ve all had friends who have lost their ability to essentially earn a living taken away. Their pursuit of happiness and their liberty taken away,” Kent.
In order to solve the censorship problem, Kent said that he believes they must be treated like a public utility and “aggressively broken up.”
“They have to be broken up, so the government is going to have to get involved — just like we did with Standard Oil back in the day. They’re the new robber barons that we have to hold accountable,” he explained. “I think we’re on a tight timeline to do it because COVID accelerated the left’s wildest fantasies. I fear that the vaccine passport is going to be implemented by Big Tech because they have the most control over all of our lives.”
Kent explained that Big Tech has the power to start tracking people and letting the government know who obeys the regime — and who doesn’t.
Currently, there is a massive debate going on within the right on foreign aid, so we asked Kent where he stands on the issue.
“I dealt with foreign aid firsthand a lot as a Green Beret overseas and I can tell you that a ton of it is very excessive because it’s like everything else the government does. I think our starting point has to be ‘what do we get out of it?’” Kent said. “We have to get something out of it. I am against foreign interventions, but I’m not an isolationist. The rest of the world exists and we have to have relations with all kinds of governments, and foreign aid is a tool. However, we have to articulate what we get from it. For instance, with South America, we give them a lot of aid and when President Trump told them to clean up their immigration because we didn’t want them all to come North, he threatened to withhold foreign aid. It was very powerful and we actually got some of those countries to immediately pay attention because they had never seen that before. Foreign aid had just been a given. I used to call it a reverse mugging.”
Kent said that there must be a benefit to America, which doesn’t include some on the right’s desire to create democracy or the left’s desire to teach little girls in Pakistan to be feminists.
“If they’re going to help us kill terrorists or get a competitive economic advantage, then yeah, but it is a negotiation tool that we use.”
Since Kent worked in the intelligence industry, we asked him if he felt that it had become overly partisan and political, or strayed from the intended path. He said that at the senior levels it has, which is a travesty since by and large it is filled with good hard working Americans who are willing to risk their lives for our nation.
“However, the upper and mid-upper management has just become heavily politicized,” he said. In order to rise in the ranks, he believes, the key is to be good with everyone in DC — which means leaning somewhere towards the left. This is the case even under a Republican administration, because the media and think tanks are still friendly to you if you are on their side politically. “John Brennan is a case in point. These people feel that it is their right to use the tools of the intelligence community, which can be very very potent, against their political rivals.”
“We need people who understand the intelligence community to go in there and really gut it to make sure they get back on task,” he said. “I love disruption, I love having non-politicians in office, but we do need to have some people that understand how the military and intelligence community works to not get steamrolled by impressive looking generals in uniforms or spooky CIA guys coming in and demanding when they are questioned that you just have to trust them because it’s all ‘super duper classified.’”
Instead, Kent said we need some people who will ask pointed questions to get the reforms needed. His experience makes him perfect for the job.
Kent has been very outspoken on his non-interventionist foreign policy beliefs, so Gateway asked if this is how he always felt, or if it was brought on by his wife’s tragic death. He explained that he had these beliefs since about 2005, when he realized that we were sold war on lies — but that he only felt that it was his place to speak out after she passed away.
“I realized that we had pretty much invaded Iraq on lies and we continued to double down on failure,” Kent said. “I realized there was no one behind the curtain at Oz and we were really just serving the political ruling class, and their hubris.”
Kent explained that he feels a lot of the reason we did not pull out was because too many people in DC had too big of egos to admit that they were wrong and had made a mistake.
He explained that when Barack Obama came on the scene and promised to get us out, though he didn’t like him, he was happy to hear it. Unfortunately, that was not the case. “He ended up being a George Bush who could read off the teleprompter much better,” he said.
Then, Trump came along.
“Trump really refreshed me. I really liked the way he came in and was like ‘these wars are dumb, we have to crush ISIS and get the hell out of there,’” Kent said. “I was like, that’s the most complete thought I’ve heard on foreign policy in my entire time fighting these wars. So, Trump had me at that.”
Kent said that beyond that, Trump had tried to pull the troops out of Syria — and if he had been successful, his wife may still be alive today.
“We had reached our military objective. We had crushed the caliphate. My wife would be alive today, had the permanent ruling class not disobeyed President Trump,” Kent said in no uncertain terms. “Despite all the personal grief I was going through, it was the most traumatic thing I’ve ever had to do, it really clarified things for me that it is my duty to start speaking out on these issues.”
Kent said that we can secure our country without being in these forever wars, but that there is a permanent political class that wants to keep us there — and they will do it if we don’t stop them.
Recently, Kent met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago. He had met him previously, after his wife was killed, and was subsequently interviewed for a position on the National Security Council — if 2020 had gone differently.
Trump told Kent that he is glad he is in the race, and may endorse him if his campaign continues to do well.
Regarding his opponent, Rep. Beutler, it seems the two could not possibly be more different. However, we asked him anyways which things they differ on that he believes to be important for voters to understand.
“Rep. Beutler is part of the mainstream media and far-left’s narrative right now that we just had a totally free and fair election — and if you even have the audacity to question it, you are some sort of far-right fringe person at best, or a terrorist at worst.”
Beutler supports the January 6th Commission, yet was silent as Black Lives Matter and Antifa attacked nearby Portland.
Kent said that he disagrees with her assertions on “every single level” and that it is our “absolute duty to adjudicate the election of 2020.”
“At the end of the day, it’s not about ‘did my guy win.’ There’s enough evidence right now that says that there was widespread fraud, that there was widespread discrepancies, like in Maricopa County, with Dominion saying with a straight face that they can’t give us the administrative password to the machines. Every American should be concerned about that,” he said. “So, to just gloss over that, that’s our most sacred covenant that we have with our government.”
Kent noted that he has spent most of his adult life in places that don’t have that kind of social contract with the government, and when people have grievances there, they kill each other.
“I know what the next step looks like,” he said. “I hope no violence ever comes.”
For this reason, he believes it should be the top priority of the government to adjudicate the election. Those who disagree, like Beutler, need to go.
Kent said that she also likes to talk a big game about Republican values, but when she was in power with a conservative majority she voted against the border wall and ending Obamacare. She was also quick to vote to keep troops in Syria, and of course, voted to impeach Trump.
Kent also pointed to the fact that Beutler has been silent on Antifa, even as they destroy the neighboring city of Portland and march into a town where she has an office. The only time she has broken that silence, has been to side with the left.
“Jaime said nothing while Antifa was marching into Vancouver, blocks away from her office. She said nothing. Nothing about an insurrection, nothing about the violence there — until she goes across the aisle and joins the Democrats to take away the ability for President Trump to call in the military. That’s the only time we heard from her. I want to fight for people in this district, that is something Jaime never does. She just asks people for money.”
One example Kent provided is that Beutler will send out campaign emails asking for cash to help stop the crisis at the border — but voted against the border wall and voted for amnesty for illegal aliens.
“On every level I am going to be very different from Jaime,” he said.
To handle BLM and Antifa, Kent said that he believes that the FBI should “stop tweeting out pictures of grandma’s in MAGA hats that they are looking for and go after the terrorists who are actually burning down cities and assaulting people.”
“We should start treating Antifa at least like organized crime, I think some sort of a title like ‘terrorism’ would be good as well,” he said. Kent explained that he has friends in Portland Police and that they know exactly who all of the Antifa rioters are and have arrested them multiple times. The problem is, they keep being released thanks to liberal politicians.
“We could arrest these guys in probably a 48 hour period, and then from there, slap them with federal terrorism charges. We also need to use the tools of RICO, like how we go after the mafia, and go after everyone who is funding them,” he explained. “The District Attorneys, the mayors, and the governor’s in these states are simply not going to do it,” which is why he believes it should be carried out by US Marshalls and the FBI.
To get the leaders of these cities to stop letting their communities be destroyed, Kent believes federal funding should be denied to those who allow rioting to go on unabated.
“It’s just like foreign aid at this point,” he said. “I don’t see why American taxpayers are paying a dime to help rebuild Seattle or Portland. The governors should have to pay for this themselves.”