I’m running for District 54 State Representative, and I have of late been involved in some discussions about the proper role of Libertarian Party candidates when and if they are elected to office. A number of Libertarians feel that in order to represent libertarianism, a candidate must boldly and loudly announce his or her intentions to steadfastly promote every single icon of the libertarian philosophy. Now, I’ve never been much of a philosopher, and I’m certainly not much of a politician, so I won’t presume to tell someone else how to think, or how to behave when running for or executing the duties of office. I will, however, tell you what I think I’ll do.
I’m going to focus my campaign on property tax reform and fiscal responsibility. Issues that voters in my district are concerned about, I think. I hope they are concerned enough about them to vote for a Libertarian. I know the most libertarian thing would be to eliminate property taxes completely, and I believe that eventually we will do just that. But first we have to get elected. Then we have to start things moving in a libertarian direction. I think lower taxes, responsible spending and limited government are closer to libertarian ideals than higher taxes, uncontrolled spending and unlimited government. Not perfect, but closer. But first we have to get elected.
I plan on working to move government in a libertarian direction. I will support any bill that promotes that, however incrementally. I won’t support any bill that moves government in a non-libertarian direction, however incrementally.
While its not with in the job description of a state representative, if anybody asks, I’ll support making participation in Social Security voluntary. I won’t lead the charge screaming that it has to be eliminated. Apparently a lot of people think it is a good deal, and as long as people that don’t think it is a good deal are not forced to participate, we should be able to live with that.
I’m not to crazy about recreational drug or alcohol use. I’ve lost some good friends to both. And if prohibition actually worked, I might be able to convince myself to support it. But it doesn’t work, and as a result we have the highest incarceration rate of any nation in the world. A lot of people are in jail for victimless crimes, and a lot of violent criminals are walking the streets because of it. It’s time to try something different.
I would support legislation that would remove penalties for adult possession, and allow police to concentrate their efforts on arresting people that commit actual crimes against other people. I won’t demand that people who want a less intrusive government and lower taxes must also agree that drug abuse is acceptable. I don’t, and I hope my children and grandchildren don’t.
I’ll support legislation that helps return control of private property to its owners, and I won’t support legislation that gives the government more control over private property.
When I discovered libertarianism, I thought it would only be a matter of months, possibly even weeks before a majority of voters would see it as I saw it, and we would be well on our way to regaining our freedom before I turned 50. Reality is that it may take as long to regain it as it did to lose it, and I’ve decided that small gains are better than no gains.
I know that’s not libertarian enough for some Libertarians, but if it’s not too libertarian for 51% of the Republican and Democratic voters out there, maybe we can get this thing headed in the right direction.