The party of liberty and freedom wasted no time in last nights first televised Libertarian debate expressing their views and the party’s stance. With a message that you just do not hear from the other two parties, the Libertarian candidates drilled home the message of the Libertarian Party. Self freedom, small government, addressing undeclared wars, and many issues that the party holds dear in order to preserve liberties and freedoms were highlighted with many great views expressed. With so many people getting more and more discouraged with the two party system this was a great opportunity for the Libertarian candidates to not only get their message out, but a great way for the tiring voting populace to hear a refreshing message that starts at the roots of liberty.
While there were three candidates onstage vying for the party’s nomination, what was really at stake was the message of the Libertarian Party. All three candidates did a good job in promoting the message of Libertarians and showed the true difference in establishment candidates and real Constitutional values.
The debate stage was nothing new to veteran presidential candidate Gary Johnson who came into the debate as the party favorite. We will see if he was able to maintain that status. Having ran for President before Gary Johnson seemed to have picked up right where his past attempts left off at. One thing he made clear was that the Libertarian is not a party of isolationist, but non interventionist. This has been at the root of misunderstanding of the party and last nights debate was a great moment to clear the air about the differences between the two views. Gary Johnson stated that it was our foreign policy that creates and promotes perpetual wars as well as the dangers of not going to congress for a declaration of war. His view was that Congress needs to be a part of the decision to go to war and the power needs to stay with Congressional approval.
“…I think our military intervention has made things worst.” – Gary Johnson
When it came to John McAfee’s response to John Stossel’s question about how the Libertarian Party is seen as isolationist, I think he gave a great response.
“I think isolationism is taking on the role of world policemen. Making us a separate entity from the rest of the world. We are the policemen and you are the people we police. So no, we are not isolationist at all.” – John McAfee
“…what has created terrorism? Our interference of affairs in foreign states.” – John McAfee
He is absolutely correct in this statement and it is a clear issue with the Libertarian Party. One misconception about the party is the foreign policy and I believe all three candidates did a great job in clearing the air as far as the difference in non interventionist and isolationist.
Austin Petersen brought up the fact that President Thomas Jefferson fought the Islamic threat while abiding by the law at the same time.
“We’ve got to stand up to people that use every tragedy as an excuse to take away our Constitutional rights. Now listen, Thomas Jefferson had the Islamic terrorist of his day. He still managed to fight them Constitutionally.” – Austin Petersen
The post debate polls that I have seen has Austin Petersen winning the debate. One online poll I saw has Petersen at 54%, while Gary Johnson trailed at a distant 19%. John McAfee in that poll wasn’t to far behind at 15% with the remaining votes going to undecided and others.
One hot topic in the Libertarian Party is the war on drugs. It has been proven to be ineffective and has done nothing to stop drug use, but in reality only grew the drug cartel and has caused many needless deaths in the process. The Libertarian view is that your body is yours to do with as you and only you see fit. As long as I don’t infringe in someone else’s rights then my life is mine to do with as I wish. Now this is a broad statement, however, it is a simple statement at the same time. You may not agree with how I am living my life or the choices I make, but they are my choice alone to make. Moral can’t and shouldn’t be regulated.
There was a Facebook question that got injected in the debate and that question came from Facebook user Lonni Nemo Long when they asked, “People always say that Libertarians will cut the safety net and welfare programs to non existence. How would you address the welfare state? How would it be replaced? How is it not as effective?”
Austin Petersen led off with his tax and spending plan that would “cut across the board.” He refers to it as the penny plan claiming it would put us on a path to a balanced budget.
“My plan cuts one penny from every federal dollar across the board.” – Austin Petersen
“If the American people have to balance their checkbook then so should Congress.” he went on to say. “The debt to GDP ratio is at 105%.”
Gary Johnson stated that he wanted to help those that needed the safety net, but also believes we have “gone way over the line when it comes to that.” Johnson went on to say that he believes government has gotten to big, spends to much, and taxes to much.
“I will be proposing a balanced budget to Congress which will be a 20% reduction in Federal Spending. And to do that you’ve got to include medicare, medicaid and military spending.” – Gary Johnson
Johnson is in favor of devolving medicare and medicaid to the States in order to reduce it from the budget and Federal control. And made the point that a 20% reduction in military spending only takes us back to a few years ago spending levels.
John McAfee used his time to talk about how, we as a society paid into social security with the promise that it would be there when we are older. He believes that as a Libertarian we should honor that commitment made to Americans. He quickly turned to address how bad our veterans are being treated.
“Here’s another issue. We send young men and women off to war saying go and risk your life and limb for your country. Then you come back without the limbs…well we’re sorry…this is the problem.”
The Libertarian debate also addressed the growing government and what agencies the candidates would cut. I thought Austin Petersen had the correct response. “I would cut them all. They didn’t have the right to take it from us in the first place.”
One thing that all Americans can agree on is the growth in government and their agencies. No party tackles this concern with more logic than the Libertarians. While the democrats and republicans act they they are concerned with the rise of government they both grow the government at great neck speed. The Republican party comes from the side of warmongering and foreign affairs while the democratic side attacks us from the growing welfare state. Truly an attack from the left and ride side and they are closing in fast.
While I thought the candidates did the party right as far as the answers given and staying true to party roots, I’m not sure that we have enough time to catch either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. It is the ideology and the foundation of freedom and liberties that I hope catches on and we see this country get back on track through the people of this country and not wait for some politician to come along and give us back our rights. It is our responsibility to maintain our rights and way of life. Even if that threat exist from the inside.
John Stossel did a great job, unlike the moderators of the major two party debates, in letting the candidates answer the questions and getting the Libertarian message out there. I hope to see more debates and open dialogue from Libertarian leaning candidates and the message will take root.
Use social media, talk with family members, encourage friends to look into, ask questions about, and understand the Libertarian principals. They are the foundation and pathway to liberty that has been usurped by global elitist in the name of safety and security.
“Those that give up liberties for securities, deserve neither, liberty nor security.” – Ben Franklin
Written by: Michael Howell
Please be sure to visit the Fighting the Tyranny blog site for more articles