Beyond the despicable nature of the current 2016 Presidential Election cycle from the hands of the two major parties, the American people actually have another option to support.
The Libertarian Party, founded in 1971 in my hometown of Colorado Springs, CO, is the largest political party trailing behind the Republicans and Democrats in terms of membership.
The Libertarian philosophy of government is one that appeals to many voters in this country. Economic freedom and personal freedom. The difficulty for the party however is highlighting their message and gaining the opportunity to have their candidates heard by a mass audience.
Every Presidential election cycle the Libertarian Party has a cache of candidates that seek it’s nomination and this year is no different. The current front runner is the former Republican Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson. However, biting at his heels is a young, 35 year old, former musical theater major, former Fox Business producer, and founder of the Libertarian Republic, Austin Petersen.
We had a chance to speak with Mr. Petersen and ask him a few questions about his candidacy for the Libertarian Presidential nomination.
This interview was conducted over the phone with Austin Petersen and myself on 3/31/2016. Instead of trying to summarize his words I have transcribed that entire interview in order to provide all the context necessary.1. How does somebody as young as you plan to convince the Libertarian delegates that you have the experience and viability to be a successful Libertarian candidate for President?“First of all lets just look at history. On July 4, 1776 Thomas Jefferson was 33 yeas old, James Madison was 25 years old, Alexander Hamilton was 18 years old, and so was the Marques De Lafayette. So, younger men then myself founded this country and it is only going to be young people who care about the future who are going to change it again, so lets start with that up front. Secondly, what is the type of experience that people look for in a Presidential candidate? Right now the front runner Donald Trump has no experience in government he has business experience & so do I. I may not be a billionaire, but I do represent the middle class here in the United States. The other one has a pending indictment & a potential criminal in Hilary Clinton. So both of those people are extremely unpopular with the type of experiences that they have and I don’t think they are fit to lead the country. So if you look at my resume I have been a 10 year veteran of politics & media, I am terrific at selling the Libertarian message and I have done so successfully and I feel that I am the only person who can build the coalition that we need in order to get more than one percent of the vote. So my experiences have been in business & as an executive and as a television producer. I started from nowhere as a farm boy in Missouri and kicked down the doors of power in New York and D.C. in two of the most difficult industries to break into with no friends and no help with nothing but myself. That is the type of attitude that we need and leadership that we need and thats why I think I would be a good candidate.”2. Does your pro-life stance hurt your ability to convince the Libertarian electorate that you should be the nominee?“Of course it does, it absolutely does! So what is right is not always popular and what’s popular doesn’t always look right. I cannot tell my voters with a straight face that I think it should be perfectly fine for us to commit to legalizing an industry that is killing human beings. We as Libertarians can be fighting for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all human beings; every single one. There are lots of alternatives to abortion, like adoption. My little sister was adopted. She was almost aborted. I see all the time people who want to adopt babies but because the government makes it so difficult we need to focus on adoption. Its $10,000 at minimum to adopt a child. So if we had a simplified process we would have fewer abortions. Also, if we end the war on drugs women would be able to buy birth control over the counter. That would reduce the number of abortions. I am looking for non coercive ways to end abortion, but I think we should take a moral stand on life because that is the virtuous stand and that is the true Libertarian stand in my opinion.”3. You have been criticized for your position on the Non-Aggression Principle by members of the party. Do you think the Non-Aggression Principle hurts the Libertarian Party’s ability to attract a mass following of voters in this country?“It does because they are all a bunch of tyrants and authoritarians. You know the Colorado party specifically did not invite me and silenced one another from telling me that I was not invited because they are bunch of authoritarians & fascists. They want to force the non-aggression principle on the rest of us. They want to force pacifism on the rest of society. Picture the Amish. The Amish don’t force the rest of us to live according to their pacifist ideals. Why does the non-aggression principle want to force the rest of society to look at the world according to their pacifist ideals? The reality is that this is an aggressive universe that we live in, with bacteria, animals, and all sorts of other human beings that want to kill us and regress against us. Just because you lay down your gun doesn’t mean anyone else does. We have a right to defend ourselves and do so aggressively if necessary. The American people don’t buy it. They think we are a bunch of pacifist stoners that say we are anti-war, but the reality is a lot of these people aren’t anti-war they are just anti-U.S. government. And there is a difference between in being anti-war and anti-U.S. government. I can criticize the U.S. government all the time but should you start scratching one of these pacifist and they will start telling you about how they love Russian propaganda and how they think that the United States was the aggressor in World War II and that’s B.S.”4. If you don’t receive the nomination for President would you be willing to accept the Vice-Presidential nomination for the Libertarian Party?“I haven’t deeply considered it just yet. I haven’t been vetted by the other Presidential candidates but that doesn’t seem like its the likely hood. I don’t know yet to be quite honest. I don’t know who the candidate will be. If its someone like Jesse Ventura, like a conspiracy theorist, and someone who is absolutely nuts, how in the world can I say yes I will be their vice-presidential candidate. I have to see what happens at the convention before I can make that kind of decision because anything else would be uninformed.”5. Sum up your platform in less than two sentences.“Pro-Constitution, Pro-Life, Pro-Freedom, Economic Freedom, and personal liberty!”
We gratefully appreciate the time that Austin Petersen took to answer our questions. As you can see this a candidate that has a broad appeal to many voters in this country. There is disgust with the current candidates running in the two major parties and Libertarians like Austin give a breath of fresh air for many looking to breath normally.
Austin stands for the principles and ideals of the Libertarian Party, and for the movement of liberty in this country. As a former Republican Ron Paul supporter as well, it is nice to see that our movement is continuing with people like Austin Petersen. We need to stand along side people like him and hold the banner for freedom.
I encourage you to check out his website to learn more about Austin and his candidacy for the Libertarian Party.
You can also catch Austin Petersen and the other top Libertarian Candidates for President tomorrow night on Fox Business network as John Stossel is hosting the first ever, nationally televised, Presidential debate of the Libertarian Party.
I also encourage everyone to visit the Libertarian Party website to learn more about their platform and ways to become a member of this growing political party.