I had a interesting conversation with Gary Nolan, a candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination for President, on the telephone today. He’s articulate, surprisingly forceful, and demonstrated a greater intellectual depth with regards to the issues than his web site indicated. I asked him about five issues that were not addressed on the web site, then asked him to tell me about one thing that he particularly felt demanded addressing.
1) On the United Nations and other supranational organizations
I would have nothing to do with them. I would withdraw from them. If they want to rent a building, that’s fine. But I do not support these behemoths that they’ve become, nor would I support them with tax dollars. I would support withdrawing from the United Nations in its current form. If there were a place for all of these countries to send a representative to meet and discuss their problems, fine. But no International Criminal Court or other infringements on US national sovereignty.
2) On the Federal Reserve
I would like us to get rid of the Federal Reserve. Extricating ourself from this mess will be complicated, very, very difficult. I have an econ prof at Case Western who is working on a plan that will enable us to pull ourselves out of this.
3) Public Schools
As a candidate for Federal office, I would get federal government out of education. I prefer private schools and homeschooling to public schools in general. I don’t think federal or state governments have the right to take money away from you to educate someone else. In any case, 50% of public school graduates are functionally illiterate. The public schools are not working.
This is a matter that should be adjudicated (settled) at the state level. My personal position is pro-life, but that should not factor in here as I am a candidate for Federal office and it is not a federal issue.
5) On Gay Marriage
If we get the federal government out, it doesn’t really matter. Marriage is a religious institution, only the matter of government benefits such as social security even make this an issue. Get the goverment out of it. If you can get a church or synagoguge to confirm your relationship, that’s your business. I favor getting government out of the marriage business altogether.
6) The Wasted Vote (Mr. Nolan’s issue of choice)
Right now this argument is coming from the right, that if you vote Libertarian, then the Democrats will get in office. But look at what happened with a Republican Congress and a Democratic president. Gridlock slowed the rate of Federal growth to 2.5%. Now it’s 7 to 10% not including defense. If you vote for George Bush, you’re saying give me more government. If you vote for Nolan, you’re saying give me smaller government, and at the very worst, you’re throwing it into gridlock. If you want smaller government, you should vote Libertarian.
Also, check out what’s going on at Amazon.com. We’ve been variously at #1 or #2 since it started.
Gary Nolan appears to be serious about what he’s doing. I liked him, and felt that his statements about what is a federal issue and what is not a federal issue was based on intellectual consistency and not a desire to weasel out of taking a position. His answer on the Federal Reserve impressed me most, as he’s quite right, you don’t extricate yourself from a mess 90 years in the making overnight. He’d certainly crush George Delano in a debate. While I won’t make an endorsement until I’ve talked to each of the three candidates, I view him much more favorably after having the chance to question him directly. Interestingly enough, he’s received $13,278 in contributions through Amazon, as compared with only 12,574 for Howard Dean and $7,147 for George Bush. John Kerry leads with $26,464.