You’ve probably never heard of them, but there are three people running for president who are worth considering. Michael Badnarik, Gary Nolan and Aaron Russo are seeking the presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party, and they are the only candidates who will affirm their oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States and your basic liberties.
These three men realize something that most Americans and almost no politicians realize today: Your rights are not negotiable, and they are not privileges that can be taken away by the government, regardless of what public opinion seems to say this week or the next.
Our founding fathers understood that our Creator with certain inalienable rights that could never be taken away by any government endowed humankind. Americans fought a revolution based on the belief that governments were created to serve the people, not the reverse.
What we have today is the reverse: government at all levels treats our rights as privileges that it can grant or take away at anytime. The only check on this power are courts that interject their own opinions into the interpretation of law and the ballot box, which is rigged by the two major parties to ensure that a statist ideology is always in power. There is another choice, however.
The Libertarian Party, the true party of Thomas Jefferson, is fielding three men who do get it in its primary process. My organization, the Libertarians at Virginia Tech, hosted Michael Badnarik of Austin, Texas, on Monday evening. Badnarik is an expert on the Constitution and teaches an eight-hour course on the subject.
Any law that is in violation of the Constitution is unconstitutional and therefore is not law. Imagine a country where the Constitution, Bill of Rights and federalism actually meant something. Badnarik would end the welfare state, end our imperialist interventionist foreign policy and bring our troops home.
Badnarik’s entire platform is not that he would repeal all gun laws. He would, but his platform is broader than that. As president, Badnarik would enforce the law!
The United States government would serve the American people again instead of the American people serving the government. Limited government would be restored and Americans could live their lives as they choose, provided they do not harm anyone else and that they accept the personal responsibility for their actions.
Similarly, Nolan and Russo would enforce the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Nolan is a political talk show host on the Radio America Network and former president of Capitol Watch, a government watchdog group. Russo is a Hollywood producer who produced such movies as Trading Places and the band Led Zeppelin.
Russo won nearly 30 percent of the vote in a four-way primary for governor of Nevada. Both men would dramatically cut or eliminate most taxes. The Income Tax would cease to exist. Nolan would bring our troops home from all areas not directly related to national security.
Russo would end the draft that President Bush has made inevitable before it can start. Most importantly, both men would use the Constitution as it was intended — as a chain around government’s neck to restrain it rather than as an enabler for government intervention in and regulation of all aspects of our lives.
There once was a dream of a land of liberty, where a person could live his life in freedom and peace without the fear of government confiscation of property, earnings and other fruits of his labor. An American could be sure that he lived in a land that was unique in the world and that the entire world looked upon as a beacon of hope and freedom.
Our founding fathers fought, suffered and died for that dream. Foolish leaders have squandered it and instead given us a European-style nation-state with an oppressive regulatory welfare state and an imperial interventionist foreign policy. We can have the America of Jefferson and Patrick Henry again, but it will take your help. Vote for liberty. Vote for freedom. Vote Libertarian.
Tony Torres, The Collegiate Times, Virginia Tech