The Libertarian Party of Illinois will be holding their Annual Convention in the month of October 2009. They will be presenting their candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller, and US Senate. In an era where serious discussions of issues are needed, I had the honor and pleasure of being able to interview Kent Mc Millen who is the Public Relations Chair of the Libertarian Party of Illinois. The following interview was conducted via E Mail.
1. During a recent trip to Baltimore, Maryland [as well as talking with people in Miami Florida], there has been a sense that “Big Brother Is Watching Me”. How can the Libertarian Party tap into this growing discontent with the two party system taking into account the lack of coverage by the mainstream media and the attempts of the governing party to repress alternative ideas?
It will take a combination of hard work, a great message, some great messengers and some luck. Getting attention is the biggest challenge. The media is so caught up in the proverbial horse race between the Democrats and Republicans that I believe they do the country a disservice by not reporting more on other political parties and other points of view. I agree that there is a growing discontent with “Big Brother” but who are you going to turn to? I don’t believe Republicans are the party of small government, Look how the deficit ballooned under George W. Bush. We just have to keep pressing the issue and hope that more citizens will take a look at the Libertarian Party.
2. I have also heard from people who have stated that the problems of America started when people drifted away from the policies of Our Founding Fathers. Glenn Beck even talked about the Progressive Movement of the last century hijacking America. When did the hijacking begin and what can be done about it?
We have evolved from a limited national government to a leviathan in Washington in a little over two hundred years. The national government gained power during the civil war, during the early 20′s century with Woodrow Wilson’s programs like the Federal Reserve, with Franklin Roosevelt and the new deal with Social Security, through Lyndon Johnson with Medicare and Medicaid in the 60′s to today, with George Bush and the Patriot Act and President Obama’s proposal of government run health care. It has all moved in one steady direction, away from limited government and individual choice and freedom. What can be done about it? Join and support the Libertarian Party and it’s candidates. We are the only party that adheres to the principles of limited government and individual freedom and with the ability to turn this around.
3. What were the reasons behind the choice of the theme “Don’t Tread On Me” for the LP of Illinois State Convention?
“Don’t Tread on Me” is a slogan that can be found under the Gadsden flag, which is a historical American flag with a yellow field depicting a rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike. The flag was designed by and is named after American general and statesman Christopher Gadsden. For libertarians, the message is obvious: LEAVE ME ALONE!
4. Ray Lear is running for Governor, and Jason Dodson is running for Lieutenant Governor after Illinois suffered through an agonizing year of the two party system and the drama of a Senate Seat for sale as well as a Governor who would have been great as a Comic Relief in poor taste. What can Ray Lear and Jason Dodson offer as an alternative to the politics as usual in Illinois?
First of all, Ray and Jason can claim that they are not the party of George Ryan nor the party of Rod Blagojevich, and they are not in the race for personal profit or to award their family and friends. They will bring a new, fresh approach to governing and will provide the citizens of Illinois with a government that they can be proud of. They will be able to tune into people’s disgust with the political power structure of this state, because, unlike most people running for state office, they have not been a part of the enabling of the corruption of Illinois’ past.
5. Julie Fox is running for Comptroller and Mike Labno will be running for the US Senate. What type of campaign will they be able to do in order to galvanize those disenchanted with the two party system?
Similar to what Ray and Jason will be able to do. Julie has run for state-wide office before and is eminently qualified for the position of Comptroller, since she is a CPA and has a vast amount of professional experience. Mike will be an alternative candidate to the two major parties, who seem to be running professional politicians. My understanding is the Mark Kirk is running for the Republicans and Alexi Gianoulis for the Democrats. I don’t believe either of those two candidates offer anything new.
6. Will Ms. Fox, Mr. Labno, Mr. Lear, and Mr. Dodson be available for interviews? If the answer is yes, I am extending an invitation to them via this interview [as well as other Libertarians running for Public Office]
They most certainly will.
7. What will the Libertarian Party do in dealing with crime and economic blight?
With respect to crime, we need to stop wasting so much time and resources on arresting and imprisoning people for victimless crimes, such as drugs and prostitution. People that engage in these activities are not hurting anyone except maybe themselves, and we need to release them from prisons and allow law enforcement to focus on crimes in which there is an actual victim.
Libertarians believe in personal responsibility and the empowerment of the individual. Everyone has to do everything they can to make themselves more marketable and presentable to ensure their own success. If more people did that, we would have less economic blight.
8. What is Austrian Economics?
Austrian economics is a school of economic thought which emphasizes free market transactions with little or no government involvement. It is a laissez faire approach to the economy which was advanced by eminent Austrian economics and philosophers. Some of the more well known individuals associated with Austrian economics are: Ludwig Van Mises, Friedrich A. Hayek and Murray Rothbard, all of whom are well regarded by Libertarians.
9. What is the meaning of informing an informed citizenry and educated electorate?
We can put an enormous amount of information on a website, but someone has to read it to become informed and educated. It is each individual’s responsibility to do the proper amount of research to make an informed decision on which candidate best represents their views. With the internet, it is all there for people to see. A more active approach to this is the Tea Parties and thd End the Fed rallies, where people actually took to the streets to deliver their message to people who may not have been aware. .
10. How can the Libertarian Party and others promote market principles at a time when they are attacked or blamed for the current economic crisis?
It’s interesting that no one has anything bad to say about market principles when people make money on the sale of a home or on an investment. A reasonable person knows that they can lose money on just about anything, and if you read an offering document for a security, the warning that the investment is not insured and you can lose your money is all over the place. It’s a matter of personal responsibility. In capitalism, you have winners and losers. I don’t doubt that there has been greed and corruption on certain parties part over the past several years but an individual has to have the sense to know if they can afford a risky investment or a large house with a big mortgage. There is no better system than the free market system and allowing the markets to prosper once again is the best solution to the present crisis.. .
11. I once played Jeopardy when a child but what is a Libertarian Jeopardy and how is it played?
Libertarian Jeopardy operates on the same principles, but the answers are from a more narrow range of subjects, such as the constitution, famous Libertarians, and general questions about government.
12. Halloween themes must be interesting, Could you elaborate on them?
Our convention is being held the week before Halloween, so we are planning to decorate with a “Haloween ambiance” on Friday evening. I wouldn’t doubt if some folks come in costume.
I would like to thank you Kent and the LP of Illinois for taking the time to answer these questions.
It is always a pleasure Roberto. Thank you.
I am extending an invitation to Ms. Fox, Mr. Labno, Mr. Lear, and Mr. Dodson to be interviewed.