The Libertarian Candidate for President
The Libertarian Candidate
By Norma Sherry
I've been interviewing all of the candidates from the local Sheriff to the national candidates on my television show, The Norma Sherry Show. On August 6th, my guest was Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian candidate for president.
A soft-spoken, confident, man, Michael Badnarik, began his one-man mission to become the Libertarian candidate for President last February. Since then, he has traveled to 15 states, visiting towns and communities and in the effort, he covered 25,000 miles with just a driver and his little Kia. Supporters put him up in their homes, often fed him, donated some money so he could continue his journey, and fulfill his vision for the Libertarian Party.
On May 30, 2004, at the Libertarian National Convention in Dallas, Texas, Michael Badnarik out-witted, out-debated his two opponents, and won the nomination as the Libertarian candidate for the presidency of the United States. He now flies instead of drives with his Kia driver of months before as he speaks to groups across the country. His days begin early, very early and end late into the night. On one day before we met, he put in a twelve-hour day of meeting, greeting, and interviewing, beginning with three or more radio interviews, which he gave over the telephone, and while they drove to their first presentation. His day ended similarly. One thing for certain: Michael Badnarik is a serious contender.
He's an effective spokesman, passionate in his belief that our Constitution reigns as the supreme document of our republic. Libertarian's, in case you were unaware, are strict Constitutionalists. They also believe in the very worthwhile dogma of "personal responsibility". And they fervently believe in the Second Amendment: The right for every citizen to bear arms. A Libertarian running for a Florida House of Representative seat, explained Libertarian to me as, "A Republican who doesn't believe in tariffs."
I will admit, listening to Mr. Badnarik and reading his position papers, much of what he has to say is very appealing. But, the single most alluring quality of this candidate is his unbeguiling, forthright, honesty. His answers to my questions were straightforward and direct. For instance, when I asked him what he thought of the U.S. Patriot Act, he responded without a moment's hesitation that it was the single most reprehensible document ever signed into law. He went on to say that if he is elected president, he will repeal it.
Regarding same-sex marriage, he said, there should be no law that restricts two individuals who love one another from marrying. Furthermore, we should not deny same-sex couples all of the benefits that marriage ensures. He would also repeal NAFTA and WTO. He said, "The managed trade that we see today, where politically connected corporations and favored nations get special deals, is anything but free."
He went on to express that, "Although free trade is a blessing, managed bureaucratic trade is not. It is a dangerous misconception to think of the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and other international quasi-governmental structures as free trade organizations. They rely on thousands of pages of confusing regulations and corrupt agreements between multinational corporations and oppressive governments. True free trade - the kind that fosters peace - does not depend on such organizations and rules, but is actually hindered by them. Managed trade - the kind that fosters resentment and poverty - is all that these organizations have so far delivered."
I asked him what he thought about legalizing medical marijuana. His answer wasn't in the usual cautionary political correctness or no-answer we've become so frustratingly familiar with -- no, once again, he spoke his mind and it was clear the topic was one that angered him. "The decision to ingest, smoke, or consume any drug should be up to the individual, under the advice of his or her physician, when appropriate." He went on to say, "On a fundamental level, Libertarians believe that it is the unalienable and constitutional right of individuals to medicate themselves and choose for themselves what to put into their bodies, as long as they live up to the consequences of their actions. The federal government has no proper say in the matter, and state governments violate the rights of the people in their own attempts to enforce morality."
Finally, I asked him what he would have done if he had been our president after 911. Immediately, he responded by stating that he would have sought the true enemy. He would not have invaded Iraq; a country that at one time had WMD and chemicals of warfare thanks predominately to the United States.
As president, Mr. Badnarik plans to slash pharmaceutical prices by reducing, what he refers to as, "excessive FDA regulation". He feels the stringent long-term testing of drugs before they become available to the populace is not only financially costly, but costly in the lives that could have been saved had the drug or drugs been available. According to Mr. Badnarik, "We could slash pharmaceutical prices overnight by ending these regulations." When I asked him if removing these regulations and safeguards, would effectively make the consumer or patient pharmaceutical guinea pigs? He rapid-fired, "no, it would not."
On every topic, and I raised quite a few, Mr. Badnarik never stumbled, never voiced a faux pas our present president is so infamous for, and he never stammered for the lack of an answer, nor did he carefully couch his comments. He was candid and direct. Clearly, he felt his points -- and the Libertarian beliefs -- are the correct way to address issues. Absent from our dialogue was any fear that his words might dissuade voters from voting for him. I have to admit, it made me yearn for more representatives who speak so straightforward with such decisiveness and clarity of thought and intent. I may not have always agreed with his strategies or his beliefs, but I did find him most engaging, thought provoking, and a stimulating conversationalist.
According to Mr. Badnarik, the Libertarian Party is the largest third party we have; larger than all the other third parties put together. Yet, they have to fight to be on the ballot, to be included in the debates, to find funding, and to get their word out in the mainstream press. In our search for the finest candidates - true representative government - it would behoove us all to hear every candidate's point of view. Then, and only then, can we truly make a decision. With any luck at all, that decision wouldn't have to be based on the lesser of two evils.
© Norma Sherry 2004
Norma Sherry is co-founder of TogetherForeverChanging.org, an organization devoted to educating, stimulating, and igniting personal responsibility particularly with regards to our diminishing civil liberties. She is also an award-winning writer/producer and host of television program, The Norma Sherry Show, on WQXT-TV, Florida.
Email Norma: email@example.com