As I promised, America’s Right will continue to present opinions from third parties about the philosophy of third parties and the issue of the day. The first such installment was an interview with James Clymer, national chairman of the Constitutional Party National Committee. This time, I was fortunate enough to gain insight from Donald E. Ferguson, director of communications for the Libertarian National Committee.
In the face of so much government intervention and political discussion already underway about the 2010 elections, a fresh perspective is good. From talking to Jeff Schreiber, I know that he feels his own ideological transformation is not complete — as if moving from a liberal Democrat to a staunch conservative wasn’t enough, he says often that, since Barack Obama took power and began to expand government, the Libertarian streak in him is growing. I can see it. If there ever was a time for the Libertarian Party, I’d think that now would be it.
For that reason, I really wanted to speak with someone in the party able to articulate the group’s perspective and worldview. For his time, I’d like to thank Mr. Ferguson for taking time to respond to my e-mail, answer my questions and share a little bit about his party here at America’s Right.
AMERICA’S RIGHT: As an introduction, briefly state the core values of the Libertarian Party.
DONALD FERGUSON: The Libertarian Party believes in the traditional American principle of limited government in both personal and economic matters. As long as someone is not harming others or living at their expense, they should be free to live their life as they please.
AR: What is the most common socioeconomic profile of a member of the Libertarian Party?
DF: The Libertarian Party is very diverse, but we enjoy lots of support from entrepreneurs, small businessmen, and people who work every day.
AR: Critics of the Libertarian Party say a politician in America cannot win an election by telling voters what he or she will NOT do for them. Is that criticism fair?
DF; Candidates have an obligation to speak with voters about their shared values and how their lives would be better if they were elected, based on their core principles. For Libertarians that means pressing the value of tax relief, education reform, and pro-economic growth policies.
AR: Many conservatives have reached the conclusion that American domestic and foreign policy is plagued by two secret organizations, namely the Federal Reserve Bank and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). If the Libertarian Party controlled the American Federal Government, would it abolish these two organizations?
DF: Libertarians are avid supporters of Federal Reserve transparency and are currently working to build support for Congressman Ron Paul’s HR 1207, a bill to allow audits of the Fed.
AR: Do the election laws in America prevent third parties from winning elections? If so, how could these laws be changed to improve the election process?
DF: Current state election laws certainly often make it more difficult by requiring large numbers of petition signatures, requiring they be turned in too early or requiring very high electoral thresholds to stay on the ballot, while the legislators who write the laws exempt their own parties.
AR: Does the Libertarian Party want to end the war on drugs through legalization?
DF: Yes. Unfortunately, treating personal drug use as a criminal, and not a health, problem creates more crime than it seeks to eliminate. We saw the same phenomenon when the drug alcohol was prohibited in the 1920s. The best way to curb and deal with drug use is through decriminalization and legalization so it may be treated as a health concern.
AR: How does the Libertarian Party balance private property rights and environmental concerns?
DF: Private property rights are the best way to curb pollution. As Rush Limbaugh says, people don’t pollute their own stuff and the former Soviet Union was far more polluted than the United States environmentalists attack.
AR: If someone wants to start a Libertarian Party committee or group on the local level, what is a good way to start?
DF: The best way is to go to http://www.lp.org and find your state chair. They will let you know how you go about chartering a local affiliate. Many local chapters got their start on MeetUp.com, so that is an invaluable — and free — way to find new members.