By John Keller | United States
Steve Porter is the Libertarian candidate for Virginia’s 11th Congressional district and is seeking to be elected for America, not for Congress.
Keller: For the readers who don’t know who you are, would you mind telling them a little bit about yourself?
Porter: I am a native of the Seattle area who moved to DC/NoVA in 1993. I have worked for over 20 years in Information Technology including 17 years at my current employer (a large, international software and hardware company) focusing on customer relationship management software, troubleshooting, security, and proactive support initiatives.
Although I have not run for office before, I have been active in my community in a variety of ways including leadership roles in the Knights of Columbus, various church ministries, and a member of Rotary. My main service, however, has been as a volunteer paramedic with a local volunteer rescue squad for the last 15 years. I have held a variety of offices both on the administrative and operational side. I currently am the assistant chief of the squad.
I married my wonderful wife in 2009. We live in Herndon with our two dogs Biscuit and Crumpet.
Keller: What inspired you to run for office?
Porter: I have been deeply concerned with the direction our country has been going and the increased two-party tribalism for some time. The 2016 presidential campaign was particularly disturbing to me and then to add insult to injury the incumbent in this office ran unopposed. No matter how you feel about a candidate or officeholder, there needs to be competition and differing viewpoints within the democratic process. Otherwise, we lose transparency, accountability, and the connection between our elected officials and the citizens they serve.
Keller: Many citizens are unaware, or have misconceptions, of what Libertarianism is. What, to you, is Libertarianism all about?
Porter: Libertarianism is ultimately about YOU – a firmly held belief that YOU know what is best for YOU, YOUR family, and YOUR community. Government involvement should be kept to a minimum and with a strong focus on the rights of the individuals. Libertarians also oppose the use of force whether at the individual level or the state level except in response to actual aggression. This is commonly referred to as the Non-Aggression Principle or NAP.
Keller: Representative Gerry Connolly has held his seat since January 3, 2009. Why is the time for liberty now?
Porter: I would argue that it has been time for liberty long before the incumbent was initially elected to his office. The two-party system has become increasingly divisive and non-productive. Mr. Connolly is a party machine, establishment politician who has no real interest in changing the current system. If we are to return to the principles of Liberty, we need systemic changes.
Keller: You have been nominated to run as the Libertarian Party’s candidate. What three policies or positions are most important to you?
Porter: A difficult question. There are a number of small government, fiscal responsibility, and personal liberty issues that are important to me. Probably the most important (in no particular order) are:
Re-examination of our countries military mission. Although I support a strong military and the brave men and women who serve in it, we must take a hard look at how we chose to use our armed forces. Their proper role is in defense of our country. It is not to be the police of the world and to be involved in so many fights across the globe.
Spending reform. Neither big party has shown any interest in trying to seriously address the deficit enabled addiction to big government spending. With over 20 trillion in debt now and a deficit that is rapidly approaching a trillion dollars a year, this simply cannot be sustained. Of course, Congress did what they do best when it comes to this topic – passed a bill to push any serious work off to the next Congress and avoid these hard discussions in an election year. Problem is the next Congress will most likely do the same thing and the situation will continue to only get worse until something catastrophic happens.
“Justice” Reforms – In particular rolling back the abuses to surveillance of American citizens and also the disgusting practice of civil asset forfeiture. The Bill of Rights is important and should be honored, not twisted to particular political agendas.
Keller: A recent news story has been the government shutdown. What are your thoughts on the Government shutdown?
Porter: While I believe in downsizing the federal government, there is a responsible way to do it. Uncontrolled, unplanned shutdowns due to political tribalism and an inability to work together is not that way.
Keller: Partisan politics has come to dominate Washington. If elected, how will you change this dialogue in Congress?
Porter: Right now both sides are into extreme tribalism. Ideas are not judged on their value but on the R or D after them. By not joining either caucus I can be a different voice and perspective. I am also more concerned with how things should be done rather than how they are being done.
Keller: There is a lot of crony laws and actions on capitol hill. If you had the power to undo one of them what would it be?
Porter: At the moment I would really like to see the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate repealed. It is a new enough action that we might be able to roll it back before it does irreparable damage to the small and independent truckers. It is a great example of an unnecessary “soundbite” solution to a – at best – questionable problem. Like many of these types of actions, it uses safety/security argument (the other popular choices are children or patriotism) to justify a government action. Really though it is about placing more expense, compliance difficulties, etc. on the “little guy” to the benefit of the big corporate interests and their powerful Washington lobbies.
Keller: Although Libertarians tend to believe fewer laws and less governance is best, what is one law you would want to see passed in Congress?
Porter: Most of the laws I would like to see passed would ultimately roll back other laws and regulations. A balanced budget amendment or similar legislation would be way up there though in terms of things I would want to put on the books.
Keller: If someone was interested, how can they get involved in your campaign?
Porter: Third party campaigns need the same things that the big parties need – volunteers, social media followers, money, and ultimately voters. If people are interested in joining OUR fight to bring liberty, common sense, and fiscal responsibility back to Washington they can visit my website at www.porter4us.com, porter4us on Facebook, or @porter4us on Twitter to learn more and contact my team.
Keller: Do you have any final remarks you would like to give to readers, supporters, and potential voters?
Porter: Our nation’s journey away from our basic principles of personal liberty and small, responsible government has been going on for decades. Some people think that that course cannot be changed. I strongly disagree. People are tired of politics as usual. People are tired of government overreach and the erosion of personal liberties. Rather than simply be tired, now is the time to get energized and take a stand. Challenge government officials, get involved with campaigns that are trying to make a difference (like mine), and most importantly make your voice heard at the ballot box during every election no matter how small the office seems to be. If enough people do that, then we will see a real rebirth of Liberty in our great country!
I would like to thank Steve Porter for his time. Be sure to check out his website www.porter4us.com and get involved!