Dan Behrman is a libertarian activist from Texas who is seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president in 2020. He originally ran for office in 2014 for the Texas House of Representatives, winning 23% against the Democrat incumbent. A long-time activist, Dan Behrman has made a name for himself by representing the slogan “Taxation is Theft.” 71 Republic’s John Keller talked to Behrman about his presidential campaign.
Keller: What inspired you to run for the office of president, as opposed to a local or state office?
Behrman: Our political system is fundamentally flawed from the top to the bottom, and more important than trying to fix it from any office is to better inform people on what’s really going on, the lies, deceit, and tyranny of government at every level, so they can all make better decisions.
Keller: You are running for president as a libertarian. What does it mean to be a libertarian?
Behrman: Libertarian means a lot of things, many say fundamentally that it means don’t hurt people and don’t take their stuff – which is the fundamental system of the common law. But above that, it’s to understand and identify what tyranny is, and to know when and how to resist it.
Keller: With the control of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party have on the current political landscape, what inspired you to join the Libertarian Party?
Behrman: I have been a Democrat and I have been a Republican. There are really great people out there honestly supporting those parties because they want the world to be a better place. But just as I didn’t when I supported those parties, they don’t see that the politicians leading those parties will say whatever they need to for a vote. Both of those parties are rotting from the inside, and their sole platform is to blame the other party for the problems we face. The libertarians largely recognize that those two parties fighting each other are what has created most of the major problems we face today.
Keller: The primary for the Libertarian Party nomination in 2020 is becoming filled with dozens of candidates. What sets your candidacy apart from the rest?
Behrman: What sets me apart from the others, besides my big yellow hat? I’ve created a new way to make libertarianism attractive to the Democrat and Republican voter. Our campaign has a large amount of support from both of the old parties, and we haven’t had to compromise or water down the platform to do that. We just acknowledge that everyone has different needs and show them how libertarianism is going to make their lives better.
Keller: Should you gain the nomination in 2020, what do you think is the best way to spread the message of liberty and win the White House?
Behrman: We already have a great platform and strategy for getting the message out, but with the nomination, we’ll have more resources available to reach more people with this message.
Keller: Our Founding Fathers even disagreed on how to interpret the Constitution, shown in the Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist debates. What is your interpretation of the Constitution, and how does that influence your view on government?
Behrman: How the constitution is interpreted is important, however more important is recognizing that the constitution is a delegation of rights by states. No states can create a right in the constitution that they did not already have themselves. No individual is a party to the contract of the constitution unless they have taken an oath to it. This means that the authority of the constitution tells the federal government what it can or can’t do in regards to itself and the states. It has no authority to dictate the behavior of the individuals, only to restrict the states from acting unethically towards their own people.
Behrman: More importantly, I think most of the country hasn’t read their state constitution if they even know it exists. Many times these constitutions don’t give the authority for a lot of the regulation that’s created and enforced by the states, and those constitutions are meant to write on behalf of the people who, again, can not grant that government any rights which they did not already have. What this all means is that most of the government’s claim to authority to tax, regulate and license every aspect of our lives has no moral cause and many times isn’t even authorized by the constitution. And what’s most unfortunate about this is that often the courts acknowledge this but the government gets away with it by coercing us into contractual serfs.
Keller: In 2020, it is likely you will run against Donald Trump. What are your major criticisms of the current administration and what sets yourself apart from Trump?
Behrman: I can’t criticize trump or any of the other previous presidents. For all of their policy flaws, the majority got exactly what they wanted. They believe that in order to make their lives better, the other side is going to have to suffer. I’m here to show them that both sides can win.
Keller: You have centered your campaign around the singular issue of taxation being theft. What are three other issues central to your campaign?
Behrman: Taxation is the core of my platform for two reasons. Most immoral government operations are taxes or a way to steal from us. Other immoral government operations are funded against our will with coercive taxes. I have a complete plan for making healthcare so affordable that everyone can get the care they need without insurance, I am going to end the federal reserves currency monopoly, and I am going to bring the troops home.
Keller: Climate change has become an issue dominating the Democratic debates. What role does this issue play in your campaign, and how do you speak to voters that make this their number one issue?
Behrman: We all want a clean environment, and this is a high priority of mine. What I have seen is that there is a lot of technology that already exists that would greatly reduce our carbon footprint. All we need to do is help those technologies get to market, and the only thing stopping them is this tyrannical government that has an interest in protecting its special interests.
Keller: A very interesting plank on your platform is the legalization of pineapple pizza. Why did you include this in your platform?
Behrman: This is a metaphor that even the Department of Homeland Security has recognized. Nobody has the authority to tell us what we can or can’t put into our own bodies. This is the same whether it’s pineapple pizza, cannabis, or experimental pharmaceuticals. It is our right and our right alone to make those decisions.
Keller: Libertarians tend to believe less government is better government. Is there an area of government you would like to see continued or even protected?
Behrman: The government provides plenty of services that many people find useful. However, most times those services are protected by the power of monopoly because other people can simply do better. The post office is a great example. The Postal Express Statutes make it illegal for anyone to create a mail carrier to compete with the post office. UPS, FedEx, DHL, and others are limited only to delivering packages and overnight letters. In the 1840s, The American Letter Company did try to compete with the post office once, and they delivered the mail faster and for a lower price. They were shut down simply because the government wanted to be the only business to offer that service.
Behrman: If you look at most services provided by the government, they have been the sole provider for so long, that people have been led to believe that they are the only organization that’s even capable of providing this service. Less government means new alternatives with better options. There might be some things that government can do better than the private sector, but we’ll never know if it’s illegal for the private sector to even try.
Keller: On a more light-hearted note, will you make a version of your famous hat available in your online store?
Behrman: The big yellow hat is not for sale, not to my supporters and not to special interests. However, there is a taxation is theft hat available in the merch section of our website.
Keller: If interested, how can a reader contact your campaign and get involved?
Behrman: Our website is Behrman2020.com, and that has links to donate, sign up as a volunteer, or follow us on all of our social media platforms.
Keller: Do you have any final remarks for the readers?
Behrman: The most important lesson that everyone should learn, and is not taught in any school – we are not government property. We are free individuals. Politicians will always try to control us as if we belong to them, but they work for us. We are taught to obey the law, but never to question where that law came from. We need to question every law, where it’s authority comes from, whether it’s moral, or whether it’s just another government scam.
71 Republic thanks Dan Behrman for taking the time for this interview.
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