Maj is running under the guise of the Libertarian Party, but exaggerating his grassroots and solution-based style. Maj’s appearance as an outsider separates him from the “self-interested, politically corrupt posers” who he says currently run the city.
Kevin D’Amato | United States
Going into 2019, the political scene has undergone massive change. Following the 2018 midterms, in which the Democrat Party regained a majority in the House of Representatives, tensions have been rising. The president allowed the government to shut down over the lack of funding for his border wall. He also is already threatening to potentially do it again on February 15th. Needless to say, relations in the government are poor. This leads me to ask: What are some policy goals that the country can still pass in this political environment?
1. Criminal Justice Reform
Of course, the First Step Act did just pass. However, this is just the beginning; to assume that one bill can fix a system as bloated and broken as ours is absurd. The First Step Act, as the name implies, is a “first step” to solve our problems.
We still need to take dramatic moves in the prison system. Some things to keep in mind should be:
- Abolishing mandatory minimums
- Focusing less on punishments such as solitary and more on rehabilitation programs
- Cracking down on officer malfeasance towards prisoners
2. Pull Troops Out of Military Conflict
The President stunned many, including me, when he abruptly announced he was pulling troops out of Afghanistan and Syria. The non-hawkish American population was ecstatic. Now, the only thing we need to do is hold him to it.
Mixed statements from several other Trump Administration officials have openly contradicted the President’s own words. It is Congress’s and our duty to hold the President to his words and bring our troops home.
3. End Government Spying
It often seems like the United States government outright ignores the 4th Amendment. Agencies like the NSA and FBI have made the illegal spying of American citizens commonplace. All accountability is lost when you are not aware of your own government’s actions.
The Patriot Act and FISA courts require, at the least, massive reforms. Ideally, we should move to abolish them, but this is not necessarily likely. Regardless, you have an inherent right to reasonable amounts of privacy.
As a bonus, a pardon for Edward Snowden would be nice, too!
4. Term Limits
Term limits are the most reasonable policy to enact in the United States right now. Virtually everyone that you talk to, regardless of political persuasions, believe that some sort of limitation is necessary.
Besides just getting old, crazy politicians out of office, term limits get new ideas in Washington, stop the constant fight for reelection, and partially get money-tied politicians out of the spotlight.
The Supreme Court’s 1995 decision essentially deeming term limits unconstitutional does make things complicated, but not impossible. The way forward for this plan is a rare but necessary constitutional amendment.
5. Federal Legalization of Marijuana
Let’s be honest, it’s bound to happen sometime soon.
I don’t need to go on a diatribe to inform you of the benefits of marijuana legalization. The economic, social, and political changes that would form are life-changing.
It’s about time that we let adults make their own decisions; whether it be to drink, gamble or smoke weed. As long as you’re not hurting your neighbor, freedom is absolute.
Kevin D’Amato | United States
After a lackluster performance in the contentious 2018 midterms, the Libertarian Party is refocusing. Local races, not federal ones, seem to be the future for the third-largest party in American politics.
Besides winning ballot access for a few states, it seems like 2018 is another year in history libertarians would rather forget. Crushing defeats in all types of positions took place, including incumbent state legislators Laura Ebke and Brandon Phinney, who secured 43% and 10% in their races, respectively.
As founder of the Mises Caucus Michael Heise put it on Election Day: “We need to accept that federal office is not realistic right now. If we’re lucky we make the ballot, but even then we are kept out of the polls, excluded from the debates, and blacked out by the media.” Heise went on to say that the way to victory is through running “local initiatives” and by pursuing “winnable state-level races”.
Michael’s advice is sound and logical. In fact, looking at previous elections, localized candidates performed much better on average. The federal libertarian candidate who did the best by far was Gary Johnson in the New Mexico Senate race. Despite polling as high as 22%, which was second place, prior to the election, the former governor only managed to get 15%. This is even more disappointing after realizing how much money and time he poured into the run. Artie Buxton of South Carolina, on the other hand, won a bid for school board with 68% of the vote. Without a doubt, that victory was won with much less than the nearly $400,000 that Johnson used.
The New Libertarian Way to Victory
Local and state races are not only more successful historically, but also more strategic. Without endless supplies of money like the Republicans and Democrats, the Libertarians need to be inventive:
- Low profile races add up over time, building a strong grassroots base.
- Local races create experienced candidates who can work their way up the political ladder.
- Proven records of victory provide a defense to arguments against the lack of “winnability”
The largest lesson for any Libertarian is that the real upcoming race is 2019, not 2020. Local races are the future of the Libertarian Party. The long game is the path to change.
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By Nick Hamilton | United States
As we start to finally hit the middle of 2018, some are already making bold predictions for Bitcoin’s price in 2019. One of those, an investment firm called Fundstrat, predicts that it could reach as high as $64,000 by the end of 2019; over six times it’s current value. The New York based firm made these assertions in a report written up by Sam Doctor. Doctor is one of the firm’s Managing Director and Quanta-mental Strategists.
The report asserts that the expected price will be around $36,000 for one bitcoin. However, the expected range of the price will be from as low as $20,000 to as high as $64,000. Their reasoning, however, is different from many other predictions that we’ve seen this year.
The rationale has to do with mining, which is a computer solving mathematical equations and getting rewarded for it with cryptocurrency. In order for this to occur, the computer relies on something called “hash power,” or power to guess the solution. Fundstrat projects a 350% increase in this hash power. Thus, the price of Bitcoin will rise.
“We believe the current path of hash power growth supports a BTC price of about $36,000 by 2019 year end, with a $20,000-$64,000 range,” Doctor said in his report. “The primary net sellers, in our view, are bitcoin miners, and the rest are transactions between investors.”
Now, the real question is whether the currency will be able to sustain that number when it hits that mark. Bitcoin has proven to have some difficulties sustaining itself, dropping over $10,000 in just a few months. However, with this new innovation in hash power, Bitcoin could absolutely explode in the next couple of years.
As of Thursday, May 10th, the cryptocurrency has fallen 1.55% to $8,290.