Sanders Jett-Folk | United States
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump presented his long-awaited State of the Union address to the American people. The Libertarian Party, represented by Riverside County (CA) Board of Supervisors member Jeff Hewitt, quickly gave a passionate response to the President’s address. In doing so, they hoped to unite Americans in the face of political division.
Jeff Hewitt: Bringing Americans Together?
Of the many themes that Hewitt presented in his statement, bringing Americans together was among the most important.
Hewitt stated that despite the division that Democrats and Republicans are trying to cause in our country, “…Americans are finding new ways to work together, to prosper, to help each other and to help themselves.”
He went on to say that new markets, voluntary exchange of ideas and goods, and innovation has “given all of us new ways to learn, to communicate, to travel, to heal ourselves, and to heal our world.”
He also denounced fearmongering politicians, such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump; Hewitt claimed they “try to frighten Americans by pronouncing disaster after disaster, which they say only they can save us from.”
Progress In America
A strong focus of Jeff Hewitt’s powerful statement was how far America has come over the years.
Hewitt spoke of America’s “agricultural and technological revolution” and expansion of “the circle of humanity to embrace the natural rights of people who were previously beaten down by centuries of oppression.”
One point made was how crime rates have decreased; “Here in America, violent crime rates have plummeted by 74 percent since their peak in 1993.”
Another strong assertion came about the decline of rampant poverty. “Since 1990, 1 billion people have transcended extreme poverty,” Hewitt said.
This fantastic progress, in Hewitt’s words, is the result of our laws holding “arbitrary political power subject to the rule of law.”
Hewitt then discussed what the Libertarian Party firmly believes is holding our nation back: the government.
Speaking against rampant discrimination and division, Hewitt asserted that “Old-party politicians seek to divide us by nationality, by race, by religion, by gender and sexuality, and by any other means they can think of to create categories of people whose rights somehow matter less than the rest of ours.” He then affirmed the Libertarian belief that “All Americans should be equal before the law”.
Moving onto our economic situation, Hewitt stated that “Our federal government lacks fiscal discipline. Our national debt has skyrocketed to almost $22 trillion.” Affirming another Libertarian belief, he stated: “It is not acceptable for politicians to rack up this kind of debt.”
Hewitt then spoke out against the “absurd security theater” of the TSA, and the NSA’s “unconstitutional mass spying on Americans”. To summarize, “End the surveillance state!”
Continuing the Libertarian Party’s grievances against the government, Jeff Hewitt spoke against rampant war, stating that “Never-ending wars make Americans less safe.” He also renounced the “acts of cruelty” occurring against peaceful immigrants at the Southern border: “The United States should welcome immigrants.”
A Libertarian Future
Hewitt affirmed that the Libertarian Party can bring Americans together in this era of divisiveness.
“Libertarians stand against these injustices, and for the proposition that Americans deserve better”, he testified. “While Republicans and Democrats careen toward socialism and fascism, Libertarians stand for the timeless principles of justice; the self-evident truths of individual freedom; and the rights of every person to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
He went on to state that “Americans are better than our current government,” and noted that “elected Libertarians are already hard at work cutting taxes, slashing red tape, shrinking government, and offering thoughtful, pragmatic solutions to day-to-day problems.”
He ended his address by inviting people to “join [the Libertarian Party], as we seek peace, prosperity, and liberty for every American.”
Jeff Hewitt, the former Libertarian mayor of Calimesa, California, narrowly won a seat on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors in 2018. He represents the county’s 5th district. He defeated his opponent, former Republican Assemblyman Russ Bogh, with 51.9% of the vote. Many saw the race as a critical victory for the Libertarian Party, as Riverside County’s population is greater than that of 15 states. His delivery of the official Libertarian response shows how crucial this victory was.
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