Former Governor of Massachusetts Bill Weld announced today he is running for president against Donald Trump, hoping to secure the Republican nomination.
By John Keller | Florida
Joe Hannoush is the Libertarian candidate for District Twenty-Five of the Florida House of Representatives. He has been involved with libertarian politics since 2011 and seeks to bring that change to the state of Florida.
Keller: With a plethora of career options, what inspired you to seek a career in politics?
Hannoush: I am not pursuing a career in politics per se. I want to do what I can to inform others of a better solution to issues we face today. Running as a candidate for elected office is a great way to spread that message. I want to be the change I want to see. I am tired of complaining without offering a solution. I didn’t like the choices I had on my ballot, so I gave myself another option to vote for!
Keller: Many people when they think of government they think of Congress or the presidency. Why is politics at the state level, and in the state House of Representatives, so important and motivated you to get involved?
Hannoush: There is a saying “all politics is local”. To a certain degree, I agree. When it comes to the everyday things, it is usually the local government decisions that have the largest impact on an individuals life.
Keller: For over 150 years the United States has been locked in the two-party duopoly. What turned you on to the Libertarian Party?
Hannoush: In 2011, I took an online political quiz www.isidewith.com. The results told me my views most closely agreed with was the Libertarian Party. So I did more research on their platform and looked into the presidential candidate on the Libertarian Party ticket, Gary Johnson. I liked him a lot and found I agree on almost everything. So I voted for Gary in 2012 and the rest is history!
Keller: Being a swing state, Florida has both strong Democratic and Republican support, as well as significant moderate support. Why is a new voice, such as a libertarian, necessary in the two-party system in Florida?
Hannoush: The two-party system is not a good one even if the two parties are Libertarian and Anarchist. I believe in more choices and I know others do as well. I don’t care if I agree with other political parties or not, they deserve to get the same media exposure and debate and ballot access as the Republicans and Democrats currently do.
Keller: Florida is often brought to the political forefront, and were put into the national spotlight during the sanctuary city debate, a debate that still exists today. Where do you stand on your critical issue?
Hannoush: I believe an individual, whether they are a citizen of the United States or not, deserve the same freedoms I have. My parents left an oppressive government and came to the United States shortly before I was born. Because of that freedom to act for the betterment of life, liberty, and happiness, I have a freer life. I want that opportunity to exist for others as well.
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?
Hannoush: My view of the Constitution is what I believe the Founding Fathers generally intended. That is that individuals have inherent rights and the Constitution instructs the Government on how to preserve those rights for the individual.
Keller: Libertarians tend to believe less government is better government. What is one area of government, however, you would like to see operating?
Hannoush: I do believe that national defense is the responsibility of the government.
Keller: Branching off of the last question, what is one area you think there should be cutbacks or even elimination in the state of Florida?
Hannoush: Florida, being a “swing” or “purple” state has led to the two major political parties here to be very divisive. There is too much power in the “leadership” of the political parties. No one is defending the rights of the people. The letter next to a person’s name holds more power than what that individual believes. I want to end partisan politics in Florida. A candidate that is giving the libertarian message will win every time.
Keller: What can the people of District 25 expect should you be elected?
Hannoush: That I will be a voice for the individual. I won’t vote based on what party leadership or lobbyist agenda is being pushed.
Keller: If someone was interested in getting involved or donating, how can they reach out to your campaign?
Keller: Do you have any final remarks for the readers?
Hannoush: I am currently pricing campaign materials and need as much funding as possible to help spread the message. Please donate to my campaign at paypal.me/joehannoush and follow my campaign at facebook.com/joehannoush and email [email protected] Thank you!
I would like to thank Joe Hannoush for his time. Be sure to visit his website and get involved!
By Mason Mohon | United States
It is easy to be all talk and no fight, especially in Washington.
Ivanka Trump recently went to D.C. with a bucket list of Democratic-leaning policies with the intention of forming political coalitions with Democrats to get the policies through.
What Democrat will ever work with someone that has Trump in their name, though. Clearly, none of them. As USA Today reported:
“I’m no longer surprised,” Ivanka Trump said about the partisan lines in Washington. “I think that there are always people that will not move off of their talking points and then there are a lot of people who will. You have to find the people who will; that’s how you build coalitions.”
The issues she sought to solve were paid family leave, equal pay for women and affordable childcare. These are obviously progressive policies, and Ivanka is slightly more left-leaning then her father, but none of this would budge any Democrats. Going across the aisle does not look like an option for the president’s daughter.
“It’s always easier to be for something and not get it done than to accommodate another perspective and get it done,” Trump said when USA TODAY asked why she thought she wasn’t getting more collaboration from Democrats who have been broadly vocal about their support for the policy.
Easier said than done rings the truest in Washington, and this is just another shining example that principle means nothing in politics, while party means everything. When you get elected, it is no longer a matter of what you do and don’t do on actual policy, or what your ethical codes are. All it really is is a game; people will go and vote based on whether or not there is a D or R in front of the name, and not on principle for conviction.
Ron Paul wrote in the first parts of The Revolution that politics is mostly fake these days. The wars will always continue, the taxes will always be levied, and spending will always increase.
Political parties are a sad joke in American society. A meaningless duopoly is all that runs Washington, and Ivanka’s plight is just another example.
Image from Fortune.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of 71 Republic.
By Addie Mae Villas | United States
Growing up, all I ever knew in the political world were the Democrats and the Republicans. Never did the idea of a third party occur to me, nonetheless one that best reflects my views. When entering the world of politics, I naturally aligned myself with the Republican Party and the conservatives within. However, this was just a matter of what my parents were, and the things I believed to be true. Then, I began to think and read and truly understand what was happening around me. Upon picking up a copy of The Libertarian Mind, I soon began to realize that I was not a staunch conservative, but rather a freedom-loving libertarian.
My long overdue transition from a blind following of the GOP to being highly skeptical came with an awakening. Essentially, I opened my eyes to the corruption and immoralities occurring in Congress within the two-party system. More often than not, the two parties of Congress are actually just one, one that strives to give itself more power. What really began to show the GOP’s lack of morals was the recent FISA Reauthorization Act, which gave the NSA more power. Subsequently, it allowed for less oversight, claiming this was necessary for national security. When the GOP stands on the grounds of small governments, they are the most hypocritical. Support of a larger military, police force, and government control of simple social issues shows this hypocrisy.
As a conservative, the Libertarian Party always appeared as a weed smoking, gun toting, somewhat crazy group of people. Being an outsider looking in, it was a party that always seemed distant. Of course, the famous Gary Johnson gaffes did not help in reassuring the public in the party’s sanity. During the 2016 election, the LP had a lot of potential candidates. With newcomers such as Austin Petersen, the LP became more and more appealing. However, with all of the events that have transpired over the past week, it becomes increasingly difficult to completely align with the Libertarian Party. Isn’t the switch from the GOP to the LP going from one corrupt party to the next?
Upon hearing the news that the Libertarian Party was not planning on having Ron Paul speak, I was appalled. Despite not having a long history with the LP, I know Dr. Paul is the backbone of the modern party. His ideologies, along with Rand’s, caused me to challenge my traditional conservative beliefs.
When Dr. Paul criticized the LP’s poor ability to attract votes, he did not speak without warrant. This comes especially when the youth of America want (and need) a third party. Currently, 71% of millennials believe that a third major party is needed. Also, the majority of millennials classify themselves as independents and choose not to pick a major party. The youth is the future. If the LP wants to be successful, they need to reach out to younger generations and stress a political system that has more than two parties.
With all the events that are transpiring in the LP, it’s difficult to dive into a party that cannot unify itself successfully or move forward in attracting more voters. The controversies swarming the Libertarian Party are concerning. As it is the one true political party that stands for liberty and freedom in all aspects, it would be a shame if party affairs end up being its downfall. The cracks and corruption that are being shown now cause the party to appear just as the two other major parties, rather than providing the breath of fresh air that everyone needs.
By Jesse M. Fullington | TENNESSEE
If you’re reading this article, you have niche interests. You don’t simply engage with politics at the national level, you seek information and opinions regarding state and local politics, too. It isn’t as sexy or as flashy as The Liberty Act, but you understand meaningful, positive change is made in one’s own community. Perhaps you’re familiar with the decidedly unsexy and unflashy groundwork of political campaigning; you’ve spent hours walking door-to-door in the heat or you’ve developed a peculiar familiarity with hollow legislation to name roads. For those of you who possess such an intimate acquaintance with the labor of political campaigning, the bulk of this article will simply send every empathetic nerve in your body ablaze with frustration. Or, I suppose if you’re a member of the Republican or Democratic parties of Tennessee, you might grin with villainous glee at the snares and foils other political parties face.
You see, before the victory parades, speeches, or handshakes, every candidate must collect some amount (typically twenty-five) of signatures from the voting public within their district. Those who support such requirements argue the signature standard prevents “fly-by-night candidates” from saturating the candidate market; that such a simple regulation is so easy to obtain, anyone with ambitions of leadership ought to complete the task within a day. This argument makes some sense, but only if one examines the issue through the lens of state-sanctioned parties.
In Tennessee, any candidate running for state office for either the Republican or Democratic parties must gather those twenty-five signatures. This rule holds consistent for Independents, too. However, if one’s principles guide them towards another private political collective, even nationally recognized ones such as the Libertarian Party (of which I am a member in good standing and candidate for state representative), Green Party, or Constitutionalist Party, one must acquire 33,844 signatures to simply run for office.
The state and the duopoly exert their control by creating the illusion of debate. I’m reminded of what Noam Chomsky said when criticizing the American two-party system: “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum…”
Both old parties are terrified of the changes occurring in politics. The spectrum has expanded beyond their arbitrary limits as we explore new territories of technology and human connection. As society becomes more comfortable questioning tradition and convention, more committed to the ideals of individualism and liberty, those who hold power lose their grip on control.
I encourage you, dear reader with niche interests, consider this nonsense regulation the next time a politician in Tennessee, or anywhere else, tells you they stand for freedom of choice. Ask them if they support intellectual diversity and the marketplace of ideas. And when they say yes, because they will always say yes, ask them why they’re afraid of competition. It can only be fear driving them to support this restriction. We should aim to put a little more shake in their boots.
For more information on Jesse’s campaign for State Representative of the 79th District call (731) 215-3929 or visit https://www.facebook.com/Fullington4Liberty.