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 | United States
Coercive Paternalism can be defined as intervention in cases where people’s choices of the means to achieving their ultimate ends are confused. An argument of this nature, notably by Sarah Conly, rests on four main points: (1) Such a view promotes individuals actual goals. (2) Coercive Paternalism is effective. (3) The benefits are worth the cost. (4) Coercive Paternalism is efficient. Coercive Paternalism offers an ambiguous and unclear argument that ignores many of the complexities of the issues.
The Argument For Paternalism
A Coercive Paternalist would make an argument such as this: (1) People want to live long and healthy lives. (2) Eating processed foods and consuming drugs hinders people from living long and healthy lives. (3) Thus, the government must ban certain foods and drugs to promote the goal of the individual. Assuming the premise to be true, a rather noncontroversial claim, logically the next step is to examine the second step of the argument. Does consuming drugs hinder people from wanting to live long and healthy lives?
Examine, for instance, veteran suicide and veterans who deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Marijuana has been instrumental, if not vital, to veterans dealing with the mental complications involved with going into combat. By denying veterans drugs to promote the ‘individuals’ goals, they are actually exacerbating the mental complications of veterans and creating an environment in which veterans are forced to live shorter, mentally unhealthy lives as they tragically fall victim to the grip of suicide. Is this outcome the promotion of ‘long and healthy lives’? No, and thus Coercive Paternalism is unable to provide the needs of individual citizens.
The Failure of Coercive Paternalism
As it is unable to provide the needs of the individual citizens, it can not be effective. Paternalism itself is the idea in which the government must assume a role similar to that of your parent because the individual is inadequate to take of themselves and make good choices. Are any two individuals the same? Are any two children raised the same? Even siblings are often raised differently as a parent learns more, realizes mistakes, and adjust in real time to the needs of their children. The government, however, can not operate in this way on an individual level. Instead, they institute a policy under the basis of ‘one shoe fits all’. A clear example of this is common core education. With more money in the education system, improvement has been rare to come by. RealClear Education reports, “Between 2013 and 2017, only five jurisdictions logged improvements in 4th-grade math and just three in 8th-grade math.” As no two individuals develop the same, no government program can claim to be for the benefit of every citizen.
The theorized benefits of paternalism, that cannot apply to every citizen due to the nature of individuality, are not worth the cost. From 2013-2017, a total of $375,577,635,000 was spent federally, with an additional $840,757,185,970 spent in the same time frame by the states. In 2013, roughly 62,146,000 children went to school. That means that between 2013-2017, a total of $1,216,334,820,000 was spent on 62,146,000 school age children, or roughly $19,572.21 per student. As a result of paternalism, $1.2 trillion was spent to see only eight jurisdictions see an increase in math skills of America’s youth.
With the cost not being worth the near invisible benefits, Coercive Paternalism fails to also be effective. While it is not effective, it also fails to be efficient. Prohibition has historically failed to be efficient. The Eighth Amendment, passed in 1917 and ratified in 1919, was passed to prohibit the sales, transportation, importation, and exportation of “intoxicating liquors”, also known, more commonly, as alcohol. During the Prohibition Era, drinking remained constant. It is very likely that it not only stayed at the pre-prohibition levels but that drinking increased following the prohibition. When the government stopped sanctioning the legality of the alcohol industry and its services, it was forced to go into an underground state, run by speakeasies throughout the nation. The people reverted to the black market to get the products they desired, proving government regulation of the market to be inefficient. Furthermore, the government prohibition on the use of marijuana proved again to be a failure for the U.S government. Historically speaking, prohibition has always been ineffective.
Coercive Paternalism fails to promote the individual’s actual goals, is not effective, and is not worth the cost. The theory of Coercive Paternalism offers a simple answer to the complexities of society that fails to respect an individuals rights, needs, and the pursuit of happiness.
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John Keller | United States
The Libertarian Party
John Hospers (1918-2011) was the first Libertarian presidential candidate. He defined Liberty best in 1971, during his campaign for President in 1972, that “Liberty is the absence of coercion by other human beings.” The Libertarian Party began forming on July 17, 1971, with a meeting of David Nolan, John Hospers, Ron Paul, Tonie Nathan, Edward Crane, and others. The new political party was officially announced January 31, 1972. The first platform of the party focused on ensuring a gold-backed currency and a return to the classical liberal thoughts held by many of the Founding Fathers of America. The Libertarian Party’s goal was, and is, to shrink government and return rights and liberty to the citizens of the United States of America.
“The only proper role of government, according to libertarians, is that of the protector of the citizen against aggression by other individuals. The government, of course, should never initiate aggression; its proper role is as the embodiment of the retaliatory use of force against anyone who initiates its use.” – Dr. John Hospers
A Brief Introduction to the Philosophy
The philosophy of libertarianism is rooted in texts from the Age of Enlightenment (1685-1815), such as the theories of John Locke (1632-1704), in his The Second Treatise of Civil Government, written in 1689 as well as the philosophies and writings of Thomas Paine (1737-1809), who wrote Common Sense in 1776.
In addition, the Libertarian Party has been influenced by many modern-day philosophers as well. The most notable of these philosophers is Ludwig von Mises (1891-1973) who wrote Human Action in 1949. His philosophies dominate the Libertarian Party’s economic platform, and his work was so influential the Mises Caucus formed within the party. After his death, the Mises Institute was founded in Auburn, Alabama in 1982 with the mission, “To advance the Misesian tradition of thought through the defense of the market economy, private property, sound money, and peaceful international relations, while opposing government intervention as economically and socially destructive.”
History of the Libertarian Movement (1972-2000)
The Libertarian Party has historically been the strongest third party in the 20th century. In 1972, John Hospers received 3,674 votes. In 1996, the presidential ticket of Harry Browne and Jo Jorgensen received 485,759 votes.
As the presidential election began to get started in 1976 there were serious doubts in the minds of conservative voters on the integrity of the Republican Party following the Watergate Scandal in 1972. The Libertarian Party become a place to vent frustration with government, and with their message for smaller government and personal accountability attracted many new voters.
The 1976 presidential ticket consisted of former state representative of Vermont Roger MacBride for president and California lawyer David Bergland for vice president. His campaign focused on issues, such as ending the Federal Reserve and returning to a gold-backed currency, as well as non-interventionist foreign policy. Democratic nominee “Jimmy” Carter spoke of being an outsider “untainted” by the politics of Washington D.C. while Republican nominee Gerald Ford focused on his ability as the chief executive, relying on his incumbent status to help carry the election in his favor.
By the end of the campaign, Roger MacBride and David Bergland had won over 172,557 votes, almost 170,000 more votes than the first ticket just four years prior and having ballot access to thirty-two states.
In 1980 the Libertarian Party hoped to capitalize on the moment of the previous year and nominated Ed Clark, who had received almost 378,000 votes in his campaign for Governor of California in 1978, for the presidency. David Koch, a successful businessman and vice-president of Koch Industries. The election began heavily contested.
President Carter faced immense backlash for his foreign policy in the Middle East and many Americans had deemed it improper for an actor to be president. The Libertarian Party and the Libertarian presidential ticket was seen as a viable third option. Although Reagan won in an electoral landslide, the Libertarian ticket received almost one million (921,128) votes.
The Reagan Administration proved to be very popular, and in the 1984 election, it showed. Former vice presidential candidate, now presidential candidate, David Bergland was only able to generate a quarter million votes.
One of the most iconic, although not the most successful, presidential runs of the Libertarian Party took place in 1988. Former congressman Ron Paul of Texas received the nomination and Andre Marrou, a former member of the Alaska House of Representatives, was nominated as the vice presidential candidate. The campaign Ron Paul ran was described by one reporter as a “Kamikaze Campaign” for being so dedicated to the issues while he stood, according to the journalist, “as much chance as I” at becoming president. Ron Paul focused on non-interventionist foreign policy, ending the Federal Reserve, getting the government out of education, and focusing on returning the American dollar to the gold standard. On top of these key issues, former Congressman Ron Paul made a pillar of his campaign the War on Drugs.
Although unsuccessful, the Ron Paul for President Campaign raised the campaign standard and redefined the Libertarian Party, highlighting the power and ability of a grassroots campaign as he raised over $2 million in donations.
In 1992 Ron Paul’s former running mate, Andre Marrou, took the nomination and continued the message of Ron Paul, but faced limited success as Americans flocked to Ross Perot, an independent from Texas who attracted over 19,000,000 votes.
Following the success of Ross Perot, the Libertarian Party knew that large success against the two-party duopoly was possible. Harry Browne received the 1996 presidential nomination. As a veteran, he pressed Bob Dole for claiming “My generation won [World War Two]” and his strong ties to the past and not to the future. When election time came he had attracted nearly half a million votes – losing votes to the popular Ross Perot who gained over 8,000,000 votes for the Reform Party.
In 2000, Harry Browne again took the nomination and ran a similar campaign to the campaign run in 1996. He won nearly the same number of votes but served a larger role.
In the controversy over the election in Florida, where Ralph Nader arguably detracted enough support from Al Gore to allow George W. Bush to win the state, the story in the state of Washington is often forgotten.
Harry Brown’s campaign attracted enough votes, alongside Pat Buchanan’s campaign for president, to swing the state away from George W. Bush and in Al Gore’s favor, ensuring the presidential nominee for the Democratic Party, Al Gore, took the state, winning him an additional 11 electoral votes.
As the century turned and George W. Bush took the White House, the Libertarian Party began to go through a reformation process.
New Age Libertarianism (2004-2012)
In the twenty-first century, the Libertarian Party began to reform its priorities in its platform. The reformation became highlighted in the 2004 Libertarian National Convention as it became the most contested presidential primary in the thirty-two-year history of the Libertarian Party.
The three leading candidates were Aaron Russo, Gary Nolan, and Michael Badnarik. Aaron Russo was leading in pre-convention polls for the nomination. He was running his campaign on criticizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and ending the War on Drugs.
Gary Nolan, polling second, focused his campaign on Anti-Bush doctrine. He planned to focus campaigning on his home state Ohio with the goal of swinging the state away from Bush and winning the state for the Libertarian Party. His platform consisted of repealing the USA PATRIOT Act, ending the war in the Middle East and bringing home the troops, while rallying against the income tax.
Going into the convention Michael Badnarik was predicted the least likely of the three major candidates to win the nomination. His campaign was built on the principles of laissez-faire economics.
With Aaron Russo in the lead, it seemed clear that the Libertarian Party was beginning to switch away from the Ron Paul Era of economic focus and begin focusing on social issues, with economic policy on the back burner; however, a surprise came at the 2004 Libertarian National Convention.
On the first ballot, the vote counts for the nomination were all within twelve votes of each other; with Russo gaining 258, Badnarik 256, and Nolan 246. On the second nomination ballet, Nolan was eliminated and surprisingly endorsed Badnarik. In the final vote for the nomination, Badnarik took the nomination 417 votes to 348 for Russo, with six delegates voting “None of the Above”.
Although the focus on economics continued in this election cycle, a focus on social issues was beginning to grow within the party. Badnarik began his run immediately, trying to build off the momentum of the convention, but he struggled at first getting the Libertarian Party on board, especially those who had supported Aaron Russo who felt “cheated” at the convention.
By election day, the highest poll for the Libertarian ticket was at 5%, a poll conducted in New Mexico. On election day Badnarik, who held high hopes, pulled in about 400,000 votes, only about 0.32%. Following the results, he pursued, with support from Green Party candidate David Cobb, a recount in the state of Ohio, which President George W. Bush had won by about 100,000 votes. If the recount had been “successful” then Ohio would have swung to be a blue state, and Senator John Kerry (D-MA) would have been president.
In 2008 the election became key as there was a rejection of the Bush intervention policies. Former congressman Bob Barr was nominated by the Libertarian Party to run for president. He held high hopes going into the general election as many conservatives were growing tired of the pro-war leanings of the Republican Party, and the dedicated hawk candidate John McCain (R-AZ). However, Barack Obama (D-IL) came out as a strong anti-war candidate and supported social liberty and Barr began losing support. He tried to shift focus towards an economic policy where he believed he held the edge over the other candidates, but the American people were more focused on issues regarding foreign policy, and Barr was only able to gain a half million votes come election day. As the election cycle wore down the Libertarian Party began to strategize for 2012.
Libertarianism in the Modern Age (2012-Present)
In 2012 the upcoming nomination for president at the Libertarian National Convention was projected to be a toss-up between former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and Libertarian Party Vice Chair R. Lee Wrights. Going into the convention, Gary Johnson was being seen as an unlikely choice. He was a former two-term Republican governor in the state of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003. He had joined the Libertarian Party December 2011, just six months before the national convention after he failed to gain any traction in the Republican New Hampshire primary. On the other hand, R. Lee Wrights had been a member of the Libertarian Party since 2000 and had served for two years, prior to the 2012 Libertarian National Convention, as Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party (2004-2006).
Just as in 2004, the convention turned out to be an upset. Gary Johnson, on his platform of fiscal responsibility and social equality, won a surprising landslide victory at the convention, receiving 419 delegates (70.4%). Jim Gray, a California judge, received the nomination for vice president. The pro-immigration and anti-intervention ticket won considerable support as anti-war Republicans who could not support Mitt Romney voted Libertarian. Gary Johnson, on election day, made Libertarian Party history by receiving 1,275,971 votes.
Gary Johnson continued to fight for the Libertarian message and in 2016 sought to be renominated for the Libertarian presidential ticket. He was renominated in a landslide, gaining more than 30% more delegates than the runner-up Austin Petersen. Bill Weld, a former Republican governor of Massachusetts, was selected as the vice presidential nominee.
The 2016 election proved to be pivotal. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld began speaking throughout America on the message of peace and prosperity, speaking to the people about pro-immigration policy, low taxes, balanced budgets, and more. In short, the campaign rested on the idea that the government should stay out of your wallet and out of your bedroom. Bill Weld ran a strong campaign under Gary Johnson, and together they received 4,489,235 votes for the message of peace and prosperity.
Leading to the 2020 Libertarian National Convention much is unknown, but it is clear that even if there is not another Bill Weld or Gary Johnson, the idea and message of Libertarianism will spread. As the message spreads and more and more people are informed of the principles of peace and prosperity, it is clear that the breakout year for the Libertarian Party is coming soon as momentum grows.
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By John Keller | United States
Jilletta Jarvis is a proud mother from Sandown, NH and is running for governor to, as stated on her website, “Work with experts, find the best solutions possible for the people she represents, and do everything in her power to cut costs and come in under budget.” She is running under the campaign slogan “Think Differently. Vote Differently.”
Keller: You’re running for governor. What inspired you to pursue the office and begin a career in politics?
Jarvis: I am honestly tired of the elitism and political status quo practiced by the typical politician. The practice that we continue to do that that have failed, but throw more money at them as a way to fix a problem has not been working, we need outsiders of the political process – people who have to live with the consequences of bad laws, people who have had to budget, who are willing to look for new solutions, to evolve political process and look to solutions that work. People who are willing to work for the people instead of simply blaming failures on the opponent party. I was raised with the philosophy that if you can see the solution and you can be the solution then you step up and do it. So I am stepping up to be part of the solution.
Keller: You are running as a libertarian. The media often portrays it as anarchy and no government. What is libertarianism to you?
Jarvis: Every party has members that interpret the Party’s Platform in different ways. This diversity is helpful to the general population, though not entirely so to a political party as a Political Party is supposed to be a brand so that voters can understand better what they will be getting if they vote for a member of that party. While there most certainly are anarchists in our party, mostly the party is about minarchism – or those who support small government that is dedicated to providing certain services/protections. These includes the protection of life, property, and the equal pursuit of happiness. Libertarians do not believe that government should bail out failing business regardless of how big they are. The one thing that every member of the Libertarian Party agrees on is that no one has the right to use violence against another in order to get what they want and that your rights do not entitle you to infringe upon another person’s rights.
Keller: Branching off of that last question; what attracted you, and what should attract voters, the message of libertarianism?
Jarvis: In NH, we tend to be individualists. We want to live simple lives free of the interference of others. This is a very libertarian philosophy. We want you to have the right to be who you are, keep government out of your bedroom, allow you to keep more of your money in your pocket, and we believe the government should be protecting those rights, being responsible when budgeting with the money they have been allowed by the people, and that they should always be responsible to you – not the other way around. I think a lot of people in NH are attracted to this idea.
Keller: What is the first thing you want to see accomplished should you be elected the next Governor of New Hampshire?
Jarvis: Transparency. I want every person in NH to have the ability to know what’s going on in the state without having to fill in a form in triplicate to get the information. I would also appoint a group to oversee public employee complaints and act on them as if a person is being paid by tax dollars they should be held to a higher standard. I also would appoint a commission of educational professionals and real people to start working on the educational funding issue in NH and how to incorporate school choice without raising taxes. I would start putting together a balanced budget that takes into account future spending as well as fiscal year and find ways to reduce that spending with as little negative impact to people as possible. Such as working on fixing the welfare system in NH. It rewards people for being out of work instead of helping them get back to work. This is backwards thinking and needs to be fixed.
Keller: Minimum wage is becoming a growing issue in America, but notably in New Hampshire where business on the border with Massachusetts, where the minimum wage is $11/hr, is struggling to compete. What do you plan to do, as governor, to help struggling businesses and what are your plans with the minimum wage?
Jarvis: I would not institute a minimum wage. It has already been proven that in order to compete with Massachusetts employers, NH employers are voluntarily raising their own wages. This is exactly what the Libertarian Party suggested would happen and it has.
Keller: A campaign is defined by its planks. What three planks define your platform? In other words, what three policies are most important to you?
- Each year the state budget has gone up which increases the cost to do business in the state and raises property taxes.
- Lowering the State Budget so that less money is required from individuals and businesses would allow individuals and businesses to grow and succeed with-out having to leave the state to do so.
- The wealthy should not be the only people to be entrepreneurs in New Hampshire. By reforming our Occupational Licensing requirements we would be allowing fair and equal opportunity for entrepreneurship to all people in the state.
Your health and well being is important to Jilletta. It has been proven that cannabis is an effective treatment in many ailments including type 2 diabetes and obesity. It has also been proven that it is not a gateway drug and the possibility of overdosing on it are so small that it could be said to be impossible. Jilletta would support the legalization of this drug and promote its use in the treatment of those addicted to opioids as it has proven affective to end addiction of those drugs that can lead to death. Jilletta would also invite the lawmakers from Portugal to come and speak with the legislature regarding their success at cutting their drug addiction rates in half in just 10 years. It’s time to start using proven successful methods instead of the failed “drug war” which has seen violence and death due to drugs increase, not decrease.
- The Law Enforcement Action Partnership cites the War on Drugs as the root of the problems in today’s society and that drug abuse is a health problem, not a law enforcement matter.(https://lawenforcementactionpartnership.org/our-issues/drug-policy/)
- Drug abuse and related violence across the globe grow and flourish under prohibition.
- There has been proven success in decreasing the number of drug deaths and addiction rates in other countries.
- Reforming our policies and practices to those with proven success would serve not just those addicted, but all of our communities.
Government belongs to the people. The only way they can know if their representatives are fulfilling their campaign promises is through government transparency.
- This means data should be easy to access and to understand (including the budget)
- Elected officials are not the only government employees and while the voters are able to hold them accountable on election day, other employees should also be held to high standards. NH Courts, Departments heads, and other areas paid for with tax payer money should be held to the highest standards possible.
Keller: Branching off of the last question, how are these things accomplished? What would that legislation or that action look like?
Jarvis: Economic Change is about fixing some regulations – such as the energy regulations that prevent businesses from thriving in NH and the Occupational Licensing requirements that sometimes require a person get a degree in something that has nothing to do with the business they are trying to get into, thus preventing lower income people from bettering their lives for no benefit to the occupation. This will take working with the legislature in order to review and fix the regulations already in place. It also means working on our property tax issues (thus education funding) as if business grows, the property taxes need to go down so that employees have some place to live. I would also veto any law that stifles economic growth in NH.
Drug Reform – Again, working with the legislators on a clear law that identifies Cannabis legalization, age requirements, sale/distribution rights, home cultivation rights, pardons for non-violent offenders already in the system, and relocation of funds from the criminal system to the medical system for treatment.
Accountability – An executive order to form an oversight committee would be my first executive order as governor. Then I would work with employees to make website changes for ease of access and searchability for anyone looking to find public information, required forms, business requirements, etc. Also the Weekly FaceBook Live events that I hold every Thursday at 7pm would continue so that every person continued to have the opportunity to speak to their governor and ask me questions or tell me about issues without having to set up an appointment or come to Concord.
Keller: What sets you apart from the incumbent governor, Chris Sununu, and the potential democratic nominees?
Jarvis: People know where I stand. I do not say I will do one thing and then do another. I don’t blame the other parties for things I have not done, nor will I. If people want a candidate who will allow them to keep all of their rights, including their right to purchase a firearm for protection like my Republican opponent promises and also want a candidate who will give them legalized cannabis and fight for equal rights for all citizens like my Democratic opponents promise – there is only one option – me. Add to this that I want to find ways to lower their tax burden and that I am a political outsider – unlike any of my opponents and you have only one candidate who is truly fighting for the people of NH.
Keller If people want to get involved with your campaign, where can they get in contact with you?
Jarvis: People can reach out to me on my FaceBook page www.facebook.com/Jarvis4Gov, through twitter @Jarvis4Gov, through email at [email protected]. To volunteer, they can fill in a form on my website at https://JillettaJarvis4NH.com/volunteer. To donate to the campaign https://JillettaJarvis4NH.com/Donate or to request interviews/media appearances/etc. via email at [email protected]
Keller: Do you have any final remarks for the readers?
Jarvis: Do not let the others convince you to vote out of fear. It is time to think differently and vote differently.
I would like to thank Mrs. Jarvis for her time in conducting this interview, and be sure to get involved if interested.