By Rick Vandeven
In August, Missouri Libertarians will have the rare opportunity to participate in a contested statewide race. Jonathan Dine of Kansas City, and Herschel Young of Harrisonville are vying to win the Libertarian Party nomination for U.S. Senator from Missouri. This is an important race as Libertarians have had scant representation in either chamber of U.S. Congress. As more and more voters identify as independents, the Libertarian Party is in a prime position to provide them a viable alternative to the failed politics of the old duopoly parties.
I recently had the opportunity to ask both candidates a series of questions regarding issues that are important to the voters.
Please introduce yourself.
Herschel Young: I am a life long resident of Missouri. I proudly served the United States of America in the Army. I also served 8 years as City Alderman, and was elected Presiding Commissioner of Cass County. I have ran for U.S. Congress. I am a small business owner having owned and operated Young's Services for 25 years. I look forward to serving the citizens of Missouri as your next U.S. Senator.
Jonathan Dine: I believe our country is in dire need of a better representation of the people. Career politicians are too secluded in Washington, and have forgotten what life is like outside of politics.
I want to make sure you understand that I am not a politician. I believe the answer to America's political problems is the same commitment to freedom that earned America its greatness: A dedication to civil liberties and personal freedom that marks this country above all others.
I'm tired of the constant fighting of the Republican and Democrats. The "us vs. them" mentality is hostile and counterproductive. Beating the other team has become more important than finding the solutions to America's problems.
I do not see real leadership qualities or a devotion to freedom and the Constitution from either of my Republican or Democrat opponents. Neither is serious about stopping the reckless spending, restoring your civil liberties, or lowering your tax burden. The Democrat and Republican politicians have created the status quo, and do not intend to change it.
I truly believe we need more ordinary Americans to stand up, and take an active role in our government. I understand the vices of our government mainly because I am NOT a part of it. I have an open mind, and will listen to the people of Missouri. As your Senator I represent you. I am your voice. When I vote on bills, or propose legislation, I'll remember my life experiences and the people I represent.
Upon taking office, what will your first goal be?
Jonathan Dine: I believe that all Americans are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. One of the first things I will do as your Senator is call for the repeal of the federal income tax, and the abolition of the Internal Revenue Service. The way is clear: we must concentrate on the correction of the mistake of 1913. The Sixteenth Amendment must be repealed. Nothing less will do.
Reducing taxes is pointless without limiting government spending. I believe our government has strayed from its original purpose of protecting our lives, liberty, and property. Providing basic government services such as police, courts, and military defense should cost a fraction of what we now pay in taxes.
As your Senator, I will fight to end the political corruption in our system. The U.S. Congress should be a revolving door of fresh ideas. Every generation deserves the opportunity to govern themselves. I believe we need change now, and across-the-board term limits are the answer. I will propose legislation limiting terms of both Representatives and Senators. For a Representative, 6 two-year terms are enough. Senators should be restricted to 2 six-year terms.
Herschel Young: My two goals will be to protect Americans from harm, and to start rebuilding America's economic balance with the world.
There will be an opportunity to confirm at least one Supreme Court Justice during your first term. What qualities will you be looking for in a new Justice to the SCOTUS?
Herschel Young: They will have to support the Constitution 100% as it is, and also be a moral and honest person.
Jonathan Dine: I prefer someone with qualities like Judge Andrew Napolitano. He is a strong advocate of constitutional protections against government encroachment on natural and legal rights, as well as a strong advocate of broad constitutional liberties themselves. Someone who believes the government exists only to protect the rights of every individual from force and fraud, not to bully Americans to behave or risk imprisonment.
The U.S. public debt is $19 trillion and growing. What will you do as a U.S. Senator from Missouri to reduce the U.S. public debt?
Jonathan Dine: Our current career politicians have brought us to the brink of a fiscal disaster with their reckless tax, borrow and spend polices. I support balancing the budget in 2017, and I will vote NO to any legislation containing earmarks or where spending exceeds revenue.
Honesty and transparency need to be restored to our financial system. Abolish the Federal Reserve, and return to a constitutional system. A system envisioned by our nation's founders where the value of money is consistent because it is tied to a commodity, such as gold.
A gold standard puts limits on the government's ability to spend and borrow. When money is as good as gold, the government cannot manipulate the supply. It is forced to raise its revenue through taxation, not inflation. As your Senator, I promise to vote NO to wasteful spending programs, and I will only vote to reduce the size of government. I will propose legislation to restore the gold standard, and fight to make sure your tax dollars are not wasted.
Herschel Young: To reduce debt we need to bring spending under control, and cut repetitive programs and departments. We need to get government to stop imposing financial restrictions on U.S. companies by repealing NAFTA.
To find out more about the Libertarian Party, please visit the following websites...
Please ask for a Libertarian ballot on August 2.