Freedom For President: The New Party for Conservatives
The media endlessly shouts the names, Trump, Cruz, Clinton and Bernie. While the media promotes debate and slander between them, a third party is stirring. America may not know him yet, but thousands do. This candidate is running for president and his name is Freedom.
Armed with the motto, “Live Free or Die,” Austin Petersen is rapidly becoming a headlining contender as the presidential nominee for the Libertarian Party, according to a recent poll.
This is paired with the growing consensus that Petersen won the first-ever televised Libertarian debate, hosted by TV personality John Stossel, on Fox Business.
Born and raised in Peculiar, Mo., Petersen has started his own consulting firm, Stonegait LLC, worked as the former director of production at FreedomWorks, associate producer for Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show, “Freedom Watch,” on the Fox Business Network and contributed on Fox News and Fox Business.
Petersen hopes to turn this experience into a successful presidential campaign, running with a merit and ideology based on freedom.
“Freedom is the ability to do what you want with your body, provided you harm no one else,” said Petersen.
Like a porcupine, the unofficial party mascot that only attacks when attacked, Petersen is ready to make his case for America’s next political steps.
Petersen credits the growing problems in America to a rise in government involvement.
“There is a belief that somehow the government might be able to make us all equal when the reality is that free people are not equal and equal people are not free,” Petersen said.
While Petersen is socially tolerant, he insists the government should not be given control of the American people.
“People think it is possible for our government to create some form of utopia here on Earth, which is fallacious,” said Petersen.
This ideology is the backbone of the conservative argument against Obamacare, the U.S. healthcare reform law, signed by President Obama in 2013, that expands and improves access to healthcare and curbs spending through regulations and taxes.
Libertarians would make the case that the American people should be allowed to decide whether or not they wish to hold health care insurance and that this unwillingly increases what citizens are required to pay in taxes.
“The reality is that life will always be difficult. The only thing that can make it easier is the more personal responsibility we take for ourselves, the more individual responsibility we have, rather than attempting to abdicate the responsibilities of ourselves and of others to governments,” said Petersen.
Libertarians are known as the party that fights for little or no government involvement and emphasizes rights of the people.
“A right is a guarantee, something that is intrinsic to you, something that you can exercise or enjoy that can not be taken away from you without due process of law,” said Petersen.
Libertarians criticize Democrats and Republicans alike, for imposing government programs such as health care plans, taxes, stricter gun laws and limitations on basic freedoms, like speech and expression.
Displayed on their website is the Libertarian slogan which simply states, “Minimum Government. Maximum Freedom.”
This ideology resonates with Petersen, who constantly stresses the importance of taking on individual responsibilities and not relying on the government to create a fulfilling life.
Some politicians insist the government should use force to create a utopian society, by raising taxes and reallocating the nation’s wealth, but Petersen describes what he thinks is a better alternative.
“Libertarians believe people are inherently good and the systems of free markets and individual liberty will allow for the cornucopia, the horn of plenty, to disperse so that we can take care of one another.”
This supports the Libertarian view on taxes, which is to tax as little as possible to promote giving, an idea that also puts the power and money in the hands of the people, not the government.
Petersen also claims the Libertarian Party is “the most fiscally conservative,” and said, “We practice what we preach.”
He says this because Libertarians propose mass spending cuts, in government programs that could be deemed unnecessary, while supporting capitalism and a free market system that can build businesses and boost the economy.
The Libertarian Party is growing and becoming a contender in many local and state offices.
According to their party site there has been an 11.4 percent increase in registered Libertarian voters and currently there are 143 Libertarians holding elected offices: 39 partisan offices and 102 nonpartisan offices.
Libertarians are also feeling some celebrity support coming from former governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, internet security mogul John McAfee and recent Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul, who is widely thought to uphold Libertarian values.
While the Libertarian Party has a small following when scaled against the GOP and Democratic parties, there is hope for the voter who wishes to support an emerging party.
“Even if you only vote third party this time and manage to give Libertarians 5 percent of the national vote total, that will trigger major party status in many states which will allow Libertarians access to ballots, so we may not win the election this time, but in four years we could be a major party because of your votes now,” said Petersen.
With conservative voters looking for a way out of voting for their current party leads, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, Libertarians are standing, arms wide open, ready to welcome the conservative or liberal refugees.