The Sayings of Candidate Badnarik
The Libertarian Party presidential nominee hails from Austin
By Michael King, Fri., June 11, 2004
Recently nominated Libertarian Party presidential candidate Michael Badnarik, an Austin-based computer trainer and self-described "constitutional scholar," was on the stump this week, "addressing the G8 summit" that is, speaking to a protest rally in Savannah, Ga., near the restricted Sea Island summit site and making appearances leading up to the state Libertarian convention in College Station June 12. Last year he spoke at length to Austin writer Devin Greaney, declaring the following positions:
"The campaign occupies literally every moment of my time. ... I would rather be skydiving, drinking beer, and chasing beautiful women. I'm trying to rescue the Republic."
The Second Amendment is "not negotiable," and Badnarik refuses to get a Texas concealed-weapons permit because "rights do not require permission."
The USA PATRIOT Act: It violates the Fourth and Sixth Amendments (against unreasonable searches and closed trials).
Affirmative action: "Either we are all created equal or we are not. ... Affirmative action does almost as much harm as slavery."
Opposes: federal subsidies for agriculture, mass transit, public education, foreign aid of any kind, and all nonconstitutionally specified programs. "We're going to stop taking their tax money [and] the people will become richer than their wildest dreams."
The military: He would bring home all U.S. troops now based in other countries. "The reason our country was attacked [on Sept. 11, 2001] was because we are an empire builder."
Campaign finance reform: an unconstitutional restriction on free speech as well as "stealth protection for incumbents."
The war on drugs: "The cure is worse than the disease. ... Your liberty allows you to make bad decisions."
Same-sex marriage: "The federal government has no business telling anyone what they can do in their bedrooms, and if someone else does not like it that's too damn bad."
Third-party candidates: "Not voting your conscience is a wasted vote. If you are in prison and there is a 50 percent chance you would get lethal injection, 45 percent chance you would get the electric chair, and five percent chance you could escape, would you vote for lethal injection because that is the one you are most likely to get?"
Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt: "Both dictators and evil. I rail against Roosevelt the most. He did what Hitler did, only Hitler said what he was doing."
Community: "Communities don't have rights. Only individuals in the community have rights. ... That idea of community rights is firmly rooted in the 'Communist Manifesto.'"
"If you expect the government to get better by itself, you are probably smoking something not currently legal." (The entire interview profile can viewed at Greaney's Web site, http://home.att.net/~devingreaney.)
Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at austinchronicle.com/opinion.