Originally published on timesdispatch.com:
Sunday Q and A: Chuck Moulton
Posted: Sunday, August 4, 2013 12:00 am
Chuck Moulton, originally from suburban Philadelphia, has lived in Virginia for five years. He is now a doctorate student in economics at George Mason University.
Moulton has been a member of the Libertarian Party since 1999. He got actively involved as a volunteer in 2003 and ran for Congress in Pennsylvania in 2004, receiving about 3,800 votes.
He previously served as state chairman of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania and vice chairman of the national Libertarian Party.
What is the mission of the Libertarian Party of Virginia?
The Libertarian Party of Virginia’s mission is to move public policy in a libertarian direction by electing Libertarians to public office and educating the public about the libertarian alternative to big government.
Can you list a couple of issues of key importance to Virginia Libertarians?
Libertarians are passionate about economic liberty, personal liberty and international liberty. Economic liberty includes reducing taxes, spending and regulation while promoting sound money, school choice and a free market in health care. Personal liberty includes ending drug prohibition and NSA snooping while promoting marriage equality and gun rights. International liberty includes a non-interventionist foreign policy, free trade and open immigration.
Many of Virginia’s tea party members and Republicans have libertarian leanings. How does the Libertarian Party differ from these groups?
Although the Republican Party has some libertarian-leaning politicians (such as Ron Paul, Rand Paul and Justin Amash), they tend to depart from Libertarians on social issues — especially LGBTQ rights and abortion. The tea party started out very libertarian but was quickly co-opted by neoconservatives. Unlike Libertarians, the tea party and its politicians often demonize immigrants, are military hawks and want to lock up marijuana users.
Virginians do not register by party. Do you have a sense of how many Virginians are involved in the Libertarian Party?
The Libertarian Party of Virginia has 650 active paying members, our Facebook page has 8,375 likes, and 2012 LP presidential candidate, (former New Mexico) Gov. Gary Johnson, received 31,216 votes in Virginia (0.8 percent). Our support base would likely triple in size if Libertarians realized the Republican Party is a dead-end, given that 1988 LP presidential candidate Ron Paul received 107,451 votes in Virginia’s 2012 Republican primary.
Do Libertarians sense an opening to your message in Virginia this year? If so, why?
Yes. Terry McAuliffe is a traditional tax, spend and regulate Democrat. Ken Cuccinelli is the worst sort of social conservative: He wants to ban oral sex and is a vocal opponent of marriage equality. The sensible libertarian center has a wonderful third choice in Robert Sarvis, the Libertarian Party candidate for governor.
What are the next steps for your party’s development in Virginia?
The Libertarian Party of Virginia aims to run more candidates each year at all levels, leverage social media to get the libertarian message out, and organize more local affiliates.
Finally, on a personal note: Do you collect anything?
I don’t collect anything. In my spare time, I play a lot of online chess.