Westbrook, Connecticut Planning Board member Joshua Katz sent the following letter to IPR about a potential bid for the Libertarian Party’s 2016 presidential nomination. Last year, Katz defeated both a Republican and Democrat in his election to the Planning Board. He also serves as chairman of the Libertarian Party of Connecticut.
What do we seek in a Presidential candidate, and in a Presidential campaign? A Presidential candidate must have experience governing. While no experience prepares anyone fully to be President, it would be folly to enter the office, or into contention for the office, without experience in governing organizations and polities.
Fighting for freedom in this country requires a President with more than ideas. It requires a President who can maneuver politically to get these ideas passed, and who can determine, in varied situations, how best to promote freedom and ensure the safety, happiness, and freedom of the citizens of this large, diverse country.
There are, though, basic ideas which any Libertarian Presidential candidate must subscribe to. The Libertarian Party should not endeavor to place into the White House anyone who would prosecute whistleblowers on diplomatic, intelligence, or military malfeasance. The first Libertarian President must immediately pardon all nonviolent drug offenders, and investigate remaining drug offenders on a casebycase basis. A review of all existing Executive Orders is necessary, with all but a few revoked immediately. The Libertarian President must then use Executive Orders to reign in out of control agencies and departments, end unlawful interrogation practices, and secure the value of our currency.
An acceptable Presidential candidate must be committed to the importance of peace, and an overriding concern for peace must define the Presidency. To understand how to make peace the defining characteristic of an administration, I will rely not on my words, but on the words of a great President who made this very same attempt:
What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.
As for what a desirable Libertarian Party Presidential campaign looks like, it must operate in a grassroots fashion. Campaign messaging should not be run out of a central office, but by empowered supporters in each town, country, state, and region. Information sharing with the national and state Libertarian Party, to the extent allowable by law, is a necessity. The campaign must work closely with affiliates, managing the campaign directly through the affiliates when necessary, and never coming into conflict with the existing state affiliate leadership. Volunteers must be cultivated, valued, and empowered. The Presidential candidate must speak and appear as often as possible, never conditioning his appearance on a minimum donation amount, but rather on scheduling concerns only.
My fellow Libertarians, I have experience governing. I have served in elected office, I have led organizations, I have managed crisis response. As an emergency management consultant, I have led organization response to emergencies. I have been a leader in this party, a state chair, and LNC member. I will run the campaign I described above. I will empower supporters to speak for me, with all the risks this entails. I will share all donor information with affiliates and the Libertarian Party, to the extent permissible by law, and ask anyone with an idea for an event to reach out to this freely available list. I will appear when requested, except in case of scheduling conflicts.
My highest value is peace, followed by an opposition to government policies that increase inequality and dependency. These values have driven my life, through my careers in emergency medicine and in education, and my political activities. I am a pillar of my community, involved not only in government, but in firefighting, emergency management, emergency medical services, and charitable endeavors. I am the fire department parliamentarian, and a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians and the New England Association of Parliamentarians. I am a Professor of Mathematics, a Paramedic, and a devoted public servant.
I am not a current candidate for the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nomination. I am, however, exploring such a move, and considering my options. I hope to hear from as many members as possible with offers of support and assistance, with advice, and with your honest opinions as to whether or not I should run. I request, though, that if you write to tell me I should run, that you tell me what you will do to help, and that you commit to giving me a Presidential token for nomination the debate at the 2016 convention.
Thank you for your commitment to freedom. Thank you for your interest in changing this country. Thank you for reading, and for your assistance. In freedom,