A few months ago, IPR readers had submitted questions for LP Presidential candidate John McAfee to answer for consideration in his run to be the Party nominee. Here are the questions and responses received (no editing). Enjoy!
What do you think the three most serious problems facing our country at this time? Which one of those would you address on your first day in the White House?
The single most serious problem facing our nation is the threat of cyber war. I understand that your readership is largely Libertarian and this is not a classic Libertarian issue. But it is an existential one for all of us. A recent report to Congress estimated a 90% death rate after a successful strike on our infrastructure. 9 out of every 10 people.
In order to enjoy Liberty we must exist. So my first day in office would be spent putting the pieces into place to fix our cyber defense systems.
The other two issues that I see as most important are the War on Everything, which must end, and our dependence on legislation to solve our problems. Most of the other “issues” stem from these.
You recently made some major changes to the platform posted on your website. Why did you do so, and how can we be sure that this new platform, rather than the old one, is representative of the positions that you would actually campaign on, if you got the nomination?
The campaign platform has evolved, and will continue to evolve.
It has never been intended to be a strict accounting of my personal views, although personal views of mine have featured in every iteration. I seek to represent, not to dictate. I seek to serve, and the idea of service demands inclusiveness.
The campaign platform has at every turn been a collaborative work and a living document. Ultimately, the platform that I carry with me to the national stage will be influenced and improved in part by the unique perspectives and input of the people taking the time to read these answers.
What step will you take to end the deployment of U.S. troops abroad?
I would recall them immediately. Congress has not declared war on any nation; the authority of The President should be sufficient to do most of the work.
How will you end the drug war?
The key question here is not to ask how. There are no shortage of suggestions and ideas on how to do this. The problem space is well explored. All that is required is the will. And I have it.
Any measure within the scope of Executive authority would be implemented immediately, and there are plenty. Other reforms would require working with Congress. Finally, a President determined to end the drug war must be committed to working with the states on issues that fall within state jurisdiction.
If elected, I would be committed to pursuing every avenue. This unjust and destructive drug war must end, along with all of the other wars being waged against us with money that we have had taken from us.
The election season always brings out the less than stellar aspects of government, culture and the economy and puts all of our problems into focus. Is there anything going right? Anything to be proud of currently in these United States of America?
We can and must be proud of the principles upon which America is meant to exist. A country of free individuals that have no king; we govern ourselves. We are all equal. And we are determined to make it work.
We have never, as a nation, lived up to perfection in these principles. We are only human. There have always been problems – always been terrible things afoot. But being American is about trying to do better, and learning how to do better. We may never get it perfectly right, but we have a lot to be proud of.
Your past public statements on the role of government straddle the line between “hardcore libertarian” and “outright anarchist.” You clearly understand that government does little or nothing well. And yet when it comes to your marquee campaign issue, cyber security, you call for the creation of a new government bureaucracy, the Office of Digital Transformation. What makes you think the government can run cyber security from Washington, DC as an authoritarian central planner any better or more efficiently than it runs anything else?
Government must do one thing well, or we are all doomed. It must protect the population from foreign threats and invasions. If it cannot do this – do we have a country? Will we for very long?
Coordination does not imply authoritarianism or even centralization. Our cyber defense must be massively distributed. But it still must be coordinated. In this case, we are so far behind and so much must be done quickly that the creation of the office is entirely appropriate.
But this idea must be viewed in the larger context. I advocate shuddering the TSA, the FDA and a few other three-letter monstrosities. I am committed to breaking the congressional addiction to government spending and reducing government across the board. The relative cost of this vital office is insignificant in this context.
The National Debt infects the future earnings of children who can’t even vote yet like a BrutPOS virus to the tune of $19 Trillion. What is your plan to pay it off?
This is a complex and massive problem that cannot be answered in a paragraph. But what is clear is that it will never be solved so long as we continue to print fictional money and spend what we don’t have.
Knowing that your chance of winning the presidency is virtually zero, what can you tell the voters that will convince a substantial number of them to consider permanently ditching their support for the GOP, the Democrats, or so-called independency and join the LP?
I disagree that my chances are virtually zero. If nominated I absolutely can win the general election.
How vigorously do you intend to ENFORCE the bill of rights?
Enforce is an ugly word and I would choose not to use it. I intend to protect and empower the Bill of Rights with extreme vigor. I also intend to educate the nation and lawmakers on how it must be applied to our new digital existence.
Although new to the Libertarian Party, you seem to have held libertarian positions on many issues for years. To avoid re-inventing the wheel and brush up on issues you are less familiar with, what books on libertarian philosophy, libertarian policies, and free market economics have you read recently and over your lifetime? Which of these books changed your views or influenced you the most?
I don’t have much time to sit and read these days, so I depend largely on the perspectives and insights of the many people I meet every day to inform me. And I have learned a lot about Libertarian philosophy and policies since I have joined the party.
When I was much younger I read “Civil Disobedience.” More than any other book, reading that one helped to shape my entire worldview. I may be new to the party, but I have always lived as a Libertarian would.
What will you do to increase the size and strength of the libertarian party? What will you do to recruit, train, and employ your volunteers? Will you give your campaign’s lists of supporters and donors to the Libertarian Party?
The biggest contribution I can make is to win the general election. I can do it.
I also believe it is important to support local and state candidates for office, and a McAfee national campaign would make this a priority. Winning the White House is important, but we must try and take back as much of the government as we can.
I would share anything I can with the party provided there are no legal or ethical barriers to doing so.
You’ve answered, many times, questions about what happened in Belize, and other aspects about your life that might be controversial in a presidential candidate. To what degree would your general election campaign focus on, or not focus on, your personal life story? Related: to what degree do you think the media will focus on these things, as opposed to libertarian policy positions or the things you would plan to do as President?
I cannot outline potential campaign strategy for the general election. My advisors would find me and break my legs.
What the media chooses to pay attention to is their business. With me in the saddle we will be positioned to exploit media attention, and there will be plenty, to use as an opportunity to spread the Libertarian message to more and more people.
None of the other nearly 20 candidates seeking the nomination has this potential built-in to their campaign.
Do you think that cyber-security should be the main focus of a 2016 Libertarian presidential campaign, as opposed to other issues more typically advocated by our candidates and found in the party’s platform?
My first answer covers this. It is the most important issue.
What qualities would you be looking for in a running mate? Had you considered or asked any potential running mates to run under the Cyber Party banner, or since joining the Libertarian Party?
There have been many possibilities at different times. My selection for running mate is Judd Weiss. You can look him up to see some of the qualities I would look for in a VP.