The Libertarian Party, which is the third largest political party in the U.S., is the only political party in Mississippi running candidates in all five congressional district.
Mark G. Bushman, chair of the Libertarian Party of Mississippi, said running candidates in all five districts is part of the strategy for building the party for the future.
“Freedom is always the best thing for the economy, and that is what the Libertarians stand for,” Bushman said. “The Libertarian Party has the best economic program of all the political parties. Some of the best economists like Alan Greenspan are Libertarians.”
Bushman said his party supports free trade, but is suspicious of treaties like NAFTA.
“NAFTA or GATT could have done with one page,” he said. “A lot of the trade treaties we are suspicious of because they are very large and complicated, and who knows what all is in them? They may actually suffocate free trade.”
Bushman said business people in Mississippi would benefit under Libertarians because the party is opposed to unnecessary paperwork and a burdensome government. The party has about 200 elected officials nationwide, but none in Mississippi.
Andy Rouse (firstname.lastname@example.org), a self-employed computer programmer, is the party`s candidate in the District 1 race. Retired school teacher Will Chipman (email@example.com) is the District 2 candidate. C.T. “Chuck” Scarborough (CTS@math.msstate.edu), a college professor, is the District 3 candidate. Bill Fausek, (WFFHZT61@aol.com), the District 4 candidate, is an engineer who formerly operated a welding equipment factory whose closing was partly attributed to excessive government regulations.District 5 candidate Ray Coffey (CosmicJester@juno.com) works in casino security on the Coast.
“We believe in the free market system,” Bushman said. “If we`re elected, our market would be stronger, we wouldn`t be suffocated by government regulations, and the economy would blast off.”
Some Libertarian philosophy sounds similar to that of the Republican Party, but Libertarians claim the country can`t depend on Republicans to cut government.
“The politicians in Washington and our state capitals have led us away from the principles of individual liberty and personal responsibility which are the only sound foundation for a just, humane, and abundant society,” said Jo Jorgensen, who was the Libertarian candidate for vice president in 1996. “Government at all levels is too large, too expensive, woefully inefficient, arrogant, intrusive, and downright dangerous. Democratic and Republican politicians have created the status quo and do not intend to change it.”
Hugh Downs, co-host ABC-TV`s 20/20, said the U.S. is really a one party country. “Half of it is called Republican and the other half is called Democrat,” Downs said. “It doesn`t make any difference. All the really good ideas belong to the Libertarians.”
The Libertarian Party (LP) National Chair Steve Dasbach said the party was created in December of 1971 by people who realized that the politicians had strayed from America`s original libertarian foundation, with disastrous results.
“Their vision was the same as that of America`s founders – a world where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, a world of peace, harmony, opportunity, and abundance. Libertarians are practical; we know we can`t make the world perfect. But, it can be better. Libertarians will keep working to create a better, freer society for everyone. As William Allen White said: “Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others.”