In short, because I think our society is on the brink of disaster, economically, politically, and environmentally.
But that’s not the only reason. Basically, I’m running because for years I have seen injustices and dangerous situations going unanswered and even unmentioned by the mainline politicians. Nobody says legalize heroin for the terminally ill, no one says outlaw pitbulls, after they’ve been responsible for 62% of all fatal dog attacks in the past nine years, nobody stands up and says let’s jail people who smoke tobacco near children, and near anyone for that matter, no one sits-in at the Capitol and demands the Pardon of the Cannabis prisoners, rotting in cages in State custody. Then there are the economic injustices, like a billion-dollar corporation paying a lower income tax rate than a poor roofer making $7950, like one individual receiving $545k/yr in PERS pensions, while the voters of Josephine County are reviled as cheapskates because they refuse to pay the $130k/yr cost of a new deputy, even though it is the State’s and the Governor’s Responsibility under the Oregon Constitution to promote the “peace, safety, and happiness” of the Citizenry, which means that the State has the Responsibility to provide police protection if the County cannot manage it. There are over 1100 PERS recipients receiving pensions of over $100k per year, and since PERS costs tend to add about 21.5%, longterm average, to county and city hiring costs, it is clear that if PERS costs didn’t exist, then the first $100,000 of just one of those 1100-plus individual pensioners could have provided police protection to a valley of 17,000 souls who must largely fend for themselves, due to the incompetence and immorality of the current administration in Salem.
Another great injustice,whose victims have been without political voice for so long, is the serving of meat in state prisons. This violates the deepest moral and religious values of vegan, vegetarian, and Hindu-American taxpayers in Oregon, and, since the AMA has stated that a vegetarian diet is a completely healthy diet, there can be no reason to continue this injustice any longer. Actually, the property rights of all Oregonian taxpayers are violated by the serving of meat in prisons, since meat costs so much more than beans and other high-protein sources. All taxpayers would have their property rights protected by the implementation of vegetarian diet in state prisons. Prisoners would be free to use the money they earn to purchase non-refrigerated forms of meat or fish through the mail, and the State would provide them with B12 tablets.
So the social and economic injustices that have gone unrectified for decades were also a major contribution to my mailing my name in as a candidate.
Another big reason I ran was because, for a long time, there were only three Candidates listed as running for the Libertarian Party of Oregon’s nomination, and they were all Republicans. I could not let that stand. For the Libertarian Party to be represented by someone like Ms. Rafferty would be tragic.
When I sent my name in, I explained that I planned to run a largely local campaign, and not to accept any donations. I also said I would not spend over the $750 spending limit above which the State requires you to form a “Campaign Finance Committee”, and to submit a report anytime you spend any money at all. This is all part of the “regulations”, purported to prevent unfair elections, which virtually guarantee than no Individual, on their own, could become Governor of, or Senator from, Oregon. But you should have, and do have, the Right to spend your justly acquired money as you see fit. Nor should you have to engage in any collectivist activities, like forming a campaign finance committee which obviously involves the labor of others, to run for office. Moreover, the reporting requirements over $750 would be extremely arduous for any person running on their own to comply with. They are, in my view, a form of involuntary servitude, or slavery, and I would not comply with them on principle, unless I were running a full-scale political campaign and had a hired staff who could deal with all that trivia. The Liberals, in their so-called drive for election reform, have made sure than no Individual on his own could ever get elected in their wonderful democracy. The effects of the Liberal’s reform measures are often worse than those of outright Reactionaries.
I did not pledge not to spend any money at all because that would have precluded my having to mail a letter, or print my platform on a piece of paper, or any other costs associated with local campaigning like cost of transportation to events, etc.
I also wanted to run because I see the People suffering so miserably from the inflation which the Democrats and Republicans have forced on them through the Federal Reserve, and the vast media propaganda machine that brainwashes the public into accepting this theft. Inflation is theft, and all governments want it and promote it. It is the theft of the wealth of the working class, to keep them in the working class, and the Democrats are its biggest proponents. It grieves me to see children growing up in this hopeless inflationary poverty, where the poor do not know from week to week what vital cost or food item will inflate next. This inflationary tyranny of the Democrats and Republicans must be crushed politically at the polls, and by running I am giving the public a chance to send that crushing blow to the swindling inflationists.
I also saw that if I didn’t run, no one else would run whose platform was even remotely close to what I think is necessary for America: a radically pro-Individual-Free-Market Capitalism, championing the small businessman, the worker, the artisan, and the small investor, melded to a stringent environmentalism, much more radical it seems to me than the namby-pamby rumblings of the environmental “movement” which has completely failed to stop the destruction of the Earth. I thought a genuine Libertarian who also espoused a radical Environmental Plank would have appeal to a good number of people in Oregon, while my Animal Cruelty Prevention planks would appeal not only to vegetarians, vegans, and anti-vivisectionists, but also to our fellow-vegetarian Friends in the Hindu-American Community in Oregon, whose Rights are also violated with impunity.
So I thought my Candidacy might be the filip that would catalyze a new political wedge of thought. Maybe you could call it Enviro-Vegan-Libertarianism, although I’m pretty sure that I only encompass a tiny fraction of the current Libertarian Party with this melding.
I also wanted to get an entire platform, that reflected that combination of political and ethical philosophies, down on paper into a written document with specific planks. As one astute British politician once urged, “Policy, not politics.”
Additionally, I thought I’d be a suitable Libertarian candidate because I have read extensively in Libertarian literature: works and lectures by Rothbard, Mises, Hayek, Ron Paul, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, Arthur Seldon, and others. Though I think Professor Rothbard’s “Anarcho-Capitalism” is a feasible social system, and that Mankind will eventually arrive at such a system if it survives current times, I do not think America is currently at all prepared for such a system, and that if we could arrive at the Jeffersonian Ideal of a Minarchist, or minimal government, Republic, determined by democratic elections, we would have accomplished much. Let’s carry out the Jeffersonian Revolution of government securing Individual Inalienable Right — its sole legitimate function — and we will have done something which has never been done in the world, but must be done.
Another necessary Gubernatorial function which I think I would fulfill better than any of the other Candidates would be my willingness to meet with the public through speeches, press conferences, and public questionings. If elected, I plan to speak in every town that has a town hall or county building in the State within the first 180 days of my administration, and I will respectfully request that the Native Tribes permit me to visit their Lands and address their Elders, and listen to their concerns. If elected, I will use my bully pulpit to speak out on issues that concern me pertaining to matters within the State of Oregon. I believe that this is a necessary function of any Governor — to meet regularly, face to face with the press, and not just through the ventriloquist’s dummy of a Governor’s spokesperson.
Finally, one other reason I ran was because I was somewhat inspired by the campaign of the Left-Libertarian and Novelist, Norman Mailer, for Mayor of New York. The fact that Mailer would try to realize his own private vision of Libertarianism in the political realm, after writing about it for decades, made me think that, at worst, my campaign would do no harm, while at best it might actually provoke massive change, but, at least, it would probably change the thinking of a few Individuals, here and there, on a few issues, but probably not enough to radically change our society. Mailer confessed after the election that he was so politically naive that up until a week before the actually balloting, he thought he had a chance to win. He got about 5.9% of the vote.
While I resolved to put myself forward as the People’s servant, I also resolved not to interfere with my responsibility to take care of myself and my property. If I were elected, then my Responsibilities would shift, and I think the enforcement of the Constitutional requirements of Article 1 Section 1 would become my first priority, since the Gubernatorial remuneration would be adequate for my personal needs. I do not doubt, despite my lack of actually being in government, that I could carry out the office as competently, if not more so, than any of the other candidates.
So, all these reasons in combination are why I’m running for Governor of Oregon. I’m disgusted with the persistence of Injustice, and I don’t want to see America, as manifested in Oregon, go down the drain.
Paul Grad, Libertarian, for Oregon Governor, paulgrad4governor.wordpress.com, http://kboo.fm/content/paulgradinterview