Wikinews interviews U.S. Libertarian Party potential presidential candidate R.J. Harris

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Libertarian presidential candidate R.J. Harris
Image: R.J. Harris.

R.J. Harris, a potential candidate for the U.S. Libertarian Party's presidential nomination, took some time to speak with Accredited Wikinews Reporter William Saturn about his campaign and issues positions.

Harris is an officer in the United States Army National Guard, currently serving in Afghanistan. He is also in his third year as a law student at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Harris previously worked as an Air Traffic Controller and small business owner. He plans to enter the race in September after completing his tour in Afghanistan.

Others seeking the nomination include Libertarian activist R. Lee Wrights, radio host Jim Duensing, former Nevada Libertarian Party chair Jim Burns, marketing executive Roger Gary and attorney Carl Person. 2008 Vice presidential nominee Wayne Allyn Root is also expected to make a run.


Ten personal questions were asked followed by ten policy questions.


((William Saturn)) What are your some of your personal achievements?

((R.J. Harris)) Being chosen by Jennifer R. Friend and her family to be her husband and keeping them happy for the last 20 years. Helping her raise our five children. Serving as a Soldier and Officer of the Republic for the last 20 years at home and on four deployments with honor, award and distinction.

Completing my training and certification as an Air Traffic Controller in the Federal Aviation Administration. Continuing my education in Philosophy and Law when time, convenience and the rigors of leading a family easily could have dissuaded me.

Running a principled U.S. Congressional Campaign which was based upon the Constitution and the Philosophy of Liberty and which NEVER personally attacked my opponent but engaged him rigorously on policy and the issues. Getting up, when Life knocks me down.

((WS)) What are your goals in life?

((RH)) To love and be loved by my family. To reason well. To be Free. To protect the innocent. To defend the Lives, Liberty and Property of my fellow Citizens of the Republic. To restore the Constitution and the Republic. To help ensure our Founders' vision of Freedom is finally realized by the entire body politic.

((WS)) Have you ever been arrested or charged with a crime?

((RH)) No.

((WS)) What historical or contemporary figures do you admire?

((RH)) The Philosophers who argued for the importance of Reason, Freedom and Liberty. The statespersons who were audacious enough to put those philosophies into practice, even at the expense of their own Lives, Liberty or Property.

Every single Soldier, Sailor, Airperson, Marine, Doctor and/or Nurse who has fought with honor to defend the Republic, even if I will never know all their names, as well as their spouses who supported them in that endeavor. Every person -- great and not -- who has struggled for the full equality of the body politic.

First among these for me are King Leonidas, Pericles , Jesus, Cicero, Pelagius, Galileo Galilei, Leonardo Da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton, John Locke, Voltaire, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Paine, John Paul Jones, Fredric Bastiat, Abraham Lincoln, Fredrick Douglass, Col. Robert Gould Shaw, Settainte (White Bear), Set-ankeah (Sitting Bear), George Patton, John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Charles Allen Rochelle, Dr. Richard Michael Settainte Harris, Sam W. Barnes, Ron Paul and Rand Paul. Aspasia, Hypatia, Mary Magdalene, every woman tortured to death for refusing to either declare herself a witch (or renounce the same) to the Church, Anne Boleyn, Mary Wollstonecraft, Betsy Ross, Annie Oakley, Molly Brown, Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, Rosalie Rochelle, Nicole Kidman, Danica Patrick, Debra Medina, D. Jill Barnes, and Jennifer R. Harris.

((WS)) Who did you support in the 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 presidential elections?

((RH)) Pat Buchanan, George W. Bush, George W. Bush, Ron Paul. Earlier on in my adult life, my political activities were limited to voting for the same party candidates as had my parents. However, as I began to read the Constitution thoroughly, and in the wake of its many abuses perpetrated by those same candidates, I began looking for others who espoused to strictly follow the Constitution as well as the Founders' Philosophies which underlie it.

This pursuit led me to Ron Paul and the discovery of Libertarianism. I will never again vote for any candidate based upon their party affiliation. What will now and forever dominate my decision is a candidate's demonstrated commitment to the Constitution and the Philosophy of Liberty.

((WS)) Have you run for public office previously?

((RH)) Yes, I was a U.S. Congressional Candidate from Oklahoma's 4th District. Due to no ballot access in Oklahoma for Libertarian Party Candidates at that time, I ran as a "Ron Paul" Libertarian Republican. Though Ron himself has a policy of non-endorsement of GOP [Republican] primary challengers against GOP incumbents, I was able to secure the endorsement of Senator Rand Paul for my congressional campaign.

((WS)) Why did you choose to run as a Libertarian?

((RH)) Because no other party so ardently champions the Philosophy of Liberty over Socialism and Constitutional Governance over Tyranny. Were they alive today, every single one of the Founders would be Libertarians. Since that age, each new generation's battle to tear down the scourges of racism, sexism, classism, bigotry, political persecution and/or religious intolerance, has been made possible by appeal to the principles espoused in the Constitution even if the people who ratified it were limited by the tolerance levels of their own generation.

Thus has the time come for candidates running on our Founders' Platform to rise up, proud of the political lineage whose generations' long aim has been the complete equality of the body politic, yet humble and weary of how prejudice undermines that legacy as well as the Philosophy of Liberty itself. Giving in to socialism will not erase the moral mistakes of the past, but it will return our children to the states of slavery and involuntary servitude against which we have so long struggled.

((WS)) What do you feel sets you apart from your fellow contenders for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination?

((RH)) I do more than preach Libertarianism, or prognosticate about all the ways the GOP or the DNC [Democrat] candidates will most certainly carry on with their tyrannies and usurpations of power, given the opportunity.

I articulate bold policy positions, as well as the means to institute them, based upon the Philosophy of Liberty and the Constitution with the aim of restoring Freedom, Liberty and the Republic. This is the definition of political courage, as taking these strong positions makes me a target for the bullets and blows of the enemies of Liberty.

But we are in the fight of our age and we must have champions willing to trade blows with the enemy, not merely repeat Libertarian platitudes. Educational campaigns have been the mainstay of the Libertarian Party since its founding; but if we are going to take that next step — to actually convince the body politic that we can put into policy that which we preach, then we must nominate a candidate who is not afraid step out, armed with the courage of conviction and lead on every issue.

Of course our ability to do this is tied to cogent articulation of the philosophy which underlies our political ideology, but for too long have our other candidates engaged in academic debates for their own sake, and not actually deigned to apply that for which they argue to that which they will do. That being said, the biggest thing that separates me from my Libertarian Colleagues is that I am not running this race merely to educate or to increase the Party's ballot access; I am running to win and I believe with all my heart that we can be -- and that we must be -- victorious.

((WS)) How often do you campaign and how would that change if you won the nomination?

((RH)) I campaign for several hours each day. Once I win the nomination the only thing that will change is that I will have to add much more travel to the schedule.

((WS)) If elected, what would you do as president?

((RH)) I will defend the Republic and the Lives, Liberty and Property of We the People. This I will do by way of projecting to the world our strength at home and in International Waters; and by ending all government infringements of the Constitution and of the People's Natural Rights. The authority to act on this promise is found in the President's constitutional Oath of Office to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." I will do no more than this and certainly no less.


((William Saturn)) What necessary freedoms are currently lacking in American society?

((R.J. Harris)) With the exception of the 3rd Amendment, the Natural Rights codified in, and the privileges and immunities established by, the remaining nine amendments of the Bill of Rights, along with elements of the 13th and 14th amendments, are routinely infringed by all three branches of the federal government through their collective and Progressive Establishment of Socialism in place of Freedom and Liberty.

These charges are made manifest by appeal to some of the very same made by the Founders of this Republic against the King of England for promulgating some of the same tyrannies which are now being foisted upon We the People by our own federal government.

To enumerate only a few levied by the Declaration of Independence our federal government has

1. "…erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance."

2. "…kept among us, in Times of Peace, [and at our expense] standing Armies…"

3. "…combined with others [NATO and the United Nations] to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving [its] Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation."

4. "…[cut]off our Trade with all Parts of the World [for products or services with which the elected majority finds disfavor]"

5. "…[imposed] taxes upon us without our consent [by way of deficit spending which will have to be repaid by those not yet old enough to vote]"

6. "…suspended Habeas Corpus and deprived "…us in many Cases of the Benefits of Trial by Jury [The Patriot Act and GITMO]

7. "…[taken] away our Charters, [abolished] our most valuable Laws, and [altered] fundamentally the Forms of our Governments" [this referring to the federal government's many infringements of out states' sovereignty]

8. "…[declared] themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in [nearly] all Cases whatsoever" [by way of gross misuse of the Commerce Clause, the Supremacy Clauses as well as many others to pass, sign and uphold onerous legislation which would never be countenanced by a free People]

9. waged the Drug and Terror "…War(s) against us [and in so doing] has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burned [or seized] our [property], [invaded our privacy, killed citizens attempting to defend their property, sexually assaulted women and children attempting to travel] and destroyed the Lives of our People."

"In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms [by begging for the cessation of: bailouts (TARP), social welfares (Obama Care), undeclared foreign Wars (Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq and Libya), taxation without representation and the devaluation of our Wealth (deficit spending and the over-printing of a declining and unconstitutional paper currency), the theft and destruction of our Property (Eminent Domain) along with the killing and incarceration of our People (the Civil War on Drugs), the sexual assault of our Women and Children in the name of security (TSA), the gross infringements of our Privacy (the Patriot Act) ]:

Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury [after TARP came bailouts for a host of corporations, the social welfares are too numerous to list, the War in Libya goes on despite its gross unconstitutionality as does the War in Afghanistan despite having met the objectives contained in the Letter of Reprisal authorizing our actions there, the debt limit is about to be raised once again, the Federal Reserve continues its quantitative easing (money printing), the Civil War on Drugs rages on despite the previous failure of prohibition and trillions spent to curb private behavior in the name of morality all to no avail, the sexual assaults being perpetrated by the TSA continue despite several state legislatures attempting to nullify them, the Patriot Act was just extended and all of this despite most of these actions not having the approval of the VAST majority of the People].

A Prince [or central Government] whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People."

It should be clear then by the enumeration of this "long Train of Abuses and Usurpations," which represents but a tiny fraction of the same which our central government is using to pursue "invariably the same Object" and that it "evinces a Design to reduce [us] under absolute Despotism."

Thus by the precedent established by the Declaration of Independence, and the Founding of the Republic itself under similar, if not even less trying circumstances, that it is the Right and Duty of We the People to use the political process still available to us to "throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for [our] future Security" as well as restore our Constitution and our Republic.

As a potential Candidate for the Libertarian Party's Presidential Nomination I would encourage the People to begin this restorative political process by electing to the Office of President the MOST Constitutionally Libertarian Candidate available and to continue it by doing the same in the election of all future federal representatives to the Congress REGARDLESS of their perceived political experience.

For certainly it is the case that nearly every single member of all three branches of the federal government are very experienced career politicians and yet the state of our Republic and the condition of our Freedom and Liberty are worse off now that they have been at any time since our founding.

((WS)) When is government necessary?

((RH)) To protect the Lives, Liberty and Property of the Citizens of the Republic.

((WS)) In a market with little or no government regulation, what prevents an entity from seizing the entire means of production and becoming the new main regulator?

((RH)) The freedom and innovation of inventors and the entrepreneurialism of their investors to produce substitute markets, products and/or services to compete with any of the same being seized or monopolized.

((WS)) In context of government's role, what are your stands on the legality of incest, bestiality and child pornography?

((RH)) As reprehensible as are incest and bestiality, policing them remains a matter of state sovereignty under the 10th Amendment. However, allowance of child pornography entails the government's enforcement of 5th, 13th and 14th Amendment violations against children and could therefore be policed by the Federal Government should the States or Native Nations fail to do so.

((WS)) Do you disagree with any parts of the Bill of Rights?

((RH)) No.

((WS)) Should the people of the United States have a right to constitutionally amend the Bill of Rights to increase the power of the federal government and limit individual rights?

((RH)) Yes, according to Locke, our Founders, Bastiat and the Philosophy of Liberty, no government actions conducted outside the consent of the People are legitimate. The Constitution is our codification of that consent and, as such, it is supreme over all other political ideologies. Of course I would very publicly argue, using the Philosophy of Liberty, for the People to NEVER consider such measures but it is their right to affect them by way of the amendment process.

((WS)) Should the lives of American citizens be valued above citizens of other nations?

((RH)) As it applies to the Natural Rights, those being Life, Liberty and Property, of all People found to be under the jurisdiction of the United States; no. However, as it applies to providing for the common Defense of We the People and the Republic; yes.

((WS)) What are your views on immigration?

((RH)) I will fight to eliminate the social welfare state and the high taxes required to pay for it, which are chasing our jobs and prosperity overseas. Simultaneously, I will seek from the Congress a very robust and permissive immigration policy to help grow our middle class, making us more competitive with other emerging markets around the world.

I will deploy the U.S. Marshals backed up by the National Guard to protect Border State property owners from violent cross-border organized crime enterprises and syndicates.

((WS)) When is war necessary?

((RH)) When the Lives, Liberty or Property of We the People are being infringed by a foreign entity.

((WS)) Are you a truther, birther, neither or both?

((RH)) Neither, although I do intend to ensure the highest level of executive and administrative transparency which will do much to resolve the propensity of some towards conspiracy theories, as well as expose potential conspiracies before they can fully develop. Since this transparency has been sorely lacking from our government of late, I will direct the Department of Justice to fully investigate any reasonably perceived recent lapses in the executive oversight of the federal government's activities.


This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.