Up against Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat, and Rep. Denny Rehberg, a Republican, Libertarian candidate Dan Cox has been overshadowed in the high profile race that potentially determines who controls the U.S. Senate.
The 36-year-old Cox grew up in Logan, Utah, before moving to Montana in 1997 where he’s since maintained ties in the Hamilton area. He spoke recently about why the American people should vote for their own principles instead of for the two-party status quo, among other issues.
With all the talk about who represents “Montana values,” how do you feel the Libertarian platform represents them?
Libertarians best represent the Constitution of the United States, and I don’t believe there’s any Montanan out there who wants to see their rights infringed upon.
What are some of the key differences between you and Rehberg’s economic plans since Republicans claim to be for limited government as libertarians are?
Firstly, I oppose the idea that we’re both for limited government. Denny Rehberg has voted to raise the debt ceiling something like 10 times, he’s voted for the big prescription drug plan, he’s part of the Republican crowd who want to replace Obamacare and replace it with who knows what, and he’s supported all kinds of foreign aid. He’s not for limited government, and if he says he is I’d like to ask him, “What is the limit?” because it keeps going up.
The Tea Party came onto the scene with a primary message of fiscal responsibility. Do you think they’ve strayed from that message?
I would say overall they have. As somebody who was in the movement – I’ve spoken at Tea Party rallies, given advice on land rights, and we had a Celebrating Conservatism group that had some 500 members in Ravalli County a month come – I guess I’d say almost all of the Tea Parties were taken over by the Republican establishment.
So the Tea Party isn’t the Tea Party anymore, so you don’t see their rallies going on because the message was lost and became, “Vote Republican, because our guy sucks a little less than the other guy.” I think that’s where the real problem lies.
Speaking of, “vote Republican because our guys sucks less,” what do you tell people who are told they’re throwing their vote away if they vote for a third party like yourself?
I always tell them you should always vote for liberty. Regardless of the other arguments, if you vote contrary to your liberty, you’re basically voting for oppression and enslavement of yourself and it doesn’t make any sense. How can you at the end of the day say, “We’re a winner,” when the person you voted for got you less rights and a bigger government? I’d rather stand alone on principles than stand with the pack on tyranny and oppression.
Do you feel that Republicans are at odds with you and perceive Libertarians as stealing votes?
I don’t think I’m at odds with the Republican voter, but I’m certainly at odds with the Republican establishment. In my own campaign there things that are kind of fishy, like how the media suddenly came out with this big poll that only had me at 1 percent support in order to knock me out of two televised debates.
Then Denny Rehberg, of course, chickened out of one of the televised debates I was going to be included in, and it seems like they’re doing everything in their power to keep me out of the debates. In fact, if you watch (Sunday night’s debate), Denny Rehberg tried to do everything he could to pretend I wasn’t even on the stage.
Why do you think the media overlook Libertarian candidates like yourself and even presidential candidate Gary Johnson?
I think it’s because they power and influence the media either through owning it, or by funding it so heavily through advertising it’s only obvious they feel obliged to be biased towards them because they’re paying their advertising rates — not Libertarians. So they’re not going to spend anytime covering us. In a way it’s like being bought off.
What’s your stance on gay marriage amendments being proposed in states?
It’s really not the government’s business to be licensing marriage, period. My position is that the government needs to be getting out of the business of licensing marriages. It was something done after the end of slavery, and people wanted to promote that black and white people shouldn’t marry, and that’s the origins of the licensing. I just think that’s something that’s between the church and two people, and definitely not in the authority of the government to be deciding who can love who.
Do you think the government should be involved in the abortion debate?
Under the federal criteria, I wouldn’t be for any Title X funding for abortion. I believe each state should make their opinions on the criminality of abortions, but it really isn’t a federal issue. But one of the things I’m very concerned with on the flipside is some of the pro-life bills use the language that the unborn child would be in the best interest of the state, and in my opinion that puts the government in total control over a mother and her body during her pregnancy, and that could lead to other things like forced vaccinations, forced prescription drugs, and all sorts of other things a mother might not want to put into her body.
What are your stances on medical marijuana and the war on drugs?
Personally, I’m for ending prohibition altogether and have no problem with medical marijuana. In fact, the federal government has no jurisdiction in the Constitution to prohibit any kind of drug. If you think about during Prohibition, they had to have a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol. So if they didn’t have the ability to prohibit alcohol, then the federal government doesn’t have any authority to prohibit marijuana or any substance. They’re basically infringing on their enumerated powers.
The Obama administration said they wouldn’t be infringing upon any of these medical marijuana providers, but they went back on their word and started kicking in doors in Montana and that all needs to be stopped.
What do you think America’s military involvement should be regarding the Afghanistan conflict?
All of these wars are undeclared, unconstitutional wars. If the wars aren’t fit to be argued in front of the representatives of America, we shouldn’t be in them. We marched in, and we should march right out. Afghanistan is not a threat to the U.S., and they don’t have any military that’s going to come over and attack us. We weren’t attacked by Afghans, and we’re just making more enemies there.
We have to work on having a strong national defense, and get away from this national offense where we take over the whole world. We have something like 900 bases in 135 countries and it’s pretty appalling considering hardly any other country has bases outside their own country. We’re the police force of the world, and I don’t think that’s what the American people should be going towards.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
The only other thing I’d like to add is about inflation. Everybody’s talking about the $16 trillion deficit we’re in, but nobody wants to really talk about the fact we just audited the Federal Reserve Bank and found out they printed $16.1 trillion secretly and gave it away secretly to other countries all over the world at nearly zero percent interest rates. Now we have Federal Reserve Bank coming out and saying they’re going to do this Quantitative Easing 3 plan, which is open ended permanently, and they intend to print as much as $40 billion a month.
This really is one of the biggest harms to the American economy that we could possibly have, because then you deflate and devalue the currency ... .
It’s taxation on the American people no one sees, and Denny Rehberg and Jon Tester – no matter how many times I’ve brought it up in these debates – don’t want to talk about it whatsoever. They’re the ones who have empowered these banks. to overrun the American people the way they have.