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Joe Buchman (right) at the debate sponsored by Americans for Prosperity

Today we had the pleasure to interview Dr. Joe Buchman, a Libertarian candidate running for the special election in Utah to replace former Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah’s 3rd Congressional District.

1.       Starting off with the easiest first: What moved you to become a Libertarian? Was there a specific event or influence in your life?

I’ve always been a Libertarian, as far as I can remember.  Don’t hit others; don’t take their stuff was a lesson from Kindergarten.  Then as a young Boy Scout, I took the Scout Oath and Law seriously as well as the admonitions of our Methodist pastor. The core of Libertarian politics (as well as my ethics and morality) is the Non-(initiation of) Aggression Principle.  There’s an “AHHA!” moment in really getting that principle that changes everything.  For me, at least, it must have come at a very early age.

2.       Why did you choose to run in the special election for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District?

As Chair of the Libertarian Party of Utah I felt it was my obligation to field a candidate to bring attention and growth to the party.  When several possibilities dropped out at the last minute, I decided to file myself.  Unlike some of the other candidates, I live in the district.  As I said on KSL, I’m running to get into the debates and educate voters about the wisdom of supporting all Libertarian candidates.  As for winning the election?  That’s not my job.  My job is to be right about the issues and communicate those positions to the voters.  After that it’s up to you (the voters) whether I win the election, or not.

3.       On your social media and in interviews, you have been telling voters to “Go to L.” Can you state for the readers what that means?

The full line is: Feeling dumped by the Ds?  Rejected by the Rs? Utah, it’s time to Go to L! – It’s a play on the (Don’t) “Go to the light” message in Finding Nemo.  The L I am urging voters to go toward  is the Light of Liberty – the emblem of our party.  And Lady Liberty stands for Love (non-aggression toward others), Life, Legalization and Let us alone!

4.       You were recently in a debate sponsored by Americans For Prosperity. What do you feel was your highlight of the debate?

My closing statement.  While it might have been a bit emotional, I meant every word.  When my grandchild is as old as I am today (59) we will be celebrating the tricentennial of the USA. Will she live in a world of Liberty?  Or will we continue our slide toward a Federal National Security State?  I fear for the latter, hope for the former and deeply desire that she be proud of what her grandfather tried to do for her.

5.       If you could change or add just one law in the federal government that would become the “Legacy of Joe Buchman,” what would it be?

I’d remove the Interstate Commerce Clause from the US Constitution.  Its application today is nothing that the founders envisioned.  It’s used to justify massive regulation, not by the US Congress, but by the independent regulatory agencies that would not exist without it.  Our states were to have been 50 laboratories of best practice, and not subject to the whims of unelected, DC based, very powerful regulators.

6.       President Donald Trump and his administration has been moving to increase Civil Asset Forfeiture. How will you as a Congressman react to this?

With legislation to stop this; with media appearances calling on voters to demand the rule of law.  The seizure of property, prior to conviction of a crime, is theft.  The only exception being catching the thief in the act.  But today, the mere possession of cash, subjects the innocent to years of court battles at great expense to recover their justly acquired property.  This tyranny of government is what our founders fought a war over to prevent.

7.       There is a ballot initiative currently in the signature gathering process in Utah to support patient access to medicinal cannabis. Do you support this initiative? Why?

I support the right of each individual to eat, drink, smoke, ingest, inject, read, watch, listen to whatever s/he discerns is best so long as it does not put others at imminent risk (eg: driving impaired).  What one does peacefully in the privacy of one’s own home should not be the concern of any government.  This is the fundamental human right of self-ownership. In the extreme, without the right to your own physical body, you are someone else’s property – the very definition of slavery.

8.       If you were to be elected, you would be the lone Libertarian in Washington, D.C. How do you plan to get legislation to the floor of the U.S. House?

Quickly, effectively and with a lot of media attention.  While I might be the lone Libertarian (elected as such) there is a significant Liberty Movement within the US House among both Republicans and Democrats.  I’d expect I’d not be alone for long either as a Libertarian, or in the broader fight for Liberty.  I’d also have partners in Senator Rand Paul (whose dad ran as the Libertarian candidate for President in 1988), or Mike Lee, or Democratic Senator Cory Booker (who just introduced a Marijuana decriminalization Bill).  The Republican Freedom Caucus would also likely find me a fan of many of their proposals.

9.       One of the highlights seen on your website was a call for peace. Given that, what would you do in regard to Syria, Iraq, and ISIS in the Middle East?

Urge US citizens to support private charities providing relief.  Call for the US to welcome all peaceful, Liberty-seeking refugees.  Call for the administration to remove all US troops.  As one member of the US House there is very little I could “do” other than be a consistent, principled voice for bringing all of our troops home from the 800 military bases in 169 nations around the planet where they currently serve.  This is an insanity we cannot afford.  It will take time to disengage, years, but the time to start that process is now.

10.   Do you have anything else you would like to say to our readers?

Once you discover the wisdom of non-initiation-of-aggression as the way of being that will give you the maximum inner peace right now, then Go to L!  We can join together, if not to win the votes to be elected, then to win the battle of ideas about the wisdom of the direction our nation must go to ensure a life of Liberty for our children and grandchildren.  I am not so much a Libertarian as I am a “radical voluntaryist” – someone who is working toward seeing a world free of the use of force (physical force) to get what a government or a gang thinks is best for themselves or for others, and to a world where we use education and persuasion to cause the social change that leads to real peace.
Joe’s Information
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