Jacob Hornberger

Constitutionalist, Minarchist, Radical, Classical Liberal, Libertarian

 

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Founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation (fff.org). Former program director at The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). Former trial attorney in Texas. Former adjunct professor of law and economics at the University of Dallas.

What is your position on climate change and the environment?

The matter should be left entirely to the private sector and free market. Turning it over to the government will only make the matter worse and will be used to further destroy our liberty and private property rights.

What is your position on national defense?

The government has the responsibility to defend the nation from an invasion. But no nation state today has the remotest capability or resources to do that now or anytime in the foreseeable future. We should bring all U.S. troops home from everywhere and discharge them. We should restore a limited-government republic to our land, which was our founding governmental system, along with a relatively small military force with the capability of quickly marshaling assets and volunteers if an invasion was ever threatened, much like Switzerland does. The restoration of the republic necessarily means a dismantling of the national-security state type of governmental system, which consists of the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, the CIA, and the NSA.

What is your position on drug legalization?

Legalize all drugs. A free society is necessarily one in which people have the right to ingest whatever they want to ingest, no matter how harmful or destructive. The drug war is one of the most failed, deadly, destructive, corrupt, and racially bigoted government programs in U.S. history.

What is your position on immigration?

Open the borders to the free movements of goods, services, and people. America's immigration-control system is a socialist system in that it is based on the socialist principle of central planning. To enforce it, they have brought into existence a police state in the American Southwest, consisting of fixed highway checkpoints, roving Border Patrol checkpoints, warrantless trespasses on farms and ranches, boarding of Greyhound buses to check people's papers, Berlin fences and Berlin walls, eminent domain stealing of people's property, and criminalizing the hiring or helping of people who here in violation of immigration laws. The system is characterized by death, suffering, impoverishment, crisis, corruption, and hypocrisy. There is but solution: freedom and free markets, which means open borders. It is also worth pointing out that open immigration is our heritage as Americans, as our nation had a system of open immigration for more than 100 years after the Constitution called the federal government into existence.

What is your position on gun control?

I am a 100 percent gun-rights advocate. People have the right to own weapons, not only as a principle of freedom and private property rights but also as part of the right to defend themselves from both criminals and tyrants. Gun control measures all lead in one direction--the confiscation of guns. Gun control advocates avoid addressing the real issue: What are the root causes of violence in American society. Gun control attempts to paper over that question by placing a band aid on a hemorrhaging wound.

What is your position on health care?

Abolish Medicare, Medicaid, occupational licensure, and governmental healthcare regulations. Separate healthcare and the state. This is the only solution to America's healthcare crisis. Any reform plan that leaves Medicare and Medicaid intact is doomed to fail because socialism, which is what Medicare and Medicaid are, is an inherently defective system.

What is your position on tax policy?

There shouldn't be any tax policy because there shouldn't be any taxes. It is morally wrong to force anyone to fund anything. One of these days, people will recognize the virtues and benefits of voluntarily supported limited government. But if people favor the use of taxation to fund government, it's better to have an indirect tax, like a sales tax, than a direct tax, like an income tax. An indirect tax entails less intrusiveness into people's lives and less destruction of liberty than a direct tax and an IRS to enforce it.

What is your position on monetary policy?

Separate money and the state. Repeal legal tender laws and abolish the Federal Reserve. Leave people free to determine their own money. The free market produces the best of everything. It would do so with respect to money.

What is your position on fiscal policy and the national debt?

Enforce the debt ceiling by not permitting the federal government to borrow any more money once the debt ceiling is reached. if that means the closure of the federal government, so be it. By dismantling all federal welfare state and regulatory programs, departments, and agencies (including the drug war) and the federal income tax, and by restoring a limited-government republic with a non-interventionist foreign policy, federal spending plummets to minuscule levels.

What is your position on trade?

I favor unilateral free trade. No trade agreements. The U.S. should simply abolish all restrictions on the ability of Americans to trade with whomever they want. It is not the job of a president to serve as an international agent or salesman for U.S. businesses.

What is your position on abortion/reproductive rights?

Pro-life. But I don't place a lot of confidence in a criminal justice system, which orients toward punishment after the fact, to reduce the number of abortions. I place much more confidence in private counseling groups and church groups to accomplish this goal.

What is your position on education policy?

Separate school and state, in the same way our ancestors separated church and state. the state has no more business in education than it does in religion. Repeal compulsory attendance laws and school taxes and sell off the school buildings. The free market produces the best of everything. It is the only solution to America's perpetual education crisis. School vouchers, which conservatives support, is just another socialist confiscate-and-redistribute education reform plan that more deeply embeds the state in education.

What is your position on Social Security and Medicare?  

Repeal both of them immediately. They are both socialist programs and it is impossible to reconcile socialism with a free society. They are also based on the concept of mandatory charity, which is also impossible to reconcile with both freedom and charity. Charity, to be meaningful, must come from the willing heart of an individual, not at the point of an IRS gun. Both programs assume that younger people, church groups, community groups, and others cannot be trusted to take care of parents, grandparents, and others in need on a voluntary basis. I reject that notion. It is insulting and demeaning. There is no doubt that most people can be trusted to step forward and help others in need. We just need to recapture faith in ourselves, in others, in freedom, and in God. Freedom really does work.

What is your position on energy policy?

Get government out of the energy business entirely. Leave energy to the free market.

Why are you running for president?

I want to be free. I want to know what it's like to live in a free society. For 30 years, I have battled for liberty in the educational arena. At this point in my life, I want to take on the people--both Democrats and Republicans--who have destroyed our freedom in a more direct way, in the political arena by running as a Libertarian against President Trump and whoever the Democrats nominate.. That necessarily means raising people's vision to a higher level--one that asks them to consider what it really means to be free and what is the legitimate role of government in a free society.

What issues do you believe should be key issues in this race?

(1) Foreign empire and interventionism and the national-security state and its dark-side policies and practices (e.g., assassination, coups, torture, secret surveillance, wars of aggression, invasions, occupations, sanctions, embargoes, secret prison camps, and undeclared wars), (2) the drug war, (3) healthcare, and (4) trade and immigration.

What is your strategy to win or effect change in this race?

Adhere to libertarian principles. That is the only way to achieve a free society, which is not only my goal but has also been the goal of the Libertarian Party since the very first day it was conceived in David Nolan's living room in Colorado. I believe it is entirely feasible to achieve our goal but it can only be done by raising people's vision to a higher level--one that inspires them to join us in our quest for a free, prosperous, peaceful, and harmonious society.

What makes you a Libertarian?

I believe that unless someone initiates force of fraud against another, the government should just leave people alone.

What do you believe the role of the Libertarian Party should be?

To fight for liberty by waging aggressive political campaigns against Democrats and Republicans by employing our weapons, which are principles, ideals, and sound ideas on liberty. I'll put those up against all the power and money in the world.

What do you believe is the proper role of government?

(1) To protect the nation from an invasion, which is a non-existent possibility now and into the foreseeable future. No nation-state has the remotest military capability, the resources, or the money to cross the oceans and successfully invade the United States, especially given how well-armed the American people are. Thus, we only need a basic army to mobilize the nation in the event an invasion is ever threatened and not a massive military-intelligence establishment that is inherent to totalitarian regimes. (2) To provide a judiciary that enables people to peacefully resolve disputes; and (3) to go after murderers, rapists, thieves, burglars, frauds, and anyone who violates the rights of others.

What makes you qualified to be president?

My unwavering commitment to a free and just society.

If you had one personal or professional reference to make your case to be President, who would you pick, and what would they say about you?

Ron Paul, who is one of my real-life heroes. He paid me a huge honor by writing the following in my newest book My Passion for Liberty: "When I hired new staff and brought in new groups of interns, I would always recommend that they read everything they could get their hands on from Jacob Hornberger’s Future of Freedom Foundation. Jacob’s book is a battle cry against the tyranny of the state. His is not an offensive battle, but a fight to defend us against a state that wants to trample us, rob us, and ultimately kill us. That is why I am so happy to see that Jacob has written this very personal memoir of his life, and especially about his conversion to libertarianism. I am proud to call Jacob my good friend and I am so pleased that he has written this book.”

What do you believe has held the Libertarian party back from Electoral Success, and how will you change that?

Most Americans are not yet ready for freedom. In fact, many of them are convinced they already are free. They reflect the words of Johann Goethe: None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. But Americans are seeing the soaring suicide rates, including among young people, the massive drug addiction and alcoholism, the irrational acts of violence, the forever foreign wars, the assassinations, torture, surveillance, and other dark-side practices. Many of them are figuring out that something is fundamentally wrong with American society. They just don't know what it is. We Libertarians do know. We know that both Democrats and Republicans have destroyed our freedom. We Libertarians just have to keep fighting for liberty with truth and principles. At one point or another, people will join us because libertarianism is the only way out of the socialist, interventionist, and imperialist morass into which both Democrats and Republicans have plunged our nation.

How will you drive media, and what would you tell Libertarian delegates about your experience and track record in the media?

By adhering strictly to libertarian principles. If we try to be like Republicans or Democrats in order to be considered "credible" to the mainstream media, why should they cover us. If we tell them that we favor the abolition of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, drug laws, economic regulations, drug laws, immigration controls, trade restrictions, foreign interventionism, coups, sanctions, embargoes, public schooling, farm subsidies, and other such things, that stands a much better chance of attracting the attention of a reporter, columnist, or editor.

If elected, how would you govern as the only elected Libertarian in Washington with Congress controlled by the other two parties?

Well, I have no delusions of grandeur. I think the best we can do is fight as if we can win by employing our principles and then let the chips fall where they may. But hypothetically speaking, a Libertarian president could (1) issue pardons for all non-violent offenders in the federal system; (2) rescind all executive orders establishing sanctions, trade wars, and tariffs; (3) order the secretary of defense to bring all troops home immediately from everywhere and discharge them into the private sector; (4) order an immediate downsizing of America's domestic empire of military bases and U.S. military personnel; (5) request that Congress repeal drug laws and exhort the American people to pressure them into doing so.

 

 

How will you answer a voter’s concern that they are unwilling to vote for a Libertarian because you are unlikely to win?

Tell him that by voting for the Republican or Democrat candidate is wasting his vote because it is like a grain of sand in the ocean. By voting for the Libertarian candidate, he is helping to send a powerful message to both Democrats and Republicans that he wants them to shift to a libertarian direction. Thus, his vote for us has greater impact in terms of moving the country in a better direction.

What message would you deliver to attract Non-Libertarian voters?

Both Democrats and Republicans are leading America in a very bad direction. Join us Libertarians and help us lead America to liberty, peace, prosperity, and harmony with the people of the world. A life of liberty is worth fighting for, especially given that it would bring a much deeper meaning to people's lives.

What makes you the best candidate to lead the Libertarian ticket in 2020?

My unwavering commitment to libertarian principles. I believe our principles are our biggest asset. Not only are they founded on moral principles, they are the only thing that works--the only thing that will resolve the many crises that Democrats and Republicans have foisted upon our land.

How would you bridge the factional divide in the Libertarian Party?

By focusing people's attention on the goal line--the achievement of a free society, which I believe is very attainable in the short term.

How would you apply the non-aggression principle to policy?

By calling for the immediate dismantling, repeal, or abolition of every single government program, practice, department, and agency that violates it.

What is your fundraising experience, and how will you finance a national campaign?

I've run a non-profit educational foundation for 30 years. If people like our Libertarian principles, they will fund me or whoever else is the LP presidential nominee. if they don't, they won't. That's the way it should be. It's worth mentioning though that we will never have the money that the Democrats and Republicans have. That's because their base of support is so large. If there were no campaign finance limits, libertarian millionaires could donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to the LP presidential candidate. That's how Eugene McCarthy got funded in the 1968 New Hampshire primary--by large donations from just a few donors. That's the real reason the Democrats and Republicans enacted "campaign finance laws" that restrict people to donations of $2,800--they're scared of the competition. But I believe that if we adhere to our principles and fight as Libertarians, we can overcome their money and their political power.

What campaign organization do you have in place for a national campaign?

I have Jake Porter of the Iowa LP managing my campaign. Not only is he a super good guy, he is an absolutely fantastic campaign manager. I also have three of the best social media experts in the movement managing my social media. No one is a professional but that's what I love about my campaign--the people who are gravitating to it are people who love liberty and who are bringing their special knowledge and expertise to my campaign. I am very lucky and very grateful.

Describe your campaign to date

It's running on two levels: intra-party by going to state nominating conventions and outside the party by waging an active campaign among non-libertarians in North Carolina, where the LP is participating in the Super Tuesday primary on March 3. I have been attending gun shows in North Carolina and also campaigning among African Americans with respect to the drug war, which I consider the most racially bigoted government program since segregation. People can go to the blog section of my campaign website--jacobforliberty.com and see all the things I've been doing in North Carolina to advance liberty and the LP. We made some headway. A black columnist for the Carolinian in Raleigh has written an article describing my campaign and says he is considering voting for me and exhorts his readers to do the same. I also was invited to do a podcast by the editor in chief of the Charlotte Post, an African American newspaper in Charlotte.

Will you be at the Libertarian National Convention in Austin, Texas?

Yes

What is the status of your campaign?

Actively seeking the nomination.