Penn Jillette will be hosting the upcoming debate among the contenders for the presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party. The event will be held in Las Vegas, on Monday, May 16, 2016, from noon to two o’clock Pacific Time. All proceeds will go to Opportunity Village, a charitable non-profit that benefits children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The participants in the debate will be front runners Gary Johnson, John McAfee, and Austin Petersen.
Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, is perhaps the best-known of the three. He has run on the Libertarian ticket in the past, and he is the candidate with the highest name recognition. Known for his support of the legalization of marijuana, Johnson is seen as a moderate among Libertarian Party aficionados. In a recent debate with the other two front runners, Johnson was the only one who supported “forced baking.” When John Stossel asked the loaded question as to whether a Jewish baker should be forced to bake a “Nazi cake,” Johnson answered in the affirmative. This question was a veiled allusion to the recent case involving a Christian baker and a wedding cake for a gay couple.
By way of contrast, both John McAfee and Austin Petersen, while being fully supportive of gay rights and gay marriages, asserted that the right to free association precludes forcing people to bake for someone else against their will.
John McAfee is well known as an expert on cyber security, and his most strongly articulated issue is the right to privacy. He believes that the private market could help to prevent terrorist attacks through advance intelligence while keeping the private lives of citizens intact. McAfee is a strong non-interventionist when it comes to foreign affairs. When asked what he was looking forward to discussing at the forthcoming debate, John McAfee replied:
“Intermingled with our loss of privacy and freedom due to our runaway Government that illegally taxes us, monitors us, tells us what to do, interferes with the internal affairs of other sovereign States, and generally is an incompetent burden to all of us, I hope to discuss our runaway system of civil lawsuits.
I, like many other prominent people in America , have been sued more than 200 times. Donald Trump has been sued more than 170 times in Federal Court alone. If lawyers perceive that a prominent person has money then a civil lawsuit becomes a type of extortion, using civil tort laws as a weapon. The cost of defending an average suit, for high profile people, is now 1.1 million dollars. Nearly everyone settles these suits for an amount less than the cost of defense, irrespective of the merits of the case. I have never settled, and have spent nearly $40 million defending my various suits. These suits are a violation of our constitutional rights and are unjust and immoral. Few people are talking about this issue.”
Austin Petersen, the youngest of the candidates and just arrived at the constitutional age of thirty-five, is also the only Pro-Life candidate among the three. Petersen is a strong constitutionalist, so he does not believe that abortion is a Federal issue. He would de-fund Planned Parenthood, but would leave the question of abortion to the states. Petersen is also for allowing all drugs to be legally available to citizens without a prescription, which would, among other things, allow women to purchase birth control over the counter. Petersen is in favor of cutting off foreign aid to all countries, and he believes we can fight terrorism constitutionally, by allowing private mercenaries to be issued letters of marque and reprisal that would allow them to combat ISIS without involving the United States in a foreign war. Young, well-groomed and articulate, Petersen is a favorite among women and younger voters. When asked to comment on the forthcoming debate, Petersen said: “I’m excited to prove why I will be the leader of a movement that will restore American constitutional values in 2016. I’ll be fighting for economic freedom and personal liberty!”
Gov. Johnson’s campaign declined to comment.
The new debate hosted by Libertarian icon Penn Jillette should prove quite interesting, and it may raise other issues not previously discussed by the candidates in earlier rounds. Tune into The Blaze at noon Pacific Time to hear a live broadcast of the proceedings as they unfold.