Since both of the major political parties are or will be nominating a liberal as their presidential candidate (Republicans have nominated John McCain, and Democrats will nominate either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton), I am in search of other alternatives. I never thought the day would come when I would have to vote for a third party candidate or a write-in, but here we are. Below is my analysis of the leading Libertarian party candidate for President, Wayne Allyn Root.
About the Candidate: Wayne Allyn Root is a business mogul, TV producer, best-selling author, professional sports handicapper, and prospective Libertarian Party presidential candidate based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Root attended Columbia University as a Political Science major (graduating in 1983 in the same class as Barack Obama).
|Issue/Voting Criteria||Candidate’s Stance||Candidate’s Record||Grade|
|1. Strengthening the Family||From Root’s website
-”I support Freedom and Parental Choice in the Educational System- We need to give parents and students the freedom to pursue the education of their choice- just as my wife and I do by choosing to home-school our 4 children. I support giving parents control of the education of their own children, instead of government bureaucrats. I support utilization of school choice, vouchers or tax credits on the state and local level to increase education competition.”
-”I support the legalization, regulation & taxation of Online Gaming”
|From Wikipedia and BlackJackHero.com
-Root was the creator, executive producer and co-host of King of Vegas on Spike TV. First airing in January, 2006, King of Vegas was a gambling competition where players competed in a variety of different games to win a million dollars.
-Root has been married to a former Miss Oklahoma, Debra Root, for over 16 years. The couple have four children.
-Root is also the author of several books, including The Zen of Gambling, and “The King of Vegas’ Guide to Gambling”
|1A. Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion||From Root’s website
“I believe abortion is a matter of personal choice and not intended for federal government intervention. It is a States’ Rights issue. Let’s get the federal government out of a woman’s right to choose what to do with their own body- this will prevent the death of innocent women at the hands of butchers in back-alleys. BUT I also support common sense limitations on abortion.”
|1B. Pro-Traditional Marriage
||From Root’s website
-”I support gay rights and civil unions. Gay marriage however is not a federal issue. It is a States’ Rights issue only.”
-Root derides the Republican party for making “the banning of gay marriage a top priority.”
|2. Defending Our Country||From Root’s website
-”Support our troops with the best weapons, protective body and vehicle armor.”
-”Let’s keep our military and national defense strong. One way to ensure this is to dramatically reduce foreign aid (especially to our enemies) and foreign military bases across the globe.”
-Although a longtime staunch Republican who had been a big contributor to Republican candidates throughout the country, Root has never held political office. (Therefore he doesn’t have much of a record if any, on the issues to the left.)
-”I’m certainly not the usual Presidential candidate as a small businessman and son of a butcher… I will govern with common sense, not fancy college degrees. I have no interest in running government, or growing government. My only goal is cutting government. I will lead America back to prosperity by restoring fiscal discipline, personal responsibility, rugged individualism, and individual rights and freedoms. Just as our Founding Fathers intended.”
|2A. Defeating Terrorists||From Root’s website
-”Use the success of the surge to declare victory and make plans to get out of Iraq as soon as reasonably possible.”
-”The first line of defense against terrorism is the armed American”
-”It is time to admit that while there is a “war on terror,” the war in Iraq had (and has) little do with it…It’s time to admit that the war in Iraq has fostered terrorism.”
|2B. Protecting Our Borders||From Root’s website
-”We must first secure our borders to control the entry into our country of foreigners who pose a threat to the security, health, property or economic well-being of Americans. We must secure our borders before we can deal with the issue of how to deal with illegal immigrants already in our country.”
-”I oppose public funding and entitlements for illegal aliens. But I support providing a “Path to Citizenship” for 12 to 15 million illegal immigrants already here.”
|3. Free Market Economic Policy||TV Interview posted on Root’s website
-”It’s not greedy to want to keep your own money. It’s greedy to want to take others’ money. Even if you say it is to give to other people, it’s still stealing.”
-”I support a Free Market health care system- Let’s get the federal government out of the health care business and leave it up to individuals.”
|Root has no public record. See above.
|3A. Lower Taxes||From Root’s website
-”I pledge that if elected, my first act is to give the power back to the people. It’s your tax money, it’s your government. I plan to return it to you!”
-”Low taxes and a booming economy that creates unlimited opportunities for upward mobility and wealth. But raise tax rates and the window of opportunity shuts closed on millions of ambitious, courageous, entrepreneurial risk-takers.”
|3B. Smaller Government||From Root’s website
-”I support restoring the constitution, getting the federal government out of our lives, and solving problems at the most local level possible.”
-”I support cutting, shrinking and/or streamlining entire departments of the federal government- departments that based on the Constitution are not under federal jurisdiction.”
After reading Root’s position on fiscal issues, I thought I might have a viable alternative to the Republican party, where I have traditionally voted. But Root’s position on social issues, such as strengthening the family (or lack thereof), ruined his chances with me. Roots position on national defense was also weaker than I would like to see. Overall, he earns a 2.33 grade point average. Surprisingly, this is a score just lower than John McCain. McCain scored higher on family and defense issues; Root scored higher on economic issues.
So it looks like my search for a presidential candidate who can win my support based on my presidential selection criteria will have to continue.