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O'Hara Factor
Friday, September 17, 2004

Skewed military policy marks Badnarik visit

Apologies to my readers. It's been about two or three weeks since Michael Badnarik visited the University of Arizona and I still didn't have time to inform you on what he said. But here it goes.

Additionally, I wasn't aware that Badnarik was not only visiting a lecture hall in the ILC at 6:00, but he also gave a speech in front of the Old Main Fountain at 5:00, so I missed the latter. Blame the College Libertarians if you like. Did any of you see that dumb poster. Let me describe it for you. On the top, it stated "Mike likes it" along with a large, lower-case "liberty" emblazoned across the top third of the flyer tilted up. Below was this really ugly photograph of a caucasian whose exact race I couldn't even point out at all. Man the guy was ugly. On top of the man's black suit was a thickly-outlined black font with white fill. You could never read it without trying somewhat and none of the text would ever catch your eye just walking by. They did it to themselves. I thought it was some sort of play, so I ignored it. Nonetheless, here's the recap of the 6:00 event, which extended until around 7:00.

Initial Presentation

After his initial speech, he seemed very appealing. He started off by saying that by the end of the presentation, "There will be no doubt where I stand on an issue." Great. No flip-flops. I'm liking this so far; it's about time. Yes, I'm accusing the president of the same thing that Kerry's been doing, though admittedly to a lesser extent. He made the definition of libertarianism clear. "We are not liberals," "We are not conservatives," and "I will offend both sides," were among the notables of what he stated. I won't go over the whole lecture over libertarianism, as that's easy to find on the Internet, but it was nice to see that he was making himself clear that he had his principles and that he wasn't going to budge from them in order to satisfy the crowd.

Badnarik even made his position on marriage clear, and this is the part in which he had me convinced. I may be ultra-conservative among my peers, but I'm with him on the issue of government-regulated marriage. Bottom line: government does not belong in marriage. Some things he noted that I didn't know before were:

  • Marriage licenses did not exist when the United States declared independence.
  • Marriage consisted of a ceremony combined with writing the couple's names in their bible to signify the done deal.
  • Marriage licenses were originally instituted in order to prevent interracial marriage.

That only solidified my position as I've stated before on the Factor. We don't need the government telling us whether we're married. Like other things in which the government interferes too much, the government needs to get out of this one.

Question time

Now it was time for the grilling. Badnarik in his introductory speech vaguely mentioned "national defense," as just that. Defense. In other words, we keep at bay and don't base ourselves around the world. It didn't even sound fine and dandy on September 10th, so why now? In addition, Badnarik had just mentioned marriage, and the Navy Times had just reported that Germany just legalized fraternization as long as it doesn't occur during working hours. Now I really don't want Germany on our side anyhow. We'll kick their butts if they ever oppose us anyhow, so I'm not concerned about it. There's reason to be concerned that Badnarik would implement a similar policy in the United States Armed Forces, so I asked him about that first.

Badnarik replied that it wasn't his job to regulate sexual conduct, almost mirroring German policy. While Badnarik did say that he would go after servicemembers should such activity affect job performance, he accordingly convinced me that he is not qualified to lead the War on Terror. Even after being reminded that the commander-in-chief holds such authority to regulate such conduct and being asked regarding the possibility of inappropriate contact between officers and enlisted personnel, Badnarik replied "The answers don't change just because you don't like them." Applause from parts of the crowd of 70 followed.

I tried to get more questions in by getting back in line, but others wanted their turn, so I was asked to leave the line and wait for others to be able to ask their questions. Maybe the ASUA official, who will remain nameless, was just afraid of me after having met me during the 2004 ASUA election campaign back in April and May. I would have asked how he expect to keep American sea lines of communication open if there are no U.S. Naval forces nearby to protect them. The concept of a "held back" national defense is flawed. The reason for our success in defense is that we're always able to fight our wars somewhere else. This is why terrorism is such a dangerous threat, as it threatens to bring the fight home as it did on September 11th. Had we not based a U.S. Pacific Fleet in and around the Hawaiian Islands back in 1941, would Japan have attacked California? Sea basing, forward presence, and power projection are impossible under Badnarik's policy, and it is for this alone that he will not receive my vote.

I commend Mr. Badnarik for his courage to come to the University of Arizona campus. When it comes to people in the Arizona Daily Wildcat complaining that the Republican and Democratic candidates aren't visiting the university, please take note that Michael Badnarik came! Despite being convinced that he is genuinely concerned about us, I still can't vote for him for the above reasons. Let's make sure that whom we choose has a vision for what we have to do abroad, not just here.

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