In this episode of the Disrupt Podcast, Ben Swann interviews John Ramsey from the Liberty for All Action Fund about empowering people to influence political elections by starting at the local level, and then moving up to the national level.
Swann pointed out that with the current state of politics, there is a left/right paradigm present that requires a lot of money, but seems to be “designed to keep anything from actually changing.”
“Getting money out of politics is not an easy thing, and it seems like no matter how much money goes in, nothing changes,” said Swann. “Maybe for some, that’s kind of the point.”
Ramsey, who is currently working to foster liberty on the local level, explained that at Liberty for All, they are trying to “elect the next generation of liberty-leaning candidates,” by focusing on early presidential primary states where they can elect candidates who will have influence in the Republican nominee, and keep the influence away from candidates like Mitt Romney or John McCain, “who have no shot in the general election going forward.”
Swann noted that there was more that needed to be done at the state level, due to the fact that local state legislatures have a great deal of power, and are currently using it to “quash entrepreneurism,” by using regulations and association groups to hinder the ability of individuals to “rise through the system.”
Ramsey agreed, saying that by starting at the state level, they are “crushing two birds with one stone,” due to the fact that at that level, “you can actually get real policy done.”
Ramsey used the example of Arizona, where state legislators are currently working to nullify Obamacare. He pointed out that all over the country, both people and donors are beginning to realize that they can get “more bang for their buck” at the state level.
“People like Justin Amash, Thomas Massey, and Rand Paul, can do some really good stuff from a messaging perspective, and that’s what the national scene should be for, more of a marketing platform,” said Ramsey. “But if we’re serious about legislation, we should be focusing on the state level.”
Swann pointed out that there are states like Ohio, which is “as red as you can be, in terms of a red state,” that have done things such as adopting common core standards, creating multi-levels of taxes, and making trade associations that prevent individuals from starting small businesses.
“Just because the state is red, does not mean that it is embracing liberty,” said Swann. “In fact, many of these state legislatures across the country are simply fighting for who’s going to control the gears of power over people’s lives.”
“Businesses are voting with their feet,” said Ramsey, who explained that a lot of businesses are moving to states like Texas, which offers a “fairly generous climate for entrepreneurs and businesses.” Ramsey added that he works regularly on recruiting businesses from California to Texas, due to the fact that in California, businesses are “paying more than half their income to the government,” and are not about to operate.
Swann noted that the reason Texas is succeeding, is due to the fact that in the United States, there are 50 individual states act as laboratories “to legislate as they see fit,” and that while Texas is “having great success on its own,” it is also “influencing other states to take a look at their policies.”
Ramsey mentioned that Liberty for All is currently focusing states like New Hampshire, where there is a “culture of liberty.” He noted that during the 2014 midterm election cycle, Liberty for All was “successful in about 30 races,” and was a “key component in helping that legislature flip from blue to red,” in a way that promoted what is “good for small businesses, good for families, and good for entrepreneurship.”
Swann pointed out that the state shift in New Hampshire was one of the “untold stories of the 2014 midterms,” due to the fact that mainstream media in the U.S. was not interested in the narrative of it, and did not find it exciting.
Swann said that New Hampshire was also unique, because in addition to liberty-oriented red candidates, it also has “a fair number of liberty-oriented blue candidates.”
“We’re about principles, not parties,” said Ramsey, who went on to say that he believes that the two-party paradigm has hurt America by fostering a dangerous philosophy that promotes collectivism.
Swann mentioned the fact that there are two kinds of donors, when it comes to politics: the kind who give lots of money so that nothing changes, because they like they system as it is, and the kind who want to see the country take a different path.
Ramsey agreed, saying that the donors, who are looking for more than just an investment that will benefit only them, are “few and far between.”
“They just want to see liberty for future generations out there,” said Ramsey. “They don’t want to see an environment in which lobbyists are winning, they want to see an environment in which entrepreneurs are winning, and philanthropists are winning.”