Libertarians explain their views

Tim Menger, right, a Libertarian candidate for Colorado House District 54, talks about the size of the district during a Saturday gathering at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1274 in Grand Junction. At left is Virgil Fenn, Libertarian candidate for House District 55. Patricia Weber of Whitewater sits second from left, and the other woman is Menger’s wife, Debra.

NEW Quiz•1

After seeing how the federal government works from the inside, Grand Junction resident Kyle Davis decided it was time to end his own politics as usual.

Raised in a Republican household, Davis grew up believing in many of its tenets.

Then he returned from the Iraq War.

“When I signed up in 2004, I was very pro the cause. I signed up ready, willing and able to fight,” the now 26-year-old said. “Then I got there. I had some friends who didn’t make it back, and I saw a bunch of stuff I wish I hadn’t seen. I started asking, ‘Why?’ “

Not long after that, the former U.S. Army Spec. 4 switched parties, but his views still were nowhere close to that of the other major party, the Democrats.

That’s when he learned about the Libertarian Party.

“I had a backbone of small government, but then I started taking it to its logical ends and started finding that people like Rush Limbaugh didn’t,” said Davis, who left the service because of an injury from an improvised explosive device.

“I realized that if I’m going to be a consistent conservative, then I should just be a Libertarian.”

Davis and a handful of other Libertarians gathered Saturday at the behest of House District 54 candidate Tim Menger, who called on them to help him in his campaign against GOP candidate Jared Wright.

Those who gathered for the event said they did so because Menger has a real chance to win. Wright, on the other hand, has had to battle calls from members of his own party to drop out of the race after a series of scandals rocked his campaign.

To help Menger, they later knocked on doors in the district to leave campaign material touting all Libertarian candidates in the race.

That campaign material, which was paid for by the Colorado Libertarian Party, features a short quiz designed to show Republican and even some Democratic voters that they, too, just might be Libertarians.

Virgil Fenn, a Grand Junction resident who’s been in the Libertarian Party since 1982, said most people don’t understand what it really means to be Libertarian.

“Libertarians almost by definition are liberal in certain areas and conservative in other,” said Fenn, the Libertarian candidate running for House District 55 against Republican Ray Scott and Democrat Dan Robinson. “We have a more logically consistent philosophical position, and that may be why we’re still a minority party.”

Libertarians believe in small government, almost to the point where it can be drowned in a bathtub. It also believes that government regulation of certain things is necessary.

It believes in low taxes, little to no debt and personal liberty as long as it doesn’t interfere with anyone else’s liberty.

But the national party’s platform often stereotypes its members as fringe candidates, particularly when it comes to the legalization of marijuana and other drugs, Fenn and Davis said.

“If you’re going to be consistent with individual freedoms, then you have to let activities go on that you don’t approve of,” Davis said. “We are regular people and we need to be represented by regular people. Libertarians are regular people, too. We’re just a little more passionate and a little bit more obsessive.”


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