David Koch is running for President of the United States as an Independent. As you will see below Mr. Koch and his running mate, Ken Goldstein, are not sure if they are conservatives or not. Their web site, http://www.dave08.com/, now says that they are pro-choice.
1. Why are you running for President?
For the last couple of elections, I have not been very happy with thechoices presented by the major parties. It really seems that I have ended upvoting against someone rather than for someone. I also feel that the twomajor parties have moved away from what they once stood for, and more towardextremes that represent special interests, not vast majorities of people.Ken Goldstein, my running mate, in both elections has proposed voting thirdparty, but I always refused, thinking my vote would not matter if I didthat.
As I look forward to the possible major candidates in 2008, I see this cyclecontinuing- I really do not like anyone, and absolutely detest some options.The parties have done nothing to earn my trust, or earn my vote; in fact,both have done nothing but drive me further away. Both parties spout thesame litany of things every four years… and the same exact criticisms of theother party. The parties are just big business in the political arena, andhave lost touch with real people.
It finally hit me that my vote is not something that belongs to theDemocrats or the Republicans- it belongs to me, and the best candidate earnsit, not the lesser of two evils. Voting should be a positive experience; Iresolved to finally vote for good, not vote against; I am tired of negativevoting. And I do not have to feel bad about voting the way I want. Thirdparty voting is not a spoiler for the two major parties if the major partiesdo not earn my vote in the first place.
Over a few months, all these ideas finally filtered down to me asking myselfthe questions, "Why don't you just run?" America is wonderful in that anyonecan do that- just up and decide they want to run. I felt I had some thingsto say, if only to get them out into a public forum and discussed. But mostof all, it just felt right- it felt like something I had to do. But also tolet people know that it’s OK to disagree with the major parties- there areother choices out there.
Ken and I have decided to go forward as far as we can. We can easily publishour thoughts and such on the Internet, and see how they are received. If andwhen we start getting some people agreeing with us (and, more importantly,supporting us financially), we can go to the next step, and ratchet up ourcampaign. If we never get to that point, fine, we can feel good about whatwe have done so far. But we do hope that new and fresh ideas will resonatewith people, and we will be listened to, and perhaps have an impact onnational policy in the future. If we can have some effect, we will considerour campaign a victory.
2. What do you is the biggest problem with the Republican and Democrats?
In a word, deafness. Neither party seems willing to listen to each other, orthe public at large. One of the things I am most proud of, and found quitesurprising, is how much alike regular Democrats and Republicans really are,at the grass roots level. Ken and I come down on opposite sides of manyissues, the same as the Republican and Democrats. But we respect each other,talk to each other, reason with each other, and compromise with each other.With a little bit of talking, it is surprising how close on most subjects wereally are.
Unique to our campaign is the idea of pairing candidates with opposingpoints of view, but setting up platforms based on the agreement of bothsides. This puts us firmly in the moderate camp. But what makes this unique-and interesting- is that we do not get our input from people with roughlythe same philosophy as we have- we go for the opposite. A wider base ofinput will result in better policy based on more points of view, not anarrow point of view. We welcome input from people- we have forums on ourwebsite, we answer questions on MySpace, and we will institute direct accessto the Executive for all people when we are elected. We will listen, and wewill be responsive.
Compare this to the Democrats and Republicans. Their Executives are from thesame party, with roughly the same views. The cut themselves off from thepeople, they do not open themselves up to criticism. But most of all, theyfail to acknowledge (and give credence to) the fact that the oppositionparty does have good ideas. No single party has a monopoly on the right orcorrect answers, but no party is willing to admit that (but we are). Nor dothey seem willing to listen to the opposition's ideas, and learn from them.So this deafness to any ideas but their own is the biggest problem we see.
3. Do you consider yourself a social and fiscal conservative?
Strangely, we seem to be both socially liberal and conservative.Unfortunately, at this point, I cannot give you the exact how and why wecome down on issues in any hard and firm way. Rather than always coming downon issues in one specific way, we look deep into each issue, and see how wefeel about it, and how our standards and morals deal with the issue.
We are socially liberal in that we believe strongly that some sort ofnational health plan should be introduced; yet we also see this as afiscally conservative position in that preventative care will ultimatelysave money overall over acute care. We believe in a strong division ofFederal and Sates-rights issues, and not crossing that line except underextreme circumstances. We are conservative in that we do not feel thefederal government has any standing in the same-sex marriage debate; it issimply not within the purview of the federal government. But we are liberalin that we view that one should not have their rights discriminated againstbased on their sexual orientation; we do believe that sexual orientationshould be a protected civil liberty, just as sex, race and religion arecurrently protected.
I would just say that for the most part, we come from a pretty conservativeviewpoint in that we feel that the federal government should remain limitedin scope, and keep out of where it does not belong. We feel strongly boundto people- to individuals- and we are liberal in that we feel we should allbe able to interact from a level playing field.
Fiscally, yes, you can consider us strongly fiscally conservative. Webelieve in pay as you go, and would like to attack the deficit as soon aspossible. But we go further, and want to bring in some new ideas. We believein a zero-base budget. This means that every cent of every department budgetwill have to be justified on an annual basis. No agency will be able toassume their budget level is safe, and no agency will be able to go afterany increases in funds until they can prove that they are spending allexisting funds efficiently and for the public good.
We would like to see a line-item veto, even if limited only to budget items.
4. In your opinion, what is one of the biggest issues facing America?
This is an easy question to answer, but the solution is much tougher. Thebiggest issue is hands-down energy. No one seems to want to address this,and if we do nothing else, we hope to bring this issue to the forefront. Itis not just an issue of how we are going to power our cars and VCR's, butgoes into our national security and our relations in the Mid-East.
Our idea in this regard is to face it head on, and put our nationalresources into finding a multitude of solutions. We propose setting anational goal of making the United States energy independent in ten years.We model this on John F. Kennedy's 1961 challenge to place a man on the moonwithin ten years, and now, just as then, at the start, we have no idea howit will be accomplished. We do feel there will be no single solution, andthis must be attacked on many fronts. But we know that we can do it- we havethe greatest minds on Earth in the United States, and when we want to dosomething, we do it. And it will be much better if we do it when we want to,than when we need to.
5. If another candidate with similar views as yours were to arise, wouldyou consider dropping out of the race?
Neither Ken nor I are in this to feed our own egos. We are both happy withour lives and families, and we have no real desire to be on a nationalstage. We are only doing this because we feel we are in this to get freshblood into politics, and new ideas out into the media. If someone else couldaccomplish this better, faster and with a higher budget- and could actuallyhave a real effect on US policy- we would not hesitate to throw our supportbehind this team.