Libertarian Response to the State of the Union

Good evening. My name is Adam Kokesh and I am the current leading Libertarian Presidential candidate for 2020 and it is a great honor tonight and a great opportunity to be delivering the libertarian response to the State of the Union just delivered by President Donald Trump. Of course there was the normal propaganda, the pomp, the ceremony, the appeal to emotion that we have come to expect from American politicians attempting to manipulate you through your emotions. There was a lot of taking credit for things that the government deserves no credit for whatsoever. America, as great as it may be doing, is doing great not because of government, but despite it. The greatest things that Donald Trump took credit for were the tax cuts and cutting of regulations. And while of course as libertarians we believe that theft is wrong and that taxation is theft and it is great to see that less may be stolen from the American people. But this bit of trickery is easily proven to be more propaganda intended to manipulate you. No matter how much government cuts taxes, if spending is at the same rate, then taxes have not been effectively cut at all. In fact when that is the case, it means that the poor and working class are hurt the most because those are the ones who are hurt by inflation and by the policies that Trump has enacted that obviously are intended to favor the rich.

When it comes to regulations, I certainly applaud the cutting of regulations. The more we can get rid of the better. The ideal would be that there would be no regulations from government – that the only regulations upon our behavior would come from our fellow citizens through the free market. So while it is great that Donald Trump has taken credit for cutting so many regulations, in terms of the regulations that affect everyday Americans – the right to keep what you earn, the right to do what you want with your own body – those regulations remain painfully in place. Donald Trump has been prone to erroneously praise law enforcers and members of the United States military as heroes, and as a veteran I can tell you most of us know that we are not heroes. We are servants of government. And I think it is very important to point out that none of those jobs that he named in his speech are among America’s deadliest. Yet this propaganda certainly holds strong emotional sway when it has been so ingrained into the American psyche.

Now as a libertarian, of course I’d like to be historically accurate, and I believe that it is important in taking political positions that we look to and learn from history and when we look at American history we learn that the American founders were against the very idea of a standing army. They opposed a military because they knew that a military did not protect the free people, it protected a government’s ability to rule them and that a militia – a decentralized force based on the people’s rights to defend themselves – was the only legitimate defense of a free people. So while it may be so deeply ingrained in the American psyche today, with a little historical perspective, we can all see that the very concept of a standing army is un-American. He also said that these brave men and women were serving our nation and it is important to make the distinction between the country and the government because this country is certainly not defined by the American government and the American people are realizing that we are too good for this government.

I know from when I was in the Marine Corps, and when I deployed to Fallujah in 2004, and served under General Mattis, that we were serving not the American people. Certainly not peace, security, or safety. We were serving bankers, politicians, and war profiteers. The propaganda is insidious. The commentators, who are as I speak right now debating all the finer points of Trump’s speech, are missing the deeper assumptions that go unquestioned, but are easily exposed when properly challenged. This shows that Trump is out of touch with average Americans. But he remains in touch with his supporters in the banking class. Yes it is true. Trump cannot be bought because he has been owned by bankers for a long, long, time now.

For all of the rhetoric supporting the U.S. troops and supporting veterans, there was not one mention of the epidemic of veterans suicide. At least 20 veterans commit suicide every single day in America and you cannot with a straight face, and maintaining credibility, claim to support America’s veterans and not address the simple facts and to say that you want Americans facing terminal illnesses to be able to seek experimental treatment here at home but to deny veterans access to the very drugs that are the most effective in treating PTSD because the pharmaceutical industry has lobbied Congress to make them illegal is insane. And of course I’m talking about primarily marijuana, which I can say has saved countless lives of veterans returning home who otherwise would have committed suicide and of course we are now finally, despite the government’s best efforts to keep these drugs away from the people who need them, able to explore therapies for PTSD with MDMA and psilocybin mushrooms which have incredible benefits that are so effective they would effectively put many pharmaceutical companies completely out of business. Obviously Trump could not stand for that. So it’s hard for someone such as myself who has actually seen veterans who I’ve known commit suicide.

I hope that if you care as I do about veterans being able to get the treatment that they need for PTSD, to end this epidemic of veterans suicide, that you will join me in challenging the corrupt shakedown racket known as the war on drugs which is really a war on drug users, a war on privacy, a war on the Fourth Amendment, and war on the Constitution, which means that it is a war on you! It is a war on the American people that Donald Trump is all too happy to perpetuate. Donald Trump also mentioned that he wanted inmates to get a second chance. Of course without the war on drugs, most of them wouldn’t need it in the first place.

He mentioned the enforcement of intellectual property and trade rules. We know that intellectual property is just another government racket and it is intellectual property that prevents the kind of innovation that we need to truly make America great, to unleash the potential of our people, not the sequestration of ideas by force. Ideas should be free.

He also mentioned that he wanted there to be better infrastructure for the United States. As with all things, we know that if you want something to be better, the first thing you should do is get government completely out of it.

Of course security came up, immigration came up in the speech, as was well expected, a common theme for President Trump. But what he’s doing here is blaming open borders, or rather the porousness of the borders, for things that we know the CIA is responsible for, like bringing drugs into our most vulnerable communities in America. No, this is not the fault of MS-13, a relatively petty insignificant force in world affairs. No, this is the product of the American Federal Government’s policies in the war on drugs. And to think that somehow the government is going to be effectively limiting the free flow of people seeking economic opportunity is absurd. I’m sure so many conservatives are happy to point out that when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns. The flip side of that is that when immigration is outlawed, only outlaws will immigrate and the more that immigration is restricted, the more we keep out good people while bad people are still able to defeat the Government’s system. A determined terrorist will be able to beat any immigration system, any wall that government could possibly put up. The only legitimate borders, and they should be as strong as we could possibly make them, are private property borders. Government borders are fundamentally illegitimate.

Trump has claimed many times that his intent is to drain the swamp. But in reality what he has done is unleash it in its most vile, destructive, and deadly form in an aggressive foreign policy. While he said on his campaign many times that he would put America first, that we would no longer have a foreign policy of adventurism, he dropped in 2017, nine thousand more bombs than President Obama did in 2016. He has sent thousands more troops into Iraq and Afghanistan, and for the first time in six years we have seen an increase in U.S. military casualties abroad. This is not putting America first.

He wants to keep our communities safe and yet he is perpetuating the policy that instead protects the poppy fields in Afghanistan for the opium trade of course fueling the opium epidemic in the United States. If he truly cared about keeping our communities safe he would do what we are proposing, and that is to localize power as much as possible back down to the communities as in my platform starting at the top by dissolving the entire United States federal government in a peaceful orderly and responsible manner.

Now I have to say I am glad that he mentioned the ideal of eliminating nuclear weapons. But again all of his rhetoric is blind to reality and history especially in his talk about North Korea, which is completely ignorant of the history of the Korean War and the responsibility of the U.S. military for creating and perpetuating the very situation that has led to the impoverishment of the people of North Korea.

And about nuclear weapons, “recklessly pursuing them.” This is coming from the man commanding the force which was the only one to actually drop nuclear bombs on people. If there is any nation in the world, or rather specifically, any government, that should be banned from having nuclear weapons instead of having by far the largest arsenal capable of nuking the world many times over, is the United States federal government.

He raised the fear of terrorism. But the average American is smart enough to not fall for this. When a police officer pulls up behind you, red white and blue means freedom up until you see it flashing in those lights. The police who terrorize Americans every day in the name of the war on drugs are the real terrorists. Incidentally I sit here tonight in the No Force One mobile studio. My RV is here in Decatur Texas where just two weeks ago I myself was a victim of the war on drugs, violently accosted by multiple officers, had my vehicle violated, ransacked. Arrested on false charges and imprisoned for ten days. Incidentally, perhaps ironically, subjected to a very similar torture as has been experienced by inmates in Guantanamo Bay, where they have been subjected to Metallica played at extreme volumes creating increasing mental anguish and sleep deprivation. In my case in the Weiss county jail run by Sheriff Akin they have an alarm that goes off every 20 minutes making it near impossible for someone to get a good night’s sleep. While we don’t think of so many of the practices conducted by American law enforcement and U.S. jails and prisons as torture, certainly they cross a lot of lines.

He also praised General Mattis, incidentally a Marine who I worked with, or would you might rather I say, served under, in Fallujah in 2004. While it’s tempting to fall for his rather superficial demeanor, public image, the moniker of “Mad Dog Mattis,” just the slightest glance into his history makes it clear that he is one of the most offensive war criminals in American history and history will certainly judge him differently than he was judged tonight by the President. I suppose though, by Donald Trump’s standards, he is doing a great job. He is keeping the excuse alive. “We have driven out ISIS from 98 per cent of its territory! But that 2 percent allows us to keep the money flowing to the military industrial complex!” In the global war on terror that never ends, there will always be an excuse. There will always be some specter to raise, some fear-mongering, some way to bully the American people into cowering before the demands of the military industrial complex, for more obedience, more subservience, more of our best and brightest young men and women, and most importantly: more money for the evil people behind it.

Of course there was also the pledge to keep Guantanamo Bay open. Disgusting to those of us who care about Constitutional principles. But there were so many unconstitutional policies advocated in Donald Trump’s speech tonight, that I must be reminded of my oath when I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, which was to defend the United States Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Some of us found out the hard way, that the greatest enemies of the Constitution are not to be found in the sands of some far off land, but rather right here at home! And tonight, Donald Trump made it perfectly clear that he is America’s number one domestic enemy of the United States Constitution.

As is typical in American Presidential political propaganda rhetoric, Trump cited the American Revolution. And I have to say I liked a lot of his wording there, that it was about ruling ourselves, self-determination, and yet he ignores the truth of what that revolution was really about: throwing off the Crown, declaring independence. And yes, it’s really sad to point out that Trump needs to study a lot more history if he wants to have any credibility when speaking on historical matters, or rather even anything in the present determined by history, which yes, is pretty much everything.

Now he did say that for the American people, there is nothing we cannot achieve, and I certainly agree with him there. As we once did in the first American Revolution, we showed the world the way forward in freedom. Similarly today with the Libertarian Party, we hope to be presenting you with a real choice finally, that you will have the option to vote “Nobody” for President in 2020. With the nomination of the Libertarian Party, that is the platform that I will be presenting to the American people. For the first time in American history, the Presidential election will represent a real choice. We can keep going down this dark path of ever-concentrating centralized power, or we can once again show the world the way forward through localization, decentralization of political power, and overthrow the United States federal government once and for all.

Donald Trump also said that we will finally get the job done. Of course as an American who believes in freedom, I think the job is much different from what Donald Trump seems to think it is. As I see it the greatest task before the American people now is to reclaim our heritage, to embrace freedom, to overthrow the United States federal government entirely, and finally free America. Thank you very much.

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