Freedom From the Inside: How I became the Press Secretary for Adam Kokesh

These last several months have changed my life. About two years ago, after watching so many of the ideas I believe in go down in flames at the hands of the American electorate, I was in a pretty low place. Over the years, I have crept closer and closer to completely giving up on the electoral process in this country. I was a Ron Paul Republican and campaigned hard in 2012 for his election.

When Dr. Paul lost, after months of watching the media and his own party, over and over again, ignore, ridicule and outright cheat the only person in years that made any sense, in politics, I got on board with the lesser of two goods, Gary Johnson. I courted the idea of voting for Rand Paul, until his abysmal failure in the Iowa caucuses. Again, I found myself backing Gary Johnson. I disagreed with Johnson on a few things, but at least he made Libertarians seem likeable, if not that well informed. Need I mention Aleppo?

Then, Bill Weld was chosen as his VP. Yuck! This guy is Mitt Romney’s twin! I said “fine, I guess I won’t vote.” The day of the election, my wife talked me into voting for Gary, “if not for Johnson/Weld, for the principles of liberty.” Really, I voted so that I could say I went in and, “waved my Johnson at all the Republicans,” in our district. Long story short, Donald Trump is our president. I was pretty upset with the candidates our people chose. Don’t give me the “better than Hillary speech,” I know they are cut from the same muddy swamp cloth. I said to my wife, “I am done with politics, unless like, I don’t know, somebody like Adam Kokesh runs for president.” Well, that bit me in the ass.

In the fall of 2017, Adam Kokesh held an event in Indianapolis, near where I live. I don’t even know how I got put on the list of people to invite. I told my wife that I really wanted to meet Adam. For years, I had followed him, and especially admired his speech for Ron Paul that propelled him into the Freedom Movement spotlight. Sometimes, I loved him; like when he danced at the Jefferson Memorial. Sometimes, I cringed, as he said some unwise things. Either way, he certainly was somebody I wanted to meet. Adam Kokesh was a ballsy activist, and I like activists. I wanted to be one. Most of my “work” was done behind a keyboard. My family, commitments, and unusual religious beliefs meant that, in my mind, I would be a hindrance, not a help, to any cause I might want my activism to serve. Still, I wanted to meet this guy! So, my wife, my best friend, and I found ourselves going to the event.

Adam Amber and I.jpg
The week of the event, Ben, Adam’s chief advisor, asked if anybody had room to put people up for the night. Adam, at the time, had a small RV, just big enough for him and wanted someplace for Ben and Zach, Adam’s biographer, to stay. I volunteered my place. Because I live outside of Indianapolis, I figured they would find someplace closer, but they did not. The next thing I knew, I was talking to Ben on the phone and getting things set up.

I was at work when they arrived. My gracious wife, who to be clear, also enjoyed Adam’s activism, met them, made them comfortable and largely let them get some needed rest. To be honest, I was a little jealous. She got to meet Adam, and I did not get to, until the event. I did get to meet Ben and Zach. They were both fantastic Libertarians. I was nervous. What the hell would I talk about? I mean, these guys hear similar ideas to mine and talk about them to people all over the country. So, I babbled on and on about my religious beliefs, trying like hell to be interesting.

That evening, we went to the event. I helped Zach carry in some copies of Freedom! I had not yet read it, but that changed the next day. We met with the people who were in attendance. After a few minutes, Adam came in and I introduced myself, and he thanked me for letting them stay at our house.

Adam surprised me. I thought he would immediately start dominating the conversation. I learned the first of many things about Adam Kokesh. He is a mild, and an introspective listener. I know, right? No way! But here he was listening far more than talking. So, this was the guy who loaded a shotgun on the national mall. I listened to everyone talk about so and so in the LP and this person and that; things I could not care less about. The name dropping from a particular woman was so annoying that I rolled my eyes. Adam noticed the glazed eyes of the others in the room and said, “Guys, no one really cares about internal politics here, instead, how about we talk about ideas.” Thank God! This is what I came for.

Shortly, after everything was set up for the presentation, we headed into the other room. Our little group found ourselves in the front row. We listened. This was the best explanation of Libertarian ideas I had ever heard. I learned, for sure, that Adam Kokesh was serious, compassionate, intelligent, very well spoken, principled, ethical, and yes, he was intending to run for president. Well, I guess I’m going to have to vote again, I told myself.

After the event, we headed home. Sometime later that night, Adam and Ben returned to my house. Zach had to fly ahead for another event. Ben immediately went to bed. Adam asked if he could fix himself some eggs. We offered him some tomatoes from our garden, as well. We started to talk. Mostly, it was me asking questions. One of them was, “how can I help?” I meant, do you have signs I can put in people’s yards? Remember, I did not want to hurt him politically, I’m kind of weird. I explained that my background is actually in Funeral Service and that isn’t likely to be helpful. He said, “ok, then what skills do you have?” I informed him that I can write pretty well, and I am comfortable talking to people. I suggested that I could campaign locally, door to door, and pass books out. He replied, “No, I think I have another idea for you.” I said ok, having absolutely no idea what that might be. He continued, “Can you make a list of the media outlets for the stops on the tour starting in a couple of weeks and then just stay two weeks ahead?” I responded with, “Maybe, but I am not really a tech guy and computers are not my best asset. Maybe my best friend Michael, who is a web designer, might be a better pick.” “No, I think I’d like you to do this,” he said. Reluctantly, I agreed. I certainly did not want to fail, and I had no idea what to do. He gave me his card, with his email and phone number on it. I was to email him with a report of what I was able to accomplish.

The next day they left. I was happy to have met Adam, and frankly, Ben and Zach. They were all nice and great to talk to. I set out to do what was asked of me. Within 48 hours, I had the lists of all local newspapers, magazines, radio, and television stations compiled for the next three stops, and sent them to Adam. I actually don’t think he expected me to actually do it. Then, in the next couple of days I worked on contacts for a few other stops. He said “that’s great, how would you feel about calling them to see about setting up interviews?” I said, “ok.”

I called hundreds of numbers and emailed the contacts as well. I talked to more secretaries, and voicemail boxes than any human should need to in a lifetime. I failed to schedule one interview. I do not like to fail. Finally, I received an email back from a little radio station, they were interested. I jumped up and down. I immediately texted Adam, his response was simple, “we’ve had to cancel that stop.” This really frustrated me; I threw my notebook across the room and then emailed Adam. I told him that I did not feel as though I was cut out for this. All I was doing was spending hours failing. He called me. I, again, explained that these local main stream media outlets were not responding. It had to be me, I thought, come on this is somebody running for president for the 3rd largest party in the country, and he was coming to their town! Surely that was newsworthy! I have since learned that several “news” outlets don’t even want news, they receive it from those who know, like the government and other propaganda, I mean, news outlets. He suggested I make calls from a list he had. It was a national list of Liberty friendly outlets. I would start emailing those the next day.

I decided to email ten contacts off the list every day. I started at the top of the list and worked my way down. Before I finished sending out the last email of the day, my phone rang. I was sitting in the lounge at my day job. Someone from out of state was calling my number. There were no pens or paper. I rushed to find loose paper in the trash and grabbed a marker. It was what would be the first interview I scheduled. I texted Adam.

I scheduled three interviews that week. Adam set me up an email. My average, at this point, is between three and five interviews every week that I schedule for Adam. That list dried up pretty fast. Luckily, we also have incoming interview requests. The social media director and I became friendly. He would send me interview prospects as he received them. I then contacted them back. I also began writing press releases.

The next thing I knew, the campaign manager at the time, which no longer works for the campaign started calling me The Press Secretary. Holy crap, I got a title. I also was invited to start being a part of the weekly conference calls. Regularly, I communicated with Adam. We became friends.

So this is how I became the Press Secretary for the leading candidate in the race for the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president of the United States. I am just a normal guy who sees a problem and I am trying to do what I can to help solve it. Here is the best part of all of this. Adam, and everyone that works hard to spread the cause of freedom for this campaign, is just like me, in the sense that they’re normal people, trying very hard to help this world move towards the next societal evolution. Our activism seeks to free this world from the evil forces of violence and coercion known as government. I am proud to stand with these people and am humbled by everyone I meet. Even if Adam Kokesh finds someone better than me to do this job and I find myself doing other things, he has my undying gratitude for believing in me and giving me the chance to become the activist I am today. Initially, I thought this would be just one post, but I think I will continue the story of my exciting journey in another post, because I have not shared the best parts of my experience and I am guessing that I will continue to have an amazing time as we help give this world back to the sovereign individual.

Written by @marcus.pulis (Please follow and support his work!)

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