By Gwendolyne Honrud
The Courier 

Libertarian Candidate Looks to Give Voters Third Choice


September 19, 2018

When she didn’t see a candidate she could support for Montana’s lone Representative seat, she decided to do something about it. A former Democrat, Elinor Swanson is running for the position now as a Libertarian. Swanson has been campaigning throughout the state, even making a stop in Glasgow on Sept. 12, discussing her campaign stands on two basic philosophies: decrease the debt, and live and let live.

Her campaign website points out that every citizen in the country is $75,000 in debt due to federal borrowing. If elected, Swanson has pledged to reduce her salary by that exact amount as a donation to pay down the debt. Swanson strongly believes in the live and let live tenet, for both domestic and international policies. Recognizing the diversity of the country’s population and the improbability of agreement on a single set of cultural, religious and social values, she relies on the idea that people can live peacefully by respecting one another’s desire to live as they please, provided they do not harm any one. Underpinning the live and let live approach is her staunch opposition to international interventions that are not directly related to the U.S.’s national security, going so far as to say that she would not support military intervention, even in cases of genocide.

Swanson says that if elected, she would take small steps to limit the federal government by making cuts feasibly and reasonably. In addition to drastically scaling back military operations, she would like to do away with the Department of Education, noting that the government is the direct cause of student costs and debt. She would see education implemented at the local level, stressing the need for maximizing choice at every level and expressing support for charter schools and the privatization of education. She acknowledged that while issues regarding public lands are important, she does not believe those issues should be a top priority at this time but, rather, chooses to see federal spending and debt as her focal point.

The political polling website, FiveThirtyEight, gives her chance of winning at less than one in 100. Swanson projects confidence in herself and the beliefs she espouses even while recognizing her campaign is a long shot. She paints herself as neither a liberal nor an anarchist, and claims that libertarians are the new moderates. And she hopes her message and beliefs will connect with the voters of Montana, offfering them a viable alternative candidate this November.

The election will be Tuesday, Nov. 6, this year, with absentee ballots going out Oct. 12.


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