At a town hall meeting last January, Libertarian Patrick McKnight stood up to the incumbent congressman in New Jersey’s 7th district, Republican Leonard Lance, calling him out for his support of the sweeping, unaccountable government powers granted by the National Defense Authorization Act and the Patriot Act.
"That was day one of my campaign," McKnight said of his run for U.S. House. "He’s telling everyone in the room what a strong supporter of the Constitution he was. And so I simply reviewed his voting record and challenged him on his claim."
A YouTube video of that exchange has garnered more than 1,300 views. “As the video shows, he had nothing to say,” McKnight said.
He sharply contrasts his Libertarian solutions with the policies of Lance and his Democratic opponent, Upendra Chivukula.
"All we have to do is restore the legal supremacy of the constitution, and we solve 90 percent of our problems," McKnight said. He specifically proposes:
- Balancing the federal budget immediately.
- Ending interventionist wars and bringing U.S. troops home from all foreign bases in 130 countries.
- Dismantling the Internal Revenue Service, the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and Obamacare, thereby making it possible to slash taxes across the board.
- Stopping all commercial bailouts and ending the Federal Reserve System. Putting a stop to artificial interest rates, currency devaluation, and misallocations of capital.
- Ending the war on drugs, which would save billions of dollars, reduce violent crime and stop the incarceration of citizens who have harmed nobody else.
Patrick McKnight’s campaign made the front page of his local newspaper, the Hillsborough Beacon, and was featured in the Montgomery News and the Princeton Packet.
He has taken his message of freedom directly to the people of his district. He estimates that he visited about a thousand homes personally.
"I’m a regular working person; I’m not a career politician," he said, noting his career as a landscaper and his long-time work on his family’s multigenerational farm. "I have real-world experience, and so I can connect with people. We’re all in this political and economic crisis together."
McKnight said that he views real change as an ongoing effort, and he hopes that all libertarians will consider running for office to “inject real issues into the discourse," he said.