Over the last couple of years, our politics have become more and more polarized and those in politics have become more unreasonable, seemingly day by day. One of the few voices of calm, reason, and stalwart principles that have emerged over that time is Austin Petersen.
The former Libertarian Party candidate for President who gathered a huge following during his run is now running for US Senate from Missouri, looking to gain the Republican nomination and challenging the far-Left incumbent, Claire McCaskill.
Missouri, a state that went for Donald Trump in 2016, seems like a perfect spot for the GOP to pick up a seat now held by a Democrat. I got a chance to speak with Mr. Petersen about what some of his priorities would be if the voters of Missouri are ready to be represented by someone other than a far-left ideologue.
I have to say that while I’ve met dozens of politicians, Mr. Petersen came off as one of the most authentic, a man dedicated to securing a future for Americans and who really wants government to stop invading every aspect of our lives.
BW: What issue(s) do you see as most crucial to ensuring continued American prosperity?
AP: Well one of them was tax reform which the GOP Congress passed and the President signed. That legislation has brought people in Missouri pay increases and bonuses. Senators McCaskill voted against those tax cuts for working Americans and that’s something I plan on bringing up during this campaign.
The next thing we need to do now that we’ve gotten some tax reform is spending reform at the Federal level. Federal spending is out of control and leaving us with more debt year by year. This is something I’m very intent on fixing.
BW: You’ve long been a strong and outspoken supporter of the 2nd Amendment. If elected, what would you do to strengthen the rights of gun owners?
AP: Well I think one of the biggest problems has been that we need to stop playing defense in the assault on the 2nd Amendment. We need to start playing offense. Instead of debating new restrictive regulations we need to start rolling back the regulations we already have. I would even support a repeal of the National Firearms Act.
BW: How do you feel about Attorney General Sessions crack down on states that have legalized marijuana.
AP: I think it’s a waste of DOJ resources to police cannabis at the Federal level. It’s a state matter, and I would support the bipartisan bill proposed by Senators (Cory) Booker (D-NJ) and (Rand) Paul (R-KY) that would decriminalize marijuana at the Federal level.
BW: Would you cosponsor that Bill?
AP: Yes, I would.
BW: What do you feel needs to be done about the illegal immigration in America today?
AP: Well I think there are two extremes, neither of which is right. We don’t need open borders and we don’t need the other extreme of shooting anyone who comes across.
I think the best thing we can do is reform our welfare system to make sure illegals aren’t coming here to live on the taxpayer dime. If we set up a system that prevents this, it will set up our economy to be present for those who want to come here, work hard, and build their American dream, rather than coming and expecting handouts.
BW: Since you brought it up, what kind of welfare reforms would you like to see?
AP: Well the elephant in the room (on welfare) is corporate welfare. Corporations just got their tax rate so lowered with excellent results for workers, and it’s time taxpayers stopped giving out welfare to corporations. This is something I would like to tackle head-on.
BW: What is the most important thing the voters of Missouri should know about you?
AP: I keep my promises. I’ve been offered bribes and received pressure, even threats, in order to get me to change my position on certain issues. I never have. My primary opponent has made promises he then backed off of due to political pressure. I never have and I never will.
BW: Do you think the St. Louis Cardinals have made enough moves to be competitive this season?
AP: No, I don’t. I will admit that while I like the Cardinals, I’m a Royals fan. I root for the Cardinals, as long as they aren’t playing the Royals.
*Authors note: I’m a huge Cardinals fan but you have to respect a guy who stands by his team even when asked about the OTHER Missouri team.