Alden Link sought the Presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party in 2008. Leading up to the Libertarian Party National Convention held in Denver, Colorado on Memorial Day Weekend, LP News asked Mr. Link to respond to certain questions. Those questions and Mr. Link's answers follow:
What would you hope to accomplish as the Libertarian presidential nominee? Could you break the million vote barrier?
To break the million vote barrier, the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee must have, or be able to raise, the money to run a 50-state campaign and must take positions on key issues to reach constituencies that feel alienated by the two main political parties. I am an aviator, entrepreneur, real estate developer, inventor and small business owner, who served in the United States Army and who would like to spread the message of liberty to as many people as possible during the upcoming campaign. As the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee, I am prepared to commit considerable resources to this endeavor. If you like who I am and my positions on the issues, please use your token to give me an opportunity to address the LP Convention. If you would like to help and plan to attend the LP National Convention in Denver, Colorado, contact Dr. Tom Stevens, my Campaign Manager, at 718-357-7075. Your support would be much appreciated.
As for what I would like to accomplish as the LP’s presidential nominee, I would like to coherently explain to the public how the Libertarian Party can offer practical solutions to the complex problems we face today. For example, we can work to end our reliance on foreign oil and improve the quality of our environment by getting the government out of the business of subsidizing, taxing and regulating some energy resources at the expense of others. In a competitive environment, nuclear power plants with passive safety features could be built in 3-6 years by entrepreneurs in the private sector. In another area, I would explain to the public how the war on drugs is counterproductive and erodes our civil liberties, why the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act must be repealed for the same reason and how the government uses fear and the war effort to increase its power and control over the lives of ordinary citizens. We must defend ourselves against direct threats to our liberty whether those threats come from aboard or from our own government.
We must shrink the size of government by cutting back on the amount of taxes it collects and the amount of money it can borrow. All property taxes need to be eliminated so the government no longer has a permanent claim against the land and home you own. The death tax and capital gains tax represent double taxation and should be repealed.
All illegal immigration into the United States must end. Worker Visas should be offered to all undocumented aliens who are currently employed. Out of compassion, automatic citizenship should be granted to all illegal aliens age 70 or older who have resided in this country for more than five years.
Space Exploration Day, celebrated on July 20th of every year, commemorates Neil Armstrong's setting foot on the moon in 1969. Very little progress has been made since then because of N.A.S.A.'s virtual monopoly of the space industry and the government's regulation of independent entrepreneurial efforts that would have flourished in a freer market atmosphere.
Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered individuals are entitled to full equality under the law regardless of their sexual orientations or perceived gender identity or presentation. The military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy must be ended so our gay and lesbian service men and women can serve their country openly and proudly. All state governments and localities should get out of the business of granting marriage licenses in order to allow people to enter into contractual relationships to order their lives as they see fit, but so long as the government continues to grant marriage licenses to heterosexual couples, gay couples are entitled to the "equal protection" of the laws and should be allowed to obtain government issued marriage licenses as well. All religious institutions should retain the right to perform marriage ceremonies in accordance with their church doctrine without governmental interference. Stonewall Libertarians played a large part in helping me to understand G.L.B.T. issues and helped me write my gay rights plank. I urge you to support their efforts by visiting their website at http://www.stonewalllibertarians.org/
During your campaign for the nomination, do you feel you have helped the party with its recent growth? If so, how?
I do believe I have helped the party with its recent growth. Many of my supporters have joined the Libertarian Party because I was running for its presidential nomination. In addition, I have had many articles printed regarding my candidacy and positions on issues. I have also promoted the Libertarian Party in all of my public appearances and have addressed many local and state LP organizations and conventions. In each such appearance, I encouraged non-LP members to join the party.
In the event that you do not win the presidential nomination, will you assist the presidential nominee and other Libertarian candidates around the nation? If so, how?
If I fail to win the presidential nomination, I would be happy to assist and advise whoever the LP presidential nominee is, if that person seeks my help. Otherwise, I will work in my home state of New York to promote Libertarian candidates running for state, local and national office.
Given that the vice presidential nominee is selected independently, after the presidential nominee is named, do you intend to seek the vice presidential nomination in the event that you do not win your bid for the presidential nomination?
I would be honored to seek and accept the vice-presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party and I would work as hard on the campaign trail as if I had been the presidential nominee.
With the exception of one presidential cycle, the Libertarian Party has enjoyed significant growth during presidential election years. Are you confident that you can continue this trend if chosen as the presidential nominee? Do you believe it is reasonable goal for the LP to reach its all-time membership record as a result of your campaign efforts?
I am confident the Libertarian Party would experience significant growth if I was chosen as its presidential nominee and that it would reach its all-time membership record as a result of my campaign efforts. Fundraising and the political expertise of my Campaign Team would be the keys to my success. While I am in a position to personally finance a 50-state campaign, I intend to rely on my business contacts and supporters to raise the money needed to purchase radio and television ads in the major media markets. In addition, I believe that all the money in the world will not translate into success unless it is wisely spent. For expert political advice, I intend to rely on Dr. Tom Stevens, my Campaign Manager, who has years of political experience working on national, state and local campaigns, and on Michael W. Reid, Jr., Treasurer of the Committee to Elect Alden Link President, who has shown an amazing grasp of Federal Election Law and F.E.C. regulations.
Do you feel that you would be able to attract significant media coverage as our nominee? What coverage has your campaign generated thus far?
Since I own two planes (one which I built myself), I would travel around the country flying into local airports and holding press conferences on the tarmac, which I believe would create considerable buzz, especially since I am a senior citizen. I made most of my money as a real estate developer and still run a small business manufacturing wheat grass juicers I invented and supplying them to national chains (http://www.sundanceind.com). As an aviator, entrepreneur and small-business owner, I believe I will make an attractive candidate. I draw that conclusion from the interest the media has shown in me to date. I have been profiled and shadowed by reporters eager to understand what they consider to be an interesting story regarding what motivates me to run for President. I am in a position to devote full-time to the upcoming campaign and I pledge to be on the campaign trail every day from now until the November election.
Five years from now, what role do you see yourself having in the Libertarian Party?
As a candidate with experience running a national campaign, I would be eager to share my knowledge and help develop the next generation of leaders put forth by the Libertarian Party. I have no intention of seeking the presidential nomination in 2012 and would be content to participate in National and State Conventions of the Libertarian Party and to contribute to the success of the party in any way I can.