- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 13, 2016

They have been left out of the official presidential debate circuit. But that has not stopped the Libertarians from entering the fray.

“A nationally televised debate of Libertarian presidential candidates is long overdue, and we are delighted that it is finally happening,” says Nicholas Sarwark, chairman of the Libertarian Party, which previously sued the Commission on Presidential Debates for equal access to the nationally televised bouts, to no avail.

Stepping up to the plate instead is Fox Business Network as the broadcaster, veteran host John Stossel will serve as moderator for what is being billed as a “forum” rather than a debate by the network. The event will be taped March 29, to air three days later. The candidates: former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, software entrepreneur John McAfee, and Libertarian Republic founder Austin Petersen.

“We urge all Americans to tell their friends, co-workers, and family to watch this important debate and see they have a choice,” advises Mr. Sarwark. “They do not have to settle for candidates who are bigoted and insulting, who curry favor with the titans of Wall Street, who put our troops in harm’s way, who have no intention of stopping runaway government spending, and who force Americans to buy lousy yet unaffordable medical insurance plans.”

Mr. Johnson, who ran as the Libertarian candidate in 2012 and managed to snag 1.2 million votes, is the likely candidate once again — though the party will formally reveal the ticket at its national convention in May.

“The Republican establishment hates their front-runner candidate and the Democrat mainstream is squashing their grass-roots challenger. So maybe it’s time for Americans to elect a third-party candidate,” Mr. Johnson reasons.

“The Libertarian Party is expected to be on the ballot in most, if not all, 50 states plus the District of Columbia,” points out Wes Benedict, the party’s executive director. “As the nation’s third-largest political party, Libertarians represent a growing plurality of Americans who are neither left nor right but who lean libertarian on issues from foreign intervention to marijuana to balancing the federal budget.”


“People don’t know how to define Donald Trump. I’ve defined him as a moderate nationalist. But I’m going to redefine Donald Trump for everyone,” talk radio host Michael Savage says of the GOP presidential front-runner. “Trump is a Christian nationalist. No one’s said that. He is a proud Christian, and he’s a proud American nationalist.”

Mr. Savage continues, “This is anathema to the media. This is anathema to the America haters. This is anathema to the thuggish Left who has taken over everything in this country. Well, finally we have someone who said, ‘Drop dead. We’re not slaves of the radical Left. We’re not going to eat this garbage anymore, and we’re fighting back.’”


Some political action committees also hope to redefine Mr. Trump, in the meantime.

“A number of anti-Trump PACs have been spending heavily. American Future Fund, Club for Growth, Club for Growth Action, Make America Awesome and Our Principles PAC have together spent $17.3 million on TV and radio ads to date — $2.3 million more than the Trump campaign and pro-Trump PACs combined,” reports Ad Age analyst Simon Dumenco.


It is a cultural moment. Melania Trump — who married Republican hopeful Donald Trump in 2005 — anticipated a potential role as first lady of the U.S. even before the couple marched down the aisle. As Melania Knauss, she did, in fact, elaborate on the idea in 1999 in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, after news surfaced that the high-fashion model was Mr. Trump’s very significant other. Even then, the press was curious. Suppose she became first lady?

“I take it seriously,” the Slovenia native said 17 years ago, without a flinch. “I will do the best job I could. The best. I would use all my energy, all my power — and I will serve the people, if it comes to that. I say, let’s see. I am not there yet. Let’s see what will happen.”

And if Mr. Trump were to win the presidency?

“I will stand by my man and support him,” she said. “He does the things that are important. What he says, he does. He knows how to deal with everything, and how to deal with the people and how to do the job.”


Seventy years ago, they were masters at mystery and tactical deception. Bipartisan legislation has been introduced to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Ghost Army, the World War II unit that created intricate battlefield deceptions using hundreds of inflatable tanks, sound effects, phony radio transmissions and illusion near the front lines from Normandy to the Rhine River. It was meant to fool the Germans, and fool them it did. The elite group risked its members’ lives but drew fire away from their fellow GIs.

Reps. Annie Kuster, New Hampshire Democrat, and Peter King, New York Republican, introduced the bill, which has already picked up over 30 co-sponsors; similar legislation will be introduced soon in the Senate.

“It is finally time that the American people recognize their ingenuity and selflessness, which saved countless American and Allied lives,” Mr. King says. “The Ghost Army deserve their due.”

The Congressional Gold Medal has been awarded to other unsung WWII units including the Doolittle Raiders, the Monuments Men, the Women Air Service Pilots and the Native American Code Talkers. Legislation to award the medal to the OSS — the predecessor of the CIA — was introduced this year, and is picking up speed.


51 percent of Americans say the U.S. gives out too much foreign aid; 68 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of independents and 42 percent of Democrats agree.

9 percent overall say the U.S. gives out “too little” foreign aid; 5 percent of Republicans, 10 percent of independents and 11 percent of Democrats agree.

41 percent overall say U.S. foreign aid should go to poor nations that support American policy; 59 percent of Republicans, 38 percent of independents and 31 percent of Democrats agree.

39 percent overall say U.S. aid should focus on the poorest nations; 32 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of independents and 49 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A YouGov poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted March 1-3 and released Friday.

Hue and cry to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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