My life thus far has been amazing. And throughout the years I have gone through some profound changes.
When I was younger I didn’t think much about politics. I thought mainly about literature and metaphysics.
All I wanted was to be a best selling
writer and travel the world.
And the irony was I knew so little about
what was going on throughout the world
I wanted so deeply to explore. My head
really was “in the clouds”.
As ignorant as I was, I still maintained a
sense of ambition, I just
wasn’t certain exactly what it was
I hoped to achieve.
Then one day I decided to start watching the news and
learn about everything that was going on in the world.
If you’d like to know a little bit more about my life thus far, watch the video below, or read the transcript. It’s a short speech I gave at the Hightstown Library where I formally introduced myself to supporters of our campaign.
I was born and raised here in New Jersey. When I was a kid my parents got divorced so I got to enjoy time with my father and step mother, in Cream Ridge-where it is quite rural- and with my mother and step father, in Robbinsville, which is more suburban. I was not interested in politics as a kid, or as a teenager. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a movie star like John Travolta or Marlon Brando. As a teenager, I wanted to a poet like Jack Kerouac. Then as a young adult I grew fascinated with philosophers like Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzche. I began studying philosophy at college, and independently as well. Despite my fascination with philosophy I never thought much about political philosophy. I was more interested in questions such as “do we have free will? And how can I know one way or the other?” I attended Kean University but disliked the urban environment. So then I transferred to Florida Gulf Coast University. The campus was beautiful and inspirational but I didn’t enjoy the courses. I wanted, instead, to be free to devote myself to writing and took a semester off, lived in Miami Beach, working various jobs and writing but then decided to move back to New Jersey and give Mercer County Community College a try. I remained usatisfied with my education, and took one more semester off, again living in Florida, this time in Tampa, and decided once more to give college a try. Unfortunately none of my fundamental questions about life were being answered at college, which was very frustrating, and so I decided to take my education into my own hands. I studied literature on my own, did a lot of writing and took care of my father who was suffering from Parkinson’s disease. About 6 months later he passed away. I then wrote and self published a book. To be perfectly blunt with you, I don’t like the book and disavow the view of life I held upon writing and promoting it. In need of an income source, I applied for a job at a grocery store- Super Fresh was the first one- and I have spent the last three years working in that industry. As some of you know, I have worked at all three major grocery stores in the area, and for two of those three years, I have worked at McCaffrey’s.
Although I have been working at McCaffrey’s, I have also devoted my free time to writing, studying philosophy, and the news. One notable philosopher I discovered was Ayn Rand. Although I have come to disagree with some of her ideas (as I have become a Christian and she was an atheist), I agree with her that no person has the right to be coercive- to violate another person’s self determination or steal his or her private property- even if that coercive person works for the government, and says he or she is telling you what to do, or taking your money, for your own good. I believe that so long as we are never violent, so long as we never committ fraud or theft, we have the right to decide what is or is not for our own good. We have the right to make mistakes and learn from them. If the government doesn’t allow us to learn from our mistakes, how can we ever learn to become responsible people? And is that not the ideal?
The more I studied political philosophy, and the news, the more I realized just how destructive the government has become- and not just on the federal level. State, county, and municipal governments have become increasingly destructive as well. Even the United Nations continues to grow more destructive. I learned about the true nature of all the major political ideologies: communism, socialism, fascism, theocracy, totaltarianism, and capitalism. I have learned that capitalism is the only political ideology that upholds an individual person’s right to individual liberty, where as all the other major ideologies believe that the government has the right to use coersion, commit theft, violence, and or fraud. I learned about the fascist, expensive nature of Obamacare, how disappointing our Supreme Court is for upholding it, especially the part of it which forces all people to buy health insurance even if they don’t want to; even if they can’t really afford it., I learned how our head of homeland security, our attorney general, our congressman Rush Holt, our mayors and town council members all tend to evade serious questions. I learned that the president, and our governor both have a problem with people making their own decisions. One of the most disturbing things I have learned is how much debt the country is in, how much debt the state is in, how much debt the municipalities are in- and even worse- how reluctant our elected officials are to deal with our massive, ever growing debt and how despite all this debt, they continue to spend more and more! That’s what I’ve learned in a nut shell, in as few words as possible. I could share more with you however I think I have made the problem with our government quite clear and can share more with you on another occasion.
As soon as I learned about all these problems, I began speaking out about them, in conversations, and in various blogs I kept. On a few occasions I fancied the idea of running for political office and solving these problems, however each time, I changed my mind. One friend and coworker of mine insisted that I do run for political office because, he said he believed I would get things done. Like I said, I enjoyed the idea for awhile, but ultimately lost interest. I thought it would be a losing battle.
Last March another friend and co-worker of mine insisted that I run for political office. He’s a very kind, and smart man, so I thought it would be logical to at least consider his advice. After contemplating the idea, I decided that since nobody else I knew was going to run for office and try to give us back our freedom and our money, and since it is an issue I am very passionate about, I might as well do it. I discovered that this year elections would be held in our district for General Assembly and decided that was what I would run for.
So just a few weeks later, I attended and spoke at the NJ Libertarian Convention. I was deeply honored to be nominated alongside Steve Uccio for General assembly, and I was also very pleased that Don DeZarn was nominated for State Senate.
Steve and Don have been a pleasure to work with. I’ve known them now for just a little over a month and I am lucky to have them, not only as running mates, but also as friends. It makes our campaign more powerful and exciting. These two gentlemen work long hours at their day jobs, just trying to pay their bills, and then they muster incredible energy to campaign passionately with me. They are amazing and inspirational. Steve; Don;- thank you, gentlemen.
The three of us have thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and our other neighbors who couldn’t make it to this event. We’ve had good, and important conversations. We’ve spoken to you at bars, we’ve gone door to door, sometimes catching people in the middle of dinner, sometimes meeting people who are vehemently opposed to our views, sometimes meeting people who are incredibly supportive. Two gentlemen actually stopped their cars just to greet us and sign our petitions.
The town counsel meetings have been exciting as well although a bit disconcerting. A journalist for the Windsor-Hights Herald named Amy Batista, met us at one of those meetings and wrote a very objective article about my seven minute extemporaneous speech before the town counsel on the issue of federal, state, and local debt. Unfortunately, instead of responding to my concern about the debt, Mayor Janice Mirinov, and the town counsel members constantly insisted that I stop speaking throughout that speech and then, instead of responding to me, said “thank you” and changed the subject.
The school board meeting we attended was also disconcerting. Other than a few comments in praise of the new and improved school literary magazine and ideas on how to have better curriculum fairs (not to be confused with a new and improved curriculum) There was no real discussion about improving the quality of education or cutting spending. I was the only one in the public to comment and the comment I made was in reference to the administrative code which mandates that the schools analyze how students learn or fail to learn based on what color their skin is or how much money their parents make. I said I thought that was a bad idea since it divides students and treats them as merely members of a group- not as unique individuals with personal strengths and weaknesses. Nobody at the meeting responded to my comment however I did recently hae an interesting conversation with a private school teacher who said the more personal attention a teacher can give her students, the better the students will learn. Indeed, I agree.
A lot of you have told us you’re tired of paying higher and higher property taxes. Well, one of the reasons this is happening is that the state is holding onto money that belongs to the municipalities: the energy tax receipts property tax relief fund. If the state returned this money to the municipalities- and if the municipalities and the state stop spending more and more money- our property taxes will go down.
All of our tax rates will go down if the municipalities, the state, (and the federal government) stop spending more and more money- and despite the fact that we are in debt!
I regret to say here tonight, that if you look through the municipal and state budgets, it is not made abundantly clear how much debt we’re in. You would think, 33 pages into Governor Christie’s latest budget proposal, the total debt of New Jersey would be stated and that it would be prioritized. It’s not. That’s why one of my top priorities will be getting a user friendly budget mandate passed in the state legislature and signed by the governor. These budgets would not only be clear and easy to read, they would also state the essentials on one of the first pages!
Many of us don’t know exactly how much money our government is spending on what, which makes it extremely difficult to have a critical discussion about how we, as a state, spend our money, and how we tax each other.
There is one expenditure we can most certainly cut. We can stop spending money on arresting, and incarcerating people just for smoking marijuana. Instead, we can legalize it, and tax it- something neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have the moral courage to do. But the truth is that modern day prohibition is expensive, it doesn’t work (it doesn’t work now and it didn’t work in the 1920′s when the government made it illegal to sell, purchase, or consume alcohol), and, the government doesn’t have the right to tell us what we can and cannot do to our own bodies. Most politicians in office today think the government does have that right.
Ultimately, all political debates can be boiled down to one question: does a person have the right to individual liberty or should some people be controlled by certain other people who refer to themselves as members of the government? I think the country, the state, and our district- the 14th district, is a bit divided on the answer to this question, but I am confident that most of us rightfully share the following guiding political principle: the government must be transparent, debt free, and protect individual liberty. Ladies and gentlemen, if you vote for me, I will act and vote according to this principle. If you encourage your friends, your family, your neighbors, and your co-workers to vote for me this November you will be part of a legendary, and righteous liberation. Thank you so much and God bless the 14th district, God bless New Jersey, God bless America, God bless the Earth, God bless the Universe.