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Libertarian VP candidate visits Yuma
The United States “will continue to deteriorate” whether a Democrat or a Republican is elected president in November, said Jim Gray, vice presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party.
“Romney and Obama are so interchangeable we call them ‘Robamney.' They are really the same person.”
Gray is running alongside Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico.
“If you vote for the lesser of two evils, like most people are, you still get evil,” Gray said Wednesday afternoon during a public meeting at Booth Machinery in Yuma.
If a constituent doesn't support their party's candidate but still votes along party lines, that is “a wasted vote” because the message to each party is “this type of candidate is acceptable,” Gray added.
He believes the only real solution, and the only way to end the duopoly in Washington, is for voters to cast a ballot for Johnson.
“If we just get 5 percent, it will be a revolution,” Gray said. “It will be historic because then we as Libertarians will be able to get matching funds from the federal government ... in 2016 for the presidential race. It will be the beginning of the end of the two-party system. Once that happens, we are in the mainstream, we are in the middle — financially responsible and socially tolerant.”
That will “require the radical extremes on both sides to come more towards the center, because we will be that third party voice,” he continued. “This is historic, this is important.”
During his time in Yuma, Gray spoke at length about personal freedoms in the United States. “The very soul of our country is our civil liberties, and our very soul is under attack by our very own government.”
Those attacks include but are not limited to the passage of the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012, he said.
“Nobody that has liberal values would have signed the National Defense Authorization Act.”
A key provision in the NDAA legally allows the U.S. government to arrest American citizens and throw them in jail indefinitely if they are even suspected of being terrorists, or supporting terrorism, without a trial or conviction.
“Anybody in this country, citizen or not, could be labeled as a terrorist by the Executive Department,” Gray said. “I could be labeled a terrorist ... held without charges, held without trial and actually rendered ... meaning you could be deported to another country (and) probably tortured.”
Gray promised to repeal both the Patriot Act and the NDAA if he and Johnson are elected.
He said he would also work to abolish the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce and the Internal Revenue Service. He would eliminate income taxes and generate needed funds through sales taxes instead, he said, noting a balanced budget and debt reduction would be a top priority.
A former judge in Orange County, Calif., Gray would also end the “war on drugs” and supports the legalization and normalization of marijuana.
“While I was on the bench, it just became abundantly clear to me that our nation's drug policy is not working. We couldn't do it worse if we tried.”
Farmers in the Yuma area would benefit from the legalization of marijuana since they could then produce industrial hemp, Gray added.
Gray also said he would reduce military spending, close up to 80 percent of bases around the globe and end the war in Afghanistan.
“Bring those troops home now. We can't afford it. We cannot be the nations' policeman. We simply have to stop this. If you look at the Roman Empire, they were never conquered from without. They overextended and fell from within. Guess where we are today?”