Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Steve Susman, who is running for Congress in the 22nd Texas District against Pete Olson. Steve is good friends with another candidate named David Smith who is running against Ted Poe in the Texas 2nd District, and David decided to join us as well. Both men are running as Libertarians against Republican incumbents, and both have a pretty good showing. Ya know, I never thought I’d be the one to get double-teamed… but hey, I’ll do anything I can to get the republicrats out of office even if that means taking on two guys in one night… um… uh… for an INTERVIEW, you gutter-minded people! Sheesh! That’s just not my thing, y’all.
This is really my first interview… EVER… so please forgive me if this doesn’t come across as very polished or sparkly on my part. I actually detest the media’s projection of “perfection” in the news/journalism arena, so I might take it as a compliment if you tell me my part of the interview sucked. Maybe…
I don’t like coming off as trying to influence anyone’s opinion, but I will tell you what I came away from the interview with… I’ll tell you that Steve is definitely a real guy. He’s like the rest of us. He’s rough around the edges. He smokes. He uses course language. He gets onto tangents. He doesn’t have a script he follows. He tells you what’s on his mind in an un-polished and un-politician way. He also loves his family very much, and loves his Country very much. He’s genuine. He’s the kind of guy who’d hoof it all the way across town to help you if you called him. Those are the impressions I got from talking with him over coffee. Not once did I think “typical deadpan politician blowing smoke up my ass”.
Ok… you’re tired of reading my chatter. I’ll let you get to the interview…
Ron: How do you feel about the indoctrination of our society by the media, in conjunction with the government?
Steve: The media is a total sham. Who knows how long it’s been going on, but there’s no real journalism going on anymore. The people who are the face of the media are owned by their corporate masters and the corporate masters are in collusion with the politicians. I believe about .0 2% of what I hear from the media. I view reporters as repeaters of the lies the establishment wants us to believe. If they tell the lies over and over again enough they think we’ll believe them. With all the talk of the media being broke, I almost hope that they end up having to be bailed out so that the public will see just how closely tied they are to the government.
Ron: What’s your take on the apathy of voters… and NON-voters in our society today?
Steve: That’s actually a great question and ties into the scene I was a part of at the townhall meeting last night for Pete Olson, the man I’m running against for Congress. Everyone loves him because of his “credentials”… he went to UT (University of Texas) and went to their law program, and he was in the Navy. That’s all fine. I don’t down the man for his service to his Country, but he’s come into some very questionable company since he’s gone into politics. No one bothers to dig deeper into the issues and see the corporations that own him and that he’s working to benefit. That’s a major sore spot for me. Don’t get me wrong, I do care for the people that work at these corporations and some of the government agencies they work with, but they make up a small piece the pie. What about the small businesses all over this four county area that government seems to hate? It saddens me that people are just fine with politicians like this, even though this garbage is going on right before their eyes.. How much more are we going to have to take before voters wake up to what’s going on? “Hey this Libertarian guy might sound a little crazy, but he’s telling us what’s really going on.” I’m not a college degree kind of guy. I don’t have all those “credentials”. I’m not a big time lawyer. I’m just a simple mechanic and small business owner, and I feel the pain of what’s going on like everyone else. I don’t live a pampered lifestyle. I have trouble making ends meet sometimes just like everyone else. Back to apathy, though… the ones that don’t vote can’t complain when the government devalues our currency so much that you have no cans of food to eat.
Ron: How can voters be assured that you stand against big government and government corruption, and how can they know that you won’t get sucked into that mindset if you’re voted in, since it seems everyone talks that game before they get into office?
Steve: I’m against government corruption and big government. We don’t need lobbyists and we don’t need PAC’s and we don’t need special interests buying politicians. As an elected official you’re there to represent the people of your district. You’re not there to represent the big corporations or the consortiums. People can be assured I won’t go down that road of corruption because at one time I had a lot of money. I was prosperous and I already know what that life is like and ya know, as soon as you climb up to the top of that mountain, it’s very easy to lose your grip and fall back down pretty hard. All I want is to do my part in helping folks not to worry about where their next paycheck or their next meal or their kid’s pair of shoes are going to come from. We had to scrape to get our auto insurance money together. My wife is in her forties and she’s done raising kids and ya know, this should be her time to be able to shine, but instead, due to the economy and the job situation, she’s stuck delivering auto parts for a living. Even though she has the skills to be a hospital administrator, she can’t get a job doing that because she’s been out of the market for awhile. I hate seeing so many people having to endure the same sort of things.
Ron: How do you feel about the Liberty Renaissance that our country is experiencing?
Steve: I’m part of this movement we’re seeing. This is why I’m running for this seat. With that said, I want to make clear that I didn’t get involved for fortune or fame or for the spotlight or any of that. I just think it’s time for people to stand up and do something themselves, because these idiots in office have turned their backs on the American people. These politicians are so out of touch with what we want and what we need. They’re not doing anything right, so now it’s time to roll back the process of government. We don’t need to ram stupid freedom killing bills like the patriot act, “health care reform”, “financial reform”, “food safety acts”, and so on, down people’s throats. The patriot act is another angle of big government that Mr. Olson supported. He was saying at his townhall meeting last night that we need to get government out of people’s lives, but yet, he supports a lot of these freedom killing bills, especially ones like the patriot act. How can you get the government out of people’s lives when you’ve given them a blank check authority to spy on them, and continuing to vote to extend that “power”? That’s one of the most egregious pieces of legislation ever produced in the US, along with the “healthcare bill”. I still don’t know how the government is given Constitutional authority to force us to buy something at gunpoint. I may not be a Constitutional scholar or a big lawyer, but I know what’s wrong is wrong and what’s right is right.
Ron: What do you see as the proper defense of our Republic?
Steve: We need to go back to a defensive force and move away from our current offensive force. What happened to legally declaring war? I was actually discussing this a little bit last night at Pete Olsen’s townhall with one of the gentlemen there. He was applauding Mr. Olson’s support of the signing of the blank check which is House Resolution 1553 that gives Israel ‘carte blanche’ to go to war with Iran. What happened to if you attack us, we go in and pound you for ten days and leave as punishment for your actions toward us, as a lesson to not jack with the US? We shouldn’t be rebuilding or occupying anyone. We don’t need to go absolutely everywhere and we don’t need to be based everywhere and helping out absolutely everyone and police every nation. Meanwhile, trying to support that overextended doctrine, we’re crumbling at home. I have two nephews right now serving over there with targets on their backs from someone who hates us because we killed their families for no reason except for conquest. How can you fight a concept? That’s what we’re doing. We’re fighting a ‘concept’. That’s what terrorism is. We’ve been in Afghanistan for nearly an entire decade and what do we have to show for it? You expect us to believe that we can’t win a fight against such an impoverished insurgency? You say in that impoverished nation that there’s a $5 million bounty on Osama Bin Laden’s head and no one has given him up? Come on. As for the possibility on the horizon of “going to war” with Iran, those people who live here HATE their oppressive government. Why do we need to bother invading? Maybe we should arm those people with something better than sticks and rocks and let them take care of their own business. But I know that won’t happen because the government wants to control what happens there since we believe we have to be the world’s police force. These are also some of the reasons I’m running for office. We need to bring these folks home. We need to concentrate on getting our own house in order before we even think about getting involved anywhere else.
Ron: What’s your idea of transparency and how can we be assured that you’ll be transparent while in office?
Steve: I’ve made it a point that when someone asks me a question, if I don’t know the answer I’ll flat out tell them I don’t know the answer, but that I’ll research it and actually get back to them on the situation. I had a guy come to me about the Elena Kagan appointment. I haven’t really followed it to be able to give anyone an educated answer on anything related to it. He was asking me to give him some back up on some points he was trying to make about it. I told him flat out, I’m sorry, but I’m following the BP spill, the proposed toxic waste dump out in Andrews County, Texas, I’m trying to help a veteran who’s been denied by the V.A., the constituents are calling people like me and like David Smith because the congressmen aren’t answering or returning their calls. I may give you an answer you don’t like, but it’ll be the truth. If I can’t help you, I’ll tell you I can’t help. I won’t shine you on and tell you “yeah yeah yeah” and not do anything after I walk away. You’ll at least be able to say this guy is honest. And if I screw up and make a mistake, I’ll be man enough to admit that I screwed up. Also, in the idea of transparency, David Smith and I are writing up framework for some bills to try and help folks out. They’re on our web sites. David’s Immigration bill is on my web site and my proposal for a small business cooperative that’s designed to help more Americans that are denied by the Small Business Administration to start their own business since there are no jobs out here. Why not give folks the opportunity to start their own business in a niche they’ve been looking at and are passionate about… and maybe employ others? People should check these ideas out.
Ron: What’s your take on Personal Responsibility? About government involvement? Is ANYONE too big to fail?
Steve: Nobody is too big to fail. Next to the gold heist during the depression where FDR made it illegal to own physical gold, the bailouts were the worst heists performed on the American people by their government. They should have let those companies fail and let the smaller and midsized companies buy up the remains and the pieces that were left. Yeah, it would have hurt for a time, but eventually the free market would have taken care of itself and we’d go on about our lives. All it did was benefit offshore banking cartels and foreign entities. It sure didn’t benefit OUR economy. If you or I designed and implemented that scam, we’d be in jail. Where’s their accountability? Why do these people think they’re above the law that the rest of us are subject to? Why the different set of rules for bureaucrats? We need to knock that mindset out of the government. We’re all equal under the law.
Ron: Do you support radically reducing government spending and paying down the government debt?
Steve: Absolutely. Our government’s drunk on spending. David Smith, Kathie Glass, and I are working on writing up the Immigration proposal I mentioned earlier and the details of this particular proposal are part of our plans to help cut government expenditures. No longer will we be paying for any sort of social programs for illegal aliens. No welfare. No free healthcare. None of that. In the same instance, the proposal cuts out a lot of the paperwork, the wait times, and also the expense from the legalization process for those who wish to come here and become citizens through the proper channels. It’s not amnesty, but it’s the real reform the folks in Washington are saying they want. Of course, this isn’t all written in stone. We’re looking for input from the folks we serve to make sure it’s something everyone can live with, instead of shoving something down the throats of people.
Ron: How do you feel about all the voter fraud that’s been going on? What can we do to reduce or eliminate voter fraud?
Steve: Get the political hacks out of the precincts. Get everyday non-partisan people monitoring the registration of voters instead of the politically connected organizations who are obviously slanted in their perspective.
Ron: Do you reject the “isms” (racism, sexism, classism, etc.) that the media and the government are perpetuating to keep the American people divided?
Steve: I’m focused on helping create an environment to help folks get and keep jobs and provide for themselves. I completely reject any of those ideologies that divide this Country… Especially when its sponsored by the government in the form of “affirmative action”. I’ve seen this in my own experience regarding the Small Business Administration. My business partner, who is an American citizen who came from Colombia, had to be the one who filed our paperwork on some projects we’re handling in order to get them pushed through faster because when I did it, they shot me the bird. It’s sad that we had to play that game but you do what you have to do in order to get things done. There are too many special programs out there to give certain groups preference and unfair advantage over other groups. And that’s sponsored by the government.
Ron: What are your views about a call for an open audit of the Federal Reserve, which will hopefully lead to a complete dismantling of the Federal Reserve?
Steve: I’m pretty upset that Ron Paul’s HR1207, which called for a complete audit of the Fed, had been so watered down by Chris Dodd and Barney Frank that it wasn’t worth supporting. The Fed must go as any central banking system is evil. Thomas Jefferson said we had more to fear from this type of system than from standing armies. It needs to go.
Ron: We stand for a decentralization of power of the Federal Government, as well as the ability of the States to assert their rights in matters that the Federal Government should not be involved with. In addition, we believe in the Constitutional decree that what is not listed for the Feds in that document are reserved to the States as well as the people. What are your views on that?
Steve: It’s very simple. If it’s not listed in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, the Feds have no power to do it. Whatever “it” may be. Despite my personal opinions on some things, that’s really what I feel needs to happen. Say on issues like abortion, gay marriage, or marijuana, something of that nature, that power needs to be pushed back to the Sovereign States and the People. I’m not a fan of the mob rule mentality, but in those types of issues, it’d be better handled locally because those people can better ascertain their own needs, and if issue arise with laws, they can be repealed quicker to reduce the negative effects. They should be left in the hands of the people because they know what works best for them. I don’t push my religious and moral beliefs onto others or demand they abide by them. And I don’t think we need to have a law against absolutely everything.
Ron: What are your thoughts on the Constitutional call for a volunteer defense force like the days of the minutemen?
Steve: I completely support that. I’m actually a member of the Texas 3%. We’re not organized and we don’t drill, but we’re a brother/sisterhood of people helping out and keeping an eye on things that are going on but don’t seem right.
Steve and I talked for about an hour and a half, so what’s written down here is a synopsis of the interview. It’s not the whole thing. I actually recorded it on my blackberry and we were outside a coffee shop, near a road with some seriously loud traffic going by. Between the really noisy audio, getting it transferred to my computer since I can’t find my stupid data cable (had to capture the audio minute by minute, instead of transferring files), and the time it took to transcribe it from the audio… I’ll NEVER do another interview in an open setting using my blackberry like that again. I haven’t completed transcribing David’s interview yet either, so I still have some work ahead of me to get that done. I hope to have it completed by the end of the weekend, so look for that one coming soon.
Go to Steve’s Campaign site and check the guy out. Educate yourself on the issues and decide for yourself. But for the love all that’s salty and sweet, PLEASE don’t let apathy rule your life. Get out and make a difference… Think before you vote.***