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Karen Kwiatkowski: A libertarian perspective on the Nov. 4 elections

By Karen Kwiatkowski

When I ran in the Republican primary of 2012, seeking to unseat long-term 6th District Congressman Bob Goodlatte, I met a lot of people who liked my message of small government and liberty.

When my opponent and his supporters called me libertarian, they didn't realize they'd just picked a fight with a pig. We were both going to get muddy, but the pig was sure to love every minute of it. You see, I'm very proud to be called a passionate lover of liberty, and a proponent of limited government. I am honored to be seen as a defender of my neighbors' freedom to live their lives and run their businesses as they see fit, so long as they accord the same right to me, and don't force me to subsidize their choices.

We have another election on Nov 4. I'm on record as supporting Ken Cuccinelli for governor, E.W. Jackson for lieutenant governor, and Mark Obenshain for attorney general. As the president of the Republican Women in Shenandoah County, this isn't news, but I want to share my libertarian perspective on these candidates, and why I particularly like this ticket this year.

Attorney General Cuccinelli fights federal overreach, and he does so effectively. That alone would be enough for me to cast my vote for him. He fought Obamacare on the grounds that forcing everyone to buy health insurance is not the proper role of the federal government. On this 9th and 10th Amendment-derived principle, he will fight similar excess in federal educational policy that hurts our children and our schools, federal farm policy that harms Virginia farmers, federal energy policy that devastates Virginia workers, consumers and landowners, and a federal environmental regulatory machine that harms Virginians, and every other species that reside here. He will fight federal social policy and federal tax policy that harms Virginia families.

I am a woman who had a 20-year military career believing that I was fighting for the Constitution and liberty here at home. I trust Cuccinelli to be true to these same principles, and in doing that, I believe his governorship will nurture and grow liberty in Virginia, for all of us. We definitely need more liberty, as taxes are going up and we are experiencing the lowest labor participation rate in 30 years. We certainly won't get liberty or prosperity from the other side -- they aren't even asking for it, but shockingly, they are advocating even more interference in our lives from both federal and state levels.

I have heard that Cuccinelli will attempt to regulate my life, control my choices for my family, and peek into my bedroom from Richmond. False claims like these indicate a real misunderstanding on the part of the Terry McCauliffe campaign of what it is that drives Cuccinelli -- and I believe what drives him is faith, family and the Constitution. Most people have never read the Bill of Rights, and so they don't really understand our creator-granted liberties, and the correct and limited role of government. But I know Cuccinelli does, and I find that comforting. When it comes to my choices, my personal life and my privacy, I'm far more worried about regulating, controlling and peeking by the former head of the Democratic National Committee and his close ties with the massive surveillance state expanded and led by President Obama. I think I speak for many of the tens of thousand of small "l" libertarians in the state, and also for the nearly 4 million women in Virginia who rightfully believe they own their own lives and are well qualified to decide what's best for their families without interference from Richmond.

I consider myself a friend of Jackson and Obenshain, and I believe they will also fight for the expansion of liberty in Virginia. They get it. Individual liberty is fundamental to a healthy economy, and a healthy and happy society.

Call me a simpleton, or naïve, but I always vote for liberty when I get a chance. The GOP ticket doesn't always give us this chance. For example, I don't vote for McCain-style warmongers, or establishment hacks who don't understand and won't fight for the Constitution, and that won't change. But on Nov. 4, I am happy to report we have a GOP ticket in Virginia that will increase liberty and prosperity in our state. It's a ticket I trust to keep the government out of my driveway, my barn, my kitchen, my backyard and my bedroom.

Karen Kwiatkowski is a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel, a farmer, a part time professor, and a liberty-minded conservative. She writes from the southwestern edge of Shenandoah County.


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