Libertarian candidate will campaign at CMU

On March 24th, Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik will be visiting Carnegie Mellon to speak on the subject of "rights versus privileges" as part of his 2004 campaign.

Mr. Badnarik, a Texas resident who also teaches an analysis class on the United States Constitution as he campaigns across the country, is visiting universities across the country this month.

"I'm trying to spread the Libertarian message to as many young people as possible," Mr. Badnarik stated in an interview. "Many college students have not made up their minds yet as to whether they want to be a Republican or a Democrat. I think Libertarianism would appeal to them."

The Libertarian Party was founded in 1972 and is currently the United States' largest political third party. Its philosophy, according to the Libertarian Party of Pittsburgh's web site, focuses on the idea of a more passive government and the protection of free enterprise.

Some key Libertarian issues that Badnarik has been addressing in his speeches to universities are the war in Iraq, gun control, and Social Security.

Badnarik stated that his college visits and lectures on "rights and privileges" are integral to his campaign because college students constitute the next generation of voters and Social Security recipients. "College students are soon going to be part of the Social Security system," he said. "They need to understand the difference between a right and a privilege so they can help me help them out of the Social Security trap."
He also addressed the growing issues with higher education.

"The government now spends up to ten times as much per student than they used to, but where American students were once first in science and math, now we are twenty-first. The system has become too inefficient. If we were to privatize education, colleges would become private businesses competing for students. This would dramatically lower costs for students."

The Libertarian Party of Pittsburgh's Vice Chair Harold Kyriazi organized the event with the assistance of David Eckhardt, a doctoral student in computer science. "We have some activists on campus," said Kyriazi. "We're going to try to have each candidate come to Pittsburgh one at a time."

Badnarik's visit will follow the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania's state convention, which was held from March 19 to March 21. During the 2004 National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia in May, the final Libertarian presidential candidate will be chosen.

Badnarik will speak tomorrow at 7:30 pm in Baker Hall A53.

For more information on Libertarianism, local events, or presidential candidates, you can visit Michael Badnarik's official website, the Libertarian Party of Pittsburgh's site, or the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania's site.