Adam Kokesh

 

Briefly tell us about yourself and why you’re running for president.

I’m a small business owner, homesteader, author, and host and producer of ADAM VS THE MAN. At the first point in my life that I could afford it, right after getting home from a combat tour with the Marines in Iraq in 2004, I became a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party. My experience in the military compelled my activism, first with Iraq Veterans Against the War and then with our PTSD support group, Homefront Battle Buddies. That led me to run for Congress with the endorsement of Ron Paul in 2010. I couldn’t shut up when the race was over, and that led to the birth of ADAM VS THE MAN, as a radio show, then a TV show, then a YouTube channel with over 80 million views. I am the self-published author of the book FREEDOM! with over a quarter million copies in print and 4 million downloads. I ran my college Libertarian Party affiliate for several years, stood up my local county affiliate, ran for US Senate as a Libertarian, and have spoken at hundreds of state conventions. My wife, Samantha, and I are building our off-grid homestead in the mountains of Arizona, and hope to inspire people to live libertarian values and pursue their own version of the American dream.

I’m running for President as a Libertarian because it is the best thing that I can do to serve the goal of a world set free in our lifetime. I’m running on the localization platform because it is the only pragmatic platform that gets us out of the current paradigm of statism in a peaceful, orderly, responsible manner, by taking incremental steps that make it easier for us to build winning coalitions. If someone more capable were running on a platform as principled and pragmatic as this, I would hope to support them as their running mate. However, because of my history of activism, civil disobedience, media production, and as a combat veteran, I am uniquely poised to connect with people over a wide variety of issues. It is a fantasy to think that someone with no track record of reaching people with a Libertarian message will suddenly become capable as the nominee. I ask for your support as pragmatists who want to look at what works. Localization is the secession platform. Secession has already polled at over 25% nationally. Let’s give the people what they want, with a unifying message, delivered by a capable messenger … and win!

What are the top three issues your campaign will focus on?

  1. Localization: Larry Sharpe defines a Libertarian as someone who says you can be as liberal or as conservative as you want, as long as you don’t force it on anyone. This is a more compassionate and effective way of communicating our ideals. Instead of arguing issue by issue, we can unite Americans by taking issue that people are trying to force their will on us from Washington, DC. By localizing government, it becomes transparent, accountable, and customized. Eventually, this provides for an orderly transition to voluntary government, and except for the profiteers of corruption, everybody gets more of what they want every step of the way.
  2. Military/Foreign Policy: It is high time that we unite Americans against the duopoly as the anti-war party! As a combat veteran, I think I am uniquely capable of taking on Trump, or as we like to call him, “Cadet Bone Spurs.” The military-industrial-complex has run things for far too long. It’s not enough to be against one war or the next war, but in order to root out this evil, we must fundamentally rethink defense and apply the founder’s principles of decentralization. When Americans are skeptical of all politicians, my history of anti-war activism gives me unique credibility on this issue that is unquestionable. 
  3. Native American Rights - The treatment of Native Americans has been an ignored embarrassment for far too long. Localization gives tribes the opportunity to reclaim their sovereignty and take back any undeveloped lands stolen in violation of treaties. As a graduate of the Native American Preparatory School with a deep understanding of and connection to the native community, armed with a message of liberation and justice, together we can expose the hypocrisy of the duopoly with this issue and address a long overdue embarrassment.

What would your pitch be to a lifelong Republican who is unhappy with Trump? What would your pitch be to a lifelong Democrat who is unhappy with Biden?

The difference between Democrats and Republicans is like the difference between going off a cliff at 70 miles an hour and eighty miles an hour. Which is which? It doesn’t matter and yet they have us bickering and polarized as if there was a difference in the outcome. Settling for the lesser evil is going to eventually take us over the cliff no matter what speed we’re going. We have to grab the steering wheel and go in a fundamentally different direction to avoid disaster. If we can unite around localization, it doesn’t matter if you’re a liberal in a liberal state or a conservative in a conservative state, with localization, everyone gets more of what you want right away, and we can unite Americans from across the spectrum against the corruption of Washington, DC.

What skills or lessons have you acquired from past campaigns or other involvement in politics?

I’ve learned that politics is about making friends and talking about ideas you care about, and if you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right! I’ve learned how to be patient and ask questions to connect with people. I’ve learned how to merge Libertarian principles with practical policy.

Most importantly, I have learned the value in what we do as Libertarian activists. We are standing up to the greatest injustices in the world. We are fighting for a better world for future generations. There is nothing more noble or worthy of dedicating your life to than pursuing a world set free … and we can see it in our lifetimes!

Tell us about your campaign organization.

  • Elijah Gizzarelli of the Rhode Island Libertarian Party - Campaign Manager - He’s been loyal and committed to my campaign for over two years.
  • Angela Thornton-Canny of the Michigan Libertarian Party - Campaign Treasurer - She worked on my congressional campaign in 2010 and came back for this campaign. She has been professional and proven herself extremely trustworthy.
  • Peter and Helen Yeaple of the New York Libertarian Party - National Delegate Coordinators - They have been all over the country in their own activism and are familiar with most state affiliates. 
  • Marcus Pulis of the Indiana Libertarian Party - Press Secretary - Our most valuable volunteer, Marcus has booked hundreds of interviews for me over the past two years.
  • Scotty Boman of the Michigan Libertarian Party - Social Media Coordinator - Scotty has run for office several times as a Libertarian and been involved with his state affiliate at least since I met him at a state convention in 2012.
  • Shane Cory, former ED of the Libertarian Party - Chief Strategist
  • Mykl Wood of the Michigan Libertarian Party - IT Director
  • Zach Parks - Christians for Kokesh
  • Samantha Kokesh - Exotic Entertainers for Kokesh
  • Chris Cole - Victims of Family Law for Kokesh
  • Joie Leigh - Stoners for Kokesh
  • Norman Somerville - Felons for Kokesh
  • Kenny Marshall - Veterans for Kokesh
  • Brianna Christopher - Gender and Sexual Minorities for Kokesh
  • Edan Donabella - Gun Owners for Kokesh
  • Dan Feutz - First Responders for Kokesh

We also have five regional coordinators and active state coordinators in most states.

How will nominating you impact Libertarians running viable campaigns for lower office?

Running on the platform of localization strengthens the message of every local candidate because it advocates for more autonomy at the local level. I will be a full time candidate, wholly dedicated to this cause and will be on the road non-stop for the entire campaign. We will host events in every major city in America (that isn’t in quarantine!) and invite local candidates onstage for every event. As you know from my record, I have the hustle and I love to tour! I also have a proven record of adherence to the non-aggression principle, and with localization, you won’t hear any crazy positions from me that you would have to defend. I know where Aleppo is, but more importantly, I can handle any questions with a cool, calm, collected demeanor and command presence that you can be proud of. 

The Libertarian Party’s 2016 ticket received 4,489,341 votes, 3.3%. Will you improve on this in 2020, and how? Please be specific.

Localization could be described as the secession platform. Secession has already polled at over 25% nationally. If we nominate someone on this platform and clearly communicate to the American people what we are offering, we could start with 25% out the gate. We would have to screw up a lot to get under 10% with this message! With the unifying message of localization, it should be relatively easy to have a breakout year for the party. For specific tactics, I would focus on four states, two large states for vote counts, (probably California and Texas) and two small states for electoral college votes (probable Wyoming and South Dakota.)