Chase Oliver’s War and Peace Platform Plank

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On Sunday, delegates at the Libertarian Party National Convention by majority vote selected Chase Oliver to be the party’s presidential nominee. Individuals seeking an anti-war candidate to support in the United States presidential race will be looking into Oliver’s views in regard to war and peace.

Oliver has provided a brief statement concerning those views in the “End Wars & Support Peace” plank of the platform presented at his campaign website.

In line with the platform plank’s title, Oliver presents a broad anti-war and pro-peace message in the introductory paragraph of the plank, stating in part:

Our nation has long had the moniker ‘leader of the free world.’ It is time we earn that distinction by insisting that Peace is the way forward. End the wars. End the drones. End the policy of constant intervention. It’s easy to drop a bomb, it’s much harder to serve as a beacon of Peace. We must take the more difficult but necessary path.

The first of five bullet points in the plank starts off with a statement in line with a noninterventionist foreign policy: “Close all overseas bases and immediately return active-duty personnel to domestic bases.” People looking for a libertarian perspective from the candidate, though, will likely be frustrated by the remainder of the first bullet point expressing Oliver’s determination to provide special benefits to people with student loans and thus create a big expansion of the welfare state: “The cost savings of doing so will be used as a one-time contribution to discharge the interest on currently outstanding Federally guaranteed student loans.”

The second bullet point of the plank starts off with another statement that supporters of nonintervention overseas would find heartening:

End aid being directed to nation-states currently at war. This includes Israel and Ukraine.

But, the remainder of the bullet point takes an interventionist and nonlibertarian turn, declaring:

While we offer moral support to our friends currently engaged with the enemy, we should not be contributing to extending the fight.

It does not generate confidence that a presidential candidate will, if elected, maintain neutrality in regard to conflicts abroad when he calls the people on one side of major conflicts in which the US is intervening “our friends” and people on the other side “the enemy.”

Skipping to the final bullet point of the plank, advocates of nonintervention overseas will see more reason for concern. The final bullet point reads in full: “Utilize trade as a bargaining chip to foment peace with our neighbors.” This sounds like a rehash of Democratic and Republican presidents over the last few decades using sanctions and tariffs to influence and punish other nations, not the free trade with all approach commonly expected from Libertarian Party candidates.

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