Recently, I had the honor of interviewing Mark Manier, a Republican candidate for the State House of Representatives in Michigan’s 27th District serving Metropolitan Detroit. He is not your typical candidate for office. Instead of being your usual power-crazed sociopath, he is a liberty-minded fellow who cares deeply about the future of freedom in America. Here is what Mark had to say about his foray into the political sewer:
Thank you for your time, Mark! How did you get interested in politics?
Mark Manier: I graduated from Oakland University with a political science degree and a minor in history back in 2012. While I was at OU, I interned with Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. Later, I became a regional coordinator and met a lot of people from Campaign for Liberty. Growing up, my parents were quite libertarian. They didn’t support traditional politics but still passively supported the major parties. I had libertarian attitudes but didn’t quite figure it out until 2009 when I found Judge Napolitano and later Ron Paul. Then I got into Friedman, Hayek and Rothbard for economics. It was just so obvious after I discovered it.
Why run for public office now?
MM: I think the time is right. It seems like everything is moving in our direction. People are waking up and shaking off their party’s doctrine. I feel there is more enthusiasm about looking at individual candidates and new ideas, rather than just mindlessly following the party line. I want to be out there as an activist and a candidate spreading important ideas about liberty. The more people hear the message, the more they’ll wake up, the more they’ll come our way. I feel like I can accelerate this process with my political campaign.
What do you hope to ultimately accomplish with your political run?
MM: To bring some folks along with us. It’s 70+ percent democrat in my district. Going door to door and having events can wake people up. Even though we may not win the election, we can wake up many people along the way. Getting the ideas out there and getting the public more comfortable with them is how we can ensure victory in the future. Our concepts are becoming more attractive to people as the government continues to falter.
How have people responded to your ideas and beliefs thus far?
MM: Positively. I don’t get wound up or lose my temper very easily. I try to get the feel of the group I’m in and what would be most attractive about the liberty message to them. Once you break the ice, I find that the public is usually open to thinking differently about complicated and difficult issues. I try to stay away from issues that are more controversial. I feel like people will tune you out when you say something that really upsets them. So I try to be very careful about broaching topics. If you are careful, they’re pretty willing to listen. You just have to make an effort.
How did you get involved in the Republican Party?
MM: Both parties are always working to undermine the parts of the Constitution that they don’t like, and I feel like that needs to stop. After the 2012 election, I took Ron Paul’s advice and joined the Republican Party because they’re more tolerant to the liberty message. They say a lot of what we say, we just mean it. Once we get in there, the voters will like us. They will like the fact that we can actually live up to the popular rhetoric. It seems like we’re definitely making strides in that regard.
Do you hope to change anything about the Republican Party?
MM: I think the Republican Party is not competitive or viable in the future unless they change big time. What we need to do to bring back life into it is promote libertarianism. We don’t really want to change the message as much as we want to change the integrity of the politicians. We want people who actually live up to their word and don’t stab their constituents in the back. Many Republicans also demonize certain groups, and that needs to be changed. We need Republicans to stop talking at people and start talking to people. We need to have a rational discussion about the issues, instead of just demonizing the left. We have to make our party attractive, not paint the other party as unattractive.
What is your opinion on state sovereignty?
MM: Unless it is specifically laid out in the Constitution, the federal government is not legally allowed to do it. Most issues should be left up to the states, but decisions should be made as locally as possible. Ideally, the feds could intervene to protect states rights or individual liberty from blatant abuses. That would be something I would support. For example, California and Connecticut have unconstitutional gun registration schemes in the works. It would be nice for the feds to step in to remedy that situation to protect firearm rights. However, that’s not likely to happen because the feds are usually the main violators of our rights. Voters are starting to understand that there are tremendous constitutional violations coming from the federal government. The only real way to protect ourselves from them is through nullification.
Which federal laws do you think most need to be nullified?
MM: First and foremost, indefinite detention as apart of the 2012 NDAA. It’s so unbelievably unconstitutional. Justice cannot exist in a country where the leader claims the ability to kidnap and torture people for whatever reason they come up with. The drug war also should be nullified. The DEA shouldn’t be allowed in Michigan to disrespect the constitution and states rights on an issue like medical marijuana. Basically, we need to do everything we can to protect individual liberty at the state level. I’d like to see the IRS nullified too, frankly.
What does the 10th Amendment mean to you?
MM: The 10th Amendment means that government works best when it is as local as possible, and the federal government does not have the ability to govern outside of what the Constitution explicitly permits. More things should be done on the state level rather than the federal level. Controversial issues should generally be left to the states, and the federal government’s power should be far more limited than it is right now.
What do you think of Rick Snyder’s decision to expand Medicaid?
MM: I don’t really support anything Snyder has done, to be honest. He’s a typical establishment politician trying to buy votes. He has no allegiance to anything but himself. He acts like he’s doing you a favor by expanding Medicaid, but it’s just a shell game. He’s really robbing you and trying to play it off like he’s doing you a favor. Social welfare programs are the least offensive government programs to me, but they are still wasting people’s money.
Thanks to Mark Manier for letting us interview him and for spreading the message of liberty throughout the 27th District. If he gets into the State House, we’ll have another voice that stands against Obamacare, Common Core, capricious tax hikes and the rest of Gov. Snyder’s liberal agenda. Regardless of whether he wins or not, more people will hear the unvarnished truth about the important political issues of our day (including Nullification) and the groundwork will be laid for a freer Republic.