Scott Rupert is a liberty-minded Independent candidate running for the U.S. Senate in Ohio this year. I was very happy to get the chance to have a correspondence with him, and talk about some very important issues. The following are the questions and answers which we exchanged through email.
In case there are any who may be unfamiliar with you, could you please tell a little about yourself?
Well… a little is all there is. Married; father of 4; grandfather of 4 more. I drive a truck for a living; a truck that I own. I haul cars; mostly Hondas, out of Honda’s plant in Marysville, Ohio. I’m just an average, working, American. I’ve been self-employed most of my adult life, so I know just how much of my labor is going to government, and I’m pretty sure I’m not getting my money’s worth.
I was very happy to see that you are Pro-Life and when discussing your pro-life position you shared a very insightful quote from John Adams, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” So I must ask, are you a religious man? And how does your worldview impact your politics?
This may sound like I’m splitting hairs, but actually, I’m not a religious man. I AM a Christian, and I take my relationship with Christ seriously. That’s different from religion; it’s personal. It affects my politics with regard to how I deal with others and the example they will see in me. I try to inspire those around me to the best they can be, however menial the current task may be.
With regard to legislating, I like to say “the Constitution is the religion of government”. What I mean by that is what I think Adams was alluding to, in that quotation. Our Constitution doesn’t permit federal government to legislate morality. It must exist in the hearts of the people. I am pro-life. I was pro-life before I was a Christian, as well. But, what’s important is that the Constitution is also pro-life, as is the Declaration of Independence. If not for that, my personal position wouldn’t matter, at least, not as it relates to federal law. My job, as a Senator, is to protect my State from the federal government (all the other States), not to dictate how it behaves. My job, as a Christian, is to demonstrate morality to all who observe my behavior, perhaps I’ll inspire them to imitate it. It’s not my job to legislate that they behave the same way.
What really stood out to me when looking through your campaign website was the substance of your platform. You gave very well thought out and extensive solutions to some very important issues. Where does your passion for these ideas come from? And how would you describe your political philosophy?
I think I answered the political philosophy question in the previous answer. As for the passion; my passion is for freedom. I believe that most Americans feel as I do. More laws equals less freedom, so I’m offering solutions that require fewer laws instead of more. I drive for a living, so there is LOTS of time for thinking.
You have decided not to run with any political party, and to instead run as an independent. What is your reasoning behind that? And what is your view of political parties?
What I’m doing has more to do with breaking down the two party system than with my becoming a senator. What motivated me to get involved in politics was the realization that the parties were dividing the electorate into small, manageable groups. We only complain about government overreach and constitutional violations when it affects our group, otherwise, we tend to defend their actions, because doing otherwise would require admitting WE were wrong. Neither party actually represents the people and both are undermining the Constitution. I want to make that stop. The average American will listen to an individual they don’t necessarily agree with, if they don’t perceive them as an enemy. I’m making it possible to listen, at lease long enough to inspire free, individual thought.
What do you see as being your biggest challenge in this race?
Most Americans have made it clear that they disapprove of the direction government has taken, and that they disapprove of both parties. The majority self-identify as independent voters, forced to take a side. The challenge is overcoming the fear of their perceived ideological opponent.
We have to make voters aware that they are not alone in casting their vote for an independent candidate. Fear is what the parties have used to keep their voters in line, for as long as I can remember, so breaking that bondage is difficult. I don’t know if we’ll win in 2016, but we are building on the foundation laid in 2012. We earned nearly 5%, on less than 6 thousand dollars, then. Exceeding that will give us momentum for 2018. I’m committed to seeing this through.
Out of all of the issues that you’ve discussed what would you say are the top three most important to you?
Restoring individual liberty, by walking back unconstitutional agencies.
Restoring State sovereignty, by enforcing the Constitution’s authority over federal government, and repeal of the income tax.
Restoring National sovereignty, by reducing debt, through spending cuts (lots of them), fighting against treaties that usurp the authority of the Constitution, and getting the US out of the UN.
Many libertarians/liberty minded voters, including myself, are very leery when it comes to topics like border security. For fear of giving the Federal Government too much power to restrict people’s freedom of movement. Is your position on immigration/border security conducive to The Constitution? And would you say that it is similar to Trump’s position?
I don’t think it’s similar to Trump’s “We need to build a wall”. I agree, about government’s restricting movement. I actually point that out on the Border Security page, at ScottRupert.com. The difference between keeping individuals out, and keeping them in, is only a matter of which side of the door a lock is on, or which direction one points the barrel of a gun. I favor open borders, but recognize that there are real reasons, apart from immigration, to improve border security. I also think it can be done simply by doing things we’re already doing, just doing them in different ways. Rather than restate them, I’ll just ask that you check out the website, ScottRupert.com
On your site you say you would like to repeal the income tax and replace it with a consumption tax. What would the rate of this consumption tax be and would it be revenue neutral?
No one should acquire debt simply by performing the act of work. That, in a nutshell, is what the federal income tax is, and a large part of why I’m opposed to it. It also aids federal government in usurping the sovereignty of the States. Neil Boortz has a few books on The Fair Tax available, that explain the concept. The rate would be around 23% and, yes, it’s revenue neutral.
Current U.S. Senators such as Rand Paul have fought for greater transparency when it comes to the Federal Reserve, by introducing a bill to audit the Federal Reserve, which sadly was defeated. Would you support something like that? Or even go as far as to try and end the Federal Reserve?
I would help Rand Paul get that bill passed, and I support ending the Fed. The free market isn’t perfect, because those of us participating are imperfect, but it’s the only system that is self-correcting and self-compensating, for the flaws of humanity. I would also argue that the portion of national debt that is owed to the Fed is fictitious.
It’s very refreshing to see a candidate, such as yourself, talk about reestablishing sovereignty of the states and of the people. With that in mind, what is your view on state nullification and secession as a way to deliver power back to the people?
I absolutely believe in State nullification, even individual nullification, through the judicial system, which reminds me that I’ve been called for jury duty. I’m probably one of only a few who is hoping to be called to sit.
I’m not sure that secession is realistic, at this point. The States have accepted too much federal largess to make that an acceptable or even honorable option. We have to fix our Union, not dissolve it. I understand why some would disagree with me on that.
Will you be on the ballot in Ohio?
YES! Scott Rupert (non-party)
Will you be attending a debate with any of the other candidates?
Wouldn’t that be great? Unfortunately, the parties have developed a system of requirements that make it very difficult to participate, without the the resources afforded by the party infrastructures.
What is your fundraising goal? And how much have you raised thus far?
I haven’t put much effort into raising money, because I think it’s important to succeed without it.
As far as the presidential race goes, have you decided who you will be voting for this November?
The Constitution is very important to me. No candidate has earned my vote yet.
And finally, Is taxation theft?
Income tax is theft. It does cost money to administer government, since it doesn’t produce a marketable product, some form of taxation is the only option. Even a tariff is a tax on consumers.
I would like to publicly thank Scott Rupert for taking the time to be apart of this interview. If you would like to know more about Mr. Rupert or how you can support him, then please go to ScottRupert.com.