By NADIA PFLAUM
Yesterday, I sat down with a candidate running for the 6th district Congressional seat whosename isn’t Kay or Sam.
Dave Browning is the Libertarian candidate for Congress. We meet in the back of Clint’s Comics at 39th and Main, where he’s part owner. He follows my eyes to a rack full of Playboy magazines from the ‘70s and ‘80s and laughs, “I wonder how many of those came from my collection.” He calls Clint’s “my only toehold in the city.” He lives in a rural town beyond Grain Valley and works as a divorce lawyer in Independence.
He’s an entertaining guy, full of stories about the radical founders of our country (did you know Andrew Jackson beat a would-be assassin with his cane on the White House steps?). He believes in a non-intervention policy on war, solid currency backed by gold or silver, free trade and strictly limited government. He and his fellow Libertarians would like to see the country run as it was in the good ol’ days – “good” according to them, at least -- when the Constitution was the only rule in town.
For this, he says, his Democrat and Republican friends think he’s one signature short of a complete Bill of Rights.
He acknowledges the stereotype. “One of the problems with Libertarians is we got a lot of black-helicopter, tinfoil-hat, loose-wing-nut kind of people,” he says.
Some of his ideas sound wingnutty at first glance. A line on his Web site, under the heading “Guns,” reads: “Some people need killing.”
Browning explains. “You think Saddam Hussein didn’t need killing? You think Adolf Hitler didn’t need killing? You think Joseph Stalin didn’t need killing? Some people are enemies of human freedom.”
Browning also believes that politicians are working to erase the borders in North America to unify with Canada and Mexico. He sees Kay Barnes’ and Sam Graves’ support of trade corridors in Kansas City as proof. He’s heard of the “Amero,” an idea for a new currency like the Euro that would replace the dollar, peso and … whatever the hell they use in Canada.
“They’re trying to create a new nation with new terms,” Browning says. “What people believe that they are seeing is an intentional movement on the part of the powerful to essentially do away with limited Constitutional government in the United States.”
Naturally, Browning wants to protect the Constitution. First, he’d have to win. And he’s serious about winning, even though he probably has a better chance of appearing on the cover of Playboy.
Browning did say something pretty great: “We always tend to think that the founding fathers were some kind of brilliant. Actually, they just lived through bad times.”
If times get a lot tougher, a guy like Browning might have a shot.