Sputnik discussed the midterm elections in the US with Shane Hazel, a Republican US congressional candidate who ran in Georgia's 7th Congressional District.
Sputnik: You were a Republican candidate for Georgia's 7th Congressional District and you lost the primary on May 22, 2018, is this correct?
Shane Hazel: This is correct.
Sputnik: If you were to run in this election, what kinds of changes would you propose as part of your campaign?
[As for] the aspect of peace, we've been at battle for over 18 years in Afghanistan, in the Middle East, with all sorts of other actions around the world, which is absolutely taking its toll on us. Our markets are nowhere near free; the ability to go and trade with people based on consensual agreement is one of those things that in America we're supposed to be able to do.
In individual liberty, we've lost more of our inalienable rights here in this country since the war on terror began through fear mongering and legislation than [due to] any outside country, or people, or force, [if they're] even a threat. I've said a million times that I think that the 535 members of our own government are the biggest threat to America. Those are the issues we'd be pushing.
Sputnik: In your opinion, what are some other important issues in the state that need to be addressed?
Right now what we have is an out-of-control federal government that has invaded the state of Georgia; what it does is that it basically has taken the money from its people through a direct income tax, per our 16th Amendment, and that's really minimized the role of the state in terms of being able to push the federal government back into its few and defined boundaries.
What we see is this federal government dangling a carrot or some money in front of a state to say you can do this and you can have some federal funds or we'll take all this pork that's built into legislation and the spending bills, the $1.3 trillion omnibus bill that we passed earlier in the year or the ‘minibus bill' that was passed here just within the last month.
If you don't play ball, you're not going to get any of this money; and if you do play ball it comes with tons of regulations in policy and bureaucratical overreach from the federal level. What we need is leaders here in the state that will push back against the overregulation of the people and of that state.
Sputnik: Are there such leaders?
Shane Hazel: I think we've got a couple of really great hopefuls. We have one guy down at the state level; his name is Matt Gurtler, [he is] 29 years old; [he] will vote against the party out care for the economy, out of care for the taxpayer; he really revolves in that realm of freedom. We've got a guy who is running here; his name is Greg Dolezal and he is running for the state Senate.
I think he has real potential to go down there and push back a little bit. There is a governor candidate, Ted Metz; he believes in a much smaller federal government and getting the government out of our everyday lives here in the state of Georgia.
He won't win, but he will probably garner somewhere between one and three percent of the vote. There is a growing sentiment because here, in Georgia, we are the strictest state in the US, in terms of ballot access. We have basically a duopoly between the Democrats and the Republicans down here; you can't get on the ballot otherwise unless you really jump through some hoops and get a whole bunch of signatures.
Sputnik: In your opinion, why is the Republican Party a better choice for Georgia than the Democratic Party?
At this point I don't see either the mainstream Republican or Democrat Parties, the people who hold office, doing that. What they are doing is being beholden to the people who sign the checks for their campaigns and that will take votes in line with those lobbyists, because if they don't, they are not going to get the money for the next time when they run.
In terms of parties, out founders like George Washington — they warned us against parties; they said that they might be great for short-term political goal achievement, but in the long term what they're going to do is grow themselves into much larger chaotic groups of people that are going to erode your individual liberty. And he was exactly right.
Sputnik: Let's talk about President Trump's policies. What's your take on what's been achieved since President Trump's come into office? Do they benefit the country; to what extent, if yes?
Shane Hazel: Internationally, and let us make no mistake, the role of the President is to be the face to the international community. He has walked away from the TPP, which was disastrous for America; the Paris Accords were disastrous, he walked away from those. He has put his best foot forward with Russia in trying to keep peace; in terms of the North Korean peninsula, creating peace there or at least opening up a dialogue. Those things, for me, are amazing.
Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Shane Hazel and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.