"We all said, 'Boy, enough!' " Nolan recalled.
Nearly three decades later, Nolan is still saying "enough" to
government. He's running as the Libertarian Party's candidate in the 47th
Congressional District, butting heads with Democrat John Graham and the
incumbent, Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach).
If he is elected, Nolan says, his changes to government would go far
beyond anything Cox would consider. He contemplates ending the war on
drugs and pulling the United States out of most of its overseas
Public education? Nolan would hack it back like a pesky weed.
Gun rights? His efforts to support them would surpass even those of
the National Rifle Assn., which he calls a shill for the Republican
Nolan's view of the state is considerably less sunny than those who
like to think of American government as a repository of its citizens'
In the view of Libertarians -- and Nolan is clear that he supports
this view -- the state is good for one thing and one thing only:
preventing people from physically harming each other. Anything more
ambitious than that, he said, and the state's clumsy efforts to do right
invariably end up doing wrong.
"Everybody likes the idea of the state as the embodiment of the good,"
Nolan said. "The problem is that everyone's definitions of the good are
different. And once you understand the idea that the state can use force
to enforce its ideas, you're playing a very dangerous game."
So Nolan calls for cutting back most legislation.
Cox, in his view, is not too bad in this regard.
"He votes right more than he votes wrong, from a Libertarian
perspective," he said.
But Nolan insists that he can do better.
And as for politicians on the left, Nolan regards them as deluded at
best, and devious at worst.