October 25, 2000

Alex Coolman

David Nolan still remembers Aug. 15, 1971.

On that day, Richard Nixon moved to freeze domestic wages and prices,

a move that struck Nolan as nothing less than fascist.

Is was shortly after that Nolan, who is now a 56-year-old Mission

Viejo resident, formed what became the Libertarian Party of the United

States. The motivation at the time was fairly simple.


"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.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles