Dr. Marc Allan Feldman believes his political positions make him a worthy candidate to run as a libertarian entry into the already overcrowded 2016 presidential race.
Rapper Kanye West said he will run for President of the United States in 2020, but if a libertarian candidate has its way, the popular rapper will appear on a ticket in the Vice President slot this election season.
Though the headline “Kanye West, Be My Running Mate” is catchy, the lightning bolt hides a well-founded argument from Dr. Marc Allan Feldman on why his political positions make him a worthy candidate to run as a libertarian entry into the already overcrowded 2016 presidential race.
First of all, he is firmly against what he believes is the corrupting power of money in politics. This is why Feldman, 56, declared the title of his campaign “Votes Not For Sale”. The maximum amount of money Feldman will accept from an individual is $ 5.
“I firmly believe that whatever they say, candidates primarily represent the people who are paying their campaign bills,” Feldman said by phone from his Cleveland home. “Basically, if I got a $ 5 million or two million donation, it would pay for a major campaign.”
He added: “There is no limit to the total cost of my campaign. it limits the influence of the richest donors and promotes the interests of those who have the least to spend. “
He noted that his Jewish presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Had done well with the support of small donations. According to the most recent interview, Feldman estimates he raised $ 1,000 from 200 donors.
Kanye West’s move, he said, was “not a publicity stunt because, firstly, I don’t get any publicity” – the rapper hasn’t reached out to him – and secondly, it’s not a stunt, “Feldman said.
“There are 100 million non-voters in America. They are about 30 percent Hispanic, many blacks and minorities, they are discriminated against, they are poor, “said Feldman. “I don’t belong to their community; I can’t speak to your community, how can I reach these people? Who is someone you trust and understand?
“Kanye West is trying to get the same message across [as I am]. Nor is he someone who gets drawn into the Democratic or Republican party. “
Libertarians in general are for small government and personal freedom, and Feldman is no different.
“The government would shrink depending on the taxpayer’s decision,” Feldman said. “If people are happy with the government, they can send all their money to the IRS and the government will stay the same.
“In the Libertarian Party we people who are anarchist, don’t want a government; others that are minimally archistic, the government should be smaller; I call myself agn-archistic because I don’t know what the right size is. “
For an observant Jew who participates in daily studies and sends his four boys to Jewish day schools, a non-interventionist view – especially when it comes to Israel – might raise eyebrows in the Orthodox synagogues Feldman visits near his home his wife Anne.
“I have an unusual view of Israel because I am a huge supporter of Israel,” Feldman said. “I have a sister who lives there. I supported the FIDF [Friends of the Israel Defense Forces]; However, I firmly believe that foreign aid should be zero and that Israel is a good place to start. It doesn’t help Israel – it burdens the economy. “
Feldman has voiced his views on Israel, Zionism and the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (he opposes BDS and calls the movement “an act of war”) on Times of Israel blogs.
Feldman was born in the District of Columbia and attended Beth Sholom and the Hebrew Academy while both were downtown. He remembers having a “fascination” with Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Vietnam, Watergate, and other political lightning rods of the time.
Although he knew politicians personally, he was not inspired to join a political party. Only at the age of 50 did he register for election and instead regarded himself as a “committed, educated non-voter”.
“I knew there was a libertarian party, but I never saw it as an option like Democrats or Republicans,” Feldman said.
Eventually, after graduating from Johns Hopkins Medical School, where he trained in anesthesiology, and after being recruited to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, Feldman joined the public.
“It wasn’t so much that I discovered the Libertarian Party as an option, just as Democrats and Republicans weren’t an option, nor were they staying home,” he explained.
At the urging of others in the Ohio Libertarian Party, Feldman ran for the Ohio Attorney General in 2010. He didn’t win, nowhere near, but said he does pretty well for “a guy with no law degree”.
(While at Johns Hopkins, Feldman worked with Dr. Ben Carson, who was still in the presidential race despite a poor result in Iowa at press time. Feldman quipped of his former colleague, “What I usually say about Ben Carson is that he says what he believes. What I don’t like about him is that he believes what he says. “
So why run now?
“The reason I’m running is because there is no other candidate I want to support,” Feldman said. “I feel like staying home is no longer an option.”
Feldman has a lot to do until the Libertarian Party Nominations Congress in Orlando, Florida in May.
There are 12 candidates competing for the libertarian nomination. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson has the most visibility; at this point he is the candidate to be beaten. But Feldman doesn’t seem to be afraid of the odds.
Feldman said, “The only thing I learned from my late son is that there should be no fear in life. Fear shouldn’t limit what you do. “