Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Books and Politics: The Zach Foster Interview

Before being interviewed on David Welch's Blog Talk Radio show "Books and Politics," Mr. Welch sat me down for a written interview (reprinted here with permission).

You can download the mp3 of the full interview here or listen to clips and sound bites at the Political Spectrum Publishing YouTube page.

Zach Foster in Person!
Young but highly knowledgeable

It took nearly six months but I’ve finally booked a first ‘political commentator’ on my blog radio show. On the August 5th Books and Politics show I will interview Zach Foster who writes the popular and informative “Zach Foster Rants” blog and who is a highly respected political operative and commentator. The live interview is nearly a month away and I just couldn’t wait to find out what Zach has to say on some important issues so I persuaded him to do a ‘written interview’ in advance of his more comprehensive live interview on August 5th.

After reviewing his answers to my questions I’m glad I did and I’m quite sure everyone who reads the following will be thrilled to have a bit of advance notice of what to expect on the Books and Politics Show the first week of August. I hope you will all listen in the evening of August 5th at 7 p.m. California time for what will be a really great interview. And I hope you will be ready to call in with questions for a bright and uniquely experienced young man. The address for the Books and Politics Show is . Don’t miss it! Meanwhile please enjoy the following interview:

1.                  Zach, you are the first ‘political commentator’ I’ve had an opportunity to interview so could you tell the listeners a little about yourself, your background, and what you’ve done to qualify as a political commentator?

My political experience started when I was very young. I was a “guerrilla activist” supporting my local Congressman, David Dreier, and through volunteering for him later I got my first taste of campaigning. I’ve worked on numerous campaigns—from city council-level to the federal level—and am involved with several political organizations. My greatest privilege was working in the Ron Paul 2012 campaign. I’ve also majored in Political Science at Cal Poly Pomona and Social Sciences at Citrus College. Between my education and field work, I have a pretty good idea of what I’m talking about.

2. I’ve read a number of your blogs and find them quite interesting. In fact I’m going to ask specific questions about a few but could you tell listeners where they can find your blogs, or if you prefer, rants?

My main source of tongue-in-cheek wisdom is my current blog, Zach Foster Rants. It can be found at .

3. Zach, you have a pretty strong opinion as to why we should not go to war with Iran. Could you explain why you feel this way?

Absolutely. While the Iranian Islamic Republic’s leadership delivers martial anti-Western rhetoric on a daily basis, by no means is this new to America. Our country dealt with this coming from the Soviet Union for seventy years. We’re better off letting Iranian people reach a boiling point and overthrow their leadership just like they overthrew the Shah in 1979.

4. Why not help them overthrow the Ayatollah like we overthrew Saddam Hussein in Iraq?

The Iranian leadership is already highly unpopular with its own people—we saw the massive protests in 2009—but if we attack them, it will make true the government’s propaganda painting us as the aggressors. Furthermore, we saw in the Iran-Iraq War how teenagers were routinely conscripted into the national militia to serve as bullet catchers on the front lines. This will certainly be the case in another war, and it will be a long, devastating war that was—and is—preventable.

Furthermore, I consider myself a Bible-believing Christian.  Jesus tells us to go around the world and teach the gospels.  We have missionaries working in secret in Iran but if there’s a war, they’ll have to leave, or they’ll be more persecuted than they already are.  Even worse, there’s no saving someone’s soul if they died in the war before they got to hear the Gospel.

5. While we are in the Middle East, so to speak, what did we do wrong in Iraq?

Several things, actually. While our troops certainly served with courage, distinction, and honor, I believe the Bush and Obama administrations have a lot of blood on their hands. I don’t think that war should have happened in the first place. We’ve learned that Saddam’s regime was actually keeping the radical Islamists in check, and the toppling of the Ba’ath party-state gave groups like the Mahdi Army and Al Qaeda in Iraq the opportunity to flourish and wreak havoc. Even worse, Paul Bremer was an idiot to disband the Iraqi army and police, essentially stripping the country of any law and order while feeding disgruntled, unemployed, armed young men into a growing insurgency. The list goes on.

6. One last Middle East question. What, if anything should we do about Syria? And before you answer let me tell you I think John McCain is an idiot suggesting we arm the rebels.

Nothing. There is no way our government can get involved in the Syrian civil war without being accomplice to murder. Assad’s regime has slaughtered tens of thousands of civilians, while the non-centralized rebel armies are saturated with jihadists who commit their own brand of atrocities. Helping the regime means helping a murderous dictator. Helping the rebels means helping Al Qaeda sympathizers. We see civil war continuing in Libya because the rebels were never centralized and the country is rampant with independent radical militias. This will also happen in Syria, where the war has been longer, deadlier, and nastier.

7. OK, enough Middle East for one interview. My next question concerns your February 2013 blog or rant, where you used the term 21st Century Libertarian. As you know I refer to myself as a 21st Century Libertarian and thought I coined the phrase only to discover you have also used it. What do you mean by the term?

It refers specifically to a libertarian—new or seasoned—who sees a unique situation and opportunity in our country. We see the problems of the twentieth century—war, economic depressions, social problems—being magnified, and we see the best solutions in libertarian ideas which can be practically applied through public policy. In some cases the government should take a libertarian approach; in other cases, it should take no approach at all.

8. In my book, Stop the Insanity Target 2014, which I believe you have read, I present an idea that could cut the cost of a four year college degree by up to 40%. Could you comment on that idea from a Libertarian standpoint and let me know what you personally think of it?

I like most of what you pitched there. EDX and Coursera are great learning tools. So is Liberty Classroom for civics and political science, Mises Academy for economics and banking, and the International Webmasters Association for web design and software engineering. I certainly like the idea of trading the certification for accreditation. What I don’t like is the idea of the federal government getting involved. The feds will not only have to create more bureaucracy to run this program, but are also likely to impose a one-size-fits all curriculum nationwide. I think such a program is better left to the individual states to manage, offering diversity tailored to the needs of a particular state’s population.

Note: I have a good answer for this concern but will save it for the radio interview. Be sure and listen!

9. Another subject discussed in my book is Social Security. Like it or not this has become a staple of American life and would be almost impossible to eliminate. Can Libertarians come to grips with the existence of this massive government program?

We’ve already come to grips with it because we see it for what it really is: a Ponzi scheme. The current retirees are being paid by the current generation of workers. The money those retirees paid into Social Security has long been spent on other programs. We younger libertarians would love to just opt out—keep our money and be completely responsible for our own retirements—because with government spending ever on the rise, we know we’ll never see a single Social Security check by the time we’re retired.

10. Ok, my last question. We both know Ron Paul is a dedicated Libertarian yet he chose to run for Congress, and most recently for President, as a Republican. My question is if you, Zach Foster, were to run for Congress would you run as a Libertarian, a Republican, or as I would prefer, as an Independent? And WHY?

I’d run as a Republican with a libertarian platform. We need to remember the difference between small-l and capital-L libertarians. One represents a worldview, the other represents a political party. I respect the Libertarian Party, but they rarely accomplish major goals because their party is rife with infighting. Besides, the system isn’t built to accommodate third parties. If there’s going to be major change, it needs to be brought from a major party.

Oops, I guess I told a little lie. I do have another question. I understand you have a book coming out in the not too distant future. Would you care to tell us about it?

I have two coming out, actually. One is a book all about the whole “Republitarian” movement, and I’m still working out a publishing deal. The other is a collection of my best articles and rants—working title Don’t Piss Me Off (with “don’t piss me off” graffitied over “don’t tread on me”)—which I’m self-publishing and making available for the lowest price possible.

Ok, not only a great interview but an advance notice of not one but two new books that will be available soon. Glad they are not out yet so my claim that Zach is my first non-politician, non-author, genuine political commentator is still true. On the radio interview I will find out more about when they will be available and how readers/listeners can get a copy! Zach, I really appreciate you taking the time to help with this written interview in advance of our live radio interview on August 5th. I’m sure a lot of people who read this will be sure to tune in. Meanwhile I’m really looking forward to the radio show.



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