ATLANTA - This Memorial Day weekend, Chase Oliver honors our fallen military by pledging to stop adding to the number who needlessly die in war.
“I got started in politics opposing the military war machine that sprung up around post-9/11,” says Oliver, Libertarian presidential hopeful. “I’m anti-war to the core. I believe if there is a way to solve an issue without violence, that needs to be the path. I oppose our military footprint around the world.”
Oliver, 38, watched his generation go to war following the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. As of May 22, 2023, 7,076 Americans have died, including both military and Department of Defense civilian employees, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Those numbers don’t include the 30,177 service members and veterans who committed suicide - more than 4 times more than died in war as of July 2021 - according to the Watson Institute International and Public Affairs at Brown University.
“We need to withdraw troops from around the world, and we need to start focusing on relationships that are based on free trade and mutual respect as opposed to enforcing our will around the world with a barrel of a gun,” Oliver says. “And we need to do this right now while we’re still the strongest and most prosperous economy in the world. Because if we don’t, as other economies rise, there will be alternatives to the United States.”
Oliver opposes the funding of military misadventures around the world, including Ukraine. The United States sent $46.6 billion in military aid to Ukraine from Jan. 24, 2022, to Feb. 24, 2023, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. That is 61 percent of the total $76.8 billion which also includes financial and humanitarian aid.
“Do I support Ukraine’s right to exist? Absolutely,” he says. “I think the easiest way to end that war is for the people who started it to end it, and that would be Russia, but I don’t support putting the United States’ foot on the gas there.”
Oliver describes himself as a minarchist, which he says includes supporting a strong national defense - yet because our spending has so-surpassed every other country, there is plenty of room to cut the Pentagon budget.
“We could cut our spending in half and we still would be the largest military-spending nation around the world,” he says. “I’m sorry if that upsets the Raytheons and the Boeings and the military-industrial complex but ultimately, I’m sorry you can make something other than bombs and planes and drones.”
Oliver is seeking to be the presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party. Oliver is the first openly gay Senate candidate in Georgia, where he garnered over 80,000 votes in 2022, forcing a runoff between his Republican and Democratic opponents.
Oliver’s national attention grew following his debate with incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and an empty podium set aside for opponent Herschel Walker. Broadcast coverage includes PBS, CNN, Fox Business, and CSPAN. Print coverage includes The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, and Rolling Stone, which labels him the “Most Influential Libertarian.”
Oliver is available for media interviews, university journalism, and communications students.
To learn more about Chase Oliver, donate, or volunteer, please visit votechaseoliver.com.