Libertarian running for his new grandson |

Libertarian running for his new grandson

Scott N. Miller
Special to the Daily Norm Olsen, Libertarian

EAGLE COUNTY – Norm Olsen knows the Colorado Rockies are about as likely to win the World Series this year as he is to win a seat in Congress, but he’s running anyway.Olsen is the Libertarian candidate running for Congress in the state’s Second Congressional District. That district, which has included Eagle County the past few years, is currently represented by Boulder Democrat Mark Udall. The seat is widely recognized as one of the most “safe” in the state, meaning, essentially, Udall can have it as long as he wants.But Olsen is running, hoping to do his part to spread the word about Libertarian politics and, just maybe, someday make inroads into dominance of the country’s politics by the two major parties.”I’ve got to do something,” Olsen said. “I believe the Republicans and the Democrats are out of touch with reality.”With the nation running record budget deficits, the Congress continually approves still more spending, Olsen said. “Who’s going to get stuck with the bill is my newborn grandson,” he said.

Trying to spread the word of limited government, Olsen said he’ll at least be able to look his grandson in the eye and say, “I tried.”But Libertarians have a hard road. At the moment, only two Libertarians hold elective office in the state: the sheriff and the coroner San Miguel County, which includes Telluride. A few other Libertarians serve on non-partisan town councils and other elective boards.Olsen keeps track, since he’s currently the chairman of the state party. But that makes running for office himself an almost impossible proposition. Add in the fact he still runs a Golden-based software company and Olsen acknowledges his Congressional campaign is virtually non-existent this year.But he’s in there pitching, for 2006 and beyond, because of his belief the two major parties cause more problems than they solve.But like other third parties, some Libertarian ideas are starting to creep into the mainstream, Olsen said.”You’re beginning to see some Democrats recognize the war on drugs is insane, that we’re just shooting ourselves in the foot by pursuing it,” Olsen said. “A few Democrats are also recognizing our position on freedom in the bedroom. That’s your business, not the government’s.”So there’s some hope, he said. But Olsen knows he and his fellow Libertarians have a long haul trying to convince others that government that governs least governs best, which is why he’s adopted a quote from Gandhi as his motto:

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 613, or Daily, Vail ColoradoSource:

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