Jon Coon on the Bill Thomas Show

From Mike Devour:

Sunday evening, August 7, [1994,] during envelope stuffing for the post-primary newsletter, a supporter called Headquarters to alert Jon Coon to an invitation to call from talk-radio host Bill Thomas (WXYT-AM). Jon called and was soon on the air ...

Thomas: On the line with us we have the Libertarian candidate for [U.S.] Senate, Mr. Jon Coon. Jon, thanks for being on the show.

Coon: Well, thanks for having me on.

Thomas: Obviously, you heard we were talking about you yesterday.

Coon: Well, we have a whole lot of supporters who listen to WXYT all the time.

Thomas: Well, I appreciate it.

Listen, ... people ... were so incensed with the way it turned into that mudslinging the last nine days that they were considering going outside the party. A number of callers called back and said "You're biting off your nose to spite your face. Jon Coon is unelectable because he's outside the two-party mainstream."

Coon: That usually comes from Republicans, and I've heard that very same comment quite a bit during the course of this campaign. And the fact of the matter is if we are to have any chance of winning this election -- and we believe we do -- we have to pull just as many Democratic votes as we pull Republican votes. And make no mistake about it we are in this campaign to win it, and from day one we've targeted Democratic votes.

The Democratic party in the state of Michigan just did the best thing on earth they could have possibly done for this campaign. They elected the weakest candidate in the field -- they gave us Bob Carr.

And, really, the Republican party did the same thing, quite frankly. I think the people of this state would have been better served with Ronna Romney. That's not what they gave us to choose from, they gave us Spencer Abraham.

And I don't want to get into the mudslinging game with my opponents either, but I think to a lot of the people in this state it's coming down to a race between a beltway politician, a beltway politician, and a Libertarian.

Thomas: For the people who don't know, explain the Libertarian Party.

Coon: Well, the Libertarian Party believes in freedom -- and that's usually where the press quits talking about us. They like to give people the impression that that's all we believe in -- is having people running around free to do anything that they want.

Well that's not true. The Libertarian Party understands what freedom is about, what it really means, and that means that we believe in the responsibility that goes along with it.

We want the government to be out of your economic life and out of your personal life. We want you left free, pretty much to run your own affairs. And we want you to accept responsibility for your decisions. That's pretty much what you're going to find written in a little book I carry around with me all the time called the Constitution of the United States.

Thomas: Well, it sounds like a whole lot of what the people who call me day in and day out say they're looking for in a candidate. ... How about individual rights? One of the things that people throw up to the Libertarian party once in a while is "Oh, you're for legalization of drugs."

Coon: Well, I'll tell you what I want, Bill. I want to see a situation develop in this country where we no longer make it possible for drug dealers to profit by pushing drugs.

The reason why we have such a drug problem in our schools today is because of the fact we've made it extremely profitable to do so. The reason we have a drug problem in our schools is because the kid five lockers down from your kid is making a hundred bucks a day selling the stuff, and that's the only reason it's there.

You know, it's become a situation here where I'm not the only one that feels that way. I'm in real good company on this issue -- from William F. Buckley Jr., to the Mayor of Baltimore, to Thomas Bray right here in Detroit -- all the way down the line to 60 federal court judges. There's a whole lot of people out there who understand that our current approach is not working.

Now, does that mean we have to go out there whole-hog and change everything we're doing overnight? Of course not! And we're not going to do that in a six-year Senate term from one senator either. But, I'll tell you this, I'm going to be looking at solutions that make some sense rather than what we're doing today.

Thomas: ...If people wanted to find out more about you and your campaign, where would they get in touch with you?

Coon: Well, for those who aren't already familiar with us -- and I've got to tell you it's a shrinking number ...

Thomas: Yea, I would agree that it is a shrinking number ...

Coon: They can call 800-J-O-N C-O-O-N. And that'll ring right into my campaign headquarters and we will get you everything you want to know.

Thomas: Jon, I would like to...have you on the show, talk about the issues with you, take some calls about this. Would you make yourself available?

Coon: Oh, I'd love to do it. That's the only way to do it. Give us an hour to chat and we'll come out real well.

Thomas: Jon, thanks for calling.

Coon: Thank you.