An Interview with David Colborne


One minute I’m having an existential debate over whether to return to college after a three-year gap and the next I’m interviewing the Northern Regional Representative for the Libertarian Party of Nevada. That’s the Reynolds School of Journalism for you; building students’ abilities in a matter of weeks. I’ll save that thought for later. For now, let’s talk about our honored guest: Mr. David Colborne.

The first thing you notice about David is the bright purple tie with customized Libertarian insignia printed on it. He’s laid-back and happy to talk.

“We’re not comfortable telling other people how to live their lives. We haven’t had much luck with other people telling us how we should live our lives. We just want to get everything back to basics. If we’re going to have a government let’s make sure that it’s nice and focused; that it does what it does well and whatever it can’t do well (let’s) see if we can find other, better ways to do it, voluntarily, through private transactions that everybody is happy with.”

In essence: The goal is to take over the world and then leave everybody else alone.

After the official, on screen interview we grabbed coffee with one of my peers, Charis Nixon. We dove into philosophy, feminism, the dangers and advantages of stereotypes. Feminists had a rough road to hoe. Libertarians too. We talked about how sometimes the easiest way to bring awareness to an issues is by being ridiculously extreme.

“You have to be interesting. Just ask Trump. He’ll tell you there’s more than one way to be interesting but the easiest is to be ridiculous.”

“Government is a reflection of society. It’s not an idealization of society. That’s why it can’t fix problems in society because society creates government. All it can do is amplify them. If your society’s terrible, your government is going to be terrible. If your society’s good, your government’s going to be ok. You can ask Finland.”

Note to self: Google Finland.

One of the highlights of my time with David was when he zealously shared stories about James Libertarian Burns who was so dedicated to the party that, back when Libertarians were just getting started in the 70s and couldn’t get ballot access, he had his middle name legally changed so it’d have to be printed that way on the ballot.

When I asked how young people can get involved he said that “it gives you a chance to be on the ground floor of how the community develops. Truth is there are a lot of changes being made that are affecting young people. You know, Medicaid has to get paid for somehow. Unfortunately right now a lot of the entitlements that our parents and grandparents earned through the years are coming on our backs and if we don’t stand up and explain how that’s going to work and make sure our voice is heard what right do we have to complain if it turns out that the load is more than we can bear?”

The Libertarian Party of NV is the fastest growing third part in the state.

“Together, with the help of additional supporters along the way, David and the Comstock Libertarians helped turn Gary Johnson into front page news in Reno, put together a number of successful campaign events, and ultimately secured over 1.2% of the vote for Gary Johnson in Washoe County.”

“The first vice presidential candidate to get an electoral vote as a woman was a libertarian and she ended up starting The Association of Libertarian Feminists which is still very much an ongoing concern today.”

When I asked David what he wanted from a president he replied “I want the president to be less of a big deal.” There we were obsessing over a person who has very little power over our day to day lives. If you want to paint your house, who’s in charge of what color it can be? The Homeowner Association. If you break the law, the president probably won’t be showing up at your door.

If you could build a president, what would he or she be like? If you could create a government, SimCity style, what would its focus be?