Alt-politics, Nashville-style: The Libertarian Party of Tennessee

by Dave Carew

If you’ve already early-voted, as I have, you’ve noticed there are LOTS of candidates on the Nashville-area ballot who aren’t Democrats or Republicans. Unfortunately, alternative candidates in Tennessee are nearly always branded “I” (Independent) on the ballot (unless they jump through nearly prohibitive election-law hurdles), so the public ends up, typically, with little or no information as to how these candidates present an alternative to the status quo.

To partially remedy this situation, I invited Jay Polk, Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Tennessee, to engage in an email interview with Underground Nashville. Here’s how it went:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:  What does the Libertarian Party stand for? Why should people in greater Nashville consider voting for Libertarian candidates?

JAY POLK: The Libertarian Party stands for the same thing as America’s Founding Fathers: freedom. We believe people should be free to exercise their rights as long as they do not interfere with the equal right of others to practice theirs.

We’re at a tipping point in American politics. Republicans controlled the Federal government for six years; Are you better off? Democrats controlled it more recently for two years; Are you better off?  Members of both these parties need to ask themselves these questions. If the answer is “no,” then please consider a new approach to the problems which face our nation.

UN: Who are the Libertarian candidates for whom people in the Nashville area might vote?

JP: Daniel Lewis, TN House , District 52 (running against incumbent Michael Stewart (R)); Gary Johnson, U.S. president (running against incumbent Barack Obama (D)); Shaun Crowell, U.S. Senate (running against incumbent Bob Corker (R)).

UN: What do you think of the local media coverage of Libertarian candidates? Has it been fair and sufficient?

JP: While there has been limited coverage of our candidates, most of what is published is due to the Libertarian Party asking to be covered. It seems that if Republicans or Democrats sneeze, the press is there to cover them. However, anyone outside the two-party system has to do the journalistic work for the journalists. I see this as a failing of journalistic integrity. It seems that any individual who is concerned about providing a factual outlook on a situation would do research and cover all their bases. Unfortunately too many times agendas supersede equity of coverage.

For more information about the Libertarian Party of Tennessee, visit

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Dave also is a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.


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Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew




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