Preston Gabriel Nelson, 8th Congressional District Libertarian nominee profile

He supports ending qualified immunity, no-knock raids by police and “the war on drugs.”

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Preston Gabriel Nelson, 8th Congressional District Libertarian nominee, 2020 election candidate questionnaire

Preston Gabriel Nelson, 8th Congressional District Libertarian nominee.

John Merkle photo/provided

Candidate profile

Preston Gabriel Nelson

Running for: US House (IL 8th District)

Political party affiliation: Libertarian

Political/civic background: 2018 Candidate for US Congress (IL 12th District)

Occupation: Inventor

Education: A.A.S. Information Technology - Rend Lake College 2011

Campaign website:


Instagram: @vote4nelson

YouTube: @vote4nelson

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2020 Election Voting Guide

This article is part of our Illinois 2020 election voting guide. Click here to see more.

The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board sent nominees for the U.S. House of Representatives a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing their districts, the state of Illinois and the country. Preston Gabriel Nelson submitted the following responses:

1. Are you satisfied with the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic? Why or why not? What grade would you give President Donald Trump for his handling of the pandemic, and why?

I am very displeased by the government’s response to COVID. Maybe the only good government action has been by the courts who deemed many “executive actions” to be unconstitutional, illegal, and baseless. COVID is now a classic example of how the government makes worse so many of the things it pretends to fix.

This disaster has been many years in the making. We should have been prepared for this, but instead of using trillions of dollars in resources and thousands of peoples’ combined manpower to prepare for natural disasters, our national leaders have squandered our resources in far-fetched foreign adventures.

Instead of preparing for a pandemic, the governments of George Bush, Barack Obama, and now President Trump have wasted, wasted, and wasted our precious wealth, treasure, and life in absurd campaigns on the other side of the globe. Based on bad policy, and outright lies, we can only wonder why we are still spending more money on these same wars than on any other budgetary item. With the money we are WASTING on war, we could buy a ventilator for every American. There is NO ACCOUNTABILITY, ANYWHERE in Washington. Hillary was not locked up, or even properly INVESTIGATED. Trump’s claims were a FARCE and an insult to the intelligence of many people clamoring for JUSTICE. These national actors have mislead us, while we COULD have been using public resources to plan for disasters, such as hurricanes and pandemics.

Sorry to stray from the topic, but all is interrelated. The shutdown was an economic disaster, and there is no proof that is really even helped. Even as we shut down the economy and disparaged millions of healthy people, thousands of vulnerable people lost their lives in nursing homes after certain governors ordered that these places house sick patients. Will there be any accountability for these governors’ disastrous policy?

Despite COVID, the baseball season is underway. Some of my favorite players contracted the disease, and after a mandatory two-week break, they are back on the field, playing baseball, and breathing healthily. What does this say? Most Americans have the power to beat COVID. It is a matter of healthiness, and healthy immune systems. Personally, I have become a very health-conscious person. I am not perfect, but I try. Aside from a couple cases of food poisoning, I literally have not been sick in nearly 5 years.

Compare my health and the speedy bounce-back of a healthy athlete with what some Americans endure constantly: constant disease and sickness. We have come to accept sickness as normal, but it does not need to be this way. We do not need to lose more people to the common flu and cold every year than the last, and NO, the solution is not a new annual vaccine.

What is common to people who are frequently sick? They drink a lot of soda. Just search “DuckDuckGo” for this: “Sugar kills immune system.” But it is not just sugar. The culprit is all the refined carbohydrates that we consume along with a soda, and all the processed and preserved meat which contains unnatural hormones and antibiotics. Of course, as a Libertarian, I support your right to consume whatever food you want. But, it is stupid when some politicians want to “tax sugar,” and especially stupid because many of those same politicians turn around to subsidize sugar (politicians who then receive campaign donations and kick-backs from the sugar industry).

Now as most Americans today suffer from at least one form of *preventable* disease, we should really say that we have a pandemic of unhealth. Coronavirus is only the current tip of the iceberg. Does anyone want a band-aid solution? I think not, so we must consider the real roots of these problems. As far as the government is concerned, I believe the root is in the billions of dollars of subsidies for mostly unhealthy food. We literally spend billions of dollars to keep processed sugar cheap, and on every American table. We spend billions more to keep corn cheap, and so everything at the market contains corn syrup. If the government were not sponsoring this toxic food, and simultaneously pushing policies that force small, family farms out of business, then our food supply would be much more wholesome and our people healthy; I am convinced. Then, when the next virus hits, most people will hardly notice.

When Joe Biden says that he will shut down the economy again, please realize that this is not a solution. This barely even qualifies as an idea. This is like saying “Everyone go home now and just wait, because we actually do not know what to do.” Truly, blanket policies from the federal government rarely function well. Allowing resources and responsibility to remain at the local level is best, because even if the government does tax nearly half of our paychecks, ultimate responsibility for one’s health remains with the individual.

Raja Krishnamoorthi has one idea to help the fight against COVID, and that is to ban E-cigarettes. One must ask why he stops short of banning actual cigarettes, and why he votes in favor of subsidizing the white sugar which is insidiously killing Americans. Is it ignorance, or is it the fact that the tobacco industry, and big factory farms also donate heavily to the Democratic Party?

My plan to beat COVID is to shift billions in current government funding away from sugar and corn subsidies and towards healthy super foods, like berries and hemp hearts. Hemp hearts alone are one of the most singularly nutritious food items. As hemp gains more prominence in American and global agriculture, we may make a real dent in malnutrition and even starvation. I spoke to Congressman Mike Bost about possible diversification of the farm bill. He could make me no promises, but I would like to work more towards this end. I would also like to shift government funds towards a national ad campaign for hydration awareness. An ample supply of water is so important to keep the body healthy BEFORE sickness arrives. Most American are dehydrated, just search the internet, and on top of that, many drink soda, which further dehydrates. It is urgent that Americans begin drinking a lot of water, every day, with super nutritious food. This will literally change our world. Finally, I would like to invest money in research of promising “alternative” medicines, like colloidal silver. This shows so much promise that we can only wonder why it is considered “alternative.” Colloidal silver has been used for thousands of years to fight bacteria, virus, and even fungus. Doctors now use it to treat burns and prevent superficial infections. Research has shown that colloidal silver prevents some viruses from ever taking hold in the body. Used reasonably, it is a very safe substance. Please consider this article at the NIH:

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share so much with this question. These issues are some of the greatest facing us now, and to Make America Healthy Again is my real goal.

2) What should the federal government do to stimulate economic recovery from the pandemic shutdowns?

End the shutdown, and I assure you that Americans and the economy will bounce right back. Overwhelmingly, Americans want to get back to work. SET THE PEOPLE FREE.

Now considering the “stimulus money,” a short time after the trillions of dollars were spent, articles surfaced like “Congress surprised at the number of politically-connected businesses receiving COVID money.” That is typical. I saw one statistic saying that nearly 88% of COVID dollars went to big corporations, seeming to just protect profits. Now, I recently met a Democratic donor as I was campaigning at a farmers’ market. Even he was concerned with all this newly created money, afraid that it would affect inflation. Now, if we devalue our currency with excessive quantitative easing, then our problems may multiply. Just let America go back to work, and the economy will be fine.

3) In the wake of the death of George Floyd, President Trump signed an executive order on police reform. It calls for the creation of a database to track police officers with multiple instances of misconduct, federal grants to encourage police departments to meet higher certification standards on use of force, and the greater involvement of social workers and mental health professionals when the police respond to calls dealing with homelessness, mental illness and addiction. The order also calls for police departments to ban the use of chokeholds except when an officer feels his or her life is endangered. Will this be enough to address concerns about police brutality? If not, what other steps should be taken?

The Presidential initiative is good. I support all these measures. I also support Justin Amash’s bill to end qualified immunity, and the “Justice for Breonna Taylor” to end no-knock raids which have also killed many innocent people.

4) Also in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the House passed the Justice in Policing Act, which would ban police departments from using chokeholds, develop a national standard for use of force, limit the transfer of military weapons to police departments, define lynching as a federal hate crime, establish a national police misconduct registry, and limit qualified immunity, which protects officers from lawsuits over alleged misconduct. Do you support this legislation? Why or why not? What other steps, if any, would you like to see the federal government take on police reform?

Yes, I support these. I would also like to see an end to the war on drugs, which in many states still pits police officers against peaceful people. The war on drugs has wasted so many resources, and hurt so many people and families. It has adversely affected minority communities. End this too, please.

5) What’s your view on President Trump’s decision to commute the sentence of Roger Stone?

It is bad, and very suspicious. Trump’s, and Clinton’s past relationships with Jeffrey Epstein are also bad and very suspicious, and details surrounding the “Epstein suicide” are unbelievable.

6) Please tell us about your civic work in the last two years, whether it’s legislation you have sponsored or other paid or volunteer work to improve your community.

In 2018 I wrote legislation to protect children and people in Gun Free Zones, and I Presented it to my then Representative in Southern Illinois. He did not offer my bill to Congress, but he did make his own. His offered less real-time protection than mine, but Rep. Bost did include grants for panic buttons in schools.

7) What are your views on the decision by the U.S. House to impeach President Donald Trump? Was the impeachment process fair or not? How so? If, in your view, the president should not have been impeached, would you have supported censure? Please explain.

It was a joke. The impeachment did not even include Trump’s decision to strike Syria without Congressional approval. To me, this says that the impeachment was not serious, even just a public distraction as Trump and the Democrats were increasing spending to historic levels, allowing government contractors to make record profits. Obama’s arming of Al Qaeda rebels in Syria (and then the “moderate Syrian rebel” mistruth) was also an impeachable offense, except that Congress supported it, but it was happening even before their voted support. In my opinion, George Bush’s covering up of the 9/11 report’s notorious 28 pages might also have been an impeachable offense. There is a lot of justice to be had.

8) How would you reduce the federal budget deficit, which now stands at about $1 trillion for 2020? What changes, if any, to the U.S. tax code do you support and why?

I support immediate limits to government spending. There should be no new net spending, and Rand Paul’s “Penny Plan” should also be immediately implimented. As the greatest item in the discretionary budget, we could save a ton of money by switching to peace, and ending the quagmires in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria.

9) What changes would you like to see made to our nation’s healthcare system? Would you shore up the Affordable Care Act or work to repeal it in full? What’s your view on Medicare for All? And what should be done, if anything, to bring down the cost of prescription drugs?

I would immediately remove as much regulation as possible. The (non bureaucratic) STRUCTURE of our medical system that we currently have in place is near perfect. We LITERALLY just need to get the government out of the way. We have all the resources and means for production. The American people will have no problem caring for themselves and each other as they would like.

Most doctors’ greatest cost of doing business is literally in the bureaucracy, just maintaining “government compliance.” This is unacceptable, and it is creating a shortage of doctors. The federal government has no Constitutional authority to manage or regulate healthcare. Get the government totally out of the way, and then the market will accommodate most everyone. We have the research, the schools, the hospitals, and the doctors. We can seriously do without the government.

I would not take healthcare policies away from anyone, and anyone who has a government policy should be able to keep it, but totally deregulate private insurance, and I will bet you money that people will soon move away from government options and towards cheaper, better options. Millions of Americans, including my own family, lost their previous policies due to new “Obamacare” regulations. That is also unnacceptible. Together with my plan to Make America Healthy Again, America’s nearly $4 trillion annual healthcare costs could be slashed. People will be healthier, and happier. With these long term solutions, people will ask “Why would we even want the government involved in healthcare?”

10) Do you support or oppose DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and why? Should a path to citizenship be created for the so-called DREAMers? Please explain.

I support the immediate acceptance of all “DACA Eligible” people as American Citizens. “DACA” as a government program, is another massive failure, simply using human beings as pawns in political bargaining. Democrats and Republicans both should be ashamed of themselves. Our borders should be immediately secured from foreign threats such as armies, and diseases.

11) What are the three most important issues in your district on which the federal government can and should act?

Public health - End policies that promote toxic food. Promote health-food, and proper hydration as the only way to defeat COVID.

Secure property rights - Thousands, millions of people are under constant threat by government that they might lose their property if they are unable to meet certain tax requirements. This is a blatant violation of the 4th Amendment. Property taxation may continue, but there shall be no underlying threat of confiscation.

War, and government spending - No one really knows how much money the government is printing now, or the effect that it will have on inflation or the future value of our currency. The easiest way to cut spending is by bringing troops home. 19 years in Afghanistan, only to see an explosion in opium production? Enough is enough.

12) What is the biggest difference between you and your opponent(s)?

Raja Krishnamoorthi is a super-rich lawyer who receives sponsorship in thousands of dollars, even millions, from the biggest billion-dollar companies in the world. As a result, I think that he mostly represents these companies when he votes, like when he votes for bills that send billions of your tax-dollars to said companies in the form of direct subsidies, and other kick-backs. He offers no innovative solutions outside the mainstream, except maybe for his extreme push to ban e-cigarettes.

I am a more average person, outraged at the levels of insincerity and injustice. If anyone ever throws a million dollars at me, then half of it will go to my favorite charity. I would definitely put some into my own savings though, and probably buy gold and silver for my friends and family, since it is a good store of value.

13) What action should Congress take, if any, to reduce gun violence?

Illinois’ FOID card should be deemed null and voided since it is unconstitutional. Responsible gun ownership is life-saving. Get the government out of guns, then people will seriously, and honestly consider them with respect. Prohibition never works, neither for alcohol, nor for drugs, nor for guns.

Guns should be appreciated for what they truly are: the great equalizer. Guns allow vulnerable people to defend themselves from predators. Children used to learn to use a rifle in school! I hate thinking that many Illinoisans are burdened from regular firearms training. Training is key.

14) Is climate change real? Is it significantly man-made? Is it a threat to humankind? What if anything should Congress and the federal government do about it?

Yes. No one knows the degree to which climate change is man-made, versus being a more natural cycle of the Earth as a living macro-organism. People clearly want a clean planet, and they will freely innovate in that direction. Remember, all the best innovations come by industry meeting market demand; consider Tesla and Space X. What especially concerns me is industry pollution, like crop-chemical run-off affecting our water. Full responsibility and accountability should be required of anyone who adversely affects private or public property.

15) What should Congress do to ensure the solvency of Social Security and Medicare?

Social Security is a misnomer, as it has created insecurity, as we wonder how to pay for what might really be a great pyramid scheme. My own dad paid into Social Security during his entire life, only to receive a lousy return on his investment. Now, government misuses funds, and we wonder how we will pay for the future while forcing young people to pay for retirees. Medicare suffers the same problems that affect general healthcare: which is a corrupt and inefficient government raising prices, and reducing the quality and quantity of care. The free market will offer the best-value and most accessible healthcare. We have not seen free market in our lifetimes. We should really try it, but Democrats and Republicans have demonstrated over and over again that they will sell out to cronyism, as opposed to unchaining the free-market. GIVE THE FREE MARKET A CHANCE. People will provide, and innovate.

One fundamental cause of our retirement and financial woes is pervasive inflation. Even at the Fed’s target rate of 2-3%, the value of the dollar is cut in half every 27-35 years. That makes it doubly hard to retire, or pay for future procedures. If we want to really fix these great issues, then we must confront the real roots. Our founders did not want a currency that could be inflated, they even wrote into the Constitution a requirement of a gold/silver standard.

16) What should Congress do to address the student loan crisis? Would you use the word “crisis”?

It is certainly a crisis. Make all the loans interest-free.

I did not realize when I signed up for a big student loan, what it was that I was actually signing. “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” is a great misnomer. It misleads students into making unwise financial decisions.

17) What should our nation’s relationship be with Russia?

Voluntary, safe, and mutually beneficial. We have a history of antigonizing them, and affecting their elections. Why should we not expect the same in return? Arguably, our history of meddling in their elections goes back further than what is currently happening. Again, if we can to fix things, we must consider the real roots. Leave them alone, and they will leave us alone. Peace will prosper, and good Americans will begin doing business with good Russians. There are infinitely more good people on both sides, than there are bad people. Most government barriers prohibit the good people from working together. I propose an end to the sanctions.

18) What’s your view on the use of tariffs in international commerce? Has President Trump imposed tariffs properly and effectively? Please explain.

Tarrifs are a better, and less intrusive way to raise public funds than domestic income taxes. When China was dumping steel and selling at a loss, Trump should have bought it all, and encouraged other private American corporations to do the same, and stockpile it while it was cheap. Instead, he implimented policy that cost America a lot of money, and hurt the economy. To “fix that,” Trump and the Congress then spent a lot more money to make up for economic losses, really only patching the damage.

19) Does the United States have a responsibility to promote democracy in other countries? Please explain.

The words used together here are so dangerous. No, no, no. Just look at the history of our “democracy promotion,” and please look back at least to 1953 and the Iranian coup that we sponsored. Again, we must confront the roots if we hope to fix things. Democracy is best promoted by good, honest example. Our actions to prop up dictators, arm Al Qaeda rebels (, and fight wars on the behalf of Saudi Arabia have been wholely catastrophic. End the madness. Bring our troops home. With our record, we are in no position to look at another nation or government, and try telling them how they ought to do things.

20) What should Congress do to limit the proliferation of nuclear arms?

Stop proliferating nuclear arms. Written agreements hardly function, but only real goodwill and peace will succeed at this end. That is why it is so crucial to have good, honest people leading our nation, as opposed to professional speakers, proficient at talking out of both sides of their mouth.

21) Please list all relatives on public or campaign payrolls and their jobs on those payrolls.

The only ones that I can think of are two cousin who work at a jail in Southern Illinois. Those jobs are paid by public money.

What historical figure from Illinois, other than Abraham Lincoln (because everybody’s big on Abe), do you most admire or draw inspiration from? Please explain.

Barack Obama - He came out of no where, to do the impossible. He really said a lot of good things, like ending war. But then he did a lot of bad things, and was less than honest, like all the weapons and training we gave to Al Qaeda affiliates.

22) What’s your favorite TV, streaming or web-based show of all time. Why?

Arrested Development - I watched very little TV, but this is one of the only series I have seen entirely. It is hilarious and family friendly. I also appreciated the short series called “WACO.”

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