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View from the Hill

Profile: Sean Haugh wants to stop all wars


This is the sixth in a series of profiles on the 2014 U.S. Senate Candidates on View from the Hill. Links to previous profiles are at the end of this post.

As a college student in the early 1980s, Sean Haugh protested against American military intervention in Central America.

Thirty years later, Haugh, 53, is one of two candidates in the N.C. Libertarian Party’s primary election for the 2014 U.S. Senate race. His message is simple: stop all wars.

“The only way we can have prosperity, I think, is through peace,” he said. “Stop spending so many resources on destruction and killing each other. Use resources to make people richer  and happier.”

In 2013, the U.S. government spent an estimated $643 billion, or 19 percent of its total budget, on defense and international security, according to data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Haugh supports reducing military expenditures and government support of corporations.

“We’re already spending far more money than we have, so there’s no diverting money from one thing to something else,” he said. “What I’d really like to do is just reduce the size of government to the point where we can cut taxes … and just let people keep the money they earn.”

Since a previous unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate in 2002, also as a Libertarian, Haugh said he has perceived an increased acceptance of war and violence, which motivated him to run for office again.

“I think that’s what’s changed is that we’ve become so used to war and so used to using violence as a solution for international problems,” he said.

Haugh criticized the use of drones in particular, which has become more widespread — though recent technological changes are besides the point, he said, as the U.S. government has engaged in violence at home and abroad for decades.

“What’s really changed isn’t so much the technology, it’s the attitude,” he said. “We have a president now who claims he’s able to kill anybody he wants by his authority. That needs to be stopped.”

In a crowded Senate race of 13 primary candidates, Haugh said he is the only one talking about ending all warfare. He thinks about the race as an opportunity to promote nonviolence, not as a competition with challenges.

Putting his name on the ballot was an act of conscience, he said. He hasn’t thought about implications for the Libertarian Party’s profile in North Carolina.

In 2008, when Sen. Kay Hagan won her seat, the Libertarian candidate Christopher Cole received just 3.12 percent of the vote.

“Well, if enough people vote for me, I’ll win,” Haugh said. “Right now there are only 13 people in the entire state who could possibly win this race, and I’m one of them.”

Kay Hagan Mark Harris Heather Grant Greg Brannon Will Stewart Ted Alexander Alex Bradshaw Ernest Reeves Sean Haugh

View from the Hill is a political blog by Daily Tar Heel staff writers. Any opinion expressed in it does not represent the Daily Tar Heel. Email the blog coordinator at

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