Interview with Libertarian Dr. Shaun Crowell


Nashville, Tennessee (TFC) – Dr. Shaun Crowell was born in West Tennessee and graduated from high school in Union City in 1991. It was during his senior year that he decided to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.

He attended the University of Tennessee at Martin and graduated Cum Laude in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. Later that year, he was accepted into veterinary school at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, College of Veterinary Medicine.

During his studies at UT, Shaun married his best friend and they have been together these past eighteen years.  They are blessed with three wonderful children, four dogs, and one cat.  

Having graduated from UT in 1999 with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.),

Dr. Crowell practiced veterinary medicine in various places throughout this great state till he decided to open his own practice in 2008.  A year later he would see his dream come to fruition with the grand opening of Agape Pet Hospital outside of metropolitan Nashville.

The year prior to his foray into the world of small business ownership saw him delve into the depths of the political process, and he asked a very important question.  Where did all the money go?  After voting as a conservative Republican all of his life, he realized that the leadership of the Republican Party was part of the problem in this country.  Their voting to bail out the banks sparked an awakening in him as with many others that sent shockwaves throughout his brainwashed mind.  His response was to run against a man he once voted for and approved of, a man who claimed to be conservative both fiscally and morally yet proved the opposite when he voted for the bailouts, that man’s name was Bob Corker.  And in 2010, Dr. Crowell dumped the GOP for the Libertarian Party.  He ran as their candidate for U.S. Senate that year and out fundraised the Democratic nominee.  In 2011, he was asked by the Constitution Party to run for Governor.  He agreed to it and again out fundraised the Democrat to place second behind Bill Haslam in that category.  His decision to change parties was based on his longing to see a fiscally conservative and socially conservative party.  He appreciates many libertarians and believes that their view of the Constitution is consistent and has been helpful to his education of how our Founders intended for government to be run.  He is an outspoken supporter of Ron Paul and believes that he has been one of the few statesmen to walk the halls of Congress.  

Lately, his focus has been on his small business and farming.  He has jumped into organic farming and is learning how to tend a herd and raise a crop.  And of course, he has a dog named Liberty.

1.     How did you get involved in politics? what first garnered your interest, or made you upset with the status quo to make you want to become involved?
Since I was of voting age, I have voted as a Christian conservative who votes Republican.  In 2008 that thought process changed drastically when George W. Bush, Bob Corker and others told us that we needed to bail out the banks.  I quickly decided that I was not going to vote Republican just because I was told that they represented who I was.  So I looked at the Democrats for a brief moment and then realized that Senator Barack Obama as did many others voted for the bailouts as well.  This was the genesis of my maturation into the understanding that both parties are bought and paid for by the big banks and corporations.  I decided to run for the U.S. Senate in 2012 against Bob Corker.  I joined the Libertarian Party in 2011 and then was elected to be its nominee for U.S. Senate.
2.     have you had any change in views over time, and how did you come to adopt the ideas of libertarianism?
I realized that there was one man in Congress who stood above all the others.  His name is Ron Paul.  He seemed to be a soothsayer when I watched YouTube videos of his speeches from the 1990’s.  He was consistent in his message and most importantly was Constitutional.  He is a true statesman.  Since his profound influence on my political thoughts, I have delved into economics a great deal and read Murray Rothbard, F.A. Hayek, and Ludwig Von Mises.  These writers helped to answer my burning question which is ‘why did all the money seem to be sucked out of this nation all at once?’
3.     As a libertarian how important do you see the use of civil disobedience, and are there any types of Tactics would you be comfortable promoting as a citizen that you might not as a politician?
While I strongly believe in the 2nd Amendment’s purpose of helping guard this nation against a tyrannical government, I am more inclined to model my efforts after Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Ghandi.  These men’s vision of non-violent civil disobedience to move a nation is in stark contrast to what most warm-blooded Americans want to do to the government. 
4.     Do you believe Capitalism has the ability to not grow unsustainable, and what control methods would limit such an infinite growth cycle under the current profit driven industry?
I think that there is a difference between free market capitalism and what I term corporatism (crony capitalism).  I am a small business owner and have a desire to see my customers satisfied and thankful for my care of their pets.  By doing a good job and being consistent, my business has grown over these last 7 years.  True free market capitalism involves good competition.  Good competition in turn causes business owners to care.  Caring, in turn, increases quality while the consumer pays the same price for better products and service.
Corporatism is a different animal and seeks to control government entities and thereby pass laws to destroy competition.  In the end corporatism is destructive because it monopolizes the market and then the quality of products and service fall while price increases.
As far as what needs to be done about corporatism: I say to defund many government agencies and limit the power of all levels of government and put the power back into the people’s hands.  Power is what corporations seek.  And the government continues to increase its power.  However, I am not an anarchist.  I do believe in the Constitution and a republic.
5.     Is an individual owner who arbitrarily pays a wage unattached to production or profit, worse than a politician who uses tax money to arbitrarily follow someone other than his constituents?
Both are bad.
6.     Do you promote democracy in a workplace scenario?
When I first opened my business it was probably very democratic, I had the philosophy of let’s have a friendly workplace environment where the boss is your friend first and your boss second.  I wanted everyone to be happy with me.  There was just one problem.  Since I was making the most money, I had some employees who felt that they worked as hard or harder than me and “deserved” everything that I had.  This philosophy pervaded my business for the first five years of its existence.  One day I woke up to find that $125,000 was missing from my business over a period of 1 ½ years through employee theft.  After firing and rehiring a new staff, my thoughts have since changed. I’ve decided to be a boss first and a friend second with many levels of accountability.  Therefore it went from a democracy to what I would call an earned democracy.  I enjoy the employees that God has sent my way and I expect that they respect myself, their fellow staff, the clients and their pets.  If they do this well then they not only retain their job but will receive pay raises as we grow together.
7.     in a just workplace what liberty do workers have? (not so much in the job market as a whole as that is constantly in flux, but within a single corporation?)
There is a standard at our place of business that must be met.  Our motto is loving you and your pets with a greater love.  It is a must that our employees follow this standard and provide the clients and their pets with high quality veterinary medicine and surgery coupled with excellent service.  How that is accomplished looks different based on each individual’s talents.  Therefore there is liberty within how to do whatever job is being done.  Once all tasks have been accomplished then breaks are well deserved. 
8.     Are there any models of what you see as a just economy, in practice, in history or today?
Austrian economics has been the system I am most impressed with.  Laissez-faire means leave it alone and has been used in reference to the relationship of government and business.  Unfortunately, Iceland may be the only country left that has a close to true free market.
9.     Who are some of your favorite authors?
The Holy Spirit, Ron Paul, Murray Rothbard, C.S. Lewis
10.  How can we move past sectarianism and toward solidarity in the activist communities and as a nation?
I would say that some sectarianism is acceptable as long as we can have rules set forth to be respectful of one another.  However, unity is powerful.  It takes a mature individual to stand up for what they believe.  It takes an even more mature person to not get their feelings hurt when someone respectfully disagrees.  Discourse is important to enhance the quality of government or an activist movement.
Dictatorships, monarchies, oligarchies, anarchies and theocracies are destructive because mankind is sinful.  Therefore if we can agree that a republic is the way to go and that the Constitution is an acceptable document and will be the rule of law then I think that our nation has a chance to bring back the glory days of liberty.  Frederic Bastiat in his book, The Law, said the U.S. has the best government in world except for slavery.  While we have ended physical slavery, the corporations have begun financial slavery.  If we can end this then liberty will be ours once again.
11.  Do you believe what happened to Ron Paul’s Delegates in the RNC 2012 caucus should be investigated?
I am persuaded that the political machine is too powerful to takeover.  I will give Ron and Rand a hand for leading the charge to try, but after we see Rand’s demise in this political process then every libertarian supporting the GOP machine should leave as I did and never return.  Republicans and Democrats have been corrupted too much to save their parties.  I tell everyone that if you are socially liberal and fiscally conservative then join the Libertarian Party.  If you are socially conservative and fiscally conservative then join the Constitution Party.  And if you are socially liberal and fiscally liberal then join the Green Party.  We need more competition in politics to drive a better product.  If we can dismantle the two party system then we have a chance to get true change in this country.
12.  any shout outs?
Ted Cruz – after you win the nomination does Goldman Sachs give you your own island?; Rand Paul – you the man