Nathan Larson, a Catlett accountant and self-described “red pill Libertarian,” says he’s running for the 31st District state delegate seat to “restore, defend and strengthen” Virginia families.
But Larson’s promises to “fight feminism” by abolishing Virginia’s Child Protective Services and discouraging young women from going to college – saying their “potential, in many respects, is wasted when they devote their years of peak beauty and fertility [by] attending college … instead of marrying a good provider and bearing children” -- have members of the Libertarian Party of Virginia crying foul.
Bo Brown, LPV president, said he’s received “a storm of texts” and a “flurry of emails” from female leaders of the party calling on the party to disavow Larson’s views.
Brown, who lives in Chesterfield, acknowledged this week that Larson paid for a “lifelong membership” in the LPV, something the party no longer offers.
But he said the LPV would neither nominate nor endorse Larson’s effort to unseat Del. Scott Lingamfeter, a Republican, from the 31st District seat.
Rather, the party was considering a motion to expel Larson from the party altogether, Larson said.
"Some of those stances go beyond the extreme and are not even acceptable to anyone in the public he would represent,” Brown said. “Those types of ideas are not in line at all with the Libertarian party.”
Larson, 36, has since switched the wording on his campaign website to indicate more specifically that he’s a “red pill Libertarian,” something he says is “one interpretation” of the Libertarian philosophy.
The term “red pill libertarian,” he said, is a reference to “The Matrix,” the 1999 film starring actor Keanu Reeves.
In the film, people had a choice of taking either red pills or blue pills. The red pills revealed “uncomfortable truths” about human nature, while the blue pills allowed takers to remain ignorant of such things. The use of the term first became popular on the social news-sharing site “Reddit,” Larson said.
"There’s some truths people don’t talk about,” Larson said, such as “differences between the psychology of men and women.”
Larson offers a long explanation of those perceived differences on his website. Some of the ways he’d address them, if elected, include “revamping” divorce laws to make marriage more like private contracts, he said.
“Currently, disloyal spouses are often rewarded for breaking their vows, by being given custody of the children, along with alimony, child support, and half the marital property,” Larson writes. “Since the victims of this kind of betrayal are often men, a lot of men are deciding there is no point to getting married, and the rates of children being born out of wedlock are skyrocketing.”
Larson also says he’d “abolish” restraining orders. Victims should report battery and assault to police, which he says would better ensure accusers’ due process rights.
"Often, an unscrupulous or deranged woman will take out a restraining order so she can immediately gain control of the house, the children, and her husband's paycheck, without having to hire a lawyer or wait for the divorce to be finalized,” he writes. “The accused is not allowed to present his side of the story in court before police serve him with papers telling him to leave his home immediately.”
Similarly, Larson said he would “abolish” child protective services “so that law enforcement officers, rather than social workers … [would investigate] reports of child abuse.”
"As an added bonus, the disbanding of CPS will remove many feminists and other leftists, who took the easy path of getting degrees in social work and similar disciplines, from their cushy, taxpayer-supported jobs,” he writes.
Larson said he would also “defund” domestic violence prevention programs and women’s studies programs at state universities. He’d also push a resolution to "Recogniz[e] feminism as leading to individual and societal harms,” if elected.
Larson said encouraging women to attend college is “a poor investment because it’s less common for women to take these harder majors” such as math, science and engineering.
His website adds: “It is poor stewardship for parents and society to tell the best and brightest young women that they should spend the years when the flower of their youth is in full bloom partying at the university or slaving away at the corporate grind, rather than having large families and passing on their exceptional genes to produce the next generation of artists, doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs, philosophers, and scientists.”
The race for the 31st District seat is already a crowded one.
Lingamfelter, a Republican, is expected to seek re-election. Lingamfelter has held the seat since 2002 but faced close elections from Democratic challengers that have included state Sen. Jeremy McPike in 2013.
Two Democrats are vying to unseat Lingamfelter. Sara Townsend, a middle school teacher from Catlett, ran against him in 2015 and is trying again this November. Lingamfelter beat Townsend by about 1,200 votes in the last election.
Also running for the Democratic nomination is Elizabeth Guzman, a naturalized citizen from Peru. She is running as part of the Prince William Progress Coalition, which includes Democrats Lee Carter, a candidate for the 50th District seat currently held by Republican Del. Jackson Miller (R), and Mansimran Kahlon, who is vying to unseat Del. Bob Marshall, also a Republican, the 13th District.
The 31st District straddles both Prince William and Fauquier counties. In Prince William, the district includes Dumfries, Montclair and parts of Dale City. In eastern Fauquier County, the district stretches from about U.S. 15 to Somerville and includes Casanova, Catlett and Calverton.
Reach Jill Palermo at email@example.com.