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November 18, 1951
White Plains, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Journalist, author, writer|
Born in White Plains, New York, Raimondo moved with his family to Yorktown Heights, New York when he was very young. Raimondo describes himself as a "bad kid"; to deter himself from this path he spent one year at a Jesuit-run school in upstate New York. Around this time he took an interest in Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. Later he joined Young Americans for Freedom. In the 1970s he became active in the Libertarian Party. He "joined the party in 1974, and was active in the MacBride for President campaign, the LP's second White House bid." Along with Eric Garris he organized the "Radical Caucus", which brought them to the attention of the libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard. In 1983, after a schism in the Libertarian Party, Raimondo left the party and attempted to organize a libertarian faction in the Republican Party known as the Libertarian Republican Organizing Committee. After 1989, Raimondo again began working with Rothbard in the anti-war, paleoconservative John Randolph Club.
In 1980 Raimondo ran for public office for the first time. Running as a Libertarian candidate for the 16th district seat in the California State Assembly, Raimondo received 4,730 votes for 7.7% of the vote. In 1982 Raimondo ran for California's 5th district seat in the United States House of Representatives as a Libertarian, against Democratic incumbent Phillip Burton and Republican challenger Milton Marks. He received 14.2% of the vote. In the 1996 U.S. congressional elections, Raimondo ran as a Republican candidate in California's 8th district against Nancy Pelosi. While he championed conservative and libertarian causes in general, the main emphasis of his campaign was his opposition to the deployment of U.S. troops in the Balkans and, in particular, Pelosi's vote to that effect. Raimondo received 25,739 votes for 12.39 percent of the vote while Pelosi got 84.34 percent.
During the 1992, 1996, and 2000 presidential elections, Raimondo supported the campaigns of Pat Buchanan, both as a Republican and in the Reform Party. As he is openly gay, his support of the social conservative Buchanan attracted considerable attention.
In 1994, Raimondo was the San Francisco coordinator for the "Save our State" Proposition 187, which would have barred taxpayer funding of non-emergency services to illegal aliens in California. The measure was passed by California voters, but was later stayed by a federal court.
At the end of 1995 Raimondo and Garris launched Antiwar.com. In 1999, during the Clinton administration's military intervention in the Kosovo war, the site became a full-time effort, providing a platform for the pair's opposition to foreign intervention. Raimondo has been a vocal critic of the invasion of Iraq and the ongoing occupation.
In 2008, he frequently wrote admiringly of Ron Paul's Presidential campaign, and has also expressed support for Dennis Kucinich. He has also been critical of Barack Obama's Cabinet choices as President along with the President himself. However, when Obama nominated former Nebraska U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel for U.S. Secretary of Defense to succeed Leon Panetta, Raimondo came out in support for Hagel.
Raimondo argued in a 2003 Antiwar.com column that Israel exerts a dominant force in the formulation of American foreign policy. Raimondo also believes the United States was led into World War II through lies by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and that the U.S. deliberately provoked a war with Japan through economic sanctions. Raimondo's views have been compared by Christopher Hitchens to those of Charles Lindbergh, whom Raimondo describes as an "American hero sprung from the heartland." Raimondo has also written that Israeli intelligence operating in the U.S. had advance knowledge of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Raimondo believes the government should refrain from adopting laws that would prohibit discrimination against homosexuals. He also is against the legal recognition of same-sex marriage and instead favors marriage privatization, both mocking the idea that gays should adopt a heterosexual model of sexual and emotional relationships, and noting that as a libertarian he opposes "State incursion into such private matters." Raimondo has debated the issue of same-sex marriage with journalist Jonathan Rauch, who supports it. He also has written that after years of persecution by the state, LGBT rights activists seek to "use the battering ram of government power" to actively intervene on behalf of homosexuals.
Though raised a Catholic, Raimondo describes himself as "not a believer." Raimondo further describes his early interactions with the Roman Catholic Church and a local Jesuit seminary in Yorktown Heights as being influential in his development, despite rejecting the notion of God. He describes being "taken with their engagement with ideas" and discussions of philosophy, which he was lacking in traditional schools or from classmates at the time.
In addition to his thrice-weekly column for Antiwar.com, Raimondo is a regular contributor to The American Conservative and Chronicles magazine. He formerly wrote twice-monthly columns for Taki's Top Drawer but ceased in 2009.
He is the author of several books:
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