With one of the Republican presidential candidate’s association with the Libertarian Party, I felt it necessary to find out exactly what that stand for and what they believe.
In May of 2010, the Libertarian Party held a convention in St. Louis, Missouri. At this convention, they formally adopted Platform that specifies exactly what they believe and hold to. I know this is a lengthy article, but thought I would display their Platform here and make my comments where necessary. If no comment follows a section it infers that I agree or mostly agree with the statement. You decide for yourself how much or how little you agree with them.
Libertarian Party 2010 Platform
As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.
We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.
Consequently, we defend each person’s right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power.
Comment: While this sounds good on the surface, it can be used to legally justify a number of lifestyles that are considered by many to be wrong and perverse such as child pornography, pedophilia, exhibitionism, drug use, etc.
In the following pages we have set forth our basic principles and enumerated various policy stands derived from those principles.
These specific policies are not our goal, however. Our goal is nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime, and it is to this end that we take these stands.
Statement of Principles
We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.
We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.
Comment: As commented above, this opens the door to dangerous and immoral lifestyles. A pedophile could argue that the child was consenting and therefore no one was doing anything against their will. Under this philosophy, a person could justify making, selling and using drugs that are now considered illegal and dangerous if everyone involved is consenting and say that it’s their own personal choice. There needs to be some guidelines somewhere for the sake of society.
Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United States, all political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.
We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life — accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action — accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property — accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.
Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.
1.0 Personal Liberty
Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government. Our support of an individual’s right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices.
1.1 Expression and Communication
We support full freedom of expression and oppose government censorship, regulation or control of communications media and technology. We favor the freedom to engage in or abstain from any religious activities that do not violate the rights of others. We oppose government actions which either aid or attack any religion.
Comment: Having the right to full expression opens the door to public nudity, public vulgarity and swearing, and other activities that most of us would consider to be wrong and repulsive. Freedom in communication would allow the same things in media such as radio and television. Prime time television would be opened up to the same things, vulgar language, nudity, public sexually explicit actions, drug use, etc. Children’s programs could also depict these things and say that it is the choice of the viewer, but how would a responsible parent even know what would be depicted until it appeared on the screen in full view of their children.
Our Founding Fathers established the nation on biblically moral principles. There has to be some kind of check and balance system to maintain those moral principles. History repeatedly shows us that a society without set moral values soon becomes a hedonistic and depraved society that collapses in on itself.
1.2 Personal Privacy
Libertarians support the rights recognized by the Fourth Amendment to be secure in our persons, homes, and property. Protection from unreasonable search and seizure should include records held by third parties, such as email, medical, and library records. Only actions that infringe on the rights of others can properly be termed crimes. We favor the repeal of all laws creating “crimes” without victims, such as the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes.
1.3 Personal Relationships
Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.
Comment: I reiterate that America was founded and established as a Christian nation with Christian principles. Libertarians want to open the door to any and all sexual perversions (homosexuality, same-sex marriages, polygamy, adultery, prostitution, etc.). Leviticus 20:13 says, “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”
Stating that consenting adults should have complete freedom to choose their own personal sexual preferences again opens the door to many perverse practices and public displays. What if a consenting pair of adults prefer to have sexual relations in public or on in front of a school? What if it involves their kids? We periodically read reports of a parent having sexual relations with children or even prostituting them to other adults.
We saw this happen in ancient Greece and Rome not long before they both collapsed from within and I don’t want to see America follow their example. Sorry Libertarians, but I adamantly have to disagree with you on this point.
Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.
Comment: I firmly believe that life begins at conception and that any form of abortion is murder. Giving someone the right to choose does not justify murder.
1.5 Crime and Justice
Government exists to protect the rights of every individual including life, liberty and property. Criminal laws should be limited to violation of the rights of others through force or fraud, or deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk of harm. Individuals retain the right to voluntarily assume risk of harm to themselves. We support restitution of the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or the negligent wrongdoer. We oppose reduction of constitutional safeguards of the rights of the criminally accused. The rights of due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, and the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, must not be denied. We assert the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law.
Comment: I heartily agree with this section and wanted to emphasize that our current legal system actually gives jurors the right to determine if a law is just in the case in which they are sitting on. However, judges and attorneys don’t inform the jurors of that right because they don’t want them to have that authority.
The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights — life, liberty, and justly acquired property — against aggression. This right inheres in the individual, who may agree to be aided by any other individual or group. We affirm the individual right recognized by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense. We oppose all laws at any level of government requiring registration of, or restricting, the ownership, manufacture, or transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition.
Comment: Heartily agree with this provision. The Founding Fathers that wrote the Second Amendment fully believed that every person not only had the right to bear arms but it was a necessity to have one in their home for protection. In 1808, Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Jacob Brown wrote, “I learn with great concern that [one] portion of our frontier so interesting, so important, and so exposed, should be so entirely unprovided with common fire-arms. I did not suppose any part of the United States so destitute of what is considered as among the first necessaries of a farm-house.”
2.0 Economic Liberty
Libertarians want all members of society to have abundant opportunities to achieve economic success. A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner. Each person has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market. The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society.
2.1 Property and Contract
Property rights are entitled to the same protection as all other human rights. The owners of property have the full right to control, use, dispose of, or in any manner enjoy, their property without interference, until and unless the exercise of their control infringes the valid rights of others. We oppose all controls on wages, prices, rents, profits, production, and interest rates. We advocate the repeal of all laws banning or restricting the advertising of prices, products, or services. We oppose all violations of the right to private property, liberty of contract, and freedom of trade. The right to trade includes the right not to trade — for any reasons whatsoever. Where property, including land, has been taken from its rightful owners by the government or private action in violation of individual rights, we favor restitution to the rightful owners.
We support a clean and healthy environment and sensible use of our natural resources. Private landowners and conservation groups have a vested interest in maintaining natural resources. Pollution and misuse of resources cause damage to our ecosystem. Governments, unlike private businesses, are unaccountable for such damage done to our environment and have a terrible track record when it comes to environmental protection. Protecting the environment requires a clear definition and enforcement of individual rights in resources like land, water, air, and wildlife. Free markets and property rights stimulate the technological innovations and behavioral changes required to protect our environment and ecosystems. We realize that our planet’s climate is constantly changing, but environmental advocates and social pressure are the most effective means of changing public behavior.
Comment: Again this sounds well and good, but if individuals who own and operate businesses took the personal responsibility for the effects their company had on the environment today we wouldn’t have any pollution problems. Many owners don’t care about anything but the bottom line and making a profit. Many measures to clean up pollution producing byproducts or practices are expensive and cost prohibitive, especially for smaller business owners.
If owners won’t take the responsibility themselves, something has to be in place to see that they do.
2.3 Energy and Resources
While energy is needed to fuel a modern society, government should not be subsidizing any particular form of energy. We oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, and production.
2.4 Government Finance and Spending
All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution. We oppose any legal requirements forcing employers to serve as tax collectors. Government should not incur debt, which burdens future generations without their consent. We support the passage of a “Balanced Budget Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution, provided that the budget is balanced exclusively by cutting expenditures, and not by raising taxes.
2.5 Money and Financial Markets
We favor free-market banking, with unrestricted competition among banks and depository institutions of all types. Individuals engaged in voluntary exchange should be free to use as money any mutually agreeable commodity or item. We support a halt to inflationary monetary policies and unconstitutional legal tender laws.
2.6 Monopolies and Corporations
We defend the right of individuals to form corporations, cooperatives and other types of companies based on voluntary association. We seek to divest government of all functions that can be provided by non-governmental organizations or private individuals. We oppose government subsidies to business, labor, or any other special interest. Industries should be governed by free markets.
2.7 Labor Markets
We support repeal of all laws which impede the ability of any person to find employment. We oppose government-fostered forced retirement. We support the right of free persons to associate or not associate in labor unions, and an employer should have the right to recognize or refuse to recognize a union. We oppose government interference in bargaining, such as compulsory arbitration or imposing an obligation to bargain.
Education, like any other service, is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality and efficiency with more diversity of choice. Schools should be managed locally to achieve greater accountability and parental involvement. Recognizing that the education of children is inextricably linked to moral values, we would return authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. In particular, parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children’s education.
2.9 Health Care
We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want, the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions. People should be free to purchase health insurance across state lines.
2.10 Retirement and Income Security
Retirement planning is the responsibility of the individual, not the government. Libertarians would phase out the current government-sponsored Social Security system and transition to a private voluntary system. The proper and most effective source of help for the poor is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals. We believe members of society will become more charitable and civil society will be strengthened as government reduces its activity in this realm.
3.0 Securing Liberty
The protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of government. Government is constitutionally limited so as to prevent the infringement of individual rights by the government itself. The principle of non-initiation of force should guide the relationships between governments.
3.1 National Defense
We support the maintenance of a sufficient military to defend the United States against aggression. The United States should both avoid entangling alliances and abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world. We oppose any form of compulsory national service.
3.2 Internal Security and Individual Rights
The defense of the country requires that we have adequate intelligence to detect and to counter threats to domestic security. This requirement must not take priority over maintaining the civil liberties of our citizens. The Constitution and Bill of Rights shall not be suspended even during time of war. Intelligence agencies that legitimately seek to preserve the security of the nation must be subject to oversight and transparency. We oppose the government’s use of secret classifications to keep from the public information that it should have, especially that which shows that the government has violated the law.
Comment: While I am all in favor of protecting individual right and freedoms and privacy, I have to ask at what cost of our national security and safety do we yield to maintain these rights and freedoms? How many American lives have been saved by thwarted terrorist plans resulting in the government’s infringement of some of these rights? Are we willing to allow more Americans to be killed and maimed by terrorist activities that otherwise could be prevented by certain questionable intelligence activities?
I don’t like the idea of the government reading my e-mails, listening to my phone calls, reading my mail or any other means of invasion of privacy, but I also don’t like to give free reign to would be terrorists to kill more American citizens and disrupt our way of life. Is there a balance between the two? I don’t know there is, but feel these concerns must be addressed.
3.3 International Affairs
American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups.
3.4 Free Trade and Migration
We support the removal of governmental impediments to free trade. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property.
Comment: This section gives full endorsement of illegal immigration. Who is to determine if an illegal poses a threat or not?
Illegal immigration has been proven to take jobs away from American citizens, lower property values when 20-23 of them move into one house, cost taxpayers for multiple benefits extended to them that American citizens do not have the right to, and the closure of numerous hospitals, urgent care and other medical facilities that cannot afford to stay in business when forced to give free treatment to hundreds of illegals.
I believe if a person can demonstrate just cause for political asylum, then by all means all them into the country. Otherwise we need to exercise strict border control to stem the flow of illegal immigrants. We also need to round up the 12-15 million illegals already in our country, deport them back to their own country and bill their country for all expenses incurred in the arrest and deportation.
3.5 Rights and Discrimination
We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant. Government should not deny or abridge any individual’s rights based on sex, wealth, race, color, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference or sexual orientation. Parents, or other guardians, have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs.
Comment: I again remind you that this opens the door to numerous perverse, immoral and anti-biblical lifestyles and activities. I do not agree in giving benefits to people who God describes as an abomination and living a lifestyle that He said deserves being put to death.
This also could be seen as a contradiction to a statement in section 2.1 that states, “The right to trade includes the right not to trade — for any reasons whatsoever.” What if I refused to trade or deal with someone that I believe is living an immoral and repulsive lifestyle such as homosexuality. In section 2.1 it says that I can refuse to trade with anyone for any reason, but here in section 3.5 it condemns the same activity. You can’t have it both ways.
3.6 Representative Government
We support electoral systems that are more representative of the electorate at the federal, state and local levels. As private voluntary groups, political parties should be allowed to establish their own rules for nomination procedures, primaries and conventions. We call for an end to any tax-financed subsidies to candidates or parties and the repeal of all laws which restrict voluntary financing of election campaigns. We oppose laws that effectively exclude alternative candidates and parties, deny ballot access, gerrymander districts, or deny the voters their right to consider all legitimate alternatives.
Comment: Repealing the restrictions on voluntary financing of election campaigns would open the doors for the wealthiest people to literally buy political offices including the White House. In some instances, this has happened in the past and the laws were enacted to prevent or reduce the chances of it happening again. Politics is almost an exclusively rich person’s business now, but eliminating restrictions on campaign contributions would ensure that it would be a rich person’s game only.
Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of individual liberty, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to agree to such new governance as to them shall seem most likely to protect their liberty.
Our silence about any other particular government law, regulation, ordinance, directive, edict, control, regulatory agency, activity, or machination should not be construed to imply approval.