The Libertarian Party Platform, pt. 1 – Personal Liberties

It’s not too late to vote for the right guy, The man with the most governmental experience, Gary Johnson. If elected, monkeys will fly out of my butt, I mean, Johnson would walk the Constitutional walk and talk the personal liberties talk.

 

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.

 

 

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.

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.

1.4 Abortion

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.

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 to 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.

1.6 Self-Defense

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.

61 thoughts on “The Libertarian Party Platform, pt. 1 – Personal Liberties

  1. Johnson scored second after Paul in these online compatibility tests that I took, but there’s no way I’m voting for either one of them. G., all you’re doing is casting a vote for Obama.

  2. Obama IS my second choice, Kells, but only because the right-wing is so hateful towards the less fortunate. I am under no illusions; Obama is just as likely to invade Iran as Romney, and Romney is just as likely to cater to the fringe groups . as is the current President

    • “Obama IS my second choice, Kells, but only because the right-wing is so hateful towards the less fortunate.”

      Now that is actually funny … coming from you. What about the left-wings prolific hatred for the right, Greg?

      Yeah, what’s your take on that?

      Thought so.

        • “Go kick a hobo, Augger, you’ll feel better. “

          In other words, you have no defense of your blatant hypocrisy, so you demonstrate a hatred for the right, that you just castigated the right for earlier.

          Nice demonstration of hypocrisy, Greg. My point is proven.

            • “You called me a dolt earlier, bud. Can’t take what you dish out so freely?”

              Damn right I did, and I am man enough to say it. but what am I dishing out Greg? I’m not the idiot tossing out lop-sided statement such as “Obama IS my second choice, Kells, but only because the right-wing is so hateful towards the less fortunate.” as if to say that the other side isn’t doing the same.

              So who’s really the butt-hurt party here, Greg? Yours. That’s who. You want to serve it up, and then get all defensive when you are called out on it.

              Just go lick your wounds and take it like a man, for once.

          • Why didn’t mount a defense , Augger? Tell me how wrong I was, that you love the poor, and want them to participate in the American Adventure. Instead, you make an analogy similar to mine, without countering what I said, making it seem that you agree with my conclusion

            • “Tell me how wrong I was, that you love the poor, and want them to participate in the American Adventure.”

              Sure. No problem. You state (and here we go again) — “Obama IS my second choice, Kells, but only because the right-wing is so hateful towards the less fortunate.”

              How much did you contribute to the less fortunate last year, Greg? My ‘hatred’ as you assert to the less fortunate is documented well on this forum, McPherson’s forum, and CCF’s forum … to which you have responded too. My self chosen charitable contributions add up to about 31% of my approximate $250,000/year income. How’s that for hatred, Greg? By comparison, what’s your percentage, Greg?

              But oh no, it’s really not about self chosen charity with you, now is it Greg? Your percentage, like Biden’s, who only gave a paltry $600 out of a $230,700/year salary is immaterial in your mind. No, no. It’s much easier to be charitable with other people’s money than your own … now isn’t it, Greg?

              Benevolence …. yeah, just who is benevolent. I think I am looking pretty good on that moral high-ground. How about you, Greg? Where do you stand?

              • Who in the heck do you give charity to, Doctors Without Partners?
                Seriously, that is an outlandish amount to give, I just hope you aren’t donating through United Way, who take about 70-80% off the top for expenses. Bless you for your generosity.

                Augger, if I had it to give, I would. I gave a brand new generator to my wife’s church, $400 to the food bank, and $200 to Habitat for Humanity. I have had to cut back on my giving, as we have been in need ourselves. Still, more than Senator Biden

              • Who in the heck do you give charity to, Doctors Without Partners?
                Seriously, that is an outlandish amount to give, I just hope you aren’t donating through United Way, who take about 70-80% off the top for expenses. Bless you for your generosity.

                Augger, if I had it to give, I would. I gave a brand new generator to my wife’s church, $400 to the food bank, and $200 to Habitat for Humanity. I have had to cut back on my giving, as we have been in need ourselves. Still, more than Senator Biden

                • “Seriously, that is an outlandish amount to give”

                  So much for the right-wing’s hatred for the less fortunate, right? You seen Romney’s history of contributions to the disadvantaged by the way? Makes mine look like bubble gum pocket change.

                  So now that this is out the way, I would like to end by asking, just where did you get that assertion from in the first place?

                • Seriously, that is an outlandish amount to give,

                  Greg,

                  How DARE you call this man a liar without proof! How dare you suggest he gives too much! It’s especially insulting when you have been blatantly attacking those on the Right for being selfish and greedy, and for not caring about the less fortunate.

                  Just because Augger exposes you for the charlatan that you are is no reason for you to be so uncivil. Augger is actually living his ideals, and you live yours. It just happens that Augger uses his own money and you use other people’s money. I have some news for you: only one of you meets the dictionary definition of “charitable.”

                  Greg, seriously, people try to be civil with you, but you are the one who rejects their attempts. You are the one who makes it impossible to keep a civil tone on this board. It’s just shameful that you behave this way and then blame others for getting upset with you. Shameful, I say 😦

                  • outlandish–Conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual

                    assumptive–Accepted as real or true without proof

                    stupid–thinking I was calling Augger a liar

                • Black, he called me a liar? Damn, I am slipping. I missed that.

                  Greg, if I ever run for president, I will put my tax returns in front of the public. No problem here. You might just be surprised at exactly how charitable I really am.

                  Doctors without Partners? Now that was funny, and I took it in the spirit of good humor. Was it otherwise? In all seriousness, I contribute to a lot of charities, but mostly, I will pick an indigent hospital patient at random, and zero balance his or her bill. Recently paid a $4300 dollar at a local hospital in your area for a 22 year old young man who stayed in the hospital for three days receiving intravenous steroids, who had insurance, but had a $5000.00 co-pay. I learned of it from someone in my peer group who had admitted him from the ER. My only request of the hospital … to mail him with a zero balance.

                  I have been known to buy food for patients, medications, warm clothes, and even have paid for entire episodes of Home Health Care for those who would otherwise be indigent, and unable to receive those services.

                  I’ll even drop by on a courtesy visit and clean their kitchens, yards, and take out the trash.

                  Let’s see Obama, Biden, or any of your other liberal leaders do these things. But then again, who am I? Yep, just another right wing hater of the less fortunate. Why? Because Greg says so.

                • B., once again, G.’s comment flew right over your purdy lil head. Let me break it down for you: His first sentence was a joke (pretty funny, too,) his second sentence was one of awe, his third sentence was a commendation.

                  In G.’s next paragraph, he speaks on what he was able to give, and quite frankly, I think he’s awfully generous…..for an Atheist. (that was some Kells humour, which I figure might fly over your head, as well.)

              • @Augger,

                Let’s see Obama, Biden, or any of your other liberal leaders do these things.

                they do it all the time — so does Greg. It works like this:

                Obama takes YOUR money, gives it to Greg and Greg votes for Obama. Obama gets elected, then Greg tells him to go take MORE money from YOU and give it to the poor (i.e. Greg). Obama then does exactly that and they BOTH call you greedy for objecting to the injury to your personal rights. Then they pat themselves on the back all around, tell the world how much better than you they are and the process starts all over again. OH! And if you complain too much, they send their friends in the media to assassinate your character for being greedy and evil.

                See, they do more than you and I combined.

  3. Greg,

    I am tired of the normal back-and-forth between us. The following will only be of value if you accept the truth of my assertions by granting me the sincerity with which I tell you I am offering them.

    but only because the right-wing is so hateful towards the less fortunate.

    With respect, that comment would appear to contradict the ideal of the Libertarian Party platform. To care for the less fortunate requires someone to forcibly take from some to give to others. Can you please explain how your comment is congruent with this ideal:

    (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.

    All of these things would seem to prohibit the practice of government enforced charity, or welfare.

    As I see it, this is the problem with the Libertarian ideal: it simply has not, won’t and can never work — no more than any other utopian ideal. It can’t work because, like all other utopian ideals, it ignores the realities of human nature. If people were as you seem to think they are, there would be no need for any form of government or control. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us are primarily self-interested, a central tenant of the Libertarian ideology. However, unless there is a governing force to restrain them, they won’t. Whether through religion, society or the government, he Libertarian ideal doesn’t provide an effective means for this necessary control. So, again, as I see it, the fatal flaw in the Libertarian ideal is that it ignores the essence of Robert Winthrop’s statement:

    “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”
    –Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U. S. House,

    This is also why the Article of Confederation failed: it set 13 self-interested States against each other with no means of forcing compliance to their own agreement.

    Finally, I reject your assertion that those on the right in this nation do not care for the less fortunate. Aside from the fact that it just isn’t true and that you cannot really support this assertion with empirical evidence, it violates the Libertarian principles you purport to be supporting by sending government to violate individual rights and liberty. I simply do not and likely never will understand how you seem to justify this contradiction in your mind. Maybe you could try to explain this some day.?

    • I can explain it now, B.
      I want stuff that would require sacrifice from some, but would benefit the majority. What can I say, I’m human. That is why we need laws, to curb the desire of do-gooders to muck everything up. TThe Libertarians aren’t seeking chaos, they are for a government that protects the freedoms we inherited from our Founders. I probably should have excerpted the Preamble as well; it may answer your worry about societal and personal control.
      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.

      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.

      • “I want stuff that would require sacrifice from some, but would benefit the majority. What can I say, I’m human”

        And a member of the free shit army, I see. But I bet you would be pissed if you had more apples than I did, so I exercised a “right” to take some of yours.

        Libertarian principle, Greg? Let’s examine.

        “(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.”

        By your own arguments, you sir do not even know what f*ck that means, or you are dishonest with yourself, and us. Which is it?

          • “I said that we need a libertarian Govt in order to curb those impulses of mine, Augger. Do you have functional literacy issues?”

            The point is, Greg … is that we do not need to federal government to control our “impulses”. Most of us learned to control ourselves … just after puberty.

      • Tex, I am delivering sand to Victoria now, sorta like hauling coal to Newcastle, wouldn’t you say?. We are eastbound in Matagorda Bay as we type.

  4. OK, thanks for the answer. Now, (I am calm, and not trying to be confrontational), can you explain to me why you believe these two comments are not self-contradictory?

    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.

    I want stuff that would require sacrifice from some, but would benefit the majority.

    I do not see how it benefits anyone to trample the rights of some for the unearned benefit of others. Nor do I see why you think it benefits people to be given something they did not earn. Did you not just say on another thread to me that part of our problem is that we no longer have to work for basic needs like food and water, and that this has separated us from the realities faced by the rest of the world? So why are you advocating for more of this insulation rather than less?

    Here is another point where I see contradiction. The Libertarians write:

    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.

    So how is it not force to take from some for the unearned benefit of others? How can a person be said to be free to follow their own path if they can have their justly earned property taken and given to those who have not earned it? Do you not see that personal freedom — as the Libertarians define it — must include freedom from being forced to help others? And, if you do, welcome to the American Right. But, if you don’t, you need to explain how you justify the fundamental contradiction between the ideologies you are advancing.

    If you can’t show how they are actually in agreement, then you are asking people to accept a contradiction, and from a contradiction, all things follow.

    • As I said, we need laws that prevent us from ‘doing good’, because ‘good’ to one is a noisy and smelly factory to another. We need a Libertarian government now, because we are in the muck up to our ears, We need a government strong enough to tell me, “No, you can’t pollute your neighbor’s air or water’, and one strong enough to defend our land, things that know no borders, in other words.
      The government does not need to be in the education business, other than to ensure that all children are receiving an education.
      Some things like food safety, are best overseen at the government level. Once you’ve died of pfisteria, it is too late to punish the producer by switching brands.
      I still say that the ‘commerce clause allows a national health insurance plan, but I would look at other options, such as voluntary pools of insured that can bargain for cheaper drugs and services, that the government could support by leaving alone! A health insurance plan, where part of the payment buys stock in the company, might be an option.
      No system is perfect, but we can keep the contradictions under control, I think.

      • Greg,

        As I said, we need laws that prevent us from ‘doing good’, because ‘good’ to one is a noisy and smelly factory to another. We need a Libertarian government now, because we are in the muck up to our ears, We need a government strong enough to tell me, “No, you can’t pollute your neighbor’s air or water’, and one strong enough to defend our land, things that know no borders, in other words.

        So, in other words, we need to go back to the Constitution as founded, and to revisit the way the men who wrote and ratified it told us it was intended to function? Is that what you are saying?

        Next, if we have this “Libertarian government,” then you cannot advocate this:

        Some things like food safety, are best overseen at the government level. Once you’ve died of pfisteria, it is too late to punish the producer by switching brands.

        This violates the very principles you say you want our government to enforce: the taking from some for the benefit of others. You will have to learn to leave this to the real charity of others and to let those who do not care go their own way — no matter what the cost.

        Now, let’s address this:

        I still say that the ‘commerce clause allows a national health insurance plan, but I would look at other options, such as voluntary pools of insured that can bargain for cheaper drugs and services, that the government could support by leaving alone!

        The founders said you are wrong. So, by what means do you propose this utopian “Libertarian government” use to keep people from just “re-interpreting” whatever constitution you devise for it? If you are going to demonstrate your willingness to go around the current constitution in such manner, why won’t you do it to the next? And, if you advocate we have a government strong enough to prevent this, how is that still a Libertarian government and not a dictatorship?

        No system is perfect, but we can keep the contradictions under control, I think.

        Sadly, it doesn’t appear to be the case, now does it? I mean, look how far astray you have gone in just this one comment… 😦

        • Unlike you, I do not trust corporations to police themselves. I am unsure as to your objection to preventing food-borne disease. After all, we are talking interstate commerce and, more importanly, people”s lives.

      • “We need a Libertarian government now, because we are in the muck up to our ears,”

        And why then would you want four more years of this? You think Obama is going to change anything, really?

        “No system is perfect, but we can keep the contradictions under control, I think.”

        Then you certainly cannot cast a vote for Obama in good faith.

  5. The reality is, as B explains so succinctly, our founding fathers lived through, and wrote a Constitution which if adhered too, our nation would have avoided the situation our nation is in now.

    “We” are left with a choice, Obama, who is in the process of destroying our nation, or Romney, who is promising to “right America’s Course” at least financially.

    Financially is where “we” have to start, without capital, chaos will ensue.

    With chaos, will come civil war.

    If chaos, there will be NO hope for rebuilding LIBERTY as our founders, and I, hope for our nation and our progeny.

    • Tex, Every candidate promises the sky, and most even have a plan that , ala Paul Ryan’s economic miracle formula, is going to work, but it is just wee bit complicated to go into right now. Nixon had a ‘secret plan’ to end the Vietnam War(sorry, B, seems to be a Republican thing 🙂 )

      • (sorry, B, seems to be a Republican thing 🙂 )

        Greg,

        Just so I do not put words in your mouth anymore, does that mean you are admitting that Democrats don’t have any plans? That’s how I took it: “It’s a Republican thing to have plans.” So I can only assume — by implication — that you are admitting Democrats do not have plans.

        Or did you “miscommunicate?” 🙂

        • I said that the Republicans ‘claim’ to have plans, then keep the details secret. That does not mean that you are incorrect, as I see no orderly path to where we find ourselves today

          • @Greg,

            That is why I asked. Now, as for RYAN (and RYAN only), I believe he does have a written plan as I have heard Reid refer to it.

            Next, to the other side, I do not believe Obama has a written plan, so why didn’t your comment address BOTH sides of this issue?

            • Since when have you ever considered both sides of an issue, B? Not once in 3 years have the words ‘on the other hand’ passed from your lips or appeared in your posts.

              • Greg,

                This is a blatant, bold faced lie.

                Since when have you ever considered both sides of an issue, B? Not once in 3 years have the words ‘on the other hand’ passed from your lips or appeared in your posts.

                I have acknowledged points made by the left many times. It is you who have never done so in regard to the right.

                This is a prime example of why people cannot hold a civil conversation with you: you cannot acknowledge the truth. 😦

      • Let’s just say that the republicans have a secret plan. Do you mean like the 4 budget plans proffered by the House over the last four years which died in the Congress? Those secret plans?

        What’s the Democratic plan, Greg? What the hell has Harry Reid been up to the last 4 years? Was there some secret ethereal plan from the Democrats that got killed in the House? Or is the factual absence of a budget plan over the past four years somehow Bush’s fault?

        • Augger, please do not ask me to defend what Reid has been doing, or McConnell, for that matter, who came right out admitted the republican plan. To wit, the plan is to make Obama a one-term president, no matter how much the nation’s business is neglected.

          • @Greg,

            You cannot speak to the Republicans about “neglecting the nation’s business” when the Democrats have not even offered a budget in what, 3 years? That means they didn’t do it when they held all three parts of the legislative process.

            You need to start worrying about the corruption on your side of the fence before you point fingers. There is at least as much manure over there smelling our side of the block up as you think you detect over here.

            Trying being honest with people for a change — including yourself 🙂

            • B, I point fingers at hypocrisy and stupidity wherever I see it. And when you print untruths, I point them out, which irritates you to no end. So stop printing lies and half-truths.

              • “I point fingers at hypocrisy and stupidity wherever I see it. And when you print untruths, I point them out, which irritates you to no end. So stop printing lies and half-truths.”

                But it’s ok for you to do it (see the above exchange about how the right hates the less unfortunate).

                Look in the mirror much, Greg? 🙂

              • @Greg,

                You do not point fingers at hypocrisy: you practice it.

                I do not tell lies, you just don’t like being forced to face the truth. When I offer an argument, I support it by citing my references and sources. It would be refreshing were you to try this more often.

                The problem here is that you have repeatedly and consistently demonstrated that you believe your opinion is fact, but that your opinion runs contrary to objective reality. You have no credibility here, Greg — none.

                😦

                • More often than, B you SAY you have proof, but can’t find, you’re tired of posting it, or it wouldn’t change my mind, so you don’t bother posting it.

                  • Greg,

                    The people who follow our exchanges know I have posted some things over and over again for you, and you still demand them every time — as though leaving them out of a post somehow means you win a point. It doesn’t. In fact, it is accepted that, in discussions such as those on this forum, common knowledge — or those things which should be assumed to be so — need not be cited, for brevity’s sake.

                    The problem is, as with most things, you expect others to do all the work for you, then you presume to “shoot down” that which — by your own admission — you know little or not nearly enough about.

                    Again, you need to learn the basic rules of logic. I have provided you with that link, too, so I AM tired of posting it. After all, it is useless to provide something to a man who has demonstrated he has no intention of making use of that thing — or worse, that he intends to reject it no matter how patently obvious it may be.

                    Sad, Greg, truly sad. Until you get past these issues, we will never be able to hold a civil discussion with you. 😦

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