We cannot immediately return to Jefferson’s path which the “wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted.” Politics is the art of the possible and at times involves difficult compromises (as our Founders knew well). Government power is divided between the legislature, the executive, and the judicial branches, and the election of a few people who prize liberty will not immediately bring about radical change. While this may be frustrating to some, it should be comforting to most.
If I am elected, it will be neither a panacea nor a disaster. (Obama claimed that with his election, the planet would begin to heal; I make no such claim!) Not many Libertarian ideas are truly radical; many are held to some degree by others, and some (like getting the government out of the bedroom) seemed outlandish when they were proposed forty or more years ago, but now are mainstream.
The following topics are based on a list from OnTheIssues.
Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, I believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration. [LP 1.5]
Budget and Economy
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. [LP 2.0]
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. [LP 1.4]
The prescribed role of government is to protect the rights of every individual including the right to life, liberty and property. Criminal laws should be limited in their application to violations of the rights of others through force or fraud, or to deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk of harm. Therefore, I favor the repeal of all laws creating “crimes” without victims, such as the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes. I support restitution to the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or the negligent wrongdoer. The constitutional rights of the criminally accused, including due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, and the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, must be preserved. I assert the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law. [LP 1.7]
Education is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality, accountability and efficiency with more diversity of choice. Recognizing that the education of children is a parental responsibility, I would restore authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. Parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children’s education. [LP 2.9]
Energy and Oil
While energy is needed to fuel a modern society, government should not be subsidizing any particular form of energy. I oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, and production. [LP 2.3]
Competitive free markets and property rights stimulate the technological innovations and behavioral changes required to protect our environment and ecosystems. Private landowners and conservation groups have a vested interest in maintaining natural resources. Governments are unaccountable for 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 and responsibilities regarding resources like land, water, air, and wildlife. Where damages can be proven and quantified in a court of law, restitution to the injured parties must be required. [LP 2.2]
Families and Children
Parents, or other guardians, have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs. This statement shall not be construed to condone child abuse or neglect. [LP 1.6]
I support election systems that are more representative of the electorate at the federal, state and local levels. As private voluntary groups, political parties should be free to establish their own rules for nomination procedures, primaries and conventions. I 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. I 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. I advocate initiative, referendum, recall and repeal when used as popular checks on government. [LP 3.6]
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. I 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. Private property owners should be free to establish their own conditions regarding the presence of personal defense weapons on their own property. I oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, registering, or monitoring the ownership, manufacture, or transfer of firearms or ammunition. [LP 1.9]
I favor a free-market health care system. I recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want (if any), 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. [LP 2.10]
Immigration and Trade
I 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, I support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property. [LP 3.4]
Employment and compensation agreements between private employers and employees are outside the scope of government, and these contracts should not be encumbered by government-mandated benefits or social engineering. I support the right of private employers and employees to choose whether or not to bargain with each other through a labor union. Bargaining should be free of government interference, such as compulsory arbitration or imposing an obligation to bargain. [LP 2.8]
Principles and Values
Employment and compensation agreements between private employers and employees are outside the scope of government, and these contracts should not be encumbered by government-mandated benefits or social engineering. I support the right of private employers and employees to choose whether or not to bargain with each other through a labor union. Bargaining should be free of government interference, such as compulsory arbitration or imposing an obligation to bargain. [LP preamble]
All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. I call for the repeal of the income tax. I oppose any legal requirements forcing employers to serve as tax collectors. Government should not incur debt, which burdens future generations without their consent. [LP 2.4]