- Ronald Reagan
|"The Real Party Animal"|
We, the Libertarian Party, believe government exists to protect the inalienable rights of citizens--to life, liberty, and property-- and not to micromanage citizens’ lives. We believe the frustration many citizens feel with the government results from government’s expansion. When a government is scaled back to only protect the citizens’ rights it preserves their ability to live in freedom from the federal government: citizens’ private lives and their economic endeavors are free from the government. We believe the Constitution is the highest law of the land and the recipe for a prosperous nation. Over the last several decades there has been a precipitous increase in government power that is creating a nation that is far from the one the one the framers envisioned. Our aim is to restore the United States to the original vision the framers had at its founding in the late 1700s. We strongly believe in freedom of expression, the right to privacy, freedom in sexual orientation and gender expression, a more limited criminal justice system, the right to self defense, property rights, less restrictions and protections for the environment, and limited taxation.
We support full freedom of expression and oppose government restrictions or controls on expression. Freedom of speech has enormous value in a government that works for the people because the people are in charge, they cannot be penalized for their words. The birth or our nation was precipitated by a need for freedom of expression, specifically as it relates to religious practices. At the time of the creation of our Constitution, separation of church and state was among the more central concerns of the founding fathers. Because of the First Amendment, which ensures freedom of expression and separation of church and state, the government cannot aid or attack any religion. As individuals, citizens can choose to engage or not to engage in any religious activities. Freedom of expression is vital to a just nation because a government that works for the people in this way cannot put any restrictions on self expression. Restrictions on freedom of expression, even by a well-meaning government, inadvertently open up a gateway to heavier restrictions that jeopardize citizens’ freedom of expression all together.
As stated in the Fourth Amendment, citizens have a right to privacy. They have security in their own persons, homes, and property. The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure of their property, and also their medical records, library records, and any other personal records. Citizens can only lose their right to privacy through due process of law. Citizens are to live free from the government and not be subject to unreasonable invasions of privacy. As Libertarians we strongly believe in these rights given by the Fourth Amendment. We must work diligently to ensure that they are never taken away from the citizens of our great nation.
We believe that sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should not be a concern of the government. These issues should not affect citizen’s rights when it comes to marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration, or military service. The government should not have the power to define, license, or restrict personal relationships. Government interference amounts to intrusion on citizens’ rights to privacy and restriction of personal expression. The government should not instruct citizens as to how to live their lives nor should it prevent them from living the lifestyle of their choice.
Under a Libertarian system government exists to protect citizens’ rights by protecting citizens from one another. Criminal laws are limited to the punishment of citizens who infringe on the rights of others. The government does not have the right to prosecute individuals for victimless crimes because this is not an infringement on others’ rights; in Ronald Reagan's words, “ Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.”. It is not the government’s job to protect us from ourselves, it cannot stop us from choosing to partake in dangerous activities. Due process of law, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, and presumption of innocence cannot be denied even in the most horrific crimes. Juries have the right to judge the facts and the justice of the law. The criminal justice system must continue to operate with the Constitution as its guiding document. It is the job of the justice system to only imprison those guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt, of infringing on others rights.
The criminal justice system works to protect us from others because often we are unable to protect ourselves. We do have the right to exercise self-defense without persecution, but only in situations in which we believe someone is trying to harm us. Inalienable rights cannot be taken away without due process of law. We oppose any restrictions on citizens bearing arms because, as stated in the Second Amendment, all citizens have the right to bear arms. Citizens have the right to self protection when they are at risk and the right to own arms intended to be used only for self-defense.
Property rights share this same importance, and similar protection. Property owners have the freedom to control, use, dispose of, or enjoy their property in any fashion they so choose. This right protects businesses from controls on wages, prices, rents, profits, production, and interest rates. We believe in appealing all laws which would ban or restrict advertising of prices, products, or services. Citizens should be allowed to keep or trade property for any reason. Laws which restrict property rights violate citizens’ rights because businesses are made of people who sell their property, and under the Constitution they have a right to their property.
As Libertarians we are aware of climate change and the effect human actions have on the environment, but we do not support any laws set to protect the environment. We are aware that pollution and misuse of resources causes damage to the environment but we believe these issues can best be addressed by private groups. The government cannot force people to protect the environment, especially by limiting their ability to build buildings and run businesses on their own property. The government exists to protect citizens, not the environment.
We support a government with a conservative budget aimed at taxing citizens as little as possible, thereby allowing them to fully benefit from the monetary profits of their hard work. We believe in repealing all income taxes, the IRS, and all other services not listed in the Constitution. Additionally, we believe employers should not be forced to serve as tax collectors. We cannot a support a government that burdens future generations by raking up trillions of dollars in debt. The “Balanced Budget Amendment” is the key to fixing the debt crisis because it will balance the budget by cutting expenses instead of raising taxes. Our philosophy is to limit government spending and the taxation of citizens because as Rush Limbaugh said, “No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity”.
The framer’s vision was one of a nation with small, limited government, one in which the people would be able to live in freedom from government controls and restrictions. As Libertarians we believe the way to reach this ideal America is through unrestricted freedom of speech, right to privacy, no government involvement in personal choice, a crime system that only punishes those guilty of infringing on others rights, right to self-defense, property rights, no government involvement with the environment, and limited taxation. The government of the United States of America should protect citizens’ inalienable rights to life, liberty, and property, and not expand to control their public and private lives. Free market economics result in the strongest economies by allowing the people freedom from excessive taxation. We believe the formula for a strong nation begins with a non-intrusive limited government.