In effect we have only two viable political parties in the United States today: the Democrats and Republicans, on the one hand, and the Libertarians on the other. How can I say that the Ds and Rs are really only one party? Because inherently they agree with each other on virtually ALL of the important issues facing our country today. Certainly individual candidates in those two parties have legitimate fights with each other, but innately the two parties themselves do not. Here is just a partial list:
- Military intervention and nation building.
- Corporate Welfare: They often have different cronies that receive huge amounts of government money, but the approach is the same. (Crop supports? I cannot raise corn with the best of them. So why not pay me money for not raising corn?)
- The War on Drugs.
- Over incarceration, and mostly people of color.
- Continuing government surveillance of our bank accounts, emails, telephone calls and who knows what else without judicial warrants based upon sworn declarations of probable cause.
- Asset forfeiture laws, which allow seizure of people’s property without being convicted of any criminal charge, much less charged with one.
- Maintaining complicated tax systems that favor their political constituents.
- Below-average teachers are supported at the tragic expense of too many children.
- Gerrymandering the voting districts.
- A system of immigration that is ineffective and harms literally millions of people. It is not hard to change, but the Rs and Ds simply don’t want to. And that is easily proved, because if they wanted to, they would have changed it decades ago.
- And always the continuing increases in the size, cost and power of the federal government, along with its consistent overspending!
The Libertarian Party alone represents a change away from those conditions. Thus it stands for responsibility at all levels of society: individual, group, corporate and governmental. In addition, Libertarians understand and put into force the eternal truth that “We get more of what we subsidize, and less of what we tax.” So today we get more victimization and laziness, because those are subsidized, and less entrepreneurship and success, because those are taxed. As a result, most Libertarians would generally address the above issues as follows:
- Have a strong military, but only use it when our national security or interests are threatened, and only then with a specific statement of goals to be attained.
- No corporate welfare or bailouts for banks, auto manufacturers, corn or other farmers, or anyone else.
- Use the criminal justice system to control the actions of adults, instead of what they put into their bodies.
- Abolish mandatory minimum sentences, and allow judges the discretion to sentence convicted people based upon the individual offenses, the circumstances and the actual harm done to the victims.
- Repeal the so-called “Patriot Act,” and other intrusions into our lives without judicial warrants, and re-vitalize our nation’s soul, which is its Freedoms and Liberties.
- Abolish Civil Asset forfeiture, which is an institutional corruption that allows police departments to share in the plunder without even bringing criminal charges against the property owners.
- Greatly simplify our federal tax system, making it much more fair and comprehensible.
- Empower parents to choose where their government money is to be spent to educate their children. As shown in Milwaukee and elsewhere, the parents will insist upon, and receive, excellence.
- Draw legislative districts based upon population instead of political voting interests.
- Employ an immigration policy with worker’s visas being issued liberally after, of course, a thorough background check concerning mental health, criminal justice and terrorist issues. But no welfare programs for people here without citizenship or a Green Card.
- Pass “Sunset Laws” requiring each federal agency individually to come before Congress on a programed basis and show what it has accomplished in that past period and at what expense, and then require each agency to justify its budget for the next period in the same fashion. This will reduce overlapping bureaucracies, and shine a light upon what government we actually need, and what we do not. Libertarians say that the so-called “Debt Ceiling” is a false issue: just don’t spend the money!
So the fundamental political question is: How much government do you want? In that regard, go to the website www.ISideWith.com, take the 25-question test, submit your answers, and see which of the current presidential candidates you agree with the most. You will find the results to be really interesting.
Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice
President, along with Governor
Gary Johnson as the candidate for President
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