Libertarians believe that civil liberties are as important as economic liberties. Merriam-Webster defines civil liberty: "freedom from arbitrary governmental interference (as with the right of free speech) specifically by denial of governmental power and in the United States especially as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights —usually used in plural." Based on this definition of civil liberties; federal legislation such as the USA PATRIOT Act, REAL ID, FISA, and many others are an unconstitutional violation of our natural rights.
The Concise Encyclopedia gives a better definition: "Freedom from arbitrary interference in one's pursuits by individuals or by government. In other words, anything you wish to do that neither harms nor causes a loss to another person should be permissible under the law. Governments have no right to tell you what books you can read, who you can communicate with, where you can travel, whom you can trade with or any other number of things they try to regulate or make illegal that have no identifiable victim.
The "War on Drugs" costs the federal government over $15 billion per year, State and local governments spend an additional $25 billion each year. These costs include the incarceration of nearly 1 million people for drug offenses; the vast majority of these individuals have harmed no one.
Individuals with drug addictions should be treated medically for these addictions, they should not be treated as criminals.
Some libertarians believe that drugs should be taxed as a way for governments to increase revenue; others simply want the laws prohibiting the possession, use and distribution of these substances to be repealed.
"If goods don't cross border, armies will."
Libertarians believe American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Peace will never be achieved through force. Libertarians seek the withdrawal of troops from the 900+ military bases in over 130 nations around the world.
Libertarians support an end to taxpayer funded foreign aid and we support real free trade (not the bureaucratic version of "free trade" that exists under NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT, etc). Libertarians agree with President Thomas Jefferson who stated in his March 4, 1801 inaugural address: "peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none."
Libertarians believe that government should confine itself to protecting individuals from aggression, coercion and deceit. We oppose all laws and regulations that attempt to protect individuals from the consequences of their own behavior. While not necessarily condoning such activities, we believe that gambling and lotteries are peaceful commercial enterprises that the government has no right to interfere with.
Libertarians support the existence of “Stand Your Ground” laws and believe that every person has the right to defend themselves wherever they have a right to be.
Libertarians further believe that no groups of people have any more right than any individual. For instance, every individual has an inherent right to defend themselves (including their friends, family and others from imminent attack) in any manner they see fit. That includes the right to own any weapon they believe is necessary to defend themselves.
Libertarians believe that individuals should be free to choose the medical care they believe is best for themselves. This includes the freedom to seek alternative forms of treatment, such as holistic, homeopathic, chiropractic, acupuncture, shaman, or any other form of treatment they choose. Governments should not mandate what qualifies someone to give medical treatment, nor should government use force, or the threat of force, to prevent an individual from seeking treatment from an "unqualified" practitioner.
Libertarians oppose the FDA, Medicare, Medicaid, forced vaccination and mandatory health insurance laws.
Libertarians support the existence of free-market certifications and believe such certifications are helpful to those looking for qualified health care.
Libertarians generally believe that people should be allowed to travel freely without government interference. This includes the right of individuals to choose where they decide to live.
Current federal immigration laws are convoluted and give preferential treatment to individuals from certain countries. The current system also relies on quotas, hosts and in some cases an immigration lottery, as well as preferred treatment to athletes and refugees.
The Congress of the United States of America needs to pass a uniform immigration law, and we believe the best model law is the "wet foot, dry foot rule" in place for people fleeing Cuba. Under this rule, anyone from Cuba who makes it safely into the United States, is allowed to stay.
An aside: most of the people who argue against eased immigration standards point to the "abuse" of the welfare system. That is actually an argument against welfare, not an argument against immigration!
Libertarians support a free an open internet. We oppose proposed legislation such as SOPA, PIPA, CISPA & ACTA. These proposals would claim the federal government “owns” the internet and will have the ability shut down any website that violates one of their policies. In addition to the possibility of your favorite sites being taken down, you could wind up in jail for 5 years, if you inadvertently violate the law, while not willfully or knowingly violating the law. These proposals could allow governments to censor politically objectionable content and stifle the free press.
Libertarians believe that 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, we would restore authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. Individuals without kids in the school system should not be forced to pay for a system they aren't utilizing.
Social Security is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme, whereby a fraudulent investment operation pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation.
Every individual should be responsible for his/her own retirement. Therefore, everyone should be allowed to opt-out of the Social Security system. Those who decide to opt-in to Social Security should have their contributions placed into a private account, such as a 401k or Money Market Account, which they control.
Libertarians also wish to phase out the system altogether to remove the coercion of government from an individuals retirement.
Libertarians believe governments should not incur debt, which burdens future generations without their consent. We believe the federal government simply can't afford to continue borrowing 43 cents out of every dollar we spend. This run away spending has led to a federal debt of over $16 trillion and climbing.
Some Libertarians believe the federal debt is invalid and and believe it is past time for Congress to admit publicly the debt will never be paid off and repudiate the debt. Others 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.
Libertarians support the non-aggression principle which states that no person has a right to aggress against another, nor can any person delegate the use of force. If followed to it's logical conclusion: libertarians support peace!
Libertarians are opposed to war for philosophical reasons, not for political reasons. Have you ever noticed how Republicans become anti-(this)war when a Democrat is President, and vice versa? Most libertarians believe the only time force is justified is in defense of person or property. Despite what some calling themselves libertarian may say, pre-emptive use of force is always wrong.
The foundation of libertarianism is mutual respect. It is a principle that extends to our relationships with people throughout the world. Libertarians call for the withdrawal of all troops from around the world.
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