Libertarian Party Platform – 1.0 Personal Liberty

Posted on April 25, 2010 by

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In my continuing discussion of the Libertarian Party platform, today I will be discussing section 1, Personal Liberty. The views expressed in this blog are my own, and should not be taken as official Libertarian Party views.

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.”

Personal freedoms and liberty are at the core of Libertarian Party beliefs. But just as important as having the freedom to make choices, is the responsibility to accept the consequences of those choices. The individual should be allowed to make any choices they desire, but they should also have to accept the responsibility of those choices. If they choose to drink to excess, they must accept the consequences of liver damage. If they choose to ignore the ‘wet floor’ sign, they must accept the responsibility of potentially falling and breaking their arm. They should be free to make these choices, but they must also be ready to accept what happens when they do make those choices.

The last sentence in this statement is just as powerful as the first two. While we feel that people should be free to make these choices, and accept the consequences of those choices, we neither approve nor disapprove of those choices. It is not the governments place to approve or disapprove, nor a group’s right to make that decision for its members. Every individual must make the decision for themselves of what is right or wrong.

So, what does all this mean? This is the most basic of the Libertarian Party’s platform. Every individual should have the right to make their own choices, and be required to accept responsibility for those choices, and those choices should be the right of the individual to make, and not required by any other individual, group, or government.

I don’t want to go into too much detail on this example, but our new National Health Care reform is the exact opposite of this statement. While the government says we have the ‘right’ to have healthcare, they have broken every piece of this belief. They have made it illegal for individuals to make the choice on whether or not to have healthcare, and taken aware the responsibility of the individual to accept that choice. They have also made it clear that if an individual does not have healthcare, they will initiate force, i.e. taking money of those without healthcare.

While Libertarians do not dispute the fact that changes may need made in the way insurance companies worked, we are almost unanimous in the statement that government healthcare regulations are not the way to fix it. In fact, it is my belief that eliminating government regulation of the healthcare industry would actually increase competition, causing lower premiums and forcing change in the industry because of increased need to compete for customers.

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